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Shillong Salesians COVID-19 Relief Aids Vulnerable Needy in NorthEast India
By INS Correspondent & Father P. A. James
Shillong, May. 9. The Salesians of St. John Paul II Province [INS] are bringing COVID-19 relief aid to the most needy and vulnerable people in the towns and villages of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and some areas of Assam (Silchar) in the North Eastern region of India.
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Procuring varied items like rice, dal, potatoes, sugar, etc. along with protective masks and other much needed materials, in bulk, these were distributed among the most affected and the poorest. Many village leaders and volunteers joined hands with the staff and the Salesians of Don Bosco alongwith the nuns in reaching out to the neediest.

Some of the masks were locally made, while some were donated by volunteers and well-wishers. Daily meals were also provided to the homeless. The main target in this COVID-19 fight was: supplying food and essential materials, helping with hygiene and sanitation, creating awareness, instructing leaders and the people concerned about the methods of containment and preventive measures. Another sigificant aspect was the attending to the spiritual needs, bringing  consolation and peace by strengthening their faith during these trying times. The Don Bosco Media Network an arm of the province social communication department provided live telecasts of the Holy Mass and liturgical celebrations on a daily basis, making the Holy Week and Easter Liturgical celebrations accessible to homebound people during the lockdown. Relayed in English and in the local languages,the entire telecast was manned by Father Michael Makri from Don Bosco Youth Centre in Shillong, Father Joby Joseph from St. Anthony's College, Father Joseph Pulinthanath from Peace Centre Agartala and a few others.  

The Province also donated to the Meghalaya Chief Minister's Relief Fund through St. Anthony's College and Assam Chief Minister's Relief Fund through Don Bosco Silchar.

One of the Salesians working in Shillong says, ''Even though our region was not affected in the early days, we were somewhat prepared through the foresight and initiatives of our confreres under the leadership of Father James Thyrniang-Provincial Economer, and the leaders of our communities, especially the Province Development Office (BIDS) under the able leadership of Father Genesius Wan�iang.''

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