The Diwali Basket Brigade (DBB) is an annual event organised by The Diwali Foundation, which has been running since 2018.
The Diwali Foundation currently has 4 trustees including founder Deepak Parekh (Chair), Kishen Pattani, Vaidehi Pattani and Rupinder Cheema
Diwali Basket Brigade is a community initiative run and funded on donations by local volunteers. Diwali is one of the most popular Hindu festivals, and founder Deepak Parekh, started Diwali Basket Brigade as a way for the community to give back at this auspicious time.
The objective of Diwali Basket Brigade is simple. To provide food hampers to socially deprived / vulnerable households, from all faiths and backgrounds in and around the UK, ahead of the auspicious festival of Diwali.
Here, Deepak shares his story on why he decided to start the Diwali Basket Brigade initiative and founded The Diwali Foundation.
“Having followed the work of Tony Robbins for many years, I was inspired to volunteer at an event which he established several years ago, called the Christmas Basket Brigade, delivering food hampers to families in need, on the eve of Christmas.
Following attendance to the first such event in December 2015, I felt it would be just as beneficial to organise a similar event, to celebrate the auspicious festival of Diwali and spreading the message of hope and giving.
I had a serious back injury in early 2017 and I was unfortunately confined to lying on my back for days on end (6 months in total!) which gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life, my purpose and my goals. It was not until I was forced to take time out of my busy life, of work and family, that I decided to put my idea into action through organising the first Diwali Basket Brigade event. This took place on October 14th 2018, where a group of over 200 volunteers came together at the Balaji Temple, in Birmingham to prepare, pack and personally deliver over 350 food hampers to the doorsteps of families in need. In 2019, we collectively packed and delivered over 500 food hampers.
The event has grown from strength to strength, and our ambition is to deliver as many food hampers as we possibly can to families of all faiths and backgrounds across the UK.
Diwali is a time of celebration and happiness. However, unfortunately there are many people in our communities who, for whatever reason, don’t have much to cheer about. Some families struggle to make ends meet, others are simply feeling lonely or rejected by society. DBB is our small effort to support and spread the message of hope, happiness, and giving to those in need from all faiths and backgrounds.”