Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: December 17, 2020

INDIA: Support for families facing hunger

Konkan Development Society provides dry ration kits to 700 families thanks to Salesian Missions funding

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 17, 2020) Salesian missionaries with Konkan Development Society in India were able to provide dry ration kits to 700 families across the three states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, thanks to funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The initiative was part of COVID-19 relief efforts.

Salesians were able to reach out directly to some villages because of the increasing cases. With the help of the police, kits were given to families in need. Among those who received the rations were migrant families settled in the slums of Zuarinagar and Baina. Members of these families are jobless and in need of assistance. Poor families were also supported in the remote villages of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Father Laurence Monteiro, executive director of Don Bosco Konkan Development Society, said, “We appreciate the funding from Salesian Missions because we were able to give dry food rations for sustenance to people greatly in need. It is difficult to continue this work due to a lack of funds and the challenges that COVID-19 is having on communities. When we have access to additional funding, we continue this work when we can.”

During the fall, Don Bosco Konkan Development Society was able to provide more than 50,000 people with nutritional support thanks to donors, including funding from Salesian Missions. While Goa faced food scarcity, Salesians were able to secure rice and other rations from sources in Maharashtra, as well as local suppliers.

The work in securing, sorting, storing, packing and then delivering the food was extensive. Given there was no labor available to help, Don Bosco Konkan Development Society staff members unloaded the trucks, packaged to-go kits and distributed the kits across Goa in smaller personal vehicles. Staff members were heavily involved in the operation and made delivery trips covering the state of Goa. Don Bosco Konkan Development Society used its local networks to deliver the kits to every needy household and distributed thousands of kits over several months.

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.

Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.

India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country 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.


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