A True Aloysian Spirit of Serving Others! MJES Donates Rs 20 Lakh Worth of Essentials to the Needy
A True Aloysian Spirit of Serving Others! Mangalore Jesuits Educational Society (MJES)/St Aloysius Institutions, Mangaluru Donates Rs 20 Lakh Worth of Essentials/Commodities to the Needy-the Migrant Workers, Low Wage Labourers, and Poor Families, during the time of Lockdown
Mangaluru: In the words of Pope Francis during Easter, where he said : May the Risen Christ, Who flung open the doors of the tomb. Open our hearts to the needs of the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, the poor, the unemployed, the marginalized, and all those who knock at our door in search of bread, refuge, and the recognition of their dignity. May you all have a blessed Easter”- and that’s exactly what the Mangalore Jesuits Educational Society (MJES)/St Aloysius College Administration is been doing since last week, distributing food grains and essential items to families of poor students of the institution, migrant workers, low wage labourers, and other poor families here to cope with the ongoing lockdown.
It’s nice to note that Aloysians are giving back to those in need from part of their wealth. St Aloysius Institution aims at their men and women (Aloysians) to serve others, and the efforts put in by Alumnus of St Aloysius Institution in helping out the society through their little contribution is praiseworthy, during this pandemic” (Ref: Once An Aloysian, Always An Aloysian! St Aloysius HS 1975 Batch ‘Make A Difference’ serving Food for Needy) (Ref: St Aloysius College Alumnus Sumith Rao gone Good Samaritan Caring for Migrants/Poor during Lockdown ).
In Bible, Matthew 25:40 where Jesus says, “Whatever you have done to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you have done it to me.” You can help the needy around you in practical, creative ways. And this is exactly what Aloysians are doing to help the less fortunate and the needy with love. “You may never know what results come of your action, But if you do nothing there will be no result. The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems” had said Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Teresa once said, “We cannot do great things on this Earth,Only small things with great love.”- and that’s exactly what the St Aloysius Administration is doing putting miles of smiles on the faces of these hungry people.
WHEN DOORS CLOSE AND HEARTS OPEN- The Covid-19 crisis has brought to the fore not only our limitedness as human beings in the face of a pandemic but also the sad plight of migrants, daily wage earners, the elderly and the mentally sick in the context of a total lockdown in the country. The vision of education at St Aloysius Institutions is to create men and women for and with others. “The world is our home” here we are all connected as human beings with God, with others and with nature and this is a time to restore right relationships. Secondly, “being friends of God entails being friends with the poor.” That is why we the Mangalore Jesuit Educational Society has taken this initiative to reach out to the families of their poor students and families of migrants and daily wage earners by providing them with Provision Kits weekly.
Joe and Alfie D’souza- both Brothers and Ex-Aloysians handing over Food Kits to Migrant Workers on behalf of MJES
The Listening Centre of St Aloysius College has also come up with online counselling services to those distressed by COVI-19 called Manothejaka. The College Community Radio Sarang is continuously broadcasting awareness programmes on protection and prevention by interviewing government and health officials. While the locals are helped by the district administration through public distribution system (PDS), the migrants and construction labourers are finding it extremely difficult to find food. However, the locals complained to the volunteers who went to distribute the food items that what they got from through PDS was bare minimum. And this is when Aloysians/MJES decided to step in, in order to provide the needed essentials/commodities, thereby make these suffering humanity during lockdown happy.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Rev Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ- the Rector of St Aloysius Institutions said, “God has given us two hands – one to receive with and another to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing. When we share the sorrow of the crucified of the earth, we are no longer alone. We are made to share each other’s burdens. Sharing food and provisions with the poor and the needy feeds our friendships, bolsters our bonds and nourishes our sense of community – and those factors are vital for our happiness. The good life builds on connection and purpose”.
He further said, “In this time of lockdown and staying inside we have moved from a Fear Zone (spreading emotions like fear, anger, depression and complaining frequently) to a Learning Zone (stop compulsively consuming food and news and become aware of the situation and think how to act) and now to a Growth Zone (I think of the others and see how to help them; I make my talents available to those who need them; I practice solitude, patience, relationships and creativity; I keep a happy emotional state and spread hope)”.
“In this venture of ours a number of generous people have come forward to help like the alumni and friends of St Aloysius College. Jeeth Roche, an environmentalist; Fr Richard D’Souza, the Director of Canara Communications Centre; District officials like Dinesh, the MUDA Commissioner; and the Labour Officers-Mrs Wilma Tauro and Ms Mary, have been collaborating with us and have been in the forefront of identifying deserving migrant groups and reaching out to them. It was Franklin Roosevelt who said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” For us, frontiers and boundaries are not obstacles or ends, but new challenges to be faced, new opportunities to be welcomed” added Fr Vaz. .
Many families of Kannada medium students in the St Aloysius High School and Primary School and even families of other poorer students benefited from this move. St Aloysius institutions have many students who come from poor families. Many of them are children of daily wagers. With the lockdown in place, they have no means to earn their living. Hence the Admin thought of helping them. Depending on the size of the family, the kit of essentials contained three different weights of rice, and different weights of sugar, tea powder, daal, edible oil, salt and chilli powder. In co-ordination with Mangaluru City Corporation and the Labour Department, the College helped poor families of construction workers from Bihar and UP who were stranded in places like Sutterpet, Jeppu; Allipade in Bantwal Taluk, Kavoor, Kana near Surathkal, Bunder, fishermen families in Hoige Bazar, and several other areas.
The aim of MJES is to reach out to at least about 2000 families, and with the support of the benefactors they are confident to help all those poor people who are struggling with daily needs. One of the benefactor of St Aloysius College Alumni Aloysius (SACAA) Edmond Frank had donated Rs 1 lakh from his family Trust. Dedicated volunteers of the institution helped in packing the kits, under the supervision of Fr Cyril D’mello-Director of St Aloysius Industrial Training Institute, and Br Joseph Jerald and Br Anand Paul. The distribution of food kits will go until the lockdown is lifted, and the expenses could be around Rs 20 lakh or more, depending on the extension of the lockdown.
L-R: Donor Edmond Frank of SACAA, Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ-Rector, Rep from Church community & Fr Praveen Martis SJ- Principal, SAC
In conclusion, following in the footsteps of St Aloysius Gonzaga, the Patron Saint of the Jesuits/St Aloysius Institutions, we need to give when we are able to give! According to Mathew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, ….”, we should know that giving is something done voluntarily. Giving should not be done under compulsion, coercion, duress, or conviction. There are some exceptions, of course. When you do give, you are to give what you have chosen in your heart. Those who take pity on those less fortunate than us are true neighbors and care givers..
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. We should never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up. The place to improve the world and society is first in one’s own heart, head and hands. The joy of being able to bless and give someone you love and care, and to make them smile, is priceless. The satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of others cannot be overstated. Knowing that you have helped make someone else’s life a little brighter and better is a special feeling, and one that will last with you for a long time. And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy. Let’s give now during this time of pandemic when many are suffering and are need of help, and make a difference in their lives. Lets us all follow in the teachings and footsteps of St Aloysius Gonzaga. As a alumnus of this prestigious college, I end this report with a prayer-
“Father, you graced St Aloysius with an overwhelming love of your Son and so made him an effective instrument of your love for those who have least. Touch us, we pray, with that some love and help us speak of that of love to others, with words, yes, but with our lives, still more. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. St Aloysius Gonzaga, Pray for us”