The Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Integrated Development Association (AIDA), the planning and development office of the Salesians of Don Bosco, brought relief to over 2020 households in 30 colonies of Dimapur over the course of the nationwide lockdown.
It was able to distribute over 15 metric tons of rice, two tons of dal, potatoes, onion, cooking oil, salt and soap, to families that had been badly affected by the lockdown, a press release informed.
Fr TT Joseph SDB, The Deputy Director of AIDA Don Bosco, who has been supervising the emergency COVID – 19 relief works, was interviewed by Anthony Christudoss, chief librarian and Director of Computer Training Centre of Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur.
During the interview, Fr Joseph revealed that AIDA was able to procure 10 metric tons of rice from the FCI with the approval of the Deputy Commissioner. The rest were sourced from shops in Dimapur town. Everyday two vehicles and about eight staff were assigned to get the emergency food packets reach to the colonies, he said.
Since the distribution was carried out in coordination with all the six Don Bosco institutions in Dimapur after the needy families and persons were identified, it was not a major problem, he said. “However, we did face bigger crowds than expected, seeking for help. We had to pacify many and send them away,’ the Director added.
Further, Fr Joseph observed that food packages and relief works alone cannot help people in the long run, and that people need to work and earn their daily livelihood. He viewed that moving forward; it is a time to invest in hospitals and health centers. Connectivity, health and education are the life-lines for any state, he added. He also emphasized on the need for all to be educated for the ‘physical distancing,’ and stated that it is time to be united to improve the situation.