As India remains under a 21-day lockdown to battle the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Believers Eastern Church dioceses are doing all they can to provide relief and help to the most vulnerable during the crisis.
The worst-affected are the migrant workers and daily wage earners whose livelihood has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With their work and mode of income disrupted, most of these families are struggling to access basic necessities and unable to afford a single meal a day.
Rising to the occasion, Believers Eastern Church dioceses are extending a helping hand to such needy families by providing them food and essential items to ensure that they do not go to bed hungry.
In each diocese, diocesan teams, priests, women’s fellowship members, sisters of compassion teams are coordinating efforts and pooling in resources to help the poor affected by the lockdown.
With the help of local administrations they identify families that are in dire need of help and with the approval from local police and government officials they carry out relief package distributions. Dioceses are taking effort to deliver ration to people at their doorstep to avoid any mass gathering and maintain social distancing. The church volunteers are taking safety measures like using sanitisers and masks to prevent the spread of virus during supply distributions.
Here is an account of some the recent distributions undertaken by dioceses.
Ration items and Essential Supplies
Dioceses of Kolkata, Surguja, Dehradun, Anand, Raipur and Bastar distributed ration items to needy families, including widows and elderly people.
Diocese of Lucknow was able to help hundreds with ration supplies today, where as in Diocese of Vizag vegetables and other essentials were distributed to hundreds of poor and needy families.
Through the dry ration distributions, the dioceses were able to help hundreds of low-income families that had been running short of basic supplies due to the lockdown.
Efforts from Parishes
Parishes in dioceses of Mumbai, Siliguri and Sarguja distributed ration items to the poor, slum dwellers and daily wage labourers who were struggling to put food on the table due to lack of work and remuneration.
In Jaigaon, a parish priest helped 86 families by providing each family with 8 kg of rice, 2kg of potato and a hand sanitizer.
Parishes in Delhi distributed vegetables and groceries to 70 families.
In Imphal, a parish priest distributed 5kg of rice, 1kg salt and 1kg Potato each to 40 poor and needy families living around the church. A priest from another parish distributed 10kg rice, 5 kg potato, 1 kg dal to 14 families.
In Bengaluru Diocese, priests and members of a local parish are preparing and distributing evening meals to 500 needy people since last eleven days.
In Diocese of Chandigarh, freshly cooked meals were distributed to 200 families at a slum.
Taking steps towards preventing the spread of coronavirus, women’s fellowship members of a local parish in Bilaspur diocese stepped up to help those in need by stitching free masks which can offer them basic protection from the virus. The stitched masks, around 2000 in total, were distributed to the local Health and police Department.
Diocese of Lucknow distributed 500 protective masks to the elderly and those who cannot afford them at this time of crisis.
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