“CALLS 2.0”, English acronym for “Covid-19 Alternative Livelihood and Living Services” is mainly an agricultural training program. Specifically, beneficiaries are taught how to grow nursery plants, to subsequently generate a source of income.
The event, which is being carried out thanks to the Salesians of the "Retreat" in Yercaud, thanks to the support of local and international NGOs, began with the registration of the beneficiaries and a song of prayer. Fr A. Raj, SDB, Director of the Salesian "Retreat" center, welcomed the meeting and thanked all the benefactors for their accompaniment and support for innovative initiatives focused on the development of people.
The event also saw the participation of Fr Agilan Sarprasadam, Salesian, Provincial of the India-Tiruchy Province, who inaugurated the project. Also present were Ms. Rajalakshmi, an organic farmer who joined the formation team, and Ms. Jayanthi, assistant engineer from "Yercaud Union", who presented her testimony on agricultural work. The coordination of the entire event was entrusted to Fr Arockiasamy Selvakumar, SDB, and his staff.
The project shall involve 80 people, who will be given a standard daily salary already during the agricultural training period. With this training, not only will the lives of many needy people be improved, but it also has a significant impact on the preservation of nature.
In light of all this, during the inaugural event, the verses of the poet Alfred Austin were reflected upon: "Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul."