Thursday, 28 May 2020
If you ask the CHETNA team what their initiative is all about, they’ll talk about the hard reality of the people they serve alongside, and the hope they continue to press in to. India contains one-third of the world’s population and 40% of the population live below the poverty line. In the midst of this poverty, there are opportunities for the CHETNA team to reach out and show Christ’s love to local communities through community development work.
Mr Bahadur* is the father of 5 children. They live in a village but do not own their home or any land. Though now quite elderly, he continues to labour hard in often harsh weather to earn a daily wage repairing village huts made of mud and straw. Already financially vulnerable, the family’s situation worsened when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. The family spent any available money on her treatment.
It was in these dire circumstances that Mr. Bahadur was connected with CHETNA. This project aims to prevent non-communicable diseases and improve the quality of life of people with chronic and life-limiting illnesses. CHETNA seeks to share the love of Christ through providing a wide range of services including raising awareness, screening, access to affordable and holistic clinical services, and palliative care. According to the staff at CHETNA, “Palliative care is a relatively new concept to India, and is an area of great need, especially in resource-poor settings where cure is often impossible because of late presentation and limited treatment options.”
A little over a year ago, Mr. Man Bahadur’s wife died. In the time between her diagnosis and death, the CHETNA provided palliative care to her and training and support to her family. On March 22nd, a nation-wide lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19. Mr. Bahadur found himself without work, without income and without food. Because they had helped him when he needed it the most, he reached out to the team at CHETNA again.
Thanks to the generosity of friends around the world, they were able to provide immediate relief through a dry ration pack for the family, with sufficient supplies for a week or so. The CHETNA team were also able to contact the relevant government officials to ensure the family continued to receive government-provided dry rations during the lockdown period. Thanks to the relationship that CHETNA built with Mr. Bahandur when his wife was dying, he and his family are getting the life-sustaining food they need to weather this global pandemic.
*Name and photo changed to protect identity
PRAY: Pray for the CHETNA teams as they build relationships and establish projects and programs to address their communties' medical and healthcare needs.
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