Author: Selvaraj Arulnathan SJ, Superior, Loyola College, Vettavalam


Loyola College, Vettavalam, Tiruvannamalai (LCV) of Chennai Province began to respond to the reality of unexpected onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic in the first week of April 2020 as soon as the Provincial of Chennai Province appealed to the communities to reach out to such people who would be severely affected by the novel Corona Virus and the lock-down. LCV also realized the gravity of the problem as it is located in the midst of the most disadvantaged people and very particularly many of its students fall into the category of the immediate losers of their livelihood. It also identified other people who have been affected in the same effect.


We identified people of different categories who have been heavily affected by this pandemic. The following are the different categories of people whom we identified and reached out. 






Households from among our students



Households identified from our outreach areas



Our outreach animators’ families



Households of people in the refugee camp (Athiyandhal)



Dalit Catholic families (Pothuvai village) 



Irular hamlet (Pappankottai)



Gypsies from Thirukovilur & Villupuram



Households of victims of violence



Villages awaiting help (3 neighboring Dalit catholic villages)






We appealed to our friends, relatives, and other donors for funds. We also appealed to the Disaster Management Committee (DMC) of the Province which responded very generously understanding the needs of the people of this area. On our part, we, the Jesuits of LCV, also sacrificed in terms of simplifying our daily menu, offering two months’ pocket money as our contribution to the fund and giving up some other comforts to contribute to this great need of the people. We are happy and proud to say that many people joined our mission of COVID-19 Relief service from LCV, Vettavalam.


We rendered help to three types of beneficiaries in three different ways:  


  1. We transferred Rs. 2000/- immediately after we identified 50 households from among our students who were in dire need of something to live by.
  2. The second type of distribution was for 150 households of our Outreach villages of our College where we run our evening study centres for which our students themselves are the Animators. We distributed dry food items and sanitizing kit worth Rs.2000/ approximately.    
  3. For nearly 329 households of the marginalized sections of people in the neighbourhood we distributed dry food items and sanitizing kit worth Rs.750/ .   


We thank the Provincial of Chennai and the Disaster Management Committee headed by Fr. Francis Xavier, Rector, Loyola College, Chennai for very generously and judiciously taking up this great mission at the most unfortunate time. The other category which deserves our appreciation is all our donors. Though most of them are not in a position to donate, they did so looking at the need of the people. It only shows that what is required for giving is not big money but large heart. And finally we, the Jesuits of LCV thank one another because every one of us put one’s heart and soul in the whole process.  We worked unitedly throughout the whole process of planning, identifying the beneficiaries, mobilizing funds through personal contacts, purchasing the needed ration and medical kit, distributing, etc. But for the personal interest and team work of LCV Jesuit community, it would not have been possible to make it happen. Many more requests for help keep coming to us and we are also looking into the possibilities of helping the most deserving brothers and sisters.