INDIA: Food kits aid families in need during pandemic
More than 4,000 people receive food kits in villages near Sriramapura thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 12, 2022) More than 4,000 people, including 800 families, were provided food kits in the villages around the Ferrando Center for Vocational Training, located in Sriramapura, a town and residential suburb of Mysore city in India. The food kits were made possible through donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The project is one of many funded by Salesian Missions in an effort to mitigate the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians operate the Ferrando Center for Vocational Training to provide education for poor and at-risk young women in the region. The area surrounding the school is made up of poor villages where people are daily laborers, migrants, widows and children. Many of the people residing there lost family during the first and second waves of COVID-19. Now, during the third wave impacting the region, people are in more need than ever before.
The food kits provided to families included rice, toor dal, sugar, oil and salt, as well as prevention measures like soap, masks, sanitizer and medicines. Recipients included mother and daughter Rangamma and Krishnamani. They are migrants from another state and have been forced to beg for food to eat. Rangamma lost her husband in the early days of her marriage and her daughter Krishnamani has disabilities.
Right now, they are both living on the streets and have nothing. They are not able to work and do not have a home of their own. Rangamma is too old to work and Krishnamani is not in a position to go look for work. The food kits were enough to support them for several days while the Salesian sisters are looking for a place for them to stay.
“We appreciate our donors who have provided support to our special COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Funding projects like this one in India enables Salesian missionaries on the ground to expand their efforts to reach thousands of families who desperately need our help. With India’s social services straining under the stress, they simply have nowhere else to turn.”
More than 22 percent of India’s population lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
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