CTF India’s Mission

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On June 16, 2013, the heaviest rainfall on record lashed India’s Himalayan region of Uttarakhand forcing glacier lakes and rivers to overflow and inundate towns and villages in 168 districts at about 37,000 square kilometer area. The state of Uttarakhand has been experiencing heavy rains continuously for 2 days and the downpour has caused flash floods and landslides in various places like Srinagar, Joshimath, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Govindghat, Kedarnath, Gaurikund and Uttarkashi, etc. and caused the destruction of houses, roads, communication and transportation. According to unofficial reports damaged to life has reached around 14,000 deaths and recently, authorities say that the 5,748 people registered as missing are now “presumed dead” – making the disaster the deadliest ever in the Himalayas. Some of them were Hindu pilgrims as they celebrated Chardam Yatra (Hindu feast). Hundreds of buildings including 40 hotels situated along the bank river Alakananda, more than 100 roads and 40 bridges are swept away by the flood waters.

In the field of disaster management it is only through a collective responsibility and effort of the public, voluntary organizations and local government agencies that we can attain our expected outcome in our relief activities. Recognizing this reality, the new administration of the Camillian Indian Province has decided to become a consoling hands among the victims of flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. Last July, the Camillian Task Force (CTF) of India lead by  Fr. Siby Kaitharan, MI and two other Camillian religious (Fr. Jaison and Fr. Sojan) together with some members of the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) went to Uttarakhand, distributed relief goods and conducted a rapid assessments of needs for about two weeks in preparation for a long term intervention plan.  This August 3, the first batch (13 volunteers) of the CTF team lead by three Camillians (Bro. Madhu, Fr. Teji, Fr. Jofree) pushed back to Uttarakhand to begin the relief and rehabilitation program. They are ready with eager minds to render services to the flood victims in some districts of Uttarakhand. The relief and rehabilitation programs will be executed in two phases: 1] to meet the immediate needs of the victims such as food, temporary shelter and clothing within 3 months; 2] to respond to the social needs, strengthen psychosocial support and build permanent shelter of survivors.

Program Objectives

  1. To supply food and water in the relief camps;       
  2. To provide medical services to affected people; and
  3. To provide temporary shelter to those who are stranded and permanent shelter to resident survivors whose house were completely damaged.

Priorities 

Potable Water

Streams and rivers have been contaminated and turbid and not safe for human consumption. Primary water source facilities were damaged and people has to walk for long distances to get water. The survivors have no dry wood to boil the water. Thus potable water, water treatment facility and repair of water sources are urgent needs.

Medical care service and sanitation facilities

Many people are at risk with various illnesses and contaminations. Most of the families have no or lost their sanitation facilities. In some villages, only the upper caste families have latrines whereas the lower caste (poor people) practice open defecation near the water sources which brings the risk of oral-fecal contamination. Thus, medical service and prevention of transmission of diseases are badly needed.

Shelter

Affected populace are living in temporary makeshifts that exposed them to harsh weather conditions. People living along the rivers has moved up to higher grounds or lived with their relatives whose houses are small and pose a danger of disease transmission due to congestion. Majority have lost their sources of income and have nothing to rebuild their houses or to rent temporarily. CTF India team has identified Simlakala (village) where 107 families have lost all their properties and shelters but not all received help. At present, they are staying along the roads using plastic tents. They are planning to find a safe place in order to build permanent houses (50) for underserved families.

Appeal for Help

 The disaster of Uttarakhand is a national tragedy affecting a large number of people. The religious along with the rest of the Church are deeply moved by this tragedy and responds with prayer and action to support the victims. The most affected area is the diocese of Bijnor. Fr. Siby, CTF India coordinator said: “We are closely collaborating with the Diocesan authorities and getting involve in their intervention activities. Thousands have died, lost their houses and livelihood; thousands of unidentified dead bodies are found and thousands are still missing. It takes a long time to build their life back to normalcy. We appeal to everybody to support this cause with their prayers and financial contributions according to their means and possibilities. We shall ensure that whatever financial aid you may like to provide through the CTF-India reaches to the people for whom it is intended to.”

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Karnataka 1 – CTF India Risponde al’Alluvione nel Sud dell’India

Da p. Scott Binet MD, MI

I Camilliani dell’India rispondono al’alluvione del 29 settembre scorso che ha devastato il Karnataka, uno stato al sud dell’India. [vedere mappa]

P. Matthew Perumpil, MI – il delegato provinciale dei Camilliani in India, ha contattato CTF centrale con un aggiornamento sul lavoro di soccorso recentemente avviato in Karnataka. In questi giorni, Fratel Luca MI, come rappresentante di CTF Central, andrà sul posto a valutare, con il il CTF India, le richieste di aiuto piu pressanti e legati all’emergenza.

Che cosa è successo? Una pioggia incessante e inondazioni continue dal 29 settembre al 2 ottobre in 15 distretti del Nord Karnataka è costata la vita di 226 persone; distrutte circa 501,400 case; sono stati colpiti 4,290 villaggi e danneggiai 1,13 milioni ettari coltivati.

Nella sua prima comunicazione a la CTF Central, p. Matthew scriveva: “in merito al coinvolgimento della CTF, p. Antonio è già nell’area colpita dalle inondazioni per fare un’iniziale valutazione. Sembra che le esigenze siano più a lungo termine. Finora non ci sono stati grandi problemi sanitari. I Camilliani stanno già pensando di intervenire lavorando sul posto mediante attraverso la CTF India. P Antonio pensa di organizzare ambulatori mobili  in tre zone, che copre 10 villaggi o più – sempre con l’aiuto di ambidue St. John’s Disaster Management Team (il team di St. John’s che gestione le risposte ai disastri) e Lourdes Hospital, Dharward.

Il lavoro dei Camilliani  sarà di coordinare le esigenze di assistenza sanitaria direttamente e le altre agenzie gestiranno altri aspetti. La richiesta di aiuto di CTF India si sta orientando verso l’acquisto di farmaci essenziali, la gestione logistica dei campi di salute. Ci sono già molti problemi dermatologici e un’epidemia di colera è quasi inevitabile. Ci sarà anche il bisogno di continuare i programmi di cure preventive.

Il  CTF Central ha accolto la richiesta di P. Matthew e del CTF India. E lancia un appello per racccogliere fondi per sostenere l’azione dei Camilliani in Nord Karnataka [vedi mappa].

Volete aiutarci? Si prega di farlo dando ora.

P. Scott

Karnataka 1 – CTF India Responds to the Floods in South India

By Fr. Scott Binet MD,MI

The Camillians of India are responding to the September 29 flood that devastated N. Karnataka, and CTF Central and SOS DRS are responding to their appeal for support. Karnataka is a state in southern India and its capital city is Bangelore [See map]

Fr. Matthew Perumpil, MI – the provincial delegate of the Camillians in India,  recently contacted CTF Central with an update on the recently started relief effort in Karnataka. He also made an appeal for help from CTF Central, which is now gathering its resources to help our confreres. Similarly, Brother Luca MI will be going to the disaster site in India shortly – surely another part of God’s plan!

As happened when Brother Luca recently went to the Philippines to preach a retreat and then found himself in the middle of Typhoon Ketsana (at the end of September), so this time he is going for an already-planned meeting of the provincials and will find himself in the middle of another natural disaster – the flooding in Karnataka.

What happened? Rain havoc and flash floods from September 29 to Oct 2 in 15 districts of north Karnataka claimed 226 lives; destroyed about 501,400 houses; killed 7,800 head of cattle; affected 4,290 villages and damaged 1.13 million hectares of cropland.

In his first communication to CTF Central, Fr. Matthew writes: “Regarding the CTF, Fr. Antony is already in the flood-affected area making the initial assessment. It looks like the needs are more long term. So far, medical issues are not a big issue. He will return on Sunday and we will prepare a plan for a Camillian intervention in the area. Meanwhile, some initial help could be provided through the coordinated activities that are happening there – directly through the CTF (to make our presence felt). Long term plans can be figured out after you are here [writing to Brother Luca]. I just spoke to Fr. Antony now and what our immediate plans would be is to organise health camps in 3 coordination centres, covering 10 villages or more with the help of St. Johns Disaster Management Unit and Lourdes Hospital, Dharward. It looks like Camillians will be taking care of and coordinating the health care needs directly and other agencies will handle other aspects. Is it possible for the CTF to give us an initial grant towards the purchase of essential drugs, logistics management of health camps (accommodation for doctors, nurses, etc. and their food). We are already seeing many dermatological issues, and a cholera outbreak is almost inevitable. We will also be continuing the preventive care programs.

After my initial response that we of CTF Central are seriously evaluating his request and our decision that we would look to SOS DRS for help, Fr. Matthew wrote back: “Thanks for the response. We are focusing on the flood in North Karnataka, at the invitation of the Bishop of Belgaum, who is the chairperson coordinating the relief activities in North Karnataka for the Church [Belgaum is not far from Goa that borders N. Karnataka. See map.]

Fr. Antony joined the team to assess the situation and to plan our immediate intervention needs and long term intervention plans. Fr. Antony will be back in Bangalore on Sunday and will submit a detailed report to me. We would be able to submit a plan of action for the Camillians in India. …

Thanking you once again, and praying for God’s blessings,

Yours in St. Camillus,

Fr. Mathew Perumpil MI

Camillians, India

Many thanks to Fr. Matthew for his efforts and those of the Camillians in India together with their collaborators. CTF Central and SOS DRS are gathering their resources to help the victims of the floods in Karnataka through supporting the efforts of CTF India. And we are praying for them and the relief effort as well. Won’t you join us? Please do by praying and giving now.

Donate to the Karnataka Flood Relief Effort in India (Asia)

Fr. Scott