Jesuit Missions 11 Edge Hill ,
SW19 4LR Wimbledon,

Feeding the Hungry in North Bengal

  • 5 May 2020

The Jesuits at North Bengal St Xavier’s College are reaching out to many who have lost their livelihoods and are going hungry in their local area.

Hunger in North Bengal

They tell us that one morning a widow came to their residence with three of her children, aged 4 to 8 yrs, begging for some food as they had not eaten for almost three days.  The six Jesuits at the college swung into action, and decided to go out to nearby villages to help.  In the absence of staff and other workers, they had to most of the purchasing and packaging of food supplies, with permission from the local authorities.

The community swings into action

Fr Lalit Tirkey SJ, the principal of the College, appealed to their own staff and students to support their relief efforts.  He said, “Thankfully, people are coming forward with small contributions and we have been able to supply food grains to more than 600 households.”

The community face the frustration of politics impacting the distribution of food, and the decisions made affecting who gets what and how much.  While they are not biased in their food distribution, the Jesuits have faced hurdles by not getting patronage of the politicians.  They are trying to navigate the delicate political situation locally.

There is more work to be done

Our partners estimate that about 3 million migrant workers (closed to 2 hundred thousand tea workers from closed tea gardens) have lost their income.  They anticipate a massive surge in hungry people without work and money, not to mention the fear that they may be carriers of the virus.

As they try to conduct online classes for the students who have the means to access them, the Jesuit community are also keeping their eyes peeled for most needy so they can reach out to them.

You can donate so support the Darjeeling Jesuit’s vital work here