Presented by François Prouteau
The ordeal of the coronavirus is raging around the world and reminds us of our human frailty.
More than 50% of the population suffers from containment but under very different conditions depending on the region of the world. Within countries, they are also very different, and they were already very precarious before for some populations, which does not help their situation, whether here in France or elsewhere.
I have chosen this evening to take you to India. As here, confinement is compulsory for the entire population. In many cities like Bombay, the streets are deserted. But I want to take you tonight to southern India, to Rajagopalaperi, southwest of Madras. I have news 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 the Palm Mass.
The mission of Father Bosco and Dhiya touches an extremely poor neighborhood. The children live with their families in concrete "shelters" of 10m2 without water or furniture. They sleep on the cement screed that covers the floor. In such living conditions, it is difficult for them to stay locked up at home. The temperature at the moment is 35°C in the shade, and it will soon rise to 40°C, forcing people to get some fresh air. To respect social distances, the villagers sit on their doorsteps. Moreover, they are forced to go outside to fetch their water from the municipal tap or go to the public toilets.
Lacking education, they do not fully appreciate the danger of contamination for themselves or their relatives. 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 buses, trains... thus limiting travel.
As everywhere in the world where confinement is decreed, schools are closed for the moment until April 21. Only food shops, banks and pharmacies remain open. They close every day at 2:30 pm.
Some foodstuffs are beginning to run out. The inhabitants are heading towards greater poverty or hunger.
In his exceptional blessing on March 27, Pope Francis has prié́ for all the poor who no longer have work. This is the case of the parents of the children of Dhiya.
Their situation was still very precarious, it did not take more than a "grain of sand" or, even smaller, an "invisible virus" to destabilize it totally: Not working means not feeding oneself.
Tonight we are thinking particularly of them, over there, as well 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 as we begin this Holy Week.
Since the confinement the poorest people in India have lost their little resources overnight. In that country, because of the health crisis, millions of people are suffering from hunger.
The associations Dhiya and Fondacio for France, ARECT for India, have organized food distributions in Rajagopalaperi, Tamil Nadu, where they are already carrying out an educational action, to avoid this disaster in the village.
The second distribution took place on 4 May 2020. Find the Video below !