Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Renowned religious leaders join the Health and Hygiene Campaign

Come together at an initiative organized by Heart Care Foundation of India at the onset of the 21st MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2014

New Delhi, 14th October 2014 –The concept of ritual purity is especially important when it comes to worship or offering obligatory prayers. Every religion has some guidelines associated with cleanliness and has specific practices relating to personal hygiene. On the occasion of the onset of the government’s Swachch Bharat campaign and the commencement of its annual flagship event the 21st MTNL Perfect Health Mela& SAIL Health Pavilion; Heart Care Foundation of India along with Temple of Understanding India Chapter and the World Fellowship of Religion organized a one of its kind round table conference of renowned religious leaders in Delhi today.

The topic of the panel discussion was religious purity and was attended by scholars and religious gurus from across faiths such as Sikhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Baha’ism. Dr A.K. Merchant National Trustee Baha’i Community of India and Padma Shri Awardee and President of the Heart Care Foundation of India Dr K K Aggarwal moderated the discussion. All religious leaders were seen sharing their views and experiences about the importance of keeping one’s internal and external environment clean and pure.

Commenting at the occasion Dr. KK Aggarwal said, “There is diversity amongst all religions about the concept of pure and impure. The main aim of this conference was to study the practices relating to purity and cleanliness and to identify a common ground where they all stand as one. It is such a pleasure to see people from across faiths coming to an agreement on the importance of keeping our external environment clean to help achieve health and happiness. I would like to urge everyone to come together and help us take Modiji’s Swachch Bharat movement and extend it to a Swachch and Swasth Bharat movement at the Perfect Health Mela 2014 for if we increase our concentration on keeping our environment clean, we can reduce the disease burden of the country by upto 50%”

A.K. MerchantNational Trustee Baha’i Community of India added, “In the existing religious system of the world, there is a great body of information regarding health and hygiene more particularly “ritual purity”. These discourses would be valuable to society at large. The central purpose of purity rituals is the relationship with the divine. I would like to congratulate Heart Care Foundation of India on this noble initiative and I would like to say on behalf of all the religious leaders present here today that we support their Swachch Bharat Swasth Bharat motto at the 21st Perfect Health Mela”.

Key points discussed during the session include:

·           Purity and pollution or impurity is fundamental religious categories, found with greater or lesser emphasis in every major religious tradition. 
·           Whether the pollution is intentional or not, a state of impurity exists that must be removed by some process that restores purity. Purity is restored by a wide variety of materials and rites, depending on the religious attitudes and ways of the group concerned.
·           Water is the greatest purifier and its use in rites of purification is almost universal. Fire is also considered purifying by some religions. Ash or deep soil mud can be used to purify or clean if water is not available. 
·           Prayer, meditation and rituals can purify. All religions emphasize cleanliness before offering prayers.
·           All religions stress on outward cleanliness as well as internal cleanliness and purity of thought.
·           Many laws of purity as prescribed in various religions serve the cause of cleanliness and sanitation and thus tend to prevent illness.
·           A clean environment is important for well-being, both physical and spiritual.
·           Inner cleanliness is achieved with prayer, fasting, compassion, seva.
·           The body should be treated with respect even after death

Other dharma gurus and scholars present at the event included: Fr. Bento Rodrigues, Christianity; Rabbi Ezekiel I. Malekar, Judaism; Sardar KP Singh, Sikhism; Ven. Sumithananda Thero, Buddhism; Fr. (Dr.) M. D. Thomas, Christianity; Dr AK Merchant, Baha’i; Archarya Ravindra Nagar,, Hinduism; Dr Hanif Md. Khan Shastri, Islam, Dr. Sarlaji Maharaj,  Jainism and Mrs. Rekha Modi, former Vice President, Mahabodhi Society.
About Heart Care Foundation of India

Initiated in 1986, the Heart Care Foundation of India is a leading National NGO working in the field of creating mass health awareness among people from all walks of life and providing solutions for India’s everyday healthcare needs. The NGO uses consumer based entertainment modules to impart health education and increase awareness amongst people. A leading example of this is the Perfect Health Mela, an annual event started in 1993 that is attended by over 2-3 lakh people each year. The Mela showcases activities across categories such as health education seminars and checkups, entertainment programs, lifestyle exhibitions, lectures, workshops and competitions. In addition to this, the NGO conducts programs and camps to train people on the technique of hands only CPR through its CPR 10 mantra for revival after a sudden cardiac arrest. They currently hold three Limca books of world records for the maximum number of people trained in hands only CPR in one go. Keeping article 21 of the Indian constitution in mind, which guarantees a person Right to Life, Heart Care Foundation of India has also recently initiated a project called the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund to ensure that no one dies of a heart disease just because they cannot afford treatment. 

For more information please contact
Heart Care Foundation of India
Sanjeev Khanna/ Rituparna Dutta/rituparna.hcfi@gmail.com/9891693309

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