Hindu Benevolent Fund raises $50,000 to help India

By Neena Badhwar

The Rig Veda says, “for a knowledgeable healer, the herbs rally together akin to an army of kings.”

Yes, we need an army of all the kings of the earth  to come together to fight an infliction that has been cursed upon the whole humanity ”“ the Covid-19 virus.

As you enter Adyar Bhavan in Harris Park where a charity fundraiser is being conducted on May 30, 2021, one cannot help but notice the tables, the names assigned are that of ancient Ayurvedic scholars and physicians. Sushruta, “Father of Surgery” and “Father of Plastic Surgery”, Charaka, a medical genius, and Vagbhata are considered to be “The Trinity” of Ayurvedic knowledge and then there are other names such as Dhanvantri, the father of Surgery, Sage Kashyapa and many other Ayurvedic scholars.

Sai Paravastu (extreme right) said that idea of naming the tables with ancient Indian physicians was his with him leaving half a page detail on the contribution made to Indian medicine by each name.

Now why would you have the tables named such. The ”˜Dine with Doctors’ has been organised by the Hindu Benevolent Fund (HBF) branch of Hindu Council of Australia. It is to get Indian doctors together with the members of the Hindu Council and discuss by conducting a forum how the doctors are coping with Covid-19 situation as well as talk about issues of concern to do with Covid.

Doctors of today are the modern-day wonder who are on the frontline, facing and fighting and trying to help seriously ill Covid patients who come to hospitals. Medical fraternity is suddenly facing a crisis as the whole world tries to find a magic cure. In record time, countries, companies and scientists working non-stop have come up with various vaccines. AstraZenica, Pfizer, Moderna, India with its Co-vaccine, Russia with its Sputnik and many more, it is as if the whole world has gotten together to fight the enemy which obviously needs an army of all the brilliant minds put together to get rid of the virus which threatens to wipe out the human race. With close to 4 million people dead, and many millions infected still, the virus has caused havoc, each country trying to keep the virus out and act as a fortress and keep its citizens safe by putting in place strict lockdowns.

Dr. Ashish Agar conducted the forum where doctors came forward to discuss how best the Indian community and HCA members can support India and Indians in their great hour of need. They talked about Covid-19 Vaccination hesitation that the Indian community carries in its mindset. Many still are in doubt whether to get the vaccine jab. About vaccine hesitancy, says Dr. Agar, “As doctors, we have a responsibility to counter misinformation that people get through social networks and to provide the truth, an educated truth. Unfortunately many of us get trapped into the daily forwards we get through social medium. Getting a clot through vaccine is 4-6 in every million. Rather chances of getting a blood clot can be more due to many other reasons.”

He adds, “We also discussed how best we can save ourselves by adhering to lockdowns, masks and staying away from any hotspots.”

HBF members discussed how best as a community here we can help India and Indians who are facing tough times, not only that, how best to keep the momentum going forward as the problem has not yet gone away. Fears of further waves of mutant virus still lurk around us so we need to have a plan in place to fight the virus and help people on an ongoing basis.

Hindu Council of Australia’s Hindu Benevolent Fund (HBF which was established in Deepavali festival in 2017, its’ aim is to provide financial and other assistance to individuals and families in dire need of assistance, here in Australia or in India. HBF has been involved in providing disaster relief during bush fires, drought or floods here and in India. Broad objectives are: 1. Help families and individuals with unexpected expenses; 2. High medical expenses including funeral expenses; 3. Aid victims of natural disasters; 4. Help families during bereavement and 5. Aid domestic violence victims.

During Covid-19 the HCA has directed its fund towards India through ”˜Support India Initiative’ by setting up a Covid Response Team (CRT). CRT which is working towards helping  people on the ground with Sewa Bharti. CRT is headed by Retd. Lt.Gen. Gurmeet Singh, Ramesh Aggarwal, President Sewa Bharti, who are involved in providing ”˜Oxygen on Wheels’- mobile vans with a capacity of six beds each, positioned outside each hospital. HCA through HBF is running a donation drive which can help people in need through various projects asking donations that range from$10 for the cost of one food package toas much as $1000 with an aim to provide 5 ambulances along with nurses and doctors. HBF aims also to provide Family Assistance worth $200 per month, with a target to assist 500 families per month. It is a great initiative but difficult to achieve without a definite plan how to go about achieving this charitable aim.

HBF’s exclusive ”˜Dine and Discuss with Doctors’ at Adyar Bhavan along with another gala event with the business fraternity of the Indian community at  Dural’s  Madison Function centre togther collected $50,000 in one night. As explained the funds will be sent to India and injected into Sewa Bharti’s relief activities. We do need an army of our doctors, scientists and the community backing them along with the blessings of our ancient physicians to strengthen ourselves to fight against Covid-19.

You can donate to HBF account: Commonwealth Bank Australia, Account Name: HCA Benevolent Fund, BSB: 062004; Account: 10447020.

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