Temple Efforts to Help Victims of Coronavirus in India
We, the Malibu Hindu Temple, continue to grieve along with Indians throughout the world and in our community at the still unfolding and devastating coronavirus pandemic in India. As we write this article, we are aware that the published daily death toll is in the range of 5,000 deaths per day, not counting unreported deaths. This is much worse than many other natural disasters that we faced. I am personally working with many clients of my own practice who lost immediate family members and I get reports of these deaths on a daily basis. It has been personally a very difficult moment in my own life as I play these multiple roles at the Temple and at my office and with the large community of Indians that I know in Southern California and the world over. I have no doubt that many of you are going through the same set of emotions and arguably traumatized by what we visually see and hear. This is a monumental tragedy and the Malibu Hindu Temple will stand by any person who is in need of help from our Temple. I have been personally coordinating efforts with Congressman Brad Sherman, and together we are working with the U.S. and Indian embassies and many corporations to mobilize efforts to facilitate supply of critical medical supplies as a part of U.S. aid to help India by transporting medical supplies in military cargo planes. I have had many in our community who requested the Temple to guide them in rendering their own services as a part of the effort to manage the humanitarian tragedy in India. You may access ways of donating by following the links below. These donations go toward medical supplies among other necessities.
The State Department has been channeling private donations into three areas below:
1. USAID – For a description of USAID’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in India, including information on “how to help,” please visit: https://www.cidi.org/disaster-responses/coronavirus/ For companies interested in donating, they are directed to contact USAID at email@example.com USAID then corresponds with the company about the type of donation (in-kind or monetary).
2. U.S. Chamber – The U.S. Chamber has set up a web site to collect donation offers https://usccfdonationportal.communityos.org/?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=SFMC&utm_campaign=&utm_content= It has enlisted Deloitte to help with logistics. Both USAID and State are coordinating with the Chamber frequently to share information on host country needs and support where possible.
3. Indian embassy – The Indian embassy has been able to match offered donations to recipients. You can get in touch with the Indian embassy by contacting the office of our local Congressman Brad Sherman at: (818) 501-9200 and they can contact the embassy on your behalf.
As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, we are all treading two worlds: one which is at the beginning of the end of the nightmare in our own community in Los Angeles while at the same time process this tragedy unfolding in India. We decided to pause any celebratory events connected to the reopening process of the Temple. In fact, we are so overwhelmed by phone calls and appointments that people are seeking.
We will continue to operate the Temple with no changes for the moment. In other words, the Temple will continue to be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM for walk-in service. We are also scheduling in-person events in the near future based on the Hindu calendar. This includes abhishekam services. We will try to accomplish this without invading the personal domain of people to ask questions about if they are vaccinated or not. Finally, we are aware of recent CDC guidelines relating to wearing of masks. The guidelines are very clear that you are not required to wear masks when you are with people who are vaccinated. Since the Temple has mixed crowds of people vaccinated and those not vaccinated for all events and it is a public space and since we are a religious institution open to everyone and because of our inability to control the mixed nature of the crowd, the Temple will continue to require mask wearing without any changes at the present time.
We want to express our gratitude to all of you for exercising extreme patience during this trying time. We also wish to acknowledge efforts of Congressman Brad Sherman as the co-chair of the Indian Caucus in Congress for his service to our community.
Nadadur S. Kumar
General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer