by BISMumbai Correspondent

The Mumbai Salesians at Don Bosco Youth Centre Koregaon Road Pune are discovering newer forms of being relevant as Salesians, even as the COVID-19 chaos continues unabated. As news streams show that the COVID-19 cases doubling rate in Pune is 7.4 days [as per data from the Maharashtra Health Department's analysis report dated 12 May], higher than India's rate of 10.8 days or Maharashtra’s 9.1 days, the Salesians at DBYC are finding ways to 'keep busy, keep cheerful', following Don Bosco's dictum.

With the pandemic lockdown in place, amidst prayer and quality self-time, the DBYC has undertaken COVID-19 relief outreach in collaboration with the local police, to provide food-ration kits to the most poor needy and stranded migrants. The generous contribution/supplies provided by benefactor-donors, has been disbursed in a phased manner to 250 families, with Salesians, volunteers and local civic administration officials. Similarly, General Mills India Pvt. Ltd. donated cookie-cakes and nutri-biscuits have been handed over to pavement-dwellers and the stranded on the city's streets, specifically in the Koregaon Park area.

Other than the social outreach, a few innovative tasks are being done with former MumbaiSalesians' provincial and canonist, Father Michael Fernandes having wrapped up a recording on 'Marriage & Canon Law' soon to be telecast over the Sacred Heart Parish Yerwada YouTube channel, as part of its Family Catechesis Series. Father Briston Britto-Director Salesian Catechetical Centre is working on Faith-Formation sessions as part of the same Family Catechesis Series, soon to be online. Father Richard D'silva is in the process of preparing a catechesis on the Sacraments in Marathi, as part of the Family Catechesis Series.

In the meanwhile, every type of support, assistance and aid is provided to various other individuals or families or groups of distressed people, as the situation demands. The Salesians at DBYC believe in reaching out without much noise telecasting their outreach, but all the same are making a worthwhile difference in the lives of people and youth, in these challenging times.