COVID19 - At Orlem, help pours in … and out…
The current COVID-19 pandemic has left some of us wondering about our next steps to battle it. While some of us are comfortable in our homes, at the other end of the spectrum, we have seen how the pandemic has affected the daily wage earners, rickshaw drivers, gardeners, housemaids, drivers and the migrants who have nowhere to go.
The SCCs at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem, Malad West, were sensitive to the woes of these helpless persons, and came together to help the distressed, right from the beginning of the lockdown. The relief operations are being monitored by the Divine Mercy Cell of the parish.
SCCs have been providing food on an ongoing basis to the Parish Community Fridge. Donations in kind—atta, rice, oil, dal, soap, etc. poured in for distribution to the needy. One SCC organised breakfast for 100 poor people, while another provided rations to Akhil Manav Vikas Handicapped Blind Welfare. One SCC bought provisions for 61 transgenders, and thereafter repeatedly provided rations for the poor.
The parish school (St Anne) was one of the four schools in the Archdiocese offered as a shelter for migrants. SCCs offered the much needed cash to provide daily meals to the migrants, including those in the school. Money was given to migrants for their travel; masks and gloves were provided to those in need.
Right from the time the lockdown was announced, help started pouring in from the SCCs, which made it possible for the parish to give daily rations to rickshaw drivers, barbers, ragpickers, hotel boys, salon workers.
Some SCCs took the initiative of helping the local fishing community get large orders of fish, thus enabling them to earn their daily wages, while parishioners benefited as well! A parishioner engaged in teaching poor college students to make paper bags was glad that they were able to sell the paper bags and make money in these difficult times. The SCCs are reaching out to the elderly and senior citizens, helping them buy their medicines, provisions and also providing them with food through regular tiffin service.
In the midst of all the outreach activities, some SCCs organized online WhatsApp Housie games to keep the restless children and adults occupied, while others have daily virtual Rosary, thus strengthening the bonds of the SCCs.
As Orlem continues to reach out, we thank our Parish Councillors, Animators, our Parish Priest, Fr Michael Pinto and our Parish Clergy Team for the initiatives, encouragement and guidance in carrying out these relief programmes during these difficult times.
Michelle Pinto SCC Coordinator Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Orlem