Saskia Jones, 23, a much-beloved student who had befriended London ISKCON devotees, was killed in the London Bridge terrorist attack on November 29th.
Jones had graduated with a Master’s in criminology from the University of Cambridge, and volunteered with prison-based education project Learning Together.
Along with fellow Cambridge graduate Jack Merritt, 25, she was helping organize a workshop for Learning Together at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge, when perpetrator Usman Khan threatened to detonate what turned out to be a fake suicide vest.
Khan then fatally stabbed Jones and Merritt and injured three other people, before being shot dead by police on the bridge.
At the time, devotees from charity organization Food For All were distributing prasadam close by.
“The police informed us of the terrorist attack, and we had to clear the streets,” says director Parasurama Das.
Food For All distributes about 3,000 prasadam meals daily to the homeless and university students in central London. One of their regular beneficiaries was Saskia Jones, whom Parasurama remembers fondly.
University students line up for Food For All prasadam
“She was one of our student friends who regularly honoured Prasad with us,” he says. “She would refer to each plate of Prasad as ‘A Krishna.’”
Parasurama mourns, “Saskia lost her life while attempting to do good work in the world, attacked by the very person she was trying to help. The news dominated the media for days, and brought out all sorts of questions as the public tried to understand the tragedy.”
Food For All devotees, for their part, remembered Saskia and prayed for her by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, while participating in Harinama Sankirtana on a double decker bus through central London as part of Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara’s 50th Anniversary.
Meanwhile Saskia’s family described the 23-year-old as “a brilliant, caring daughter, grand-daughter, niece, cousin, friend and colleague.”
They said she was “A funny, kind, positive influence at the center of many people’s lives,” and that “She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people.”
Food For All was distributing prasadam from a rickshaw when the terrorist attack took place nearby
A former teacher remembered her as a “force for good."
Thanking people for their messages of support, her family added, “It has been made very clear that Saskia is held in the highest esteem by many people and that she had touched so many lives in a short time.”
Saskia was a deep thinker, recently tweeting, “Seek to be worth knowing rather than well known.”
In 2017, she tweeted an image with a stanza from Canadian writer Nicole Lyons’s poem, “I hope that someday when I am gone, someone, somewhere, picks my soul up off these pages and thinks, ‘I would have loved her.’” After her death, it was retweeted hundreds of times.[ london ] [ saskia ] [ terrorism ] [ uk ]