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Caritas aiding vulnerable disabled people caught up in India’s lockdown

Bishop Jacob Barnabas of Gurgaon (left) provides help to visually impaired people in the Indian capital of New Delhi. (Photo supplied)

Anant Ram, a 52-year-old visually impaired man living in New Delhi, had about a week’s worth of supplies when the lockdown was put in place across India to suppress the new coronavirus on March 24.

Any funds Ram had saved from working as a member of a musical band that performs at Hindu celebrations and social gatherings were quickly exhausted and now, two months into the lockdown, he is entirely dependent on the help of others. First, he sought help from the government.

“Government help doesn’t come easily. You have to stay in long queues to get your share from the authorities. I am too weak to do this,” Ram said.

It was with the assistance of few local youths that he could get a food kit from a government agency, but other essential basics — gas, oil and medicines — were hard to come by.

Caritas, the social service arm of Catholic Church Caritas, under its community-based rehabilitation program, has reached out to both Ram and recently provided him with assistance including food kits and medicine.

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Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.