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Don Bosco Relief Services Chennai Alleviates COVID Struggles of Poor


By MATTHEWS Dominic
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Chennai, May. 22. Don Bosco Relief Services (DBRS) - SURABI, of the Salesian Province of Chennai, has stepped into the lives of the poor to alleviate their struggles against the pandemic and the subsequent poverty. DBRS has supported the needy with a ration kit comprising rice, pulses, oil, rava, spices, bathing and washing soaps, Vitamin C and Zinc tablets, 500 gms of health mix and a thermometer. The beneficiaries are 500 beach vendors in Chennai, 27 transgenders, 43 senior citizens in Washermanpet, 23 physically challenged and seven domestic workers with the help of Don Bosco Vazhikatti, Permabur.
The second wave of the pandemic, spreading more rapidly than the first, has left them vulnerable to pay a high price. With the state registering more than 30,000 cases on a single day, the demand for care centres is on the increase. DBRS addressed the issue by setting up a COVID-19 care centre for the rural village households in Arakonam block, Ranipet District. The Girls Hostel at Don Bosco Agriculture College, Sagayathottam, accommodates 80 patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 has affected people with a range of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Hence, DBRS-SURABI and Niraivagam have created a free helpline for counselling 24/7 in 5 major languages of Tamil, English, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. The counsellors spend 30 minutes to an hour for each person. About 100 people were provided with mental health and psychosocial support by Niraivagam experts.

The COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Greater Chennai Corporation. The north region with its slums is more prone to the disease. Beatitudes and DB Young at Risk Ministry (YaR) communities have created an awareness campaign on the streets of Vyasarpadi and Kannagi Nagar with masks, flyers informing people to vaccinate and use protective measures against COVID-19.

DBRS-SURABI is grateful to Don Bosco, Jugendhilfe WeltWeit, Switzerland and Ms Asuntha Dorothy Charles, Afghanistan, for the help of the poor and the deserving people in North Tamil Nadu.

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