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Care Wave of Kolkata Salesians to Counter Pandemic Wave


By Johny Nedungatt SDB
Doctor and medical staff attending to the sick
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Kolkata, May. 22. The Salesians in Kolkata, to counter the force of the second wave of the pandemic, have initiated free diagnosis with medication for the symptomatic poor and needy, RT-PCR tests, quarantine facilities, online free service by nearly 100 counsellors, weekly live adoration to pray for India, and daily online Mass.
Father Jijo John, the province economer with the help of Father Nirmal Toppo and Father Gilbert Choondal, have initiated at Nitika Don Bosco a free medical check-up and free medication for the poor and needy. The Province has launched a free COVID consultation and medication facility for the needy at the same venue. The service also includes a facility with helpline numbers, consultation, medication, diagnosis with a blood test and RT-PCR test, nutrition and home-delivery arrangements with no cost. The service started on May 18 and is available throughout the day.

The initiative aims to offer all possible home care assistance to the patients in the slums of Tangra, Kolkata. The people can use the helpline to avail medical instruction, an appointment with the doctor and other information on medication and nutrition. Currently, the doctors meet the patients from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. and maybe extended as the need arises. The helpline facility is available for medical consultation from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

''The pandemic must not hurt the poor, who already are at war against poverty and lack of proper education. Thousands of children have benefited from the educational and nutritional programmes from Nitika Don Bosco,'' said Father Jijo, Coordinator of the COVID Home-care programme.

Dr Harsh, a Cluny nun and an FC nun (Daughter of the Cross) with the local staff, have volunteered to help. Meanwhile, Don Bosco Park Circus has facilitated an RT PCR test at a nominal rate in a tie-up with a clinic. They are also planning to provide school facilities for quarantine with the help of Don Bosco Alumni. Salesian Cooperators of Kristu Jyoti College Unit have come forward financially to help some of the initiatives of Nitika Don Bosco.

Nitika Don Bosco also has been active in promoting the physical, mental, and spiritual formation of the people all over India in various ways since April. Father Gilbert has initiated a Live Adoration to pray for India. He also collected and made available to the public data of 100 online counsellors for free counselling round the clock in more than 20 languages.
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