The Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) has launched a "Feed a friend" program for Christmas.
"Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry-making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things. It is a spirit of giving and forgiving," Advocate Anthony Judy, general secretary of ICYM, told RVA News.
Advocate Judy added that ICYM India wants to do something special for the poor during Christmas. "Help us spread the real joy of Christmas with our brothers and sisters."
ICYM is the official state and regional organization under the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).
India is a prominent global voice that has made significant progress on human development over the past 60 years, but the benefits of a growing economy are not shared equally. The country is still home to one-third of the world's poor, with 84 million people living in extreme poverty.
India has ranked 101st in the 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) of 116 countries and is behind its neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. In 2020, India's position was 94th.
Explaining the feeding initiative, Judy said the program encourages the spirit of sharing with the lesser privileged at this time of Christmas.
Once solicited funds are gathered, the members of ICYM will distribute a meal and food packs in different places to poor people on the streets on Christmas day. At the center, 'langar' (community kitchen) for 1000 poor people will be organised.
The feeding program is an initiative by ICYM India in association with Bethania Centre of Delhi Archdiocese.
Bethania is the National Youth Centre currently managed by CCBI Youth Commission. It is a training center for youth's holistic and skill development, where youth volunteer and stay. It serves as the National office of ICYM and Young Catholic Students/Young Student Movement (YCS/YSM) in India.