The dwellers of Kolkata’s slums knew the clergyman as Dr A.C. Originally from Kerala, southern India, Fr. Joseph had been in Kolkata for 30 years. He was a pioneer in education for slum dwellers who had not attended school for years. Through his hard work, he not only provided access to an education, but also gave food to the hungry.
Kolkata (AsiaNews) – Fr Joseph Aymanathil, the warrior priest who fought COVID-19 in the slums of Kolkata, died after catching the virus. Now, Kolkata is mourning the death of its guardian angel.
Father A. C. Joseph Aymanathil, known as Dr A.C to Kolkata’s slum dwellers, come to the city from Kerala, southern India, 30 years ago. In the Bengali megacity, he pioneered education for slum dwellers who had not attended school for years. Through his hard work, he not only provided access to an education, but also gave food to the hungry.
Raymond Baptist, president of Kolkata Catholic Renewal Services, told AsiaNews that Fr Aymanathil had been serving the poor since the beginning of COVID-19 19. When the city was locked down, Fr AC regularly visited the slums, especially the children who lived there. He handed out food packages to families in various Kolkata slums.
Baptist said that he worked with Fr A. C Joseph for over 20 years, noting that he was following exactly in Mother Teresa's footsteps on the same Kolkata streets.
Although he had prostate problems, Fr Aymanathil's sudden death on 19 July was due to COVID-19. Father Joseph Pauria, Provincial Superior of the Salesian Congregation, is also in hospital at present because of COVID-19.