A RELIGIOUS leader has appealed for Hampshire residents to help pack vital aid for India.

Volunteers are desperately needed today to help at the Vedic Society Temple in Radcliffe Road, Southampton.

Lorry drivers are also needed to be on stand-by to deliver supplies to airports.

The temple has been swamped with clothes and blankets following the massive earthquake which hit the state of Gujarat last week.

Tens of thousands of people may have been killed in the earthquake and now the race is on to send supplies to help survivors re-build their shattered lives.

Temple president Raj Kumar Chadda said they were desperate for volunteers to help pack donations.

He is working with the Indian High Commission and airlines to see when the supplies can be flown out.

Mr Chadda said: "We are seeking help to pack, but we have not had much response so far.

"The hall is full of clothes and we need as many people as possible to give us a hand. At this stage we don't want any more clothing but we are still asking for money."

He added: "We are very grateful to everyone for helping, and people have come from all over the place to donate things.

"It is good that so many people are thinking about the disaster."

Volunteers should telephone 023 8063 2275.

Cash donations for the quake victims can be made by phone to the British Red Cross on 08705 125125.

Donations can be sent to the British Red Cross, Source 13101, Freepost, Mid 21782, Halesowen B63 3BR.

Cash or cheques can be given to Christian charity Food for the Hungry UK, 44 Copperfield Road, Bassett, Southampton, SO16 3NX

For more details, call on 023 8090 2327.