The Covid-19 pandemic brough unprecedented changes in the lives of people worldwide especially the poor. As the world saw suffering and loss of loved ones, the poor and mariginalised, especially migrant workers, additionally faced the starvation, homelessness, lack of medical access, and fear of loss of livelihood. In response to this crisis, Jesuits across South Asia have been reaching out to affected people, independently and as a community, through psycho-social support, medical aid, food and shelter, financial aid, etc. Identifying the need to set up a crisis response mechanism at the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA) level, the President of South Asia announced the setting up of JRH in 2020, with the Conference Development Office as the lead in collaboration with the Core and Advisory
Committees that includes ISI-Delhi, Jesuits in Social Action (JESA), Jesuit Alumni Association of India (JAAI) and others. This was also a response to the mandate from the Fr. General to gather information on Jesuit initiatives and relief works in the Covid-19 context. The JRH initiative additionally aligns itself with supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well Being), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

The purpose of JRH is to support the Provinces and Communities in “Reaching out to the Unreached” by offering network linkages and support towards resource mobilisation, media and communication, programme management, data management and analysis etc. Additionally, it seeks to provide a common platform for Jesuits, partners and collaborators to facilitate collective action. In future, JRH is envisaged as the Disaster/Crisis Response Mechanism of JCSA at the conference level towards any such crisis.


The online campaign for migrants during Covid-19 pandemic, titled #V4MIGRANTS, has been the highlight of JRH since its inception. It supports their cause through the following major activities: 


With diligent efforts from a wide network of partner organisations and more than 5000 volunteers, the JRH initiative reached out to migrants in 203 districts of 26 states in India during both waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. 


Research unit of Loyola College, Chennai discovered online testing methods for Covid-19 which gives results within 24 hrs; State approval is awaited

Jharkhand Corona Sahayata Mobile App: information support portal for migrants

Darjeeling Jesuits of North Bengal inaugurated Jesu Ashram Covid Safe Home for Women and Children at Jesu Ashram Premises, Matigara, West Bengal

Departments of Social Work and Counselling at Loyola College, Chennai provided free online/ tele-counselling services- more than 80 volunteers engaged; over 80,000 callers assisted

Godavari Alumni Association in Nepal Province conducted 50 blood donation camps in various localities to support the Red Cross Society during blood shortage

Preparation of IEC material for Covid Awareness, Care and Treatment Alumni from St. Xavier’s High School, Pune contributed towards 200 PPE kits to medical staff

Entomology Research Institute (ERI), Chennai prepared low-cost sanitisers for mass distribution; Government approval is awaited

St. Aloysius College (SAC) Community Radio Sarang 107.8 FM by Karnataka Jesuits: information and awareness generation around Covid-19

Besides providing dry ration and medical kits, Maharashtra Prabodhan Seva Mandal (MPSM), Nashik undertook additional initiatives during Covid:

  • Ensuring safe travel of stranded migrants to their home towns
  • Setting up of Mobile Covid Care Unit (MCCU) for offering medical treatment to the needy

Nepal Jesuits reached out to poor in remote areas through mobile clinics, free health check ups and distribution of general medicine and masks

Alumni from St. Vincent’s and Loyola High School, Pune, provided nearly 1000 visors to medical staff and continue working towards arranging ventilators and dialysis machines

Youth Empowering Service- Jesuits (YES-J) : free online psychological counselling by Andhra Jesuits

Bangalore Jesuit Education Society (BJES) in collaboration with St. Joseph’s Institutions reached out to those in distress through a number of initiatives, (in addition to medical and ration kits):

Samagra: St. Joseph Holistic Development & Wellness Centre: counselling, webinars and training sessions on mental health

Tele-consultation with doctors

100-bed Covid Isolation Centre

Xavier Research Foundation of St. Xavier’s College, Tamil Nadu, developed low-cost herbal hand sanitiser for mass distribution

Multiple public awareness programmes and webinars on Covid Precautions, Care and Treatment including psycho-social support