The first Hindu supporting body of its kind in the UK, Bradford Hindu Council (BHC), has just officially launched in the District.

Celebrating its inauguration, the BHC sees a collaborative working effort of three temples and some 20 other Hindu organisations united as one group and with one voice in Bradford.

The official launch was held at the Bradford Town Hall on 18th November, and was attended by over 100 people, which included the Lord Mayor, Cllr Marin Love, the Leader of the Council, Susan Hinchliffe, Bishop of Bradford, Dr Toby Howard, and various dignitaries from Bradford’s inter-faith community, including representatives from the emergency services.

Prayers (Puja) for a blessed launch and the longevity of BHC was performed by Pandit Haridas Sharan and an introduction to the basic tenets of Hinduism was given by Mrs Seema Buttoo.

The BHC Chairman, Mahesh Mistry outlined the need for Hindu representation feeding directly to the authorities, faith and community groups and information/messages directly back to the Hindu community organisations.

He stressed: “BHC must be the first point of contact for consultations and the ‘conduit’ for communications on matters affecting the Hindu community and their organisations in and around the Bradford district.

“The Voice of the Hindu Community must be heard.”

General Secretary, Harkishan Mistry

The General Secretary, Harkishan Mistry provided an enthralling presentation of the work BHC has undertaken with the Hindu community and especially the elders in the community.

Keynote speeches were given by the Lord Mayor, Counsellor Martin Love, Leader of the Council Susan Hinchliffe, Prof Geetha Upadhyaya (OBE) and Prof Mahendra Patel (OBE). They acknowledged the tremendous work undertaken by BHC since the group’s formation in 2018.

Video messages from the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Mark Robins, and CEO Kirsten England BMDC were also shown.

Special recognition was given to the unsung heroes in the Hindu community, the Covid-19 Champions, who made a significant difference to people’s lives during the pandemic, through their work on the frontline.

Other work done by BHC was also recognised, especially the important task of replenishing the Foodbank, plus providing hot meals for the homeless and the Emergency Services during the lockdown. Workshops were arranged around mental health, suicides within the male group, anxiety, and depression.