Life during the pandemic has been anything but certain. Each day brings forth a new challenge. Having created a routine for myself of going to the school office to attend to the business of administration, I have been meeting parents (with all safety measures) who share their struggles with the loss of a job or pay reduction or loss of loved one, the list goes on. What moved me most was the sensitivity of this Catholic community here in Vasai so closely knit together that they feel the pain of their neighbors.
It was just like any other day. Mundane files on my desk consumed time as I heard someone talking in the corridor. Lifting my eyes from the file, I saw the parent of one of our students of grade VIII standing at the entrance of the office wanting to have a word with me. What he said left me in tears.
Having lost his job, the family had nothing to eat and live by. Numbed by his pain, instinctively, I offered him some support, and being part of the entire conversation, the office staff, Mrs. Nita, contributed with some groceries. Knowing the parent to be genuine in his struggle, one of our staff, Mrs. Golda, approached the priest of her parish, Rev. Raymond Rumoa, who was distributing provisions to the needy. A benefactor of the parish had contributed a good sum of money to help the poor and needy. When I contacted Fr. Raymond to help our student’s family, he offered more than what I asked for. He sent 20 bags of provisions, each bag being sufficient to support a family of four for a fortnight. The staff and sisters of Nazareth School, Vasai had already contributed a sum of Rs. 60,000/- to support those in need.
Days prior to this, Sarel Fernandes, a staff of Sanjeevani, the special school, approached me with a bag containing provisions and medicines to be given to Aditya Singh, a special child who had lost his maternal grandparents due to COVID 19. She brought this without being asked as she felt that his widowed mother would need support to care for Aditya. I was deeply touched by her thoughtfulness. We came to know later that Aditya’s mother too is infected with the virus. With none to care for him, we are finding ways and means of meeting his medical needs. Hearing the plight of Aditya’s mother, Mona Andrade, a staff of High School offered financial help to buy medicines for Aditya who suffers from severe epilepsy.
The pandemic is scary but moments such as these make me believe in the love that humanity continues to profess. The state of Maharashtra has been the most affected by COVID-19 in the country as of now. Many families of our students have felt its impact either physically, or mentally or financially. The struggle is ours as much as it is the struggle of the families of our students. We pray that all shall be well … all shall be well and all shall be well by the Grace of God.
Elizabeth Jaya Rani, SCN