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Team Hindu Mandir takes action for COVID-19 relief

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Team Hindu Mandir – When the number of people in need became greater in the Montreal area thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the city’s cultural communities heeded the call to action to meet those needs. And now you can add the Greater Montreal Indian Commumity who paid it forward.

Subhash Khanna, a DDO-based entrepreneur, along with colleagues Rajesh Kapoor, Vinod Verma and Kul Khurana, got together to establish “Team Hindu Mandir”, based out of the province’s largest Hindu temple, with its mission to rapidly collectively strategize and initiate some vital support projects to aid those West Island residents in need as a result of the widespread effects of the pandemic.

SVinod Verma of Team Hindu Mandir(right) and Ms Alison Harris , Event Manager , Lakeshore General hospital Foundation (left) with some of the KN-95 masks that was collected by the organization and donated to the hospital’s frontline workers.

It all started when they organize a group of volunteers from their temple to launch a grocery home delivery service that benefitted seniors who were members of the congregation. Then they managed to pool their resources and got 1000 KN-95 masks that were donated last month to the Lakeshore General Hospital for its front line medical workers, with another 1000 masks to be donated to the hospital in the near future.

The next objective for Mr. Khanna and his group was to help the many international students who are attending McGill and Concordia universities and ended up being caught in the middle of pandemic’s effects. 

“The pandemic made me realize that people like seniors and international students couldn’t easily get out of their homes. And regarding the students, the pandemic forced them out of their housing, and many of them lost their part time jobs when everything suddenly shut down. That’s when we reached out to the community at large to collect monetary donations to help the people in our community who were hit with this sudden financial stress,” he said during a recent phone interview.

On March 30, Team Hindu Mandir launched a continuing food collection and distribution for these international students in need, which has so far distributed almost 300 much needed food baskets to them. As well, they recently started another community fundraising campaign, in which a total of $10,000 worth of food will be split between to West Island food banks: the On Rock Food Bank in Pierrefonds and the West Island Mission Food Bank in Pointe Claire. 

“The money that we raised for this campaign was given to the local Costco store, where they helped us select non-perishable food products such as cereal, granola bars, juices, tomato sauces and tuna,” said Mr. Khanna. “Our group of volunteers then arranged the food for distribution to the two food banks, which we officially delivered to them earlier this week.” He added that this campaign was so successful, that a second run of bulk food deliveries to the On Rock and West Island Mission food banks will take place within the next few weeks.

And Mr. Khanna is no stranger to philanthropy and community service. He has chaired the Cancare Trust, a home and educational institution for young women and children in Jaipur, India; he served as President of the Leprosy Foundation of Canada; and he helped raise funds for the Freedom from Poverty Foundation’s 2020 surgical mission in Utter Pradesh, India.

For more information on how you can contribute to Team Hindu Mandir’s Covid-19 relief efforts, call 514-865-0188, or email Subhash@triogroup.ca.

By: Stuart Nulman – info@mtltimes.ca

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