COVID-19 Impact on Tribal People in Southern India
COVID-19 has worsened the life of tribal people in Katukapally, India. Our partners at the Loyola Integrated Tribal Development Society (LITDS), have been active for almost thirty years in supporting them. They have shared their worries about the impact of the pandemic on the communities they serve.
The pandemic has caused tribal people in India to suffer more than they already do. The country’s strict lockdown meant that they were not able to go for informal ‘coolie’ work as unskilled labourers. This has cut off an important source of income for many.
Their local weekly Friday market was closed down for about a month. This led to food shortages and many were really struggling to gather enough food to have full meals. LITDS tell us some of the people they work with were mixing rice with salt water for their meals.
In this difficult situation, Jesuit-run St. Patrick’s high school, Secunderabad, came forward to feed these hungry people. They have helped 508 families covering 11 gothi koya villages. Fr. Yesu Rathinam, Director of LITDS, said, “A little help with a little smile gives meaning to human life. This is what St. Patrick’s did a little help by being at the service of the poor.”
We at Jesuit Missions, and our partners at LITDS, thank Fr. Vatti Joji sj, Superior, Fr.Elango, Principal and all the members St. Patrick’s high school community for their generosity towards the tribal people of Katukapally.
Find out more about our programmes here.
Photo credit: LITDS