Hindus of Greater Houston root for community during pandemic

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The community organization, Hindus of Greater Houston, HGH, has been playing an active role in supporting those in need since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and affected everyone’s life.

According to a May 27, 2020 press release from HGH, the organization has held multiple food drives, distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and fundraised to the amount of $100,000 for Sewa International and other organizations, to help Houstonians hit by the financial fallout.

Hindus of Greater Houston, a community organization, held a Zoom conference May 9, to discuss past achievements and the road going forward. (Photo: courtesy HGH)

In a an online Zoom conference that included HGH officials held recently (May 9), including  Secretary of Meenakshi Temple Parthasarthy Krishnaswamy; the Board of Trustees, advisors and other community leaders, the organization discussed its way forward.

Chairman of HGH Dev Mahajan updated attendees on the work done by the Hindu Worship Society, Arya Samaj and Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj, with respect to food drives and the blood donation camp.

A blood donation drive was scheduled for May 31, at the Arya Samaj School building in collaboration with the Gulf Coast Blood Center. Sanjay Jain, who is spearheading this drive, appealed to all Indo Americans to register and donate blood. COVID testing is not required. However, donors should not have traveled to India in the last one year.

Patanjali Yogpeeth President Shekhar Agrawal said preparations for Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev’s visit to Houston for the International Day of Yoga on June 21 has been replaced with a virtual two-hour program live streamed from India House. Swami Ramdev will join the session from India and yoga enthusiasts can follow his routine from their homes.

Member of the HGH Hindu Heritage Youth Camp Committee Bharat Pallod informed everyone that the annual camp for children hosted for the last 35 years was cancelled for the first time, but that organizers were thinking of a “creative solution” to replace the traditional 5 day, 125 person camp.

Sewa International President Gitesh Desai joined the meeting in the midst of two food drives organized by the Gujarati Samaj of Houston and VPSS providing food for a combined number of 550 families. He also informed those present that the internships with Sewa would be available in a week’s time.

Meanwhile, Kanti Patel and HGH President Thara Narasimhan from Voice of Sanatan Hinduism are offering free airtime for food and blood drive announcements, available on Masala Radio from 12-2 pm every Sunday.

Houston cardiologist Dr. Randeep Suneja gave an optimistic update on the medical strides for COVID-19 treatments. He warned everyone however, to continue social distancing measures and avoid unnecessary exposure especially the vulnerable elderly population.

According to the press release, Dr. Suneja said that hospitalizations are expected drop by end of June according to statistical analysts, and that doctors are learning to better manage the disease with hydroxychloroquine and blood thinners, which he said have been found to. be effective in the first 72 hours, the HGH press release said.

Dr. Suneja also said seven to ten research projects into a vaccine for acoronavirus were ongoing around the world and showed promise, including in India, and that he expected a vaccine by September/October, the press release said

The HGH announced that a few temples have cautiously opened their doors to devotees such as the Meenakshi Temple, VPSS and the Hindu Worship Society. The temples had taken all precautions to make it save for devotees including fumigating the premises every 2 days, sanitizing door knobs every hour, among other protocols.

 

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