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Current Issue
July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
  
24 August 2018
Greg Kandra




Seminarians from the Pune Papal Seminary collected food, medicine and blankets to deliver to residents of Kerala who have lost everything in the floods. (photo: UCANews)

The disastrous flooding in Kerala has prompted a remarkable outpouring of humanitarian support.

CNEWA has rushed aid to the region — and others are also pitching in.

From UCANews:

Two trucks carrying the relief material from Pune left for Paravur, one of the worst flood-affected areas in southern Kerala state that is reeling under deluge for the past one week.

The collection was done in collaboration with De Nobili College, Pune and other houses of Pune Papal seminary.

The seminarians and others from the campus collected material for the past one week and sorted and packed them ready for transportation to relief camps.

“We were approached by the authorities seeking help, so started collecting materials,” said the Rev. Vincent Crasta who works in Papal Seminary

Flash floods and landslides in the past week have killed some 380 people and displaced some 800,000 to relief camps as overflowing rivers ploughed through residential areas washing away homes, farm lands, roads and bridges.

Schools, churches, temples, mosques and seminaries and convents have been converted to relief camps accommodating thousands who have no food, cloth or place to sleep.

Father Crasta said that one more truck will leave this evening carrying the relief material.

Five seminarians are accompanying the trucks carrying medicines, blankets, towels, toilet articles, candles, cleaning material, biscuits and bed sheets. The seminarians will return immediately after the relief materials are delivered on Sunday.

But goodwill is also pouring in from people of all religions and castes:

Transgressing all barriers of religion and caste, rich and poor, high and low, Indians have joined hands to provide succor to people reeling under the worst flood in five decades in Kerala.

Justice Kurien Joseph, a Supreme Court judge, Catholic and Kerala native, worked until late at night in New Delhi to help pack and label boxes containing relief materials for flood victims.

“It was heartening to see people unite in love for their suffering brethren casting aside all boundaries of religion and region,” Joseph said as he assisted children and women packing materials.

The flood in the southern state washed away hundreds of houses and submerged villages, killing at least 370 people and displacing about 800,000 to relief camps.

Not only Kerala people living in New Delhi “but people from other parts of India have gathered here. It just goes to show that goodness has not disappeared from humans,” Joseph said.

A group of lawyers launched the initiative through social media. Despite the short notice, people gathered with clothing and food to be packed and sent to the flood-hit state 2,500 kilometers away.

In Kerala, fishermen took out their boats on their own to rescue people. According to reports, they refused remuneration from the government for their voluntary work, saying they did not do it for money.

“Jesus’ love thy neighbor philosophy has never been so evident in our country,” said Lucy John, a teacher from New Delhi’s Mayur Vihar area, where a collection drive was organized by an association of Kerala people.

…Also keen to help, Indian Railways is ferrying relief materials free of cost.

The Ramakrishna Mission, a Hindu organization, is at the forefront of relief operations in northern Kerala, said Swami Shantatmananda, secretary of its New Delhi branch.

“We are sending cash donations from states while our Chennai centers are organizing relief materials,” he told ucanews.com.

Khalsa Aid, the U.K.-based Sikh organization’s Indian wing, has volunteers cooking and providing food for the marooned.

Churches, church-run schools, seminaries, convents and other Christian institutions have opened their doors to stranded flood victims besides providing relief in cash and kind.

Read more.

And to help CNEWA’s efforts in the region, please visit this page.



Tags: India Kerala