MSJ Bangalore: 26th May 2020
One of the most important things that we need in the Covid - 19 era is sanitisers. In fact, the availability of good sanitising equipments, supplies and articles are need of the hour. When the government makes a blanket statement that you need to clean your hands frequently, wear the face masks, put gloves into your hands in order to keep away from Corona infection, how will you follow it? Where will you get these things for 1.3 billion population. Even during the good times we do not think about sanitising our hands or wearing face masks and putting on gloves, do you think people will use now when they are scarcely available as well as highly expensive?
Even though, we have heard hundreds of times in our schools "cleanliness is next to godliness", our Indian psyche really but hardly cares for that. "Shuddam manushya lakshanam" is the other phrase comes to us from Sanskrit asking us both men and women to be persons of character. Moreover, this begins with keeping ourselves sane and clean, starting with our body. Everything begins with one's personal hygiene.
During this Covid lockdown, when we distributed groceries and vegetables to the needy, we found that people had no sanitisers, moreover they didn't even had soaps. When the shops were closed where will people get the supplies? One of the early distribution times we bought soaps from different suppliers and started to add along with the Covid care kits. This brightened the face of people. I suppose soap is a better sanitiser than liquid form of cleaner. All the more, at least soap is cheaper than liquid hand sanitiser.
Recently, we received a consignment of 449 boxes full of Santoor soaps. Each box contained 300 pieces and in total there were 1, 34, 700 soap pieces. They come from the Azim Premji Foundation as a donation. We are incredibly grateful to them. So far we have distributed around 1 lakh soap pieces to people in need.
Interestingly, one of the important works that we did along with distributing relief work to the daily wage earners and stranded migrant workers was to educate them to keep themselves sane, clean and healthy. We would tell people to maintain social distancing, clean their hands frequently by soap and wear masks. Educating the people helped us also in a way to distribute relief in better coordinated way. People listened to us. By the distribution of soaps people also got an idea that we just do not say with our words but also provide them good soaps. I am sure this little contribution from our part is certainly a great help in protecting people from this Corona infection.
- Reported by Olvin Veigas, SJ
26 May 2020