Skip to content

Coronavirus special!

Today was spent in and around the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapurum – or Trivandrum if you prefer. Less contact with needy people, but catching up with some important business.

First visit was to Shanti Bhavan, a home for destitute peole. They currently look after 30 such people – 2 women and 28 men. Most of the day-to-day running is done by Omar Kuttan, whom I first met in the Medical College Hospital, when I was able to save him from a life of disability by buying a set of implants for his broken leg. He is now fully recovered, active and agile, and very grateful for the help that he received all those years ago. As I sometimes say, the best GBP50 that I ever spent. It was good to see the residents helping around the premises, and getting a good breakfast of cous-cous and curry. They had got behind with the rent, so it was good to be able to give them a month’s rent so as to keep them in good favour with the landlord. They have a plot of land nearby, and they hope to put up a suitable building in due course as their present landlord wants the present building back.

Then we met up with Shibu, our permanent bystander in the hospital. He gave me the details of his present six patients, who have all met with various accidents, and would not get the treatment that they so desperately need without his presence. Shibu was thriving on it. We pay his expenses, but do not give him a salary, so there are sometimes things that he wants: this time it was a chance to buy him a new smart-phone – something that is useful for him to keep in contact and to send us photos.

After a flurry of posts during our visit to India, things have gone quiet for a bit. But we haven’t been idle – we’ve been busy producing a new copy of Tidings that should be popping through your letter-box shortly. As churches have shut down, we haven’t sent multiple copies for churches this time, just one.

The topic that has been in everyone’s minds has been the Coronavirus, both here and in India and Zambia. Zambia has had very few reported cases so far, but they are taking all precautions. Just a couple of visitors are allowed into the compound at a time. But the work is continuing.

The situation in India is more confused. The country has been hit harder, and they are taking extreme measures including a complete 21-day lockdown. Initially no-one was allowed out for any reason – not even to buy food or medicines, draw water from the well, or visit an outside toilet – but things seem to have been relaxed a little. As is so often the case, the poorest people (who are the ones that we work with) have been hit the hardest – livelihoods have been lost, and they never had the money to stock up in the first place.

What is clear is that the needs in both countries are going to increase even more, so we need your help now more than ever. Fortunately email, Whatsapp and the international banking system mean that we can still stay in touch and respond to as many needs as possible.

Back To Top