“Don Bosco Development Society” (DBDS), the Mumbai Salesians' PDO [Province Planning and Development Office] had initiated COVID-19 relief outreach, thanks to its funding partners, facilitating the provision of essential food, hygiene, and toiletries to 10,000 individuals from impoverished underprivileged backgrounds in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai assisted by the Mahanagar Gas Ltd. In the cities of Vadodara and Pune too, relief outreach is underway, thanks to financial aid from Mix-for-Kids Germany and Manos Unidas Spain.
Likewise, DBDS has distributed relief aid to 150 stranded migrant labourers in CBD Belapur. This outreach in Mumbai city and in Navi Mumbai has been possible thanks to financial assistance from the Mahanagar Gas Ltd. under the MGL Disha Project.
Father Rolvin D'Mello Executive Director DBDS says, “The primary beneficiaries of this relief work are widows, senior citizens without family/children, migrant labourers, the physically incapacitated, and homeless destitute people. All the norms and directives as required by the civic administration are being strictly complied with in this process. This is a very difficult task, given the lockdown situation. My sincere thanks to Mahanagar Gas Ltd., Mix-for-Kids Germany and Manos Unidas Spain for their large-hearted and timely financial assistance.”
Moreover, resources for 600 free online courses and mental health services are among the services provided to those struggling with employment or mental health issues, services offered by the Archdiocesan Labour Commission of Mumbai in India.
The “Konkan Development Society” (KDS), the PDO of the Salesian Province of Panjim (INP), is doing its utmost to reach out to deprived and stranded individuals and families in Kudal-Maharashtra, Sankeshwar-Karnataka and across Goa. KDS in collaboration with its Childline Office reached out with food and other essentials like rice, wheat flour, cooking oil, lentils, sugar, soya chunks, soaps, onions and potatoes to stranded people in Tiswadi, Bardez, Salcete, and Mormugao Talukas of the Goa state.
KDS Director Father Francis Silveira said, “the generous contributions of our benefactors were the backbone for the successful carrying out of the outreach programme to the most remote and isolated places.”
Asst. Director KDS Father Lawrence Monteiro added: “As of 15 April 2020, around 2,900 needy families and individuals benefited from the outreach organized by KDS.”
Meanwhile, at Yercaud, in the Tiruchy Salesian Province (INT), Coronavirus itself seems to have a very low spread, but the number of people suffering from hunger and misery is unimaginable. In Shevaroy HIlls, the people living around Yercaud town are worst affected as they are all dependent on the tourism industry (auto/taxi drivers, small shops, hotel/restaurant workers, daily-waged construction workers).
For this reason, the "COVID-19 Lockdown Relief" of the Salesian "Retreat" work in Yercaud is still operative. On 16th and 17th April, the entire team and the Young Salesians were busy identifying the families by field visits and through phone calls to Oratory leaders by the young Salesians. It was a list with 225 FAMILIES for GROCERY BAGS. Then, the Montfort Community, under the leadership of Brother Dominic Savio, extended its huge support to collaborate and reach out to the poor together. And with the support of other donors, the Salesian Volunteers reach out to people in 15 Villages. As of 17 April, the Salesian crew in Yercaud has completed around 800 HOUSEHOLDS in 37 VILLAGES, reaching out to circa 35,000 people.