Ekta NZ Inc, a community organisation based in Wellington is organising Diwali 2020 at North City in the Capital this weekend.
The Organisation calls it ‘Mall Diwali.’
According to Ekta Project Lead Sonam Srivastava, this is the first time that a Diwali event is being held at a Mall in Wellington.
“This is significant and a reflection of how the country is increasing acceptance of diversity. We can celebrate and partake in each other’s festivals. We in Ekta think that greater unity or ‘Ekta’ can be achieved when we are able to have shared experiences. It is this share experience that is underlying our celebration,” she said.
Foram Shah, who is among the organisers of Diwali at the Mall, runs a restaurant in Porirua.
She said, “We wanted to bring Diwali to where people live and congregate daily. The foot traffic to the Mall in any weekend is nearly equivalent to half of Porirua’s population. It is also interesting that approximately 9% of the population of Porirua is Asian and Indians is the fastest growing population.”
Kiwi Community Assistance
Ms Srivastava said that Kiwi Community Assistance (KCA), a local charity, is supported by many local businesses.
“We are inspired by this charity – how it grew out of a garage in 2011 and today operates from a 500 sq meter warehouse space with 90 over volunteers. Taking a cue from KCA, Ekta has been distributing food to the needy of Porirua since July 2020. This is in addition to what we have been doing in Wellington since early 2019. We now run this weekly distribution at four sites in the greater Wellington region, including Lower Hutt, Street, Peter’s Church on Willis Street, Courtney Place and Porirua,” she said.
Ms Shah said that besides food distribution, Ekta has supported the North Ridge Under 12 Rugby Club of Porirua.
“Besides the weekly food service, Ekta has been involved in several other activities. Recently, we supported the Girmit Exhibition in Wellington and will be supporting Whenua Ukaipo Connectedness Exhibition which will be held from October 31, 2020 to November 4, 2020. Last year Ekta organised the Jallianwala Bagh Exhibition,” she said.
Further information on the Diwali at the Mall can be obtained from Sonam Srivastava on 020-40181808, on Whenua Ukaipo Connectedness Exhibition from Jill Oakely on 027-3502739 and on Ekta NZ Inc from Abhishek Sharma on 027-4974677.
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