by BISMumbai Correspondent

The Don Bosco Development Society [DBDS] Mumbai, the Mumbai Salesians' Province and Development Office has actively involved itself in the lives of indigenous peoples, in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, since its inception in 2001. It has worked with the most marginalised communities, addressing various issues related to women, children, livelihood, human rights and environment. Ever since the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown has been effected, the DBDS has through its generous donor-benefactors reached out to a significant number of vulnerable deprived across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara and in the rural hinterlands of Ahmednagar.

Continuing its committed and determined outreach programme in these times of peril, DBDS with financial support from the Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) is reaching out to 12,500 indigenous peoples in the Karjat and Pen Talukas of the Raigad District in Maharashtra. A 01-month food, toiletries and hygiene ration kit each, is to be disbursed to these families dwelling in the hilly terrain and earning their livelihood as daily-wage earners. Father Anthony Santarita with his team of staff and volunteers distributed 500 kits at Don Bosco Karjat, in Phase 01 of the targeted outreach to 12, 500..

Likewise, in Nashik City, the DBDS through a large-hearted donation of 35, 732 semi-cooked all-purpose flour wraps, from General Mills Company, organised a speedy 01-day distribution. This was handled by Father Peter D'Souza at St. Anne's Cathedral Parish Nashik Road, with the blessings of Bishop Lourdes Daniel of the Nashik Diocese.

Father Rolvin D'mello Executive Director DBDS Mumbai coordinated the project outreach from Mumbai. Expressing his sincere gratitude and appreciation towards the donors, volunteers and staff who implemented the outreach in both Raigad District and in Nashik City, he said, "thank to both MGL and General Mills, because of whom DBDS could coordinate this COVID-19 lockdown relief outreach. In these distressing times, I appreciate the staff, and volunteers who willingly participated in ensuring that the provision-hygiene kits were distributed to the most poor and needy."