In Andhra Pradesh, Catholic nuns bring drinking water to 250 tribal families

November 23, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Residents in the village of Koderna (East Godavari District) drank polluted water, fighting malaria and typhoid. Five Sisters of the Cross were instrumental in getting a pump to bring water from a clean source as well as opening a school and a dispensary.

A tribal family in Andhra PradeshAndhra Pradesh November 17, 2012: Thanks to the efforts of five Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod, a tribal community in Koderna (East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh) now can meet basic needs like safe drinking water and education for their children. Until a year ago, the 250 families that call the village home had to rely on polluted water and typhoid and malaria were widespread. Local kids did not go schools. Now villagers have a well with clean water, a dispensary for basic health needs and a school.

Last year, the Sisters of Chavanod visited the unspoilt mountains that are next to the village. During their trip, they discovered the village. “Beside the tranquil streams and sparkling atmosphere of the mountains stood the village where people drank highly polluted water,” said Sister Priyanthi Samala.

Sadly, the government has shown little interest for the fate of this village, as did other communities in the area. A school does exist in Koderna but it lies empty because the teacher comes every two months. Outsiders do visit the village but only to buy local goods, like tamarind, wood, charcoal, ragi (finger millet), bamboo, brooms and spices at very low prices.

In view of the situation, the nuns got in touch with an engineer who looked at the ground to see how drinking water could be brought to the village from another source. Eventually, he succeeded in his search. The nuns then approached the government for help and began to work on the villagers to have them join the project.

“After a year of assiduous efforts to motivate this community and several frequent visits, we gained the confidence of the people and established our work in their location. We were certain of their cooperation,” Sister Samala said. “They did not hesitate to send their children to the school,” but “the few children who saw the school for the first time were terrified and perplexed.”

Now about 100 of them attend the school the nuns set up and run out of a rented house. Eventually, the sisters hope to get a building of their own.

– asianews

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