With COVID19 laying bare global and societal inequalities, country lockdowns have posed a severe threat to livelihoods and food security for the poor. Several dioceses of the Church of South India (CSI) have pitched in to render various forms of assistance during the lockdown.
Among these efforts were the Dioceses of Krishna Godavari; Cochin; Medak; Karnataka Central; Coimbatore and Kanyakumari’s distribution of dry rations and provisions to vulnerable groups such as the homeless, rural farmers, sanitation workers, migrants and the transgender community. Besides providing food for tribal families, CSI College of Engineering in Ketti, under the auspices of the Coimbatore Diocese, designed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the district collection.
Madhya Kerala Diocese supplied vegetable kits, and some of its youth volunteers helped police and health teams in collecting details of interstate travellers to monitor for COVID19 symptoms. The Madurai-Ramnad Diocese donated medical masks and hand sanitisers, and the Christian Mission Hospital, under its auspices, handed over an isolation ward to the government authorities. In addition, the Kodackal Hospital under the auspices of the Malabar Diocese set apart an isolation ward for those who are under surveillance for COVID19.
The Kanyakumari Diocese had also handed over 243 beds including the ICU units of its diocesan hospital to the District Corona Prevention Team, as did Rayalaseema Diocese. The Union Mission Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Arogyavaram Medical Centre (AMC), which was the first sanatorium in South India, provided healthcare, readied medicine and equipment for respiratory problems, and created awareness of COVID19 preventive measures for the community.