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Diocese to rebuild flood-affected villages in Uttarakhand



New Delhi, 18 July 2013: The Faridabad diocese has started a three-month long rehabilitation work in four villages affected by the last month’s flash floods in the Indian state of Uttarkhand.

The diocese’s social service center has distributed relief materials to Fathepur, Koharpur, Simlakala and Similie villages in Bijnor district of the state.

“Our first task was to send food materials to these villages. We sent four trucks this month with cooking materials, food supplies, cloths, tents and toilet articles,” said Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara.

The diocese has sent 12 priests and some volunteers to the disaster area to help in the distribution of relief material, he added.

“We work in collaboration with Bijnor diocese and these villages were identified by the help of the diocese, which entrusted us to these affected places,” the prelate told ucanindia.in.

The diocese has started campaigning for the donations and help. A special collection was taken from all the faithful on July 7 and 14. Special prayers were also conducted in all the churches for the victims.

“We have collected some 400,000 rupees and relief material worth around 300,000 rupees so far. Our people have generously contributed and are still ready to give donations,” Father Varghese Palatty told ucanindia.in.

Father Palatty, who is the director of the diocese’s social service center and toured the affected districts with relief materials, told that most of the inhabitants in these villages are living in a miserable condition as they are sleeping in the open, makeshift tents and are not getting enough food and medicines.

“We are making all efforts to ensure that people return to normalcy soon,” he added.

Lack of privacy and safety of women and girls are the major concern in these villages, the priest added.

Children don’t have schools to study since they have been turned into relief camps, he said, adding the diocese will provide text books and uniforms to some students in the area.

Archbishop Bharanikulanagara said, “we give them moral support and will start counseling the relatives of the flood victims and our presence will help soothe their wounds.”

“We plan to build some houses also in these villages,” he added.Source: UCAN




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