(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Relief Services, located in Chennai, India, in collaboration with the Salesian Provincial Planning and Development Office SURABI, has worked to help mitigate the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 that is devastating the country. The organization has launched a number of initiatives in recent months, including a COVID-19 health center, the distribution of food rations and an awareness campaign.
The grounds of Don Bosco primary and secondary school in the Perambur district are used as a COVID-19 care center. It has 75 beds, all of which have access to oxygen. These facilities are coordinated by Dr Mahesh, MBBS, with a team of eight doctors and 22 nurses. This center serves poor patients who lived in the slums and who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Many people in the health center have no other hope of receiving medical attention. The Salesians intervened to fill the gaps and support those who need it most.
Additionally, with businesses and stores shutting down, day laborers and migrant workers are struggling to survive during the lockdown period. Their livelihoods have been severely affected by the restrictions put in place by the government, and many struggle with hunger on a daily basis. To help alleviate the situation, Don Bosco Relief Services, in coordination with the local Salesian communities, distributed 1,085 dry ration kits to guarantee these people some access to nutrition.
One of the biggest challenges in India right now is that many people do not have access to vaccinations due to the misinformation that has spread. Don Bosco Relief Services launched an awareness campaign in 11 districts in northern Tamil Nadu. This campaign, which works with the collaboration of 50 Salesian communities, provided masks and leaflets with important health information. To date, 33,500 flyers and 4,300 masks have been distributed.
“The Salesian missionaries have intensified their efforts to reach those who desperately need our help. With the Indian health care system and other social services under strain, they simply have nowhere to turn, ”said Fr Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the American Salesian development branch of Don Bosco. “Whether it is providing medical care or food rations or even helping to educate the public, the Salesians have worked to help lessen the impact of the virus for countless families across India. “
Salesian programs across India are mainly focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education helps young people prepare for further technical, vocational or university studies. Other programs help support poor young people and their families by meeting basic needs for shelter, good nutrition and medical care.
Photo courtesy of the Salesian Missions (contact for authorizations of use)
Relief services of Don Bosco
Salesian missions – India
World Bank – India