BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London was illuminated in blue on the evening of Wednesday 14 November 2012 in support of World Diabetes Day.
The Mandir joined iconic landmarks, monuments and buildings all over the world in the official blue colour as part of the international campaign to raise awareness about diabetes.
According to the World Health Organisation, over 220 million people worldwide, including 2.9 million in the UK, suffer from diabetes.
Held annually on 14 November – marking the birthday of Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin in 1922 – the official United Nations observance coincided this year with the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
Representatives from Diabetes UK were at the Mandir throughout the day providing information as tens of thousands of visitors flocked for the Hindu New Year celebrations.
Rebecca Taylor, Diverse Communities Information Administrator at Diabetes UK, spoke of the “excellent opportunity to meet the community” and wished to “encourage all those celebrating the Hindu New Year to take a resolution to think about the effect of diabetes on the individual.”
Rebecca also shared that “it is a real honour that the temple decided to light up in blue and support the campaign.”
The Mandir has enjoyed a long-running relationship with Diabetes UK, partnering with it in 2008 when it raised £24,000 from its National Sponsored Family Walk & Fun Run. Diabetes UK has also featured with stalls and information booths during a number of community outreach events over the years. In September of this year, a Diabetes Care Programme was launched at the Mandir in an additional effort to raise awareness and educate the public.
Support for World Diabetes Day was also registered at other BAPS mandirs around the world, including at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi.