ROCKAWAY, N.J. — Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA (“HSS”) volunteers in 22 states celebrated the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan or “Universal Oneness Day” by reaching out to first responders, community leaders, and elected officials – state representatives, mayors, governors, US senators, and congresspersons — tying the traditional rakhi (a string bracelet) around their wrists and extending greetings highlighting the importance of civic responsibility and universal acceptance.
During these meetings, HSS volunteers shared their COVID-19 relief work and vaccination outreach efforts with FEMA. They also discussed how to continue working collaboratively in the communities.
Raksha Bandhan, observed in India by sisters tying the rakhi to their brothers, reminds each individual that they are responsible for protecting society and the planet.
Selected highlights of these events included:
- HSS volunteers participated in candlelight vigils at several places in memory of 13 fallen Heroes of Afghanistan’s terror attack. During one such event in Houston, an Afghan woman, Shekella, shared her tragic experiences in Afghanistan. Later she tied a rakhi to the State Rep Jetton Jacey, indicating that the Afghan community needs protection during these challenging times.
- At Dallas Texas Police Department, Police personnel attended a Hindu Culture Workshop.
- In a Buddhist Monastery in California, the Respected Lama and devotees interacted with the HSS Volunteers.
Some of the comments were received by the first responders or elected officials.
- “Thank you for taking the time to share your culture with our employees!” – Flower Mound Tx Police Department
- “The Schaumburg IL Police enjoyed a visit with the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) to observe Raksha Bandhan and talk about community outreach programs. Thank you, HSS, for all you do in the community and your well wishes for our safety and protection!” – Schaumburg IL Police Department
- In her video message, Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-39) extended her warm wishes on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and appreciated HSS for the honor by tying her a rakhi and celebrating this festival with her.
All members of the various communities expressed their appreciation and said they looked forward to celebrating this joyous annual event in the future.
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA
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