STORIES OF COURAGE AND COMPASSION
Gorai and Culvem are situated near the Arabian Sea, surrounded by greenery, fields and mountains; most of the residents are farmers and fisherfolk.
Covid-19 has impacted people’s social, psychological and mental health. The worst affected people are poor migrants, domestic workers, daily wage labourers who are jobless and dependent on the good will of others for their survival. In the midst of this crisis, the Holy Magi parish at Gorai-Culvem reached out to all through the SCCs, under the guidance of the Parish Priest, Fr Edward Jacinto, assisted by Fr John Pereira and Br Nelson Mathews, along with the Religious Sisters.
The SCC animators of the 15 SCC Zones (along with the SVP members) submitted a list of the poor families to the Parish Priest. Dry ration was distributed to 100 families of Gorai-Culvem. With the collaboration of the Gorai Machimar Society, the parish took another step forward to give ration to all families of Gorai fisherfolk and farmers. Through local leaders like the MLA and Corporator, ration was distributed to people of other faiths, tribals, migrants, widows, rickshaw drivers, etc.
Regular patrolling at the three entry points of Gorai and Culvem villages was carried out by volunteers from each SCC zone; 70-80 youth, women, men are patrolling 24x7 for the last three months since lockdown began. Their discipline and efforts have ensured that Gorai-Culvem is declared a ‘green zone’, despite being close to Mumbai city.
The most important aspect or rule of ‘social distancing’ is being strictly followed in all the villages. The parish had offered the entire church ground to sell fish and vegetables. SCC members have been supervising regularly to ensure the discipline of the vendors and the buyers.
The sale of fish and vegetables in the village could not provide for the daily needs of the vendors. Fr Edward requested Fr Mario Mendes, CSA Director, to help set up a market where the sale of fish and vegetables would help the vendors make ends meet. As a result, one tempo load of vegetables and fish was sent to Mumbai every day to help the people augment their income.
Regular meetings were organized through the police and BMC staff to discuss how to help people face the challenges. The grocery shop owners, medical stores, bakeries, milk sellers, etc. were requested not to increase the prices, but to sell at a reasonable price.
Fr Rocky Banz and the Health Promotion Trust (HPT) helped by giving soaps, sanitizers, and masks which were distributed to people.
Through parish loudspeakers, the Mass, Rosary, prayers, novena, spiritual guidance were given. Awareness was created through East Indian songs, composed and sung by each zone; prizes were distributed.
Dr Milind Kadam gave his dedicated service to our villages, while the CSA team, volunteers and people of goodwill gave constant motivational and spiritual guidance.
Fr Edward Jacinto Parish Priest Holy Magi, Gorai