A Lorry full of Rice
Four in fact- Four large trucks that held a total of one thousand bags of rice, each bag is about 10 kilos (about 22 pounds).
Lets just take a minute to remember the weather. It is April and that means summer is around the corner....oh, the heat! it was 91 degrees today.
And the poverty, intermittent electricity, people have barely enough, never excess of anything....
And the Corona Virus....
I'll set the stage. In this little village of Eleyankanny, population of about 1000 families, there are a couple of shops that are similar to our small American convenience stores. You can get eggs, a bit of spice, some penny candy for the kids, but this is not the place to buy groceries. You need to go to Moongalthirapattu which is about 10 miles down the road to get fresh vegetables or fruits. that's no big deal- you can do that each day. Except these days. We cross a bridge to enter the village of Eleyankanny, and now there are three armed police at the bridge. People are not allowed to come and go for daily things like this- they are not allowed to cross the bridge. But that is really incidental, since work has stopped. The people in Eleyankanny are mostly coolie workers- they ride in the bed of a big truck, out to the fields to plant and weed and harvest by hand, rice, sugar cane and peanuts. And COVID has caused the work to halt. So there is no money. The kids are now home, schools and businesses closed, parents out of work. And medical care? Nope. The closest Doctor is about 45 minutes away by bus. In India, without money, you will find that you are also without medical care.
So there is fear. I fear for them, and they too are afraid. Usha says "Corona tension, heavy tension" "Daily tension"
But there is hope. There is generosity. There is community.
Today, because of the wonderful capacity of people to care for their fellow human beings, each family received a 10 kilo bag of rice. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but it involved a few miracles. The miracle of Chinnapan being able to find that much rice in this time of scarcity, the miracle of figuring out how to get it to the village, and enlist family and friends to deliver it house to house to every one in the village is astounding. People must stay mostly in their houses, they are not allowed to come together to receive it from a common place.
So I am thankful once again, because the FOCI children will not be left hungry, and the children who hope to become FOCI children, well, they will not be hungry either.
Romba Nandri Chinnapan, Mani, Andrew and the friends who helped you to share this gift of food in this difficult time. YOU are all my heros. You are my "Indian Family" and I am proud to be your Akka. Thank you to the generous people who saw that there may be a need and offered to step in and help. YOU are heros too. I've shared some photos of the deliveries today. So Grateful.