by Father Mayank Parmar for BISMumbai

DRISTI Don Bosco has been consistently providing COVID-19 relief aid in the villages of Kapadvanj Taluka in Kheda District of Gujarat. In Phase I, DRISTI had distributed relief provisions to the identified needy after a survey by the DRISTI Staff. In Phase II, the beneficiaries were identified by the leaders of the village alongwith the Sarpanch. After the most needy poor were identified by the Sarpanch with the other village leaders, DRISTI -mentored SHG stakeholders verified the identified beneficiaries.

The final list was made up of 220 families that includes more than 1,100 people from 30 villages in Kapadvanj Taluka. Provision kits with 3kg rice, 500gm tuverdal, 2kg wheat flour, 500gm moongdal, 500gm cooking oil, 2kg sugar, 1pkt tea, 1pkt chili powder, 1pkt turmeric powder, 1pkt salt, 1 Dettol soap, 4washing soaps, 1pkt garam masala - was prepared in a day by Fathers Dinesh Vasava, Ashwin Macwan, Mayank Parmar, Don Bosco Kapadvanj youth volunteers and DRISTI staff. The kit was distributed over 03 days, from 26 April-28 April in all 30 villages.

People struggling to procure food-rations during these lockdown days appreciated DRISTI. The noble gesture of sponsoring wheat flour by 02 youth from the village, was very satisfying. As the villagers themselves are now coming forward to sponsor for the lesser privileged families, DRISTI has planned Phase III with sponsors from SHGs, village leaders, and other donor-benefactors involving them in caring-sharing for their own people.

Karamsad Medical Hospital approached Don Bosco Kapadvanj to distribute food-ration kits to stranded migrants in Antroli village of Kapadvanj Taluka. Bhavinbhai, Karamsad Medical Hospital representative contacted Father Ashwin Macwan, who in turn requested the involvement of DRISTI to help provide food-ration kits to 19 migrant families, totalling 85 people. The ration kit was made up of 2kg wheat flour, 1 bathing soap, oil, 500gm moongdal, 500gm chanadal, 1kg rice, 500gm jaggery, 50gm mustard, 50gm turmeric, 50gm chilli powder, 60gm ajmo and 50gm fennel. These were distributed on 24 April in the presence of Antroli Sarpanch Pratapbhai , DRISTI representative Narendrabhai and KMHrepresentatives Bhavinbhai and Dipakbhai.

DRISTI is utilising its networking database to coordinate and collaborate with like minded NGOs to reach out to the suffering poor during the COVID-19 and hopes to continue this networking even after the lockdown eases.