By Prakash Govindan
Imagine this – you are a devotee of Krishna trying to follow Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and you are one of the over 300,000 Indian, Bangladeshi, or Chinese migrants in Singapore. You are on a meager salary and on a work visa which does not allow you to bring your family or kids into the country and hence you live alone with 10-12 others in crammed dormitory rooms. You perform the backbreaking, 12-hours-a-day work to build Singapore’s infrastructure. Then suddenly in late March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hits Singapore. The government isolates and locks down all the dorms. You cannot even go out to buy groceries or visit the Gauranga Center (the local ISKCON) for darshana and prasadam. How are you going to get access to prasadam!? And then please imagine this situation lasts over a year. A bit scary, isn't it?
Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the foreign workers in isolated dormitories are the most severely affected demographic in Singapore. More than 90% of the 60,000+ victims infected with COVID in-country live in these dorms (which includes several dozens of devotees). The devotee congregation of Gita Reading Society (GRS) - the local ISKCON organization - has been doing its part to help by delivering prasadam meals and as of the end of April, about 150,000 meals have been delivered to these affected workers.
“It is our duty to serve this hard-working community of migrant workers. Especially the devotees in this community are in dire need of prasadam” said Devakinandan Das, the local GBC representative in Singapore. He added that “Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, who departed from this material world last year, desired very much that these devotees be served prasadam, given their long hours of strenuous work and lack of proper facilities to cook and offer bhoga to the Lord in their dormitories. Maharaja also desired that a prasadam restaurant be always running in Singapore to serve the wider community.”
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/singapore-devotees-deliver-much-needed-prasadam-meals-to-covid-19-affected-migrant-worker-dormitories,7852/