The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s BAPS India Covid Emergency Appeal got a further boost of over £500,000 as more than 750 riders joined an innovative bikeathon to raise funds for the charity’s emergency relief efforts, already making a difference on the ground in India.
The 48-hour, non-stop static relay cycle challenge over the Bank Holiday weekend in the UK covered more than 7,600 kilometres – the distance between London and Delhi.
The sites of the challenge included the world-famous in north London as well as the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Chigwell, east London, and the Swaminarayan Temple in Leicester.
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Dr Mayank Shah, Trustee at BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha UK, said the response has been overwhelming, with 750+ riders having participated by the conclusion of the static bike challenge.
Dr Shah said: “We are all aware of the critical situation is currently in India at this moment in time due to the second wave of the coronavirus. In life, you have two choices: either sit down and do nothing, or roll up your sleeves and do what you can and here at the in the UK, we have launched an international emergency appeal campaign to support the BAPS relief efforts across India.
“As a part of this initiative, we have organised as part of our emergency appeal, a 48-hour, non-stop static relay cycle challenge over this bank holiday weekend, covering more than 7,600 kilometres – the distance from London to Delhi.
“So far we have already raised over £500,000 which will help to aide our ongoing relief work out in the front line in India. 100 per cent of the donations received, will go toward aiding the BAPS relief work in India.”
Among the bikers who joined the fundraiser included the , Sadiq Khan, who is seeking re-election in the local elections scheduled for May 6.
In a statement regarding the BAPS India appeal, he said: “It was an honour to visit Neasden temple today to take part in the BAPS India Covid Emergency Appeal. I have visited this temple many times over the years and its generous and hospitable community has a special place in my heart.
“Hindu Londoners have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19, whether working in our NHS, in local pharmacies or in small businesses, they have kept our city going. It has been heart-breaking seeing the virus wreak havoc in India and other parts of the world but London’s communities have been a driving force in supporting the international relief effort and they reflect the very best of our city’s values.”