Media Release

Mumbai, Aug 19, 2020 : The Government of Maharashtra’s Disaster Management Department has conferred the ‘Corona Warrior’ Award to Fr. Richard Quadros SVD, Director of Sarva Vikas Deep (SVD), Mangaon, Raigad. The award was conferred during the Independence Day celebrations. The award is a citation honoring him for exceptional service to nation-building. It was given away by the Minister of State for Industry, Mining, Tourism, Sports, Youth Welfare, Information and Guardian Minister of Raigad Ms. Aditi Tatkare in the presence of the Collector, Superintendent of Police, Chief Executive Officer of Raigad Zilla Parishad and other government officers.

For the past 14 years, SVD, Mangaon has been working for the poorest of the poor in the Raigad belt with a special focus on the members of the Katkari tribe. The unprecedented COVID19 lockdown affected the tribal community immensely. The ensuing Cyclone Nisarga on June 2, 2020 only escalated their suffering. SVD worked as a warrior during these times, organizing a safe reverse migration for about 1200 tribals hailing from Karnataka, Telangana and from other districts of Maharashtra. They assisted government departments in quarantine efforts and supplied 3500 tribals with dry rations during the quarantine period, organized community counseling in 90 villages to address the social stigma attached to Covid-19, regularized the tribals’ access to the government’s public distribution system (PDS), and later undertook relief measures in the wake of the devastation left behind by Cyclone Nisarga.

Post the ceremony, Fr Richard said that he was humbled by the award. He said, “I dedicate this award to the people, especially the tribals of Raigad, who are suffering from both Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of the super cyclone.” He also acknowledged the support and partnership of the Society of the Divine Word, Archdiocese of Bombay, Centre for Social Action, Health Promotion Trust, Raigad Janhit Manch, and Mr. Johny Joseph IAS (Retd.), the former Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, without whose support the award would not have been possible.

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