by Father Blany Pinto for BISMumbai

The Salesians of Don Bosco at Lonavla are trying their best to take COVID-19 relief aid to those unreached, in these chaotically distressing times. Having adopted 03 villages, and having provided food-ration sustenance, every week to another 03 villages, Don Bosco Lonavla now extends its outreach to other deprived villages in Lonavla and Khandala.

Weekly food distribution to 186 families in 06 villages, notwithstanding, Sonali Shelke and Ravi Shelke, Don Bosco Lonavla social outreach staff, surveyed the other villages in/around Lonavla and Khandala, over the last week, discovering the deplorable deprivation of the villagers. A decision was arrived at, to distribute food-rations to these other villages too. The families were contacted and coupons handed out. Thanks to the large-hearted generosity of Father Roque Green-Parish Priest St. Anthony's Shivaji Nagar, who personally distributed the food packets with Father Simon D'Souza and pharmaceutical entrepreneur-cum-prayer group leader Punya Kumar - 07 families in Fanasrai Thakurwadi, 18 families in Vanuatu Thakurwadi, 12 families in Udhaywadi Thakurwadi, 25 families in Rajmachi Village - all situated 19 kms from the Khandala highway, were assisted.

A few other 30 tribal families in Sawantwadi and Pawana Dam in Lonavla were also given food packets. A day later food packets were also distributed to 75 families in Devghar gaon, 31 families in Karandoli gaon, and 88 families in Vaksai village. Unita Doulton with her team, apart from the generous financial support, ensure their physical presence at all the distribution sites each week. Thus, with generous supporters, social outreach staff, and committed resolve to make further inroads, the Salesians at Don Bosco Lonavla reach out to the most deprived during COVID-19.