The COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020. While Indian doctors make the main workforce of the ethnic minority medics of the NHS UK, they started facing a new challenge for support and survival while working at the front line. As it is confirmed that the ethnic minority doctors constitute a major front line workforce, their risk of exposure to COVID cases is much higher than any other workforce in the UK, in particular during the lockdown. While catching COVID illness, isolating and worrying about herself and the family during the Diwali time and on her birthday, Dr Bhavna K Pandya identified the need to support Sanatan doctors mentally and spiritually.
The word ‘Sanatan’ means ‘the eternal’ and is derived from Sanatan philosophy or Dharma which is a way of living originated in the land of the Indian subcontinent many millennia ago and includes the main faiths of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and their sub faiths or the panths originated in this great land.
Dr Bhavna Pandya and Dr Sapana Bhansali who is at the forefront of the Sewa UK North West charity, as chair and vice chair of Hindu forum of Britain medical panel respectively, saw the need for Sanatan faith to support the medical community at this difficult time. They actively campained and successfully lead a COVID-19 vaccine and support campaign for the Hindu community of the UK as members of Hindu forum of Britain. As India got hit hard with the 2nd wave of COVID-19 we realise the need for more formal work to support the Sanatan community in the UK, for their loved ones in India and to reach out to our colleagues and community in India during this difficult time.
The British Sanatan Doctors Forum (BSDF) is formally formed on the day of Akshay Tritiya in 2021 on the 14th May. We aim to look forward while looking back and being inspired by our great Sanatan philosophy.