COVID -19 has shaken the whole world miserably with great pain and sorrow by creating massive disaster. Today the entire universe is entangled under the powerful grip of the corona virus and India is not an exception to this awful situation. At this juncture, our country is also tremendously experiencing the most dreadful storm of this corona crisis and fighting hard to come out of this most strenuous and stressful situation. In the process the social distancing was introduced to prevent the corona infection and the so called ‘lock down’ was imposed on the people severely which has created immense damage and a huge disaster in the lives of the common people especially on the migrants, domestic labourers, rag pickers, daily wagers and the ongoing construction workers.
The Government of India has imposed complete lockdown since 24th March, 2020 in order to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. This lockdown which has come as sudden shock has only added problems and misery to the poor migrants and the marginalized people. It has shocking impact on the lives of migrant workers, domestic labourers and daily wage employees. The above mentioned categories of people living here are not well to do and they lead a very miserable life which is hand to mouth. Today, they are the people who run pillar to post to earn a meal for a day and they have been put into lot of trials and difficulties to earn their daily living. They are locked up inside not knowing what to do for their daily bread, as they have nothing to eat or drink! They are in a very pitiable and inexplicable condition.
We the SVD missionaries in the INH province are not silent spectators to this painful scenario of starvation of our brothers and sisters. The compassionate situation compelled them to help these poor people. They planned a strategy to relieve them of their sufferings. The JPIC Coordinator of the Province has taken the matter very seriously and immediately plunged into action. Rice and groceries which would suffice for a month for a family were distributed to the needy and affected people of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states. We have been able to reach out to the needy and suffering people in and around our own SVD mission stations and work places. About 2500 families were able to get the benefits from the emergency relief work initiated by the Province. JPIC Coordinator along with few other confreres of INH Province reaching out to these people with the rice and groceries in this difficult situation was a great relief to the needy and suffering people.
We have also given enough rice and groceries to each family to relieve their hunger and make them live happily along with their family members. We are reaching out to these needy people to wipe their tears and see a smile on their lovely faces! Indeed, it was a justifying gesture to humanity and a great service to our poor brethren. We were able to reach out to these people due to the generosity of our benefactors, collaborators and well wishers. At this time, I can only remember the words of Jesus, “Whenever you did this for one of these, the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” (Mt. 25:40)
Fr. Alwin Mascarenhas SVD