To build Hertfordshire's first ‘The Hindu United (Sanatan) Temple' in Welwyn Hatfield.

To build Hertfordshire's first ‘The Hindu United (Sanatan) Temple' in Welwyn Hatfield.

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Hitesh Dave started this petition to Hertfordshire County Council and

As per 2011 UK Census, Ethnic makeup of Hertfordshire had 21,508 people out of 28,848 Indians (Indian/ British Indian) who declared themselves as Hindus; After a decade in 2021, the numbers is estimated to have risen to be close to 50,000+ (Source: ONS Census 2011 Table KS201EW).

Our growing Hindu Community in Welwyn Hatfield, St Albans, Stevenage and surrounding areas showed 5,548 Hindus (5%) in 2011, after 10 years in 2021 this number has been grown, to be close to 11,000+ (Source: ONS Census 2011 Table KS201EW).(https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/herts-insight/topics/population.aspx

In 2021, Hertfordshire has become home to over 5% Hindus, and Welwyn Hatfield, St Albans and Stevenage districts contributes in total more than 11% of population of Hindus who currently do not have any communal place for worship and practice religious faith or community centre in the district or in surrounding areas. The accurate numbers for Hindu residents would be higher when the 2021 Census results will be published.

The closest Hindu United (Sanatan) temples from the Welwyn and Hatfield are in Wembley (20 miles) and Luton (15 miles); hence the Hertfordshire County is in significant need of a permanent space where Hindu culture can be celebrated, learnt and shared with the widely diverse communities in Hertfordshire.

This Petition is aligned with the current guide of Hertfordshire Local (Localism Hertfordshire County Council’s Petition Scheme 24 Constitution Annex May 2016-Point 10) https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/media-library/documents/about-the-council/data-and-information/constitution-annex-24-may-2019.pdf , where the county council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough council has control and responsibility for the provision of local services (i.e. local libraries, services for young people) where a local religious and communal place for Hindus will help and support the families to worship and practice their religion faith alongside developing religious education within young people.

Over the past decades, Friends and families at various local Indian cultural organisations, has contributed to enhancing community cohesion through mainstream partnerships for inclusive and diverse events such as the Holi celebrations, Diwali (Festival of Lights) and Hindu New Year, Summer Mela, Navratri, Yagna, Yoga, Mental health sessions, worship practices, Bhagwad Gita learning, at family houses, various local halls and house backyards across the districts involving the religious development of young Hindu kids. The lack of fixed premises is severely restricting and affecting our ability to schedule the holistic development of young Hindu kids, expand the community welfare work and it is stopping us with our regular worship and practices our Hindu religious faith.

Hindu families, resides in these Cities and the Hertfordshire County, want to celebrate the cultural and spiritual events in the yearly Hindu Calendar, familiarize their children with their diverse Indian religious culture & languages (thus improving their self-esteem & sense of identity) as well as share it with the wider community in Hertfordshire as an united one community at one place.
Older, often isolated residents, need a place to socialise/ mix with friends and relatives from their own/ wider community & improve their access to services which is an integral part of the Hindu Culture.

We have been running a variety of successful, inclusive community events, but these are restricted to a few p.a. without a permanent space; therefore our own premises would really increase our contribution to all sections of the community offering cultural events/ classes/services as a one community under one roof.

I/We, the undersigned, call upon and request all the respected leaders at Hertfordshire County Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to recognize that it’s their prime duty towards the local Hindu residents to identify and facilitate premises to support our project of establishing ‘The Hindu United Temple and an Indian Community Cultural Center’ as below:

Identify and sell a plot/ land/ hall on long-term lease or offer an existing building, community hall or an old unused church/library/industrial warehouse in Welwyn and Hatfield Borough area where we can establish, build and maintain the first Hindu United Temple and an Indian Cultural Community Center through donations and funds from the families.

The above help and support by the Council will help us to:

  • Provide a place of worship for Hindus in Hertfordshire to practice their religious faith
  • Help young Hindu kids to develop a greater awareness of Hinduism, culture, values and traditions
  • Bring Hertfordshire’s diverse communities together to share, understand and partner with each other’s festivals, cultures and arrange educational and research classes for Indian languages, traditional Music, Dances, Yoga, Cookery etc.
  • Provide a shared space for general community activities and events.
  • Provide education and research about Hindu philosophy, the way of life with Hinduism and culture so that schools do not have to travel out of the County.
  • Provide an informal environment for isolated, elderly and disabled people to socialise and for statutory bodies to provide services for them in familiar settings.
  • Post-Covid, Improve mental health and well being through recreational health events such as health checks, exercise and regular lunch clubs.

Our Aim:

  1. To build and maintain The Hindu United Temple and an Indian Community Cultural Center in Welwyn and Hatfield Borough with the support from county council, local councils and Hindu families in Hertfordshire to benefit all sections of the local community regardless of any background.
  2. To provide a communal place for Hindu families to enhance spiritual, cultural, social needs & growth based on principles of Hinduism (‘Vasudheva Kutumbakum’- The whole world is One family) with sense of duty towards family and greater society.
  3. To foster a better understanding of Hindu Culture within the wider Hertfordshire community through diverse educational classes & cultural events.

We have strong belief and aware about the strengths of Hertfordshire County Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough council which has the visionary leaders who can support and work hand-in hand with us to establish the county's first Hindu United Temple and an Indian Cultural Community Center to make this dream project a reality for all Hindu families in Hertfordshire.

I would like to thank all Council leaders on behalf of Hindu friends and families reside in Hertfordshire. I am looking forward to your positive response.

My Humble thanks to all to-be signatories of this Petition; Your support is highly appreciated!

Petition by: Mr. Hitesh Dave, CSci CBiol MRSB

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hiteshdave01/

Date: 06 July 2021

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