Presented by Francois Prouteau
The ordeal of the coronavirus is raging all over the world and reminds us of our human fragility.
More than 50% of the population is subject to confinement, but under very different conditions depending on the region of the globe. Within countries, they are also very different, and they were already very precarious before for certain populations, which does not help their situation, whether here in France or elsewhere.
I chose tonight to take you to India. As here, confinement is mandatory for the entire population. In many metropolises like Bombay, the streets are deserted. But I want to take you tonight to South India, to Rajagopalaperi, South West of Madras. I have news over there of Father Bosco’s mission supported by the dhiya association in France, a partner of Fondacio. As here in Angers in France and in many countries, Father Bosco was alone yesterday in his church for the celebration of Palm Sunday Mass.
The mission of Father Bosco and Dhiya affects an extremely poor environment. The children live with their families in concrete “shelters” of 10m2 without water, without furniture. They sleep on the cement screed that covers the ground. In such living conditions, it is difficult for them to stay locked up in their homes. The temperature at the moment is 35° in the shade, and it will soon rise to 40°, forcing people to get some fresh air. To respect social distancing, villagers sit on their doorsteps. In addition, they are forced to go out to fetch their water from the municipal tap or go to the public toilets.
Lacking education, they do not fully understand the danger of contamination for themselves or their loved ones. In order for the inhabitants to stay away from each other and stay with their families, public transport has been stopped: there are no more coaches, trains… thus limiting travel.
As everywhere in the world where confinement is decreed, schools are closed for the moment until April 21. Only grocery stores, banks and pharmacies remain open. They close every day at 2:30 a.m.
Some foodstuffs are starting to run out. The inhabitants move towards greater poverty or hunger.
In his exceptional March 27 blessing, Pope Francis prayed for all the poor who no longer have work. This is the case of the parents of Dhiya’s children.
Their situation was already very precarious, it didn’t take more than a “grain of sand” or, even smaller, an “invisible virus” to destabilize it completely: Not working means not eating.
We are thinking this evening particularly of them, over there, as of all those who, here in France, live in very precarious conditions, making the weight of the pandemic even more unbearable. We carry them in our hearts and in our prayers.
Since the confinement the poorest in India have lost their meager resources overnight. In this country, because of the health crisis, millions of people are suffering from hunger.
The associations Dhiya and Fondacio for France, ARECT for India, organized food distributions in Rajagopalaperi, in Tamil Nadu, where they already ensure an educational action, to avoid this catastrophe in the village.
The second distribution took place on May 4, 2020. Watch the video below!