HBF sends help to Fiji Cyclone victims

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Fiji has been hit by a series of cyclones causing floods and havoc. Hindu Benevolent fund of Hindu Council of Australia issued an appeal for new clothes, bed sheets and shoes. There was an overwhelming response by the Hindu community in Sydney and many pallets of helpful goods were collected at Gateway Cafe. Sai Ji took charge of the goods and many volunteers came to help sort the goods and pack them ready for shipping.

The goods were dispatched to be sent to Fiji on the night of 18th April 2018.

Cash donations were also collected into Hindu Benevolent Fund (HBF) account and will be sent to Fiji to help pay for emergency food.

Severe shortage of Hindu SRE teachers in NSW schools

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NSW

Currently there is an estimated short fall of about a 1,000 Hindu Special Religious Education teachers in NSW.

2017 Statistics

In the enrollment year 2107, there were about 20,000 Hindu students in NSW out of a total of 755,000 student in 2,160 schools, making 2.64% of all students. Buddhists had about 15,000 and Muslims about 50,000 while Sikhs and Jains together had only just over 2,300 students enrolled in public schools.

Of the 2,160 schools, 1,600 were Primary schools and about 400 Secondary schools, rest being others. About 140 Primary schools out of 1,600 have six or more Hindu students, many having more than 200 students. Of 400 secondary schools, about 140 have more than six students with some having numbers in hundreds.

Schools with more than 200 Hindu students  :

Name Type postcode operational_directorate principal_network Total Studen

ts

Number of Hindu Students % Hindus
Westmead Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Holroyd 1441 920 64
Girraween Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Parramatta 1134 777 69
Parramatta Public School Primary School 2150 Macquarie Park Parramatta 910 416 46
Matthew Pearce Public School Primary School 2153 Macquarie Park The Hills 1395 341 24
Parramatta High School Secondary School 2150 Macquarie Park Parramatta 858 320 37
Blacktown South Public School Primary School 2148 Macquarie Park Nirimba 1007 306 30
Rosehill Public School Primary School 2142 Macquarie Park Parramatta 664 304 46
Girraween High School Secondary School 2145 Macquarie Park Parramatta 759 297 39
Macarthur Girls High School Secondary School 2150 Macquarie Park Parramatta 1013 297 29
Wentworthville Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Holroyd 524 293 56
Darcy Road Public School Primary School 2145 Macquarie Park Holroyd 654 284 43
Penrith High School Secondary School 2750 Macquarie Park Penrith 930 274 29
Cherrybrook Technology High School Secondary School 2126 Macquarie Park Dural 1930 250 13
Baulkham Hills High School Secondary School 2153 Macquarie Park The Hills 1213 229 19
Quakers Hill Public School Primary School 2763 Macquarie Park The Hills 956 223 23
Riverbank Public School Primary School 2769 Macquarie Park The Hills 811 221 27
Macquarie Fields High School Secondary School 2564 Ultimo Glenfield 1109 205 18

There are no reliable numbers available as to how many of these schools and students are actually getting Hindu SRE education. But it is estimated that with a maximum class size of 20, about 1,200 Hindu SRE teachers are needed where as only about two hundred teachers have been trained so far by four SRE providers namely, VHP, Chinmaya Mission, Saiva Manram and J.E.T.

Currently there is a short fall of about a 1,000 Hindu SRE teachers in NSW.

(source: Based on Department of Education NSW and on Hindu Council’s research)

Liverpool police community engagement

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By:Somesh Sibal

Liverpool police community engagement program was attended by Somesh Sibal of the Hindu Council of Australia’s Chaplaincy team along with members of about 15 different cultural and religious groups in the area. The program was organised on 29th March 2018 to meet the new Liverpool area commander Superintendent Paul Albury. Paul addressed the attendees. Among the topic discussed how to have healthy community engagement with police with respect to both police and community. 

Liverpool police is currently working on improving protocols to:
 
Greetings:   What are the protocols with greetings each other within the culture (physical proximity and touching)
 
Cultural Influence in Interaction: Are there any religious/cultural practices which may influence the way people interact with police?

 Protocol for entering church/temple: Are there any special considerations when entering church/temple.
 
Protocols in Searching temple/Church:  Is there any protocol to follow in case police need to search the temple/Church, including religious objects such as statues, altar, tabernacle etc.

Role of Religious and community leaders: What is the role of religious and community leaders in case community protests, demonstrations or any other circumstances involving police and community confrontation.
 
Providing Specimens:  Does providing blood samples, body fluid or any other specimens for investigative purposes present problems? Are there any dates or religious significance when we should not approach an individual for an interview?

Pad Yatra A pilgrimage walk to temples in NSW Australia

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By Sai Pravastu

Paada.yatra, pilgrimage to the temple by foot has started this time on auspicious #Chaitra #Purnima (full moon day), also known as Chait Purnima, its the Purnima in the #Hindu month of Chaitra. Chaitra Purnima is the first Purnima of the new year after #Ugadi, #Yugadi #GudiPadwa. This day is dedicated to Lord #Chitragupt, the assistant of #Yamaraj, who maintains the records of births and deaths of the whole world.Yatris (walkers) started turning up to Sydney Murugan Temple as early as 5:00 AM and took the #darsana of the deities and offering their prayers in the temple before commencing on the yatra (walk), we begun the yatra at 6:15 AM. brisky #walkers passed through the quite streets of City of Parramatta, Auburn, New South Wales, Homebush, New South Wales, Australia to Strathfield, New South Wales Sai Mandir Sydney. We joined the #Aarthi to #SaiBaba , had a scrumptious breakfast made by Sujatha Koneru and Ravi Bale family. From here a group of 50+ walkers soldiered on towards Sri Venkateswara Temple, Helensburgh, NSW, many of us had the good fortune of participating in the #SriSaiChitraYatra before continuing the walk / before dispersed back home.

We had walkers joining from interstate as usual (1 each from Canberra and Melbourne) It was quite a hot day , as temperatures soared to 35 degrees , but that could not slow down anyone in their pilgrimage , #yatris reached the #como park on banks of King George River around 2PM for lunch , were we had been served a home cooked lunch prepared by Uma Devi Abbineni garu and her friends and some back up provided by Raja Shekar Reddy his famous veggie biryani, after a tough walk , we rested and filled up ourselves and continued the walk towards Heathcote, New South Wales, Australia. #Weather has affected a few walkers who could not complete a portion of the walk in the afternoon and were looked after by our volunteer crew.

Sujatha garu, Santosh Vanka and their family has looked after the yatris with scrumptious dinner which made us all forget the challenges of the walk and sleep well. Sujatha garu and their family has been looking after the dietary needs of this #April PAADA YATRA – walking group since it has begun in April 2011. As a matter of fact , Uma Devi Abbineni garu, Shakunthala gar and their group of #sakis (sorry for not being able to name them all here) but they are always ready for the task to cook #breakfast for hundreds of us coming to Sri Sai Mandir in the morning. They cater for all who come to the temple, Raja Shekar Reddy as always preparing backup food whenever we are short of , at a short notice. blessed are these selfless volunteers without whom we would stumble in the whole process, we would like to addresses these people #Annapuranas and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts on behalf of all. That brings me to the next important group of volunteers who are always around us during every step of the walk, hydrating, energizing, nursing and motivating all along the way. Pavan Joshi lead the group in the morning, supported by Narasimha Rao Yerramsetty for the first leg of the walk, the experience of Bimal H Joshi, Nehru and Ravin Reddy has made sure they have motivated every new walker in finishing the #yatra to Sai Mandir Sydney. The afternoon charge was lead by Nehru and Ravinder. They distributed over 700 bottles of water , 200 packs of coconut water and one kind walker has sponsored mango lassi and salted lassi (yougurt drink) and another volunteer provide. We are blessed to have such a wonderful team with us who not only support in this initiative, but help it to grow stronger each year, and passing it on to the younger generations.

Another Successful Event… We couldn’t have done it without you #yatris. Despite being a long weekend, early start on a hot day, we had a good strength of #yatris, many new faces young and old. We are growing in numbers year after year, this walk was named as #WalkforEquality and #WomensDay and this year it also covered Sri Sai Chitra Yatra 100th year #Shathabdi of Sai Baba’s #Mahasamadhi. Rao Abbineni and Murali Krishna Koneru have organised a #Chitra #Yatra starting last year on #Vijayadashami (Dussehra) and will be completing this year on #Vijayadasham i.e. in October

Letsgive Hope organises this #walk with all formalities, under the auspice of Hindu Council Australia We would like to thank event registration team at NSW Premier’s department, RMS for Road Occupancy, Approval’s from various Councils, and NSW Police.

Samir Vyas Sanjeev Bhakri ISKCON Temple, North Sydney Minto Temple Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh-Sydney Shoba Deshikan Ramyavaran Vasu Manju Mittal Sameer Pandey Neelima Paravastu Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Temple Sri Mandir Jay Raman Renga Rajan Jyothi Reddy Arshanapalli Susai Benjamin Indu Harikrishna Anagan Babu Ramia Janardhanan Jyothi Ma Little Musicians Australia Paul McKenzie Akila Ramarathinam Aruna Chandrala
We hope to see you all again in our next walk!
Team @ paada yatra

Hindu Council participates in Annual Function of Ahmadiyya Muslims

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Ahamadiyya mulsim association is holding a three day annual function (salana jalasa) during the Easter long weekend with delegates from inter state and overseas. There were anout 3,000 ateendees including a Christian reverend and some of the MPs. Hindu Council was represented by Surinder Jain, National Vice President and Bimal Joshi, National Joint Secretary. There were many speeches about the message of the Ahmadiyya prophet and some by MPs extolling how well Ahmadiyya community is integrating and is enriching Australia. During the speeches slogans and shouts of praising their Spiritual Leader, Australia Jindabaad and Jai ho were heard.

Ahamadiyyas are a Muslim sect that originated in Kaadiyaan village near Amritsar in India. They are prosecuted, their mosques are attacked in Pakistan as some Muslims consider them to be non-muslims for believing that the Ahmadiyya spiritual founder is a prophet for all mankind. They are a highly prosecuted community in Pakistan where they had relocated after the formation of Pakistan for all muslims in 1947. Today their spiritual; headquarter is in UK. There are about 4,000 Ahmadiyyas in Sydney and perhaps about 7,000 all over Australia.

A profile of Hindus in NSW

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In 2016 there were 181,409 people in New South Wales who had a religion of Hinduism.

There was a 51.4% increase in the number of people who had a religion of Hinduism since 2011 (from 119,802 to 181,409).

29.1% of the Hinduism population were born overseas and arrived between 2011 and August 2016.

There were more men who had a religion of Hinduism (95,314) than women (86,090).

25.0% of the population who had a religion of Hinduism were children (under 19 years of age), 56.5% were young adults (aged 20 to 44 years), and 18.5% were older adults (aged 45 years and over).

Most number of Hindus 28,783 live in the city of Blacktown and make 8.5% of the population of the suburb. While the largest concentration of Hindus is in Strathfiled where there are only 6,597 Hindus but they make 16.4% of this small suburb’s population. Other areas where Hindus live in large numbers are Parramatta (25,608), Cumberland council (22,024), Liverpool (1o,000) followed by Hornsby and Campbelltown with 7,000 each.

Breaking Bread at Blacktown Harmony Day

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Hindu Council of Australia participated in Breaking Bread (having a meal together, or starting a meal) initiative as part of western Sydney’s large Harmony Day celebrations in Blacktown on Wednesday March 21st. The initiative was organized by FoodFaith and held at Bowmans Hall, Blacktown, NSW. FoodFaith is an initiative to bring together people of different faiths using food as a medium.

The initiative aims to showcase breads from different faiths and cultures and celebrate beliefs, customs and traditions and was a large communal activity bringing everyone together. Representatives from Indigenous, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Punjabi, Pacific, African, and Eastern European faiths and traditions attended the event. Each culture or faith brought samples of their breads to share with others.

Hindu Council took its “Roti” and “Raita” to the event and was represented in the event by Sai Pravastu, Surinder Jain, Vijai Singhal and Kamlesh Chaubey. Both were very much enjoyed by by about a thousand people gathered there,

 

 

Rangoli workshop at Parramasala

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By Shobha Deshikan

Hindu Council of Australia created a huge Rangoli of flowers at Parramasala and conducted a Rangoli making workshop. It took eight people to do the wonderful beautiful Rangoli. of vibrant and colorful flowers.  The Rangoli was very impressive. All day long, passers would stop, wonder and pictures including numerous selfies. It was thoroughly, a joyful sight to see.

International Women’s Day 2018

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Hindu council of Australia together with Parramasala invites you to celebrate International Woman’s Day at Parramatta, Prince Alfred Square. Sunday, March 11, 2018 | 11pm to 4pm

 

 

Holi celebration with Cumberland Council

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Hindu Council of Australia and Cumberland council jointly organized the Cumberland Festival of Colours Holi at Civic Park Pendle Hill on Saturday3rd March with great zeal and fanfare. The event was formally opened by the Cumberland Council Mayor Greg Cummings & by Mr Prakash Mehta, President Hindu Council of Australia. They smeared each other with Holi colours signifying the start of the festival. Punjabi dhol, music, colours and fun loving children and youth eagerly joined with colours in their palms.

Soon every other VIP joined the holi fun and the sprinkling of colours immersed everyone.  Julie Owens MP Member for Parramatta, Hon Minister Ray Williams MP Member for Castle Hill – NSW Minister for Multiculturalism & Minister of Disability Services, Dr Hugh McDermott MP Member for Prospect, Julia Finn MP Member for Granville, Cumberland Council Mayor Greg Cummings, Clr Suman Saha, Clr Lisa Lakes & Clr Sameer Pandey Parramatta Council, were all smeared in colours and had a good time.

The event was organized by the Hindu Council of Australia on a very short notice with a meeting with Mayor Greg Cummings, Clr SumanS aha, Group Mgr Brooke Endicott from the Cumberland Council and , Mr Jay Raman (President NSW), Mr Surinder Jain (National Vice President), Ashwani Jain (Secretary NSW) from Hindu Council of Australia.

While some young children enjoyed rides, others had a joyous time practicing their game skills with the Cricket NSW Sydney Thunder Bus. The bus was a major attraction for all cricket lovers. The onsite Police vehicles were a big attraction for kids who were eager to see the interiors of police cars. Many children tool selfies with police officers and with the State Emergency Services volunteers there.

A separate area had been set aside for playing colours and the atmosphere was filled with colours and  DJ music and many cultural performances on the stage. For grown ups, it was a recreation of their Holi back home while for younger children, it was the first time to come face to face with Holi colours.

The event was a big success and set a new benchmark. The ease with which many elected representatives joined the fun made Hindus feel very welcome and at home in their new homeland Australia.