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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London was illuminated in pink on Thursday 23 October 2014 in support of Breast Cancer Care during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The lighting of the Mandir was seen by thousands who had gathered for the Diwali celebrations and spectacular fireworks display.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month where Breast Cancer Care and other charities spread the important message about the disease and the fight to prevent and cure it.

DID YOU KNOW? Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. 1,000 women die of the disease every month!

Present to launch the Diwali fireworks display were three families – two of whom had sadly lost loved ones to breast cancer, but have been truly inspirational for others, and Remi Brahmbhatt, a long-time survivor of the disease.

Dr Sejal Popat, a volunteer at the Mandir, added: “Diwali is a time for celebration, but also of goodwill and charity, so it is a time to reach out and remember those that need our help. By raising awareness about this deadly disease, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is truly affirming the spirit of Diwali and the message of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in bringing light and joy into the lives of others.”

Support at the Mandir continued the following day, during the Hindu New Year celebrations, with many of the decorations and volunteers sporting the pink colour for Breast Cancer Care’s #PinkFriday drive. Marie Harry, Breast Health Promotion Training and Support Officer for Breast Cancer Care, was also present to observe the Mandir’s support in action. “I’m in awe of the volunteers coming together wearing those [pink] colours,” she said. “It’s been incredible how the community has come together today. It’s been wonderful to take part in this celebration at the BAPS Mandir and the image that will stay with me is that [of] how the community has come together to support breast cancer.”

The Mandir has been a keen supporter of Breast Cancer Care since 2007 when it donated £12,000 as part of the centennial celebrations of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Breast Cancer Care have also featured with stalls and information booths during a number of events organised by the Mandir in London, and activities by centres across the UK, including the Cycle Challenge held in Leicester in August 2008, the International Women’s Day celebrations in London in 2010, and during medical screenings at the Community Open Day, also in London in 2010. In 2009, BAPS also helped in producing and promoting an educational DVD for breast cancer concerns among Asian women.

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