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Diocese cleans up to prevent disease

August 2, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The parishioners of Bathery diocese cleaning the premises of a house in Kodencherry

The parishioners of Bathery diocese cleaning the premises of a house in Kodencherry

A diocese in Kerala is cleaning buildings to ward off disease, an official in charge of the project said. “Experts blame lack of cleanliness for several varieties of fever that have paralyzed villages in Kerala during the rainy season,” said Ouseph Thanninal. The Malankara Catholic diocese’s social service wing spent the last week of July cleaning houses and their premises in Kozhikode, Kerala’s northern region. Thanninal said they have cleaned more than 4,800 houses. “We have given special training to children to continue the cleaning,” he added. Seminars and awareness camps had preceded the cleanliness drive that chose “clean home, healthy home” as its slogan.

“We began the campaign before monsoon and will end it by March 2012,” Thanninal said. The drive has received “an overwhelming support” from local people from all religions, he said and claimed that “our intensive training and follow up programs have helped bring down the cases of fever.” Father Jose Munduvelil, who directs the Malabar Action Society for Social Service (MASS) that spearheads the drive, says they aim at the region’s integrated development “irrespective of religion and politics.” Santhamma Anakallel, a housewife, said “very few cases of fever” were reported from their village this year since they had “cleaned our premises in time.”

Safia Muhammed, a Muslim member of MASS, said the drive has helped the villagers think of their neighbor’s welfare also. “We used to keep our home clean [but] throw waste outside,” she said. The organisation, started in 1979, now caters to more than 40,000 poor families through 2,337 community based organizations.

– ucan

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