12 May 2020
"When life knocks you down, fall on your knees and cross your fingers,"
"But when life knocks others down, stand up and reach out to them."
Due to COVID-19 the entire world stands utterly helpless, as more than 35, 00,000 people all over the world are infected and 2, 48,000 are dead in last five months yet the number is growing exponentially. Be it rich or poor; young or old; prince or pauper, this deadly virus has spared no one. This dangerous pandemic has made it explicit the goodness and kindness of human being to the world. This article gives a glimpse of the initiatives of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod, Province of Trichy to the crisis posed by COVID -19.
EFFORTS TAKEN AT THE PROVINCE LEVEL
- The Provincial made an appeal to the province to respond to the basic, psychological and safety needs of the people especially to those who hunger for bread, who suffer from psychological lockdowns and who are gripped with Chronophobia.
- All the sisters in the Province made online retreat from 5th to 12th April and have regular adoration to the Blessed Sacrament in pleading for God’s mercy.
- The province has contributed cash to TNCRI to help the victims of the pandemic.
As Mother Teresa has rightly said, “Prayer in action is love and love in action is service,”
During this lockdown the worst sufferers are the roofless and homeless. Heeding the call of Jesus, the SOC SEAD social trust, Trichy has promptly responded by feeding the hungry daily. They provided for 110 road-dwellers with food packets from Amalashram to Amma mandapam, 150 food kit to the families of children with Special Need, the slum at Veereswaram and 100 families at Kuthur. ‘The tears of joy’ of the hungry and deserted are the best reward to the service rendered by our Sisters.
The NEW DAWN Social Centre, Paramathy has made an unique contribution of reaching out to the transgender, patients with AIDS and TB, physically challenged, and people in abject poverty with ration for a month, provisions the families of the children who stay in their Children’s home, whose parents are either HIV infected or widows and distributed Child Supplementary Nutritional Packs to 50 children with the help of District Child Protection Unit, sponsored by the Red Cross. They too contacted the HIV patients and their children daily over the phone to monitor their health conditions with regular medications and instruct them with hygienic practices.
The POWER Social Centre, Viralimalai distributed 10 Kg rice to 1,100 families belonging to various Self-Help Groups. The deserving staff members and the tuition teachers in different villages were also provided with food provisions. The POORNA Social Centre, Palani has reached out to 400 families with rice and other food essentials and launched out to conscientice people in the Government Hospital, regard with the rapid spread of the pandemic and safety measures to be followed. They identified the physically challenged and assisted them with food essentials.
COMMUNITIES AND INSTITUTIONS – TAMIL NADU
Sisters from the community at Cantonment rendered a Rice bag, dhal and ingredients to 65 daily wage earners in Sengulam and 150 Slum dwellers in Yagapudayanpatti. The sisters and staff from St. Joseph’s Anglo Indian Girls Hr. Sec. School and Nursery school adept their relief service by providing a rice bag and a package of grocery to 280 construction workers and 180 slum dwellers at Narayanapuram and Mekkudi.
The Sisters of Vellore, and the staff of Holy Cross Matric Higher Secondary School extended their helping hand to the refugees of Pooncholai Nagar, Arappakkam and Nanthiyalam with rice, vegetables and other food essentials. They were generous to avail the school ground to the local farmers and vegetable vendors to sell the produce from their field
The Sisters at Golden Rock extended their timely assistance to 41 deserving families at Malaiyadivaram, M.K Kottai, ponneripuram and Annanagar in providiing raw food materials and vegetables, 131 families of the students and workers of our campus with food materials and 4 families of the with Rs.1000/- each. The sisters from Holy Cross Girl’s Primary and Higher Secondary School supplied raw food materials to 28 families in their locality.
The Sisters in Palani brought ray of hope to 325 families who are daily wage labourers, comprising of six deserving substations of their parish by giving them food essentials. To dispel fear and anxiety of COVID -19, the Sisters of Namakkal offered telephone counselling to the people, provided raw food items to 35 families in the parish and 10 families of Refugees with food essentials such as rice, dhal, oil, vegetables and Rs.500/- each.
The Sisters and staff from Butterworth community and R.C. Middle School partnered with the Jesuits of St. Joseph’s College Higher Secondary School and distributed rice, ingredients to 468 Refugee families in Kottapattu. The Sisters from Vadugarpet community identified 150 poor, widows and orphans in their parish and supported them with rice, dhal and other ingredients.
102 families in Suraikaipatti and North Street were provided with vegetables by the sisters of Oliyamangalam and helped 10 deserving families with rice and dhal. In collaboration with the Parish the sisters of Viralimalai distributed rice and groceries to 70 underprivileged families. Holy Cross Matric Higher Secondary School, Oddanachatram assisted 15 families with groceries, rendered a commendable service to the staff and non-governmental employees of the school with food essentials and ration.
In Permbur community the sisters extended their service to their co-workers, inmates and the people around with basic provisions. Along with the Parish of Antoniyarpuram the sisters distributed 50 bags of rice and dhal and stitched 50 masks and distributed to the people. The Provincialate, Novitiate and Shanthivilla communities joined hands with St. Fatima Parish, Puthur and contributed to 125 families with 5 Kgs of rice each. Sisters from Amaithinilayam responded to the needs of 60 families in Saveriar BCC with rice and ingredients.
The Nazareth (Fort) community has extended their support to 50 families in Anna Nagar, Keeranur with 25 kgs of rice, ingredients and Rs. 500/- each. Holy Cross Girl’s Higher Secondary School had plunged into rescue with rice, dhal, oil and biscuits to 150 Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in Irumpoothipatti and Kulithalai, food materials for 25 families of stone cutters from Malapatti and 250 poor students of the school whose parents are single, handicapped and orphans. Holy Cross College has supplied food materials to 300 deserving management staff and students who are pure or semi orphans and has launched out “HCC WARM LINE for students – COVID -19” with 40 professionals to offer telephone counselling for students who are on the lookout for mental health support. They are also getting ready with 500 mask, hand gloves, sanitizer and bleaching powder to reach out to five villages. Holy Cross College of Education has contributed Rs.25, 000/- towards helping the people in lepers colony
The Corona pandemic has instilled fear and uncertainty in the hearts and minds of everyone in the world. It has questioned the very existence of the common folk like daily-wagers, migrants, refugees, slum dwellers to name a few. And finally it has taught us not only to fold our hands in prayer but also to extend our hands to support one another. Let every step we take be of witness to our joyful living.
Sr.Amutha, Province of Trichy