Caritas at forefront in flood relief efforts

July 18, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Mumbai, July 14, 2016: India has been hit in recent days by torrential rains that have killed at least 24 people and forced 170 thousand others to flee their homes. The most affected areas are the central states of Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. Here the volunteers of Caritas India are bringing aid to the populations and are distributing basic necessities and survival kits to thousands of people.

Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Frederick D’Souza, director of the social arm of the Catholic Church in India, talks about the difficult weather conditions in which the operators are working in an attempt to reach out and save as many people as possible.

The Director reports that Caritas has managed to reach all three areas scourged by rain and has organized collection and distribution points. The Catholic organization immediately mobilized after the start of the emergency and has already provided assistance to 2 thousand families.

In the town of Satna (Madhya Pradesh) and Ghat (in Uttarakhand) Catholics have set up five field hospitals, where they are providing medical care to about 1,000 injured people. In Lakhimpur (Assam) and Satna waterproof tents are being distributed to 1,000 families; 1,500 families Ghat and Lakhimpur have been provided with kits containing sleeping mats and mosquito nets.

Fr. D’Souza points out the difficulties the volunteers are working in, including areas that are  under mud and water. “But they do not feel the need to eat – he says -, sleep and rest. They travel long distances on foot in search of flood victims “.

The director of Caritas India in particular thanked Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, because “the archdiocese is the largest funder of Caritas. When there are natural disasters and calamities, it launches a personal appeal to all the faithful, who then respond by helping Caritas India. The cardinal has suffering humanity at heart and is a pastor who recognizes the smell of his sheep who have wounds and are in pain, regardless of the faith they profess”.

– asianews

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