LEADING members of the Hindu community in Bradford are asking people to go online and not gather in big groups as Diwali celebrations commence this week.

Manoj Joshi, a long-standing member of the Hindu community in Bradford, said: "We won't have a collective opportunity to do a showcase event, but we can celebrate Diwali in a small way.

"People can light up their own homes and share their joy remotely.

"They should share their joy in a Covid-compliant manor but their joy should not be suppressed by Covid."

"We do Zoom broadcasts for our services run by a priest," said Ravinder Dharni, vice-chairman of the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple on Leeds Road, Bradford. "A lot of our ladies groups also do regular Zoom sessions with each other.

"They won't be as elaborate but these online sessions keep communities together and keep people sane.

"People are using their common sense and not going out, but we're also telling people "don't go to other people's houses. Use the virtual platform instead.

"People can still do prayers at home and they will have candles lit all over the house."