COVID-19: Hindu Council of Australia reaches out to the needy

Hindu Benevolent Fund and Karma Kitchen step up efforts

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The Karma Kitchen of the Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) has been serving freshly cooked vegetarian lunches to needy people in Sydney’s west since 2015. In recent days it has seen an uptick in activity as it reaches out to those facing hardships in COVID lockdown.

Jay Raman of the HCA told Indian Link that packs of cooked food as well as raw supplies are currently being sent out to students as well as seniors and families in lockdown who are unable to help themselves

“We’ve created an online support request form on our website hinducouncil.com.au so please reach out if you need help,” he said. “We’ve established two hubs so far to organise our services – in Harris Park and Blacktown – and are looking to open a third in Liverpool. Here we are currently packaging fresh meals as well as basic grocery.”

Their ‘care kits’ being assembled at the Harris Park Community Centre consist of supplies such as rice, lentils, flour and cooking oil, long life milk, cereals, tinned veggies, dry vegetables such as potatoes and onions, salt, sugar and spices, as well as some items of toiletries.  

“With social distancing restrictions it is taking longer than usual but so far our dry groceries have gone out to some 120 students and isolated families, driven to them by volunteers” he revealed.  

Alternate accommodation is being organised for students and others who may need it such as stranded Indian tourists. “We’ve just sorted five cases, organising private homes as well as motels, and are considering the hiring of a hall if the need arises, with beddings etc provided by us.”

Another need that has been identified is counselling for students, for which outreach is being considered.

“We’re thankful to the Indian Consulate for the help it is providing at this hour,” Jay Raman noted. “We’ve also reached out to our long-time supporters and sponsors of the Diwali Mela. A renewed call has gone out for donations in cash or kind to the Hindu Benevolent Fund to help fund these activities.”

The Fund has so far provided financial help to those affected by disasters such as the Fiji cyclone, NSW drought and most recently, the bushfire crisis.