Five hundred families in the interiors of South 24-Parganas, reeling under the double blows of Covid-19 curbs and Cyclone Amphan, on Wednesday got food and other relief material that would keep them going for the next few days.
The distribution camp was organised at Kharimutha village, around 7km from Kakdwip town, by St Xavier’s College (Calcutta) Alumni Association. A group of Jesuit priests, led by Father Dominic Savio, the principal of the college, went to the village to distribute the materials along with volunteers of the former students’ association.
The recipients were residents of Kharimutha and two nearby villages, Mollar Chowk and Pukurberia. Five hundred people had turned up, each representing a family. The camp was organised with the help of local police.
“We, the Jesuits, believe in sharing,” Father Savio said.
Each family got a kit that included rice, potato, dal, soyabean, edible oil, puffed rice and biscuit. Each kit also included sanitary napkins, hand sanitisers and tarpaulin sheets.
The residents of these villages were already robbed of their livelihood by the lockdown and the storm could not have hit them at a worse time.
“Most of them depend on fishing and farming of betel leaves. The storm not only damaged their homes but also ravaged the farm lands,” said Sudip Singh, the officer-in-charge of Kakdwip police station who coordinated with the association to organise to camp.
The former students of the Park Street college have come up with a series of campaigns in the aftermath of the lockdown and the storm to help the people. “It is our duty to stand by them at this trying time,” Father Savio said on Wednesday.
“We will do our best to help people in need,” said Sanjib Koner, secretary of the former students’ association.