The Oshwal Association UK Jain Shikharbandh Derasar (temple) in Potters Bar celebrated its tenth anniversary on Thursday 27th August 2015 with the opening of an exhibition that charts the journey of this small community from India to the UK via East Africa. The opening event, which was attended by several hundred guests, heard from the Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Martin Worster; Charles Walker MP, the Member of Parliament for Broxbourne; Lord Dolar Popat and was hosted by Rex Shah, current President of the OAUK. The ground-breaking of the Derasar, which has no steel structures supporting the dome, took place on 19th August 2005 and the £5 million project was completed within 18 months with the help of volunteers, British Architects and fifteen stonemasons brought over from India. Earlier in 2015, the community was pleased to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to tour the temple, the first of its kind in Europe.
Oshwals are largely followers of the Jain faith which has as it principal tenets:
- Non-violence (Ahimsa)
- Truthfulness (Satya)
- Taking only that which is freely given, ie not stealing (Asteya)
- Non-possessiveness (Aparigraha)
- Chastity (Brahmacharya)
Jainism advocates respect for all life forms and the environment. These principles are perhaps more relevant today than ever before.
About the Oshwal Association UK
The Oshwal Association of the UK was established in 1968 as a community organisation for Gujarati Asians largely from East Africa who had migrated to the UK. There are fewer than 100,000 Oshwals worldwide, with the Oshwal Association UK representing 26,000 based in London and the South East. The Oshwal community prides itself on values of hard work and self-reliance with all their UK operation funded by member donations. The Oshwal Centre in Northaw Potters Bar forms the focal point for the community and comprises the Jain Temple, assembly hall and administrative offices. The community has further centres at South London Mahajanwadi in Croydon (South London), Oshwal Ekta Centre in Kingsbury (North West London) and Oshwal Shakti Centre in Hounslow (West London). For information visit www.oshwal.co.uk