Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (09:46): Currently we all know India is battling with the catastrophic global pandemic. Each day many people are losing their lives to this deadly virus. Like many other families, I have also lost family members in the last few weeks. It is a devastating period for all Indians around the world. Over the weekend, like in many parts of the world, Victorian Indians united together to conduct special prayer sessions and provide support. In Victoria we saw many Indians come together to conduct prayer sessions organised by local multifaith leaders. Participants were there for one reason, and that was to support and offer prayers according to their faith to end the COVID-19 pandemic in India and around the world.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend multiple events to support and pray for India’s ongoing fight against COVID-19. One prayer session was put together jointly by the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan Australia, DJJS, and the Sahara Victoria Association, SVA, at Federation Square. A prayer event at the Immigration Museum was also organised by the doctors from OMGA, the Overseas Medical Graduates Association. I represented Minister Ros Spence at a fundraising event organised by OESS, the Organisation to Encourage People and Step Towards Success.
Lastly, a prayer session was also organised by Bhartiya Seniors Melbourne club and Gujarati Indians of Australia to extend solace to people suffering back home. I take this opportunity to thank all the organisations involved for their support of the Indian community here and abroad at this time of crisis. I hope that our prayers are accepted and we see an end to this pandemic globally. I also want to thank the Victorian government for providing India with aid worth $41 million, including 1000 ICU ventilators and other medical consumables. This aid will help in saving thousands of lives in India.