Covid 19 has hit the world in all aspects. Every country had its peak at different times of the year. India had the second wave recently and was at its peak in May 2021 and they had on average of 400,000 cases daily during the peak. The virus has been affecting the people in different ways physically, mentally and financially. The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul based in the south and the north of India had a challenge on their hands. The Sisters in the south opened their doors to anyone and everyone they could help. The Sisters in the north needed some funds to buy a ventilator to help the patients.
In the town of Manmad, Maharashtra, the Sisters converted the HIV children’s home into a Covid treatment centre with 80 beds. They have been on duty day and night. Due to lack of oxygen, the Sisters were not able to admit and look after the severely affected patients. While looking after the patients, the Sisters also contracted the virus and had to focus on themselves in order to carry on with their caring services to the people. They also needed money to buy oxygen tanks, ventilators and medication. The Sisters were also helping the poor people who had lost loved ones and were struggling to survive. Due to the lockdown, they were also providing food parcels for people in the slum areas, immigrants and the those in the transgender community.
Sr Ellen, after being in touch with Sr Rose, in India, put out an appeal to see if we could support them financially so they can carry on the good work. The response has been overwhelming and heart felt. We have received great support from the generous donors – Daughters of Charity in GB and Australia, parishioners, St Joseph’s Service in Scotland and also the parishes around Midlothian. A raffle was organised to raise funds too. Stephen Martin who is a trustee at St Josephs, has raised over £4,600.00 by cycling from John O’Groats to Lands’ End to support the appeal.
So far we have sent £10,000 to help the Sisters in the south and £5,000 to the Sisters in the north to help them buy the ventilator. We are still receiving more donations and hopefully will be able to send another lump sum to the Sisters. Thank you to everyone for the support to gather funds to help the Sisters in India at this very difficult time.