CoronaCare Bengaluru is the name of the joint COIVD intervention by leading Christian Non-Governmental Organizations in Bengaluru. They are HOPE, BREADS, ECHO, AIFO GOOD QUEST FOUNDATION, and ORIONE SEVA. The Claretians from Macau are also part of the team. We share our ideas and resources to reach out more effectively together. We work together effectively through our networking capacity with other international and national agencies.
HOPE is the social initiative of the Claretians of Bangalore Province. Breads is the social wing of the Saletians of Don Bosco. ECHO is the program of the Norbertine Fathers. ORIONE SEVA is the social enterprise of the Servants of Divine Providence. AIFO is an Italian-origin society working for the welfare of persons with disabilities and disasters. GOOD QUEST FOUNDATION is a youth initiative of professionals. We have come together to create the synergy required to meet the challenges of COVID 19. We plan and execute various programs together by sharing our resources while there are separate initiatives of each organisation as well.
Our major intervention now for COVID is our Food at Doorstep program. This is the support for the COVID-affected families who are unable to manage themselves. Some are poor to have their food and others are unable to cook due to the sick person at home. Some are in total isolation unable to move out to get the resources. We started this program of food delivery on the 25th of April and we will complete the first 14 day supply of food on the 8th of May – today.
We started with 30 persons and now we are reaching out to over 1000 persons.
CoronaCare initiative partner Good Quest Foundation has been able to mobilise the required volunteers through their network. Most of them are professionals and students. While the members of Good Quest provide completely voluntary service to coordinate and lead the program, those on the ground for distribution are provided their petrol money. They will of course get a certificate at the end. To our surprise, many lady volunteers also came forward to be part of this risky work.
We started with one Kitchen in R T Nagar in Bangalore East. When its capacity to cook and deliver food was exhausted with 300 food packets, we opened a second one in Jalahalli area. Mr Tomy and Bangalore Helpdesk members came forward to coordinate with a full set up of kitchen and delivery system in Bangalore North. Now they cater to about 300 persons daily.
Our third Kitchen came up in Bangalore South in Jayanagar which delivers 60 packets daily. The Ben Burgerhome and ORCAS for the local coordination and delivery. The fourth one was started to cover Indira Nagar and Whitefield areas with a special focus for those affected in the slum areas. The local workers came together to cook and take the food home for more than 300 persons.
Apart from families, our volunteers have reached out also to the ambulance drivers who wait for endless hours at the crematorium. In some places the volunteers have given away their own personal food packets to the beggars on the road.
Thus in two weeks, we have moved from 30 to 1000 covering all areas of Bangalore networking with various organisations and voluntary groups. Sadly, we are still not able to meet all the requests for support that are coming in. Thus we plan to upgrade the program to reach more people.
Apart from the food packets, CoronaCare Bengaluru has reached out with Survival Kits to the most affected groups. About 100 leprosy-affected families settled in colonies were provided 1000 rupees worth dry ration Kits. Fifty-five families with persons with disabilities connected to ProVision India were also provided the Kits. Many more groups such as most vulnerable groups are planned to be reached out in the coming days.
CoronaCare has opened a food supply program in Macau covering about 200 persons who are mostly migrants. The Claretians there are collaborating with the Archdiocese of Macau for this program.
Some of the beneficiaries were very overwhelmed about our support: ”we enjoyed the lunch and it’s very obvious that there is a lot of love that has gone into preparing this. Thank you so much for making it easy for us during this very difficult time. As shared with you all my 3 kids(4, 6, and 8), an aunt, and I are positive and it has been a huge task for my wife to run all the errands. Thank you so much again, we will appreciate this forever. Please thank your team for us.” wrote Mr Richard.
Mother’s Meal program was an initiative to provide sustainable support to families in distress during COVID times. It has provided support with Mother’s Meal Kits worth 500 rupees to over 3000 families every month since last August covering every State in India. It provides support to families also in Nepal, China, Uganda, and South Sudan. Mother’s Meal will be initiated in Ethiopia from this Month with the support of the Macau team of Claretians. In Macau, Mother’s Meal program has been supporting over 60 families every month since last August. We collaborated with DMCI to reach this program to 1400 palliative care in Kerala for six months. Companies like FNF, Power Grid Corporation, Muthoot Foundation, and Manappuram were the main supporters of this intervention in India.
We are now collaborating with BAPIO (British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) to provide food security for 1000 families of the Tribal in Wayanad district of Kerala for the COVID-affected families. They will also provide medical consultation for the hospitals in need.
Our latest effort is to set up a COVID CARE CENTRE in Bangalore for those who require primary care since hospital beds have become very difficult to be got. We plan this in collaboration with NITI AAYOG of the Indian Government that coordinates various civil society initiatives for COVID. BREADS has made available the Don Bosco Skill Mission building that has a 50-bed capacity. The process is on with the government. This will provide care to the entry-level patients from COVID and reduce the load from the main hospitals.
We are waiting for the 11 Oxygen Concentrators provided to us from KARMODAYA, an organisation based in California, US mostly of people of Indian Origin. We have signed an MOU with them to provide us medical support for the care of the COVID affected and other support systems. Karmodaya would also help us with the COVID CARE CENTRE. BREADS too is expecting a supply of Oxygen Concentrators. Good Quest is ready with a plan to ensure reaching them to the families in need and providing ongoing care.
CoronaCare Bengaluru team had in COVID first wave done immense amount of work. It provided more than 100,000 masks to over six countries including from India to China in the initial days. We provided Survival Kits to over 26,000 during the lockdown in Bangalore covering those with leprosy, HIV, disabilities, and the refugees and migrants. We covered about 1500 tribal families in the deep forests of Karnataka. We supplied 40,000 cooked food packets.
“Humanity suffering anywhere is my suffering too. My connection with God inspires me to respond to anyone in need with all my strength. Since the tsunami in 2004, we have responded to save lives in every human tragedy of our lifetime. Bangalore Cares for Nepal and Bangalore Cares for Kerala and now CoronaCare Bangalore is our efforts to be agents of compassion in the way of Jesus.”
Fr George Kannanthanam, Founder, Hope Society.
Anyone wanting to contribute to this effort can contact us for volunteering as well as financial support.