Source: Hinduism Today, Pundit Ramesh Tiwari
EDINBURGH, TRINIDAD: A recent newscast on state-owned television in Trinidad showed a 15-year-old Muslim girl with a spinal deformity, together with her parents, making a desperate appeal for financial assistance to have surgery done in Canada to allow their daughter Saadia to live a normal life. The Edinburgh Hindu Temple of Trinidad, being an orthodox Hindu organization, through its spiritual leader Pundit Ramesh Tiwari and temple committee members, raised US$1,800 at the Temple's Divali 2000 annual fund raising dinner and presented a check for this sum to Saadia Hosein on state-owned television. Callers to the temple were in high praise for the committee's efforts to bridge the "religious gap" between the Hindus and Muslims. The parents subsequently informed Pundit Tiwari that they never imagined that a Hindu Temple organization would come to their assistance. They said that a female member of the Islamic community even chastised them for receiving the sum of money from the Hindus. Pundit Tiwari, later interviewed by the television reporter, stated that sickness knows no religion or race and that the Hindu religion teaches that the world is one family "Vasudeva Kutumba-kum." "We saw an opportunity to demonstrate kindness," Pundit Tiwari said, "and we will do it again for any person of any creed, race or religious persuasion. Hopefully though this gesture we can make a difference in religious harmony in the world."