06/22/2020, 13.30
INDIA
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Maharashtra: Catholic couple forgo wedding reception to help COVID-19 patients

by Nirmala Carvalho

The couple donated 50 beds, blankets, sheets as well as oxygen cylinders to a quarantine centre. In Palghar district, 90 people died of the coronaviruses and 1,500 were infected. During the lockdown, Eric Lobo and Merlin Tuscano helped migrants living in the area to go home to their families.

Vasai-Virar (AsiaNews) – A Catholic couple decided to forgo their wedding reception and donate the money saved to buy 50 beds as well as oxygen cylinders for a quarantine centre involved in the fight against COVID-19.

In India, weddings are great social events. They usually last three days and couples’ families spend a lot on them.

Eric Lobo, 28, and his new bride, Merlin Tuscano, 27, got married last Friday in St Gonsalo Garcia church, Gass parish (Maharashtra).

Right after the Mass, attended by only 22 people, the young couple went to the quarantine centre in Satpala still in their wedding clothes, for a short ceremony to mark the arrival of their gifts.

The wedding celebrations ended with lunch at the bride's home, in the presence of a few family members.

The Satpala pandemic centre is located in Palghar district, where 90 people have died of the coronavirus (out of 1,500 people infected).

In March, Eric and Merlin contacted the centre, asking if they could help. After getting the green light, the two got in touch with some local companies to buy the equipment certified to meet health regulations.

Eric told AsiaNews that for him and his bride, Merlin, getting married after eight years of engagement and making the donation to the centre, was a double joy.

“In our district, quarantine centres have problems; in particular, there are no beds. So, with Merlin we decided to do something. We have a firm that promotes events; supporting the Satpala centre became a priority for us.”

The couple donated 50 beds, including mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets, as well as oxygen cylinders. In addition to the ones just delivered, Eric and Merlin have pledged to provide more other oxygen cylinders based on the centre’s needs.

The young couple is very active in their community. During the lockdown, they helped the authorities with the list of migrant workers from Vasai-Virar who, among the many challenges they face, wanted passage on the Shramik special trains to travel home to their families.

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