Appeal for solidality and contribution towards national disaster victims of floods and landslides in Kerala

Your Eminence/Your Beatitude/Your Grace/Your Lordship,

Dear Fathers/Brothers/Sisters/Collaborators of Caritas India

Sub: Appeal for Solidarity and Contribution towards National Disaster victims of floods and landslides in Kerala

           The Catholic Church in India expresses her solidarity with the people of Kerala and offers condolences to all those families who have lost their dear ones. We pray for the repose of the souls of those who have lost their lives. We are distressed by the extensive damage to the life and property through a disaster of this magnitude.

            The State of Kerala is being battered by torrential rains, overflowing rivers, release of dam waters and a series of landslides. This unprecedented havoc caused by floods has wrought immeasurable misery and devastation. Declared as the worst flood in a century, the people of Kerala have never faced such a terrifying deluge before. Thousands of people are rendered homeless, as houses and roads are collapsing due to floods and landslides. 35 of the 36 dams have been forced open, releasing nearly 7 lakh liters of water per second. This has ingrained fear and panic amongst the communities. While the official death toll is 106 as on date, the figures are still rising. More than 200,000 people are homeless and taking refuge in the around 718 Relief Camps. The whole State has become like a huge lake and the water level continues to rise. To make matters worse, occurrence of a series of cloudbursts and heavy landslides has made the situation even more grave.

              Caritas India, the Catholic Church’s social arm for humanitarian aid, has already placed an 8-member Team in different parts of Kerala to assess the needs of the local communities and help the Social Development Diocesan Partners of Kerala in conducting the relief operations. Caritas India is supporting 24 affected Dioceses with immediate relief kits with food, drinking water, clothes, utensils and other requirements.

            There is a strong urgency to reach out to more communities who are stranded and isolated in the most remote and unreached villages. Our timely assistance will help meet the needs of the affected and reduce the sufferings of our brothers and sisters of Kerala. There is a huge need emerging to rebuild the lives of the people and communities with rehabilitation and restoration of livelihoods.

           On behalf of the Catholic Church in India, I am making this fervent appeal to you, my brothers Bishop and to all in Church leadership, to come together in solidarity and encourage the community of faithful, institutions and people of goodwill to contribute generously to this humanitarian call and express our solidarity at this crucial moment.

           The funds mobilized to this cause from the Dioceses and institutions may please be sent to Account Title CARITAS INDIA, SB Account number: 0153053000007238, Bank name: The South Indian Bank Ltd, IFSC Code: SIBL0000153, 22 REGAL BUILDING, CONNAUGHT PLACE, NEW DELHI – 110001

With kind regards and best wishes,

Yours fraternally in Christ,

+ Oswald Cardinal Gracias

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

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