Agencies in Flood Relief Effort

Church workers have joined the massive relief work in India's northeastern Assam state, where flooding has left 126 people dead and affected nearly 3 million people. "The situation is still very grim, and over 70 percent of the affected families have no access to their villages," said Father Theodore Purthy, director of the Tezpur Diocese's social service agency on July 12. "Many villages are still under water, and houses along with the possessions -- including cattle -- have been washed away," Father Purthy said as he returned to his base from remote villages to assess damage and to map out the church's rehabilitation program for those affected. These villages remain marooned and inaccessible as even roads have been washed away," said Father Purthy. Heavy monsoon rains in late June, along with floodwaters from Bhutan, have inundated thousands of villages and submerged roads and towns in 23 of 27 districts of Assam state, which is traversed by the Brahmaputra River. Babita Alick, team leader for disaster management of Caritas India, the social action wing of the Indian church, said that three medical teams led by doctors have been reaching out to villagers sheltered in relief camps run by the government in schools and other centers. "The conditions in the relief camps are appalling. Women, children and cattle are jostling for space in the camps. There is hardly any toilet facility in the camps with over 2,000 people," Alick said from New Delhi after visiting the flood-affected areas. "Medical attention is the greatest necessity, with dead carcasses of cattle floating around and acute shortages of drinking water. Thousands are camping on roadsides as entire villages have been under water," Alick said. She said Caritas India was working with the Tezpur Diocese, focusing on running medical camps in the relief camps and roadsides, while water and sanitation programs are also being instituted in inundated areas. "Once the water recedes and families begin to return back to their villages, we will focus on livelihood restoration and shelter repair," Alick said.

 

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life could be helpful as the church grapples with issues like migration, health care and even taxes, some bishops say.
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 17, 2017
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany in April 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017
In response to a query from America, Steve Bannon said, “The daily examen has become a tool for me to lead a better, more fulfilled life.”
James T. KeaneNovember 17, 2017