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Indian diocese partners with NGO to feed hungry, provide shelter to homeless

Guests at the opening of shelter home street providence trust in Jharhadb on May 30. (Photo supplied)

Shelter Home Street Providence Trust, an NGO, has partnered with the Daltonganj Catholic Diocese in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand to feed the hungry and provide a shelter home.

On May 30, Shelter Home Street Providence Trust, in collaboration with Daltonganj Catholic Diocese, inaugurated a home for street people and a food bank to end hunger and homelessness in Jharkhand.

The home and the food bank were blessed by Jesuit Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi, inaugurated by Bandhu Tirkey, former education minister, in the presence of Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Member of Legislative Assembly Ram Chandra Singh, Block Development Officer Vijay Kumar, local panchayat (village council) members, priests, nuns, and well-wishers.

In his address, Bishop Mascarenhas said that the Catholic Church dreams that no one should be homeless or go hungry, and in this connection.

He was grateful for everyone's support in starting this project, especially Donald Fernandes, the founder of Street Providence NGO, who had the idea for it.

No one should go hungry. No one should be without a home, the prelate said.

Mascarenhas thanked the trust for collaborating and sponsoring another home nursing program. 

While explaining the project's rationale, Fernandes said that his interaction with his migrant inmates compelled him to start a house in Jharkhand and slowly rehabilitate the migrants in their own culture and later in their respective families.

On the occasion, Singh said that a project of this kind is a promising venture and will bear rich fruits and benefit people in need.

He appreciated the unique concept and promised his trust and support.

Former Education Minister, Tirkey, while publicly recognizing the works of Mascarenhas for the overall development of the diocese, assured his active support in getting the project rolling and appreciated the home nursing program.

According to Archbishop Toppo, this initiative carries out Christ's mandate to serve the underprivileged.

The program ended with the archbishop blessing the food and the congregation. Miss Silwanti Kumari served as the program's anchor. Fr. Pradeep Panna thanked the dignitaries and others present.

The St. Joseph Community College students added color to the program with their song and dance.

Shelter Home Street Providence Trust had its humble beginnings in Goa, a western Indian state, in 2013 and 2017. It is present in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand.

It runs several projects, such as food for the hungry, complimentary breakfast, rations for HIV patients, shelter for people experiencing homelessness, night shelters, safe drinking water, medical assistance, and relief operations. – Santosh Digal


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