ARTESIA, Calif. – Spearheaded by Southern California Indian American motelier Pravin Patel, the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and SEWA USA on May 22 partnered a massive grocery donation drive wherein several thousand pounds of goods were given away. The beneficiaries were the Riverside Gurdwara, Santa Ana Gurdwara, Gurdwara Buena Park, and those in need from the cities of Artesia, La Palma, and Cerritos.
The event saw the donations of 5,000 pounds of rice; 1,500 pounds of pulses; 600 pounds of beans, 10,000 tortillas, 1,700 pounds of potatoes and onions, 100 pounds of sugar; and several hundred cans, bottles, and boxes of pasta, tomato sauce, cereal, orange juice, ketchup, oil, and salt.
The event, held on an empty lot on Pioneer Boulevard here, began with Bharat Shastri of Radha Krishna Temple, Norwalk chanting shlokas and emphasizing the importance of service. Present were Mayor Naresh Solanki of Cerritos, a representative from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office, and the Pro Tem mayors of Artesia and La Palma, Rene Trevino and Nitesh Patel, respectively. Deepak Jhaveri of Radha Krishna Temple called on each of them to make brief remarks.
Dr. Amit Desai of HSS spoke of the aims of his organization and Sewa International, reminding everyone of the Sanatan tradition, “Seva Paramo Dharma.” He also remembered the teachings of the Sikh gurus, expressed continued willingness to work with the gurdwaras, and applauded their service of providing food to those needing it the most.
He thanked Patel for his generosity and told India-West that Patel had opened his heart and pocket to help the needy from the time the coronavirus began its rampage. For two months now, he has been unwaveringly helping hundreds of families. He is also providing lodging and boarding to five stranded students and tourists from India in his hotel in Long Beach at the request of Sewa and HSS.
Several organizations sent a representative each to the donation drive as a show of support. They were: Swaminarayan Temple, Norwalk (ISSO); Sri Panchmukha Hanuman Temple, Torrance; Jain Center, Buena Park; JAINA; Shreeji Haveli Temple, Downey; and New Life Church, Artesia.