INDIA: Children receive health education
Don Bosco Development Society provides health education for disadvantaged children
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Development Society, the planning and development office in Mumbai Province of India, provides health education for disadvantaged children and youth living in Vadodara, the third largest city in the western Indian State of Gujarat. Health education is critical during the pandemic so children understand the importance of proper hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing.
“Don Bosco Development Society has been on the forefront of support for people who have been impacted by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “From providing health education and launching awareness campaigns to providing food relief and hygiene items, Salesians have been in their communities working to support those most in need.”
The health care project is one initiative among many that the Don Bosco Development Society has carried out. In 2020, Don Bosco Development Society helped 400 poor families in the Dharavi slum with the support of Don Bosco Mondo in Bonn, Germany. Dharavi is the largest slum in Asia and is home to 850,000 residents, making it one of the more cramped spaces in Mumbai.
Don Bosco Development Society also helped 140 people with disabilities residing in the slum by distributing relief kits containing rations and toiletries. Since some of those with physical disabilities could not pick up their relief kits in person, their family members did so on their behalf.
People living in the slums of India have been hard hit by the pandemic lockdown and are without the means to earn even a meager living. Many were day laborers or worked in the informal employment sector selling items on the streets. Because of the lockdown, this work is no longer available and families are suffering. Don Bosco Development Society and Salesian organizations across India have been supporting these families in need through prevention campaigns, distribution of food and hygiene items, and remote education.
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.
India’s youth also face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
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Salesian Missions – India
World Bank – India