As the Indian diaspora celebrates Navratri this week, we are fast heading towards the most important and celebrated festival in the Hindu calendar – Diwali. Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is believed to mark Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after his epic battle with, and victory over, the demon king Ravan. The festival represents the victory of good over evil and is therefore a time of spreading positivity and happiness to others as well as lighting diyas (lamps), decorating homes and partaking in the festivities.
Owing to this festive spirit of giving back, the Diwali Basket Brigade’s (DBB) initiative, founded by Deepak Parekh in 2018, has been providing food hampers to vulnerable and socially deprived families from all faiths and backgrounds every Diwali. The families are nominated by local charities and community-based organisations and identified as those most in need, struggling to feed themselves and their children. In 2023, given the cost-of-living crisis, helping these families with food is more important than ever before.
Parekh explained “Diwali is a time of celebration and happiness. But unfortunately, there are many families in our local communities who have little to cheer about, struggle to make ends meet and feel rejected. Diwali Basket Brigade is our effort to support them and to spread the Diwali message of hope, happiness and giving.”
Since 2018 the DBB has delivered over 8,000 food hampers. The effort has expanded from Birmingham, where it is centred, to London and Manchester and now in 2023 will include Leicester too.
MORE LIKE THIS…
The special Diwali hampers include enough healthy vegetarian food to nutritiously feed a family. They are packed and delivered by our team of volunteers and charity and foodbank partners. All activities are funded by kind donations from across the community - over £80,000 has been raised since DBB began.
This year the initiative will provide a record 4,000 hampers, a huge increase from the 3,000 hampers in 2022.
The main packing and delivery events ahead of Diwali on November 12 will be:
Saturday 4 November in Birmingham and London
Sunday 5 November in Manchester and Leicester
MORE LIKE THIS…
Those who want to volunteer and take part in the initiative can do so by registering for the events in the coming days.
*Info: Diwali Basket Brigade