Detroit-Area Hindus Reach Out to Tsunami Survivors

January 10, 2005

Source: Detroit Free Press

On January 10, 2005 the Detroit Free Press reported, "The members of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Mandir, a Hindu temple in Canton, know all about the sorrow a natural calamity can bring. Many of the 50 families that make up the BAPS congregation, as it is known, hail from Gujarat, an Indian province that was hit by an earthquake in January 2001 that killed 20,000 people and left hundreds of thousands injured and homeless. So when news of last month's tsunami reached this house of worship, the Hindus got out their checkbooks, their pledge of seva -- a Hindu term that means to help all those in need -- and their musical instruments to call on their god Swaminarayan to help ease the suffering. About 60 gathered Sunday in the recently opened temple on Canton Center Road for their first official Tsunami memorial service, praying for the souls of those who perished in the seas and for those who survived. They prayed for Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Jews. They plan fund-raisers and prayer services in the near future."