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Closed to worshippers, this Hindu temple is providing food packages to families in self-quarantine

Source: Supplied

The religious activities have stopped at Sri Durga Temple in Melbourne's west as part of COVID-19 measures but volunteers continue to serve the community.

These days, at 8 am in the morning, Sri Durga Temple's priest Sushil Shastri is not busy with religious rituals with devotees. Instead, he is busy answering phones from families who are in self-quarantine.

Since being closed to public gatherings, the temple has announced free dinner packets for the elderly, those who are going through difficult circumstances and families in self-quarantine who recently returned from overseas.


Highlights:

  • People in need can call temple number and request drop or pickup of food packets every day.
  • Temple takes requests till 2 pm.
  • Deliveries or pickup is scheduled between 5-7 pm.

Anyone who has recently arrived from overseas is to self-isolate at home as per the measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has also forced many elderly residents to stay at home and has rendered many families and international students job less. 

In the wake of these circumstances, the temple which is closed for devotees is now helping the community in need. 

Neeraj Kalia, who is the secretary of the temple management committee, told SBS Hindi, "We are doing what our dharma (religious duty) tells us, which is to do seva (to serve)."

"Our volunteers help the chef to cook food based on requests we receive daily. On average, it takes almost three to four hours to cook as the demand has increased in the last few days," said Mr Kalia.

Shri Durga Temple
Supplied

He says temple volunteers pack all the food as per hygiene and other food handling requirements. 

Temple has provided masks, gloves and sanitizers to all the volunteers who deliver the food.

"We want to assure the community that we have a strict protocol to protect the privacy so if they are in difficult circumstances, we are here to help, please call us," said Mr Kalia. 

Follow SBS Hindi’s special coverage of COVID-19 outbreak

Sri Durga Mandir
Supplied

Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government's website, and can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath. 

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

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