12/20/2021, 17.18
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Christmas with street kids in Nashik affected by the pandemic

by Nirmala Carvalho

At the Shrine of the Infant Jesus, local Jesuits recently began to help poor migrant tribal families from Rajasthan, who have virtually nothing, surviving on daily work. A party was organised for their children this Christmas.

Nashik (AsiaNews) – The Shrine of the Infant Jesus in Nashik, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, began Christmas celebrations yesterday hosting a party for 40 street children and their 15 mothers.

In addition to food and entertainment, each child received a toy, while the mothers were given food parcels and 200 rupees for their own needs.

“These ‘homeless’ families are mainly tribal migrants from Rajasthan, daily wage earners, whose livelihood is to carry loads or sell earthenware in front of their makeshift huts,” said Jesuit Fr Errol Fernandes, biblical scholar and shrine rector, speaking to AsiaNews.

“The Jesuit community at the Shrine of the Infant Jesus has been proactive during the pandemic,” said the clergyman.

“In June we began reaching out to the poor in the streets and the slums, offering them words of consolation as well as material help like dry rations to last two weeks,” he added.

“So far, we have distributed 800 bags of dry provisions, but we could never have done so without the support of our generous benefactors.”

The community also accompanied these activities with two online spiritual initiatives to nourish body and mind.

“At the end of this year, the pandemic still casts its shadow on the present. We know that, despite this challenge, we are called to keep looking ahead,” Fr Errol said.

“If we dare to do what we have to do at every moment, we can be assured that God will do what remains to be done. May the Christ child born in our world be born also in our hearts and homes.”

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