Special event held by Wellingborough Hindu community is a first for the county

The special ceremony honouring the Armed Services at the Hindu Mandir
The special ceremony honouring the Armed Services at the Hindu Mandir

Members of Wellingborough’s Hindu community joined with representatives from the Armed Forces and emergency services for a special ceremony.

The Raksha Bandhan Armed Forces service was held at the Wellingborough Hindu Mandir in Highfield Road last Wednesday.

The service was to commemorate the sacrifice of 1.3 million soldiers from the British Indian Army who served in the First World War.

People got the chance to see an exhibition bus from London aimed at educating and inspiring people of Indian heritage as to their heroism and service.

And the day also included Wellingborough District Hindu Association becoming the first Mandir in the United Kingdom to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.

Suraj Samant, who helped organise the event, said: “All emergency services were also present from local communities in the county to celebrate their work in service and we held a Rakhi ceremony and ordaining of a fresh floral garland to thank them for their service in our protection, and tying this age-old bond of protection which in India has been done for millennia and continues to this day to thank those who have served us selflessly.

“The service is carried out in every home, village, town and city across India to thank the police and Armed Forces for their service in our protection but also to celebrate the spiritual bond between all entities.

“This is the first time such an event has been held in the county, and with the success we had, first of many.”

Invited guests included Wellingborough mayor Cllr Malcolm Ward, the town’s MP Peter Bone and the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire David Laing.

Wellingborough Gurkha veteran Norman Wood MBE also attended and was given a traditional welcome.

He was met by members of the Armed Forces Hindu Network and thanked for his association with the Gurkhas.