Coronavirus Outbreak: Over a lack food parcels supplied by National Council of YMCAs of India across country

India, much like the rest of the world, has seen an outpouring of charity and the spirit of volunteerism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And the YMCAs have been among the organisations to come forward with help for those in need

FP Staff April 22, 2020 12:36:02 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Over a lack food parcels supplied by National Council of YMCAs of India across country

The National Council of Young Mens Christian Associations (YMCAs) of India on Wednesday announced that its volunteers have distributed over a lakh food parcels to those in need over the past month. India, much like the rest of the world, has seen an outpouring of charity and the spirit of volunteerism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And the YMCAs have been among the organisations to come forward with help for those in need.

The following is the text of the press release issued by the National Council of YMCAs in India:

Various YMCAs spread across India have distributed a lakh of food packets to those in need during the COVID-19 lockdown over the past month. On Wednesday morning, the number of packets crossed the six-figure mark. Members, staff and volunteers of YMCAs across the country have been providing food, household provisions, safety kits, and other help to compatriots in need during this past month in collaboration with district and local officials in their respective areas.

Coronavirus Outbreak Over a lack food parcels supplied by National Council of YMCAs of India across country

Food packets being distributed at Vellore. Image provided by the National Council of YMCAs of India

The efforts of staff and volunteers who have cooked, packed and distributed food from several YMCAs have been funded by the National Council of YMCAs of India under the leadership of the national resident, Justice JB Koshy, as well as locally by members of the different YMCAs. Each YMCA is a voluntary association of Christians, with associates from different religions. 'Our YMCAs work closely with the local community in their normal work on vocational education, sports, and cultural activities. So it is only natural that, in such a time of national crisis, we should lend a hand to the less privileged members of our communities,' said Bertram Devadas, the national general secretary of the YMCAs in India.

The work has indeed covered large parts of the country. The National YMCA Projects distributed provision kits, the Kurnool YMCA distributed food packets daily at a shelter for migrant labour, daily wage workers and pavement-dwellers, while in Uttarakhand, the Bhimtal YMCA Youth Centre distributed provisions to 50 families. The YMCA Marthandam Project distributed COVID-19 safety kits to 500 poor and needy families across Kanyakumari district.

The YMCA Health and Healthy Living Centre Project at Vellore distributed food to migrant workers and to poor patients at the Christian Medical College Vellore, working through the Vellore Corporation, and the YMCA Alwaye Camp Centre Project has distributed 150 food packets every day, working in tandem with the local police. Relief was provided to poor tribal people near the National YMCA Project, Vythiri. The YMCA Boys Division, Tirupattur Project, distributed packages of rice, daal, cooking oil, and other provisions to house maids, single parents, older persons living alone, street vendors, physically challenged persons, and people living in huts on the outskirts of Tirupattur.

The YMCA multi-sports complex Project at Faridabad, distributed food packets through the duty officer designated by the District Collector and directly to a shelter home. The staff and volunteers also directly reached out to the homeless. Packages containing five kg wheat flour, two kg rice, one litre oil, pulses, sugar, salt, and biscuits were distributed to families that used to be employed as wage labour, rickshaw-pullers, and domestic workers.

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