When the country went under lockdown in early 2020 to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Divine Shakti Foundation, the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Parmarth Niketan were immediately engaged in helping in every way possible, to immediately serve all those in need within the ashram as well as those under lockdown in the surrounding area with ensuring access to essential resources and information and awareness to keep people and their communities safe during that challenging and unprecedented time.
From the very early days of the lockdown, The Divine Shakti Foundation was engaged in feeding the hungry. With lockdowns commencing with very little warning, many people were left unprepared and unable to make ends meet. The Divine Shakti Foundation together with GIWA and Parmarth Niketan sprung to action with free services to feed hundreds of saints, and homeless sisters and brothers who were left out on the streets and on Parmarth Niketan’s Ganga ghat. Food packages were also immediately prepared together to feed around 2,000 of hungry and vulnerable families with over a month’s supply of essentials including grains, flours, cooking oil, tea, salt, and spices.
The Divine Shakti Foundation, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Parmarth Niketan, in partnership with UNICEF, UNFPA, WSSCC, Eros Now, Sanskar Channel and other organizations, brought together eminent faith leaders of the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Buddhist community for a communication campaign called ‘The Faith Response to COVID-19’. Videos were produced and requested from faith leaders regarding the response to COVID-19 for massive social media sharing, to use the power of faith to encourage people to make smart decisions with regard to their health and safety, as well as the health of their community, the nation, and the world.
The themes of these messages from faith leaders included topics such as staying at home, stopping the spread, and taking the pandemic seriously, and reminding people that the coronavirus doesn’t impact only people of a certain religion or race.
These videos aimed to remove any stigma or discrimination against people or groups of people surrounding the coronavirus, as such discrimination only further creates borders and boundaries in this global fight against the virus.
With rising tides of infection looming, the Divine Shakti Foundation, GIWA and Parmarth Niketan ensured that adequate facilities were available in the local area to provide adequate care to those suffering under the initial devastating waves of the pandemic. The Swami Shukdevanand Hospital, Nature Cure Center, and Parmarth Niketan Yoga Hall spaces were given to the government to use for the treatment of patients with the coronavirus or for use as quarantine facilities.