PARSIPPANY — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, its toll grows exponentially, and the timeline to overcoming the novel coronavirus is uncertain. On the frontlines of this pandemic, in the middle of the chaos, stand a group of individuals whose heroism was not fully appreciated before this crisis –the first responders.
BAPS is located at 3 Entin Road.
Doctors, nurses, paramedics, public safety officers and others risk their lives on a daily basis to ensure the well-being of the public at large. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide Hindu organization, and the caretakers of six traditional stone mandirs (Hindu place of worship) in North America located in the greater metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Toronto as well as Robbinsville, New Jersey, has decided to honor these brave individuals who now risk their health, more than ever before to stem the impact of COVID-19.
Starting on March 29, BAPS has been lighting these landmarks blue as a gesture of gratitude to those men and women working tirelessly in healthcare and public safety. Nilkanth Patel, a devotee at BAPS and a director of the organization’s humanitarian arm, BAPS Charities said, “BAPS Charities, for years, has had the good fortune of engaging healthcare professionals and first responders in some of our initiatives such as health fairs for the uninsured or underinsured, as well as our quarterly health awareness seminars. Through these activities, many of these professionals have become our friends and partners in community service.
Likewise, BAPS and BAPS Charities host events which require the collaboration with local agencies and officials –many of whom we have gotten to know well on a personal level.
During these times when our friends and brethren are risking their lives to literally save our families, we as an organization want them to know that we salute them.” In addition to lighting the mandirs blue, BAPS Charities has also donated over 18,000 N95 respiratory masks during the critical early days of the pandemic to some of the hardest hit hospital systems in New York, New Jersey, and Canada.
BAPS operates over 100 mandirs throughout North America and over 3,300 globally. Since early March, the organization has shut down all of its mandirs and stopped all in-person activities in response to COVID-19. Typically, children, adolescents, young professionals, as well as senior devotees partake in weekly spiritual assemblies on the premises. Understanding that many are looking for spiritual comfort and guidance during these unprecedented times, the organization is hosting weekly webcasts for each age group in order to provide a sense of spiritual continuity.His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS global spiritual leader and the inspirer of BAPS Charities’ humanitarian activities, has asked families to pray every morning and evening for the quick resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the well-being of all who have been impacted by it.BAPS and BAPS Charities will provide the latest information and updates on their respective websites, www.baps.org and www.bapscharities.org.