The COVID 19 pandemic has increased informality in employment, leading to a decline in earnings for the majority of the workers and the consequent is increase of poverty.SURABI - DBRS (Don Bosco Relief Services) of the Salesian Province of Chennai stepped into the lives Covid 19 infected and affected families. It has been supporting the 600 families with dry ration kits comprising Rice 6kgs, Dal and pulses 2 kgs, Oil 1kg, Rava 1kg, Spices, Bathing and Washing soaps. A medical kit with Streamer, Vitamin C and Zinc tablets, 500 gms of Health Mix and a Thermometer. The beneficiaries are 500 Beach Vendors in Chennai – Beach, 27 Transgenders, 43 Senior Citizens in Washermanpet in Chennai, 23 Physically Challenged people and 7 domestic helpers with the help of Don Bosco Vazhikatti, Permabur.

    The second wave of the pandemic is severe and spreading more rapidly than the first and is leaving the vulnerable communities paying and particularly a steep price. With the state registering more than 30000 in a single day strike, 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.DBRS is grateful to the community for their collaboration.

    The devastating second wave of COVID 19 is being affecting the people with range of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, loneliness due to the pandemic and restriction with social life. Hence, DBRS SURABI along with Niraivagam created a free helpline for counselling help for 24/7 in 5 major languages such as Tamil, English, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi with trained counsellors.  The counsellors spend 30 minutes to one hour to each person. 100 people were provided with Mental Health & Psychosocial Support by Niraivagam experts.

    COVID 19 cases are on the rise in Greater Chennai Corporation. The North region is comprised of slums with a larger population is more prone to the disease. Beatitudes and DB Young at Risk Ministry (YaR) communities createdan awareness campaign in the streets of Vyasarpadi and Kannagi Nagar with masks, flyers for insisting people to get vaccine and healthy practices and protective measures against Covid 19. Flyers were also sent to all the communities of the province.

     SURABI DBRS is grateful to Don Bosco, Jugendhilfe WeltWeit, Switzerland and Ms. Asuntha Dorothy Charles, Afghanistan who were the back bone to help the poor and deserving people in North Tamil Nadu.

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    Dominic Matthews

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