INDIA: Past pupils of the Salesian Institute St. Domenico Savio provide 1 million meals to those impacted by the coronavirus lockdowns
(MissionNewswire) Past pupils of the Salesian Institute St. Domenico Savio, located in Andheri, Mumbai, India, celebrated 100 days of providing support to those who have been impacted by the coronavirus lockdown. The past pupils cooked and provided 1 million meals to those in need. Working in 65 distribution points within the Indian megalopolis, volunteers launched the “Feed My Mumbai” campaign, ensuring that no person went to sleep hungry.
In tandem with the Canossian Daughters of Charity-Servants of the Poor, numerous volunteers and Salesian missionaries, the past pupils courageously left their homes in order to distribute nutritious meals to the needy and disadvantaged. The millionth meal was delivered on Sunday, July 12, to a person in need by one of about 300 “Corona Warriors” as the group has named itself.
Anthony Mascarenhas, president of the Association of Past Pupils of the St. Domenico Savio Institute, said, “Thanks to the Salesians who have been with us all. We have helped many people in Mumbai, including migrant workers, slum dwellers, rags collectors, scavengers, daily wage workers, tribal populations, the elderly, and people who ask for alms. With 25 partner companies that supported our campaign, we started distributing food kits, hygiene kits and materials to organize a makeshift refuge in 65 locations in Mumbai. More than 300 people have collaborated in this effort.”
Mascarenhas added, “A big thank you to Father Brian Moras, rector and delegate, for his support along with the entire Salesian community, the Salesian Cooperators and well-wishers. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our alma mater for making us what we are. We now look ahead with an aim to reach out to more affected areas in Mumbai and rural belts in Maharashtra with the support of our partners who are growing in number with each passing day.”
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.
Salesian missionaries living and working in India place special emphasis on rescuing and rehabilitating children engaged in child labor. There are Salesian-run programs throughout the country that have helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth through the years, and this work continues today.
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