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June 2013

[03] Vegetarian Day at Reading Secondary School

Young Jain, Sohum Shah, organised a vegetarian day at his school in Reading on the 20th May 2013. This was to celebrate the National Vegetarian Week. The school canteen served vegetarian meals all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including the boarding house (for the boarders). No meat, fish or eggs were served on the day. Around 550 pupils enjoyed the vegetarian fayre. The general feedback was great and the school is looking to organise more vegetarian days. The name of the school is Reading School and it ranks in the top 8 schools of the country. The article below is from the school newsletter. What a fantastic achievement!

January 2013

[04] 32nd Annual Christmas Vegetarian Lunch

Around 130 people enjoyed a sumptuous Vegan lunch on Sunday the 9th December 2012 at the Archbishop Lanfran High School, Croydon. Amongst the guests were members of Purley United Reform Church, Croydon Ecology Centre, Vegetarian and Vegan Society and Friends of the Earth. The newly elected MP for Croydon North, Steve Reed as well as many councillors were present. Steve praised the Indian community for the positive role it plays in Croydon. Leader of the Labour Council Tony Newman said that as a vegetarian he always looked forward to this annual event. Nitin Mehta in his opening remarks said that the lunch is organised to foster friendship and understanding amongst the communities living in Croydon and to introduce people to the delights of Indian vegetarian food. YIV members had worked hard to prepare the food and the vegan cakes after the lunch were a special hit.

 

November 2012

[27] A Mahaveer Award was presented to Maharaz Tarlochan Das Jee on 11th. November 2012 at the Harrow Leisure Centre, Harrow, London, UK. Over 2000 people from many cities of the UK as well as people from India attended this grand event. Maharaz jee has a huge following in many countries. Maharaz jee preaches the ancient wisdom of India. He urges people to lead a spiritual life and serve mankind with humility. He emphasises the importance of a vegetarian diet.

Before the presentation everyone was urged to take a vegetarian pledge by Nitin Mehta, founder of the Young Indian Vegetarians Society. The pledge was taken in Hindi as follows: "I will not eat meat, fish and eggs as from today. May God help me keep this pledge."

In his speech Nitin said that Ahimsa is a gem of Bharatiya civilisation which we have to guard vigilantly. While many civilisations have come and gone in Human history, Bharatiya civilisation has remained alive due to the ideal of Ahimsa. Someone has said: Kutch Baat He Ase Ke Hasti Mit Ti Nahi Hamare. There is something about Bharatiya civilisation that it has remained alive in spite of so many challenges and that something is Ahimsa.

 
Compassion towards animals and vegetarianism are the ideals that the saints and sages of India have propagated for centuries. Our Ahimsa is the Ahimsa of the brave not of cowards. As Kal Yug progresses if we keep our vegetarian diet then it will be easy to keep our Dharma alive for centuries to come.

Nitin requested Maharz jee to get millions of people in India to take the vegetarian pledge.

The inscription on the award is as follows:

Mahaveer Award
Param Pujya Sant Tarlochan Darshan Das Ji you are keeping alive values of our ancient Dharma. Compassion towards all living beings and Ahimsa are the gems of Sanatan Dharma. With your guidance Bharat will once again lead the world towards the right path.
Y.I.V. - 11/11/2012


Maharaz Jee expressed his great pleasure in accepting the award and said that he would promote vegetarianism and ask people to give up meat eating. The award was presented by members of the Jain community and Bharti Tailor of the Hindu Forum of Europe
A special thanks to Raj who is a devotee of Maharaz. Rajji helped to make this presentation possible.

 

June 2012

[06] YIV Diamond Jubilee Celebration

The celebration started at the Queen's Gardens Croydon at precisely 3pm and right on cue the sun shone through! The event started with the Hare Krishna chanting party led by Nabinandan Dasa, (Nipan Malde) . This was followed by the Swaminarayan Balika Mandal prayer and song. The children from Oshwal Association Gujarati Classes sang beautiful devotional songs. The Jagruti Ladies group then presented Gujarati Folk dance, (Garba) and stick dance (Dandya Raas). MP for Croydon Central Gavin Barwell joined the dancing party! The Brahma Kumaris had a stall and they gave a message of upholding spiritual values. A prayer was also read by a bishop of a Croydon Evangelical Church.  
The Mayor of Croydon Eddie Aaron and his wife Judith Aaron both of are vegetarians, congratulated the Indian community for its positive contribution to Britain. The Mayor urged the community to keep alive culture and languages. 
 
The best part of the event was when everyone spontaneously started sharing their vegetarian picnic --------people from many background shared food and made friends!

 

A special thank you to Smitaben Rawal, Kusumben Shah, Priti Shah and the ladies of Jagruti Group. Thanks also to Kamalbhai Rao and Gujarat Samachar for the ouboicity they gave to the event.

Les and Angie Kemp for providing the PA system without which we would have been lost!  
The programme concluded with a pledge taken by many people present that they will remain vegetarian for the rest of their lives.

 

February 2012

[20] Vegetarian Lecture - Oxford University Hindu Students

On 18th January 2012 Nitin Mehta gave talk to Oxford Hindu Society students. Around 25 students attended. The event started with wonderful bhajans sung by the students in Hindi and Gujarati. A talk followed by a DVD called ' Not in My Name ' which shows the utter cruelty involved in meat eating was shown. A lively discussion took place afterwards. There were 2 students who were not vegetarian. One took a pledge to go veggie. The others were enthusiastic to:
1. Proudly promote vegetarianism to friends and relatives where as before they never did that.

2. They became aware of the cruelty that we humans inflict on animals.

3. They were pleasantly surprised to know that Hinduism extends the hand of compassion to other living beings and became aware that it our duty to show compassion to an ant as well as any other animal. Compassion to all living beings is the secret of the survival of Sanatan Dharma and Vegetarianism is a must for practicing Hindus. 

4. They realised the abuse inflicted in experiments on animals, hunting, export of live animals to far away countries and also about the cruelty in milk production. Going Vegan is something they should consider.

5. They realised the importance of going only to vegetarian restaurants and avoiding leather goods.

6. They were impressed with the idea that no matter what the circumstances they will face in life they will never eat meat.

A special thanks to Sagar Shah who organised the talk and to Shaunak Prabhu of the Oxford Council of  Hindu Studies at whose office the event was held.   

 

January 2012

[08] Annual Christmas Lunch

The Young Indian Vegetarians organised their 31st annual Vegetarian Christmas Lunch on 11th December. Mayor of Croydon Councilor Graham Bass and Malcolm Wicks were amongst the guests. Around 120 people enjoyed traditional Indian Vegetarian dishes. Nitin Mehta the founder of YIV said that the aim of organising this annual event was to promote friendship and understanding between the people of Croydon and to introduce people to the many varieties of Vegetarian and Vegan food. You can have a good healthy Christmas without the Turkey! The riots of the summer meant that the people of Croydon need to come together to bring about all that is best in our town. Amongst the other attendees were members of the Purley United Reform Church, Croydon Ecology Centre and Night Watch.

The Mayor congratulated the organisers and said he was always looking forward to this annual event. Malcolm Wicks praised the Indian community and said greater efforts needs to be made to promote more integration.

 

November 2011

 

[21] Swamiji Honoured at UK Parliament


One of India’s most influential spiritual leaders ~ His Holiness Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swamiji honoured at the UK Houses of Parliament.

The Houses of Parliament in UK, played host to one of India’s greatest spiritual leaders, as His Holiness Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swamiji, was honoured by politicians, campaigners and peers in recognition of his outstanding contribution, dedication and service in improving human welfare across the World, through his message of interfaith harmony, equality and brotherhood for people of all faiths.

Swamiji received the Mahaveer Award from the Young Indian Vegetarians Society. The award was presented by Jaysukhbhai Mehta. Nitin Mehta urged Swamiji to mention vegetarianism in all his talks. He also requested that an event in India be organised where around 10 Lakh people would take a pledge never to eat meat.

 

[03] Nitin Mehta Receives Prestigious Ahimsa Award

The institute of Jainology conferred the Ahimsa Award to Nitin Mehta on 12th October 2011 at the House of Commons.

Nitin said: 'Amongst the other recipients of this award are Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama. They are giants who have changed the course of human history.' I pay my humble respects to them.

Nitin made an impassioned speech to the august gathering to promote Ahimsa, vegetarianism and animal welfare.

Nitin Mehta is presented with the Ahimsa Award by Lady Dholakia


August 2010

 

[27] Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Questioned!

On 27th August the deputy Prime Minister did a question & answer session with a select audience. I had the privilege to ask the first question. The question: Mahatma Gandhi said 'the moral well being of a nation and its greatness should be judged by the way it treats its animals'. The time has come to form a charter of animal rights so that their abuse in blood sports, factory farming and vivisection can be stopped. The government also needs to promote a plant based vegetarian diet to help stop global warming and improve the health of the nation. Can the animals count on your governments support Mr. Clegg?

The deputy PM replied: We are a nation of animal lovers and the government wants to do as much as possible for animal welfare. Banning of experiments on animals for cosmetics is one of our achievements as a country. The reaction of the public to the recent dumping of a cat in the bin shows how passionately people feel about animal welfare in this country.

Though the answer was not very positive, the question has been shown on BBC TV and in a interview on LBC radio the question was brought up again. Nick repeated that he was aware of the immense concern amongst the public about animal welfare. Nick referred the question as one of the good ones!

 

[25] Desmond Tutu World Statesman Questioned!

Desmond Tutu came to Croydon Fairfield Halls on Thursday 5th August for a meeting with the public. He was interviewed by Trevor McDonald. This was followed by questions from the audience. I made sure Trevor asked me to put a question! This is what I asked: Thanks to great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and you Sir that some of the cruelties and injustices perpetrated by human beings to their fellow humans have ceased. The time has now come for we humans to stop the violence and abuse we inflict on the animal kingdom. Can the animals count on your support Mr. Tutu? Gandhi strongly believed that animals need to be treated with compassion and dignity. Can you help the cause of animals and go vegetarian also?

Desmond Tutu laughed his infectious laugh and said he liked eating chickens! He then said in the garden of Eden everyone was vegetarian but we have slipped. He said he agreed that all humans and animals should be treated with compassion and no one should be harmed. But he said, 'I am not going vegetarian!' There were over a thousand people and I was glad to put across the cause of animals.

 

February 2010

[27] A prominent vegetarian campaigner from Nottingham Pat Smith was awarded a Mahaveer Award at the Nottingham Hindu Temple on Saturday 27th Feb. 2010  for his untiring efforts to promote a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle for almost 25 years.
 


From left Dharamveer Nandha, Pundrick Prabhu, Nitin Mehta, Pat Smith and  Kamlesh Lakhani

 

 

March 2009

[09] Nitin gave a speech at Trafalgar Square, London on Feb 22nd 2009 organised by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association to raise public awareness on the impact of livestock and dairy industries on global warming. Click here to view video.

 

November 2008

[07] In October the International Vegetarian Union interviewed Nitin Mehta as part of their series of email interviews with leaders of IVU member societies.  read interview here

 

October 2008

[29] On 26th October the Mahaveer Award was Presented to Sri Mata Amritanandamayi .  read more

 

June

[25] On 17th May 2007 the Mahaveer Award was Presented to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Lord Swraj Paul.  read more

 

February

[12] On 29 Jan 2007 the Mahaveer Award was Presented to Sadhguru Jagi Vasudev. read more

January 2007

[18] The YIV Annual Christmas Lunch. We have been organising a Christmas Vegetarian Lunch for over 25 years in Croydon. The objective is to promote friendship with the people of Croydon….. read more

July

[18] PRESS RELEASE - Swami Ramdev who has brought about a health and cultural revolution in India through Yoga was presented with a Mahaveer award on 13th July 2006. Click here to read more.

January 2006

[16] In response to an article in the Guardian Weekend Magazine about Morgan Spurlock who ate nothing but MacDonalds (the film Supper Size Me) and the damage it did to his health, the following letter was published.

The Guardian - Saturday January 14, 2006

Apart from the health benefits of a plant-based vegetarian and vegan diet (Super Green Me, January 7), the ecological and environmental benefits are great, too. Some 55 billion animals are raised and killed for meat every year. Our planet is simply not big enough to sustain these numbers. The result is destruction of rainforests, spreading of deserts and massive methane gas emissions. The amount of grain fed to these animals could feed almost 4 billion people. To safeguard the planet for future generations, a return to vegetarian and vegan diet is imperative.

Nitin Mehta
Croydon

December

[18] We organised our annual lunch which we have been doing. for over 25 years on 18th December.This year we jointly organised the event with the Wanza Community of South London Around 100 people enjoyed the lunch and came to understand better the need for adopting a vegetarian diet. The Mayor of Croydon councilor Maggie Mansel was present as well as Lord Weatherill (former speaker of parliament and a vegetarian) Tony Newman (leader of Croydon Council and a vegetarian), Brenda Kirby (past Mayor of Croydon and a vegetarian) Malcolm Wicks Minister for Energy. Members of Croydon police as well as representatives from local churches and the Rotary club of South Croydon were also present.

The menu was: Starters: Cassava fried with Bateta Vada and chutney!
Main: Potato and Peas sabji, Bhathura, Mexican Rice,Salad.

This was followed by tea and Vegan cake.

Many people at the lunch were not vegetarian and went away thinking about it seriously!
The event plays a very important role in promoting understanding between the Indian community and the
host community. It is an opportunity to say we are loyal citizens of this country and ready to build a
better Britain. Every Indian organisation should put together a similar Christmas event.
Navnat Vanik Association also organises this event and the local residents coming in big numbers.

 

November

[15] The YIV annual Christmas lunch will be held on Sunday 18th December at Lanfranc High School at 1 PM.

[15] I was invited to give a talk to the Rotary Club of South Croydon on 14th November. The title was, 'Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet.’ It was a lunch time meeting at a Chinese restaurant. Click here to read more.

 

October

[28] The Vegetarian Society held its annual awards day yesterday ( 27th ) at , ' Cutty Sark' an 1830 ship marooned at Greenwich. Wendy Turner Webster a TV personality and former MP Tony Banks were amongst the guests. The best vegetarian cafe awards went to the, 'Maitreya' of Bristol and the 'Rainbow' of Cambridge.

The Raninbow has also received a Mahaveer Award from us. I was privileged to be asked to give away the award for the best vegetarian and cruelty free body and skin care product. The award went to a company called, 'Living Nature'. Here is a wonderful example of Indian community working together with English, Welsh and Scottish people for a common cause! We are all united in Ahimsa!

 

September

[21] The YIV will be at Guys Hospital on Tuesday October 4th at 10am in the Children's ward giving a short talk and serving a vegetarian meal.

 

[12] Nitin will be a guest speaker at the World Congress of Faiths - Interfaith Celebration of Animals, Sunday September 18, 3pm to 5pm at:

       Golders Green Unitarians,
       31 Hoop Lane, London NW11 8BS
This Interfaith Celebration of Animals will bring together representatives of all the major world religious traditions and leading animal welfare organizations. Among those taking part will be Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke, President of the WCF, and Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick, its Chair, the Director General of the RSPCA, Jackie Ballard, who will be lighting a candle for all the world's animals, and participants from the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Compassion in World Farming, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the International Primate Protection League and other leading animal welfare organizations. For further details please contact Rev. Feargus O'Connor, telephone 020 7837 4472, email: ggunirev@aol.com

 

 

[09] Finally we have our web site up and running. Feel free to explore our pages and feedback any comments you may have. There are currently 2 newsletters available for perusal. We hope to update this selection soon.