Even though places of worship have been closed in Victoria during the coronavirus pandemic, the Victorian Sikh Gurduaras Council (VSGC) has come up with a novel project called 'Kids Ardas', where new videos of children praying for the pandemic to go away are shared every day. And the idea that began in Melbourne has now become a global phenomenon, in a matter of just 40 days.
Toddlers, primary school children and teenage kids have joined hands for a unique project that started in Melbourne but has now spread across the world. Every day, a child reads, recites or sings a prayer, wishing that the coronavirus pandemic goes away, and their videos are posted on the Victorian Sikh Gurduaras Council (VSGC) Facebook page.
- Children as young as two years of age are sending the videos of their prayers to end the pandemic
- The initiative by VSGC has inspired the multi-faith community to encourage their children to send prayers too
- The project began in Melbourne has now attracted contributions from other parts of the world
The first video in this project titled 'Kids Ardas' was posted in the middle of August, and in just over a month, children from various faiths have begun participating.
Mr Satinder Chawla, an independent member of VSGC told SBS Punjabi, “We are currently living in uncertain times due to the outbreak of COVID-19 where doctors are working tirelessly to develop the vaccine. As a good humanitarian, we can also contribute to this spiritually, since there's nothing more powerful than a true prayer.”
“We began the Kids Ardas project to keep our community’s morale high and to make everyone feel connected spiritually during this lockdown."
“We initially started by asking local communities to send us the videos of their kids doing prayers and in no time, we began receiving videos from other parts of the world,” added Mr Chawla
This project which was started in Victoria for children in the Sikh community is attracting a huge global response and prayers from children belonging to other faiths too,
Mr Gurdeep Singh Matharoo, President of VSGC said, “We first started this project in August and posted the first video of kid’s prayer on 15th of August.”
“Soon we started receiving videos of kids from different faiths and culturally diverse backgrounds.” He added
VSGC has been posting such spiritually inspiring videos every day and where this project is helping kids developing faith in God in their young age, it is also inspiring the moments of interfaith unity.
Rajwinder Kaur, a parent of one of the children featured in the Kids Ardas project told SBS Punjabi, “The children have put in a lot of effort in making the videos - their prayers sound so cute and innocent."
She says this project has helped build an atmosphere of hope and optimism, even while surrounded by gloomy news about the surge in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
“We as parents are very happy with the initiative taken by VSGC as it is helping our kids to develop their faith, to stay connected and contribute to the community, and to educate them about our cultural roots,” she added.
Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am.
The only reasons for Melbourne residents to leave home during these hours are for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.
The full list of restrictions can be found here.
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If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus