“Dioceses all over India are rushing to respond to the tragedy of the poor, who suffer most from the quarantine imposed across the country to contain the coronavirus infection”, declares Msgr. Felix Machado, archbishop of Vasai and secretary general of the Indian Episcopal Conference (CBCI), speaking to AsiaNews. “Over the years, the intensive and extensive network of our small christian communities are serving people. Our Unit leaders all over India, know the details of the people living in their zones, and no one is excluded”.
The fragile conditions of the poor are causing a humanitarian crisis. The blockade of the country has left millions of people unemployed in the big cities, mostly economic migrants who flocked to cities from rural areas in search of better conditions. The little they earn they send home to families left behind in the villages. Migrants like Goutam Lal Meena, who earns 400 rupees a day in Gujarat (4.8 euros). Having lost his job, and given the interrupted transport throughout the territory, he returned home on foot, covering about 300 km. Social media, TV channels and newspapers are full of these stories of despair, such as that of a group of textile workers who traveled 500 km from Rahtak (in Haryana) to Kanpur (in Uttar Pradesh).
In light of this human tragedy, “Our priests and churches help every person who knocks on our door. Nobody will be left hungry. The Church is for everyone, be they a refuge, a Dalits or tribals without discrimination”. The article describes the various initiatives that the Church has put in place to help the poor and marginalized people, who were already living in a vulnerable situation. Providing food, medical assistance, and cash-assistance for rental payment for those who cannot afford it are some examples.
Photo: Vatican News