by Padmini Murthy, MD, MPH, FAMWA, FRSPH
In April 2020 as the devastating effects of COVID-19 were felt globally, a small team of people from different countries came together to send supplies to the Missionaries of Charity (a Catholic NGO) which was founded by Nobel Laureate Mother Theresa in Kolkata, India.
The missionaries sent out a desperate plea for help to aid the slum dwellers in some of the colonies in Kolkata who were severely affected and suffering a shortage of food and masks due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Kolkata.
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation who is at the forefront of providing humanitarian assistance worldwide joined hands with other NGOs and private sector partners such as the American Medical Women’s Association and El Jaguar Canada to provide the necessary aid to them.
The team included Debra Boudreaux (California), Padmini Murthy (New York), Branda Huang (Taiwan), Jagrit Bajwa (Canada), Aishu Narasimhadevara (New York), and Steve Chiu (New York). Effective communication between the team and the local partners through WhatsApp, email exchanges and the telephone conversations, resulted in the delivery of much needed supplies of food (rice, wheat flour lentils) and 10,000 masks.
This is an example of the fact that “Humanity is the Greatest Religion of All.”