September 19, 2011

Earthquake shakes India, Nepal and Bangladesh

By |19 September 2011|

A strong earthquake shook areas of India, Nepal and Bangladesh on Sunday night, 18 September. The epicentre of the 6.8-magnitude quake is in Sikkim, India, an area not far from the border with Nepal.

January 19, 2011

Soaring food costs hitting poor from Algeria to India

By |19 January 2011|

Millions of people around the world are struggling to cope with rising food prices say Caritas staff. “The price rises in India usually affect the poorest people, but they are now so steep that the middle class is hit hard as well,” said Sunil Simon, in charge of natural resource management at Caritas India. The FAO (the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation) food price index has surpassed the level it reached during the major food riots of 2008. After a year of steady increases, the index reached 214,7 points in December, compared to 206 points in November. What worries Caritas experts is that the index exceeded the level it had attained in 2008, a year of severe food crises and food riots in many developing countries. As one out of six people in the world already suffer from hunger, rising food prices make it even more difficult for poor people to buy [...]

August 29, 2010

Caritas statement on human trafficking

By |29 August 2010|

Sanumaya Tamang and Sani Tam-ang were both 16 when they were taken to brothels in India. More than 10,000 women and children form Nepal are trafficked into India every year. Internal conflict, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in Nepal are the root causes of the problem. In India, Caritas is working with authorities to toughen government boarder controls to shut down the activity. Caritas works around the global to combat trafficking. Caritas strongly condemns trafficking as a criminal act that violates basic human rights. Caritas is committed to taking decisive actions To raise public awareness and enable people to take preventative actions Caritas works in communities with at risk groups to explain the dangers of trafficking.Caritas also works with various key groups such as doctors, religious, social workers and government officials to build a long-term network of awareness building. To advocate for alternatives for vulnerable people Caritas works to provide alternatives to vulnerable groups who are looking to [...]

May 26, 2010

Coping with drought in India

By |26 May 2010|

Bara is a village situated in the drought-prone area in Jharkhand State in eastern India. Difficult climate conditions and complete dependency on rain means that farmers only produce one crop per year. The agricultural yield was extremely low. Since the villagers had few opportunities for other types of employment in the area, they migrated to cities in search of work. But a few years ago the situation began to improve. In 2005, a local villager named Samaj Vikas Sanstha started a drought preparedness programme in Bara Village with support from Caritas India. A village development committee consisting of 9 men and 3 women was formed to take up the task of awareness raising within the community on the need to conserve precious natural resources, such as water. As a result, the community is more conscious about the changing climate and better prepared to face the adverse situations that may come. Indeed, [...]

September 26, 2009

Desertification in India

By |26 September 2009|

In recent times, the loss of vegetation in the area has vastly degraded their once fertile land, and water has become a rare commodity. Since 1999, the failure of the monsoon has adversely affected the soil and the land has become barren. In order to regenerate it, ravines and ridges were treated by constructing gully plugs and digging out contour trenches. Earth check dams with spillways on either side were built to allow the water overflow to run off without damaging the dams.  Ponds were also constructed to hold larger volumes of water. As farmers witnessed the effects of lack of water and soil erosion and its detrimental impact on agricultural production and yields, the concept of watershed management gained credence amongst them. Many are convinced that the local environment can be regenerated through a well-managed watershed programme. Many now understand the fact that as the groundwater increases, normal farming patterns [...]
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    Imagine a world for tomorrow’s generation: A view from Poznan and India

Imagine a world for tomorrow’s generation: A view from Poznan and India

By |26 September 2009|

A view from Poznan  Grow Climate Justice Campaign was launched on 7 December in Poznan. “People in countries such as Bangladesh are totally dependent on the weather,” Bishop Theotonius Gomes C.S.C, Bishop of Dhaka and President of Caritas Bangladesh said at the launch. “Our agriculture, and hence our whole culture, is based on water from the rains and rivers. Changed rainfall patterns, harsher storms and longer droughts are already costing lives and livelihoods,” he said. “We have seen a rapid increase in the need for relief efforts. Within the next 10 years there will be 200 million climate refugees, of which 25 percent, 50 million, could be from Bangladesh.” A mass was held in Fara Church in the Old Market Centre. Children from the local parish brought up offerings to the altar, which included a plant, some soil and water to symbolize the elements of the Earth. In the end, the conference in [...]

Remembering the Asia tsunami

By |3 September 2009|

An earthquake in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 triggered a tsunami that devastated the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka Some 300,000 people were killed in a matter of hours.

November 3, 2008

India: A river runs through it

By |3 November 2008|

By Stalin. S, Caritas India and Caritas staff “It was almost 11 pm when water rushed into our village,” said Susil Kumar. His village was one of the hundreds to be washed away when floods devastated Bihar in India this year. “Within no time the water level reached more than four feet. All our belongings and our small house were washed away by the raging waters.” He was lucky to escape with his wife Kadi Devi and their one year old child to the roof of the local school as the water rushed through his village with tremendous force. They stayed on the roof for six days until rescued by boat. Caritas Internationalis is appealing for US$5,600,000 to help survivors with food, temporary shelter, hygiene kits and medical supplies and healthcare through 300 clinics. Caritas members are supporting Caritas India’s operations to provide food, temporary shelter and household items to 270,000 people forced from [...]

August 16, 2008

Imagine globalisation based on solidarity: World Youth Day

By |16 August 2008|

The golden lion of the Sri Lankan flag fluttered in the icy breeze at a bus stop crowded with pilgrims attending Sydney’s World Youth Day in Australia. Beside the Sri Lankan colours, pilgrims waved a pennant displaying the Indian tricolour. Toward the back of the group, Pakistan’s green and white flag billowed. This small vignette from Sydney’s 2008 World Youth Day in which a group of sixty or so pilgrims from the restless Indian sub-continent came together in peace and harmony, was a clear indication of the power of such festivities. They joined 500,000 other young pilgrims from all around the world who had come to take part in a series of events in July with Pope Benedict XVI. Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga also travelled to Sydney. For WYD 2008, Caritas Australia hosted a broad programme under the banner: ‘Witness, Aspire, Act’. Calling on people to engage with issues [...]

Church in India leads campaign on AIDS

By |15 August 2008|

“[Stigma] is the single most important obstacle in the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS patients, since the very beginning … Seeing us touch, clean and treat the patient takes away fear from the family members … “ - Fr. Tomy of Bel Air Sanatorium and Hospital in Panchagani, India Working to shatter the myths and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS is just one of the ways in which the Catholic Church in India is playing a leadership role in the fight against the disease, according to a recent report. Discrimination against people affected by HIV/AIDS is a widespread problem in India, where between 2 to 3.1 million people out of a population of 1.1 billion are thought to be living with HIV (1). Edited by Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, the “Best Practice Report on a Concerted Faith-Based Initiative – Scaling up Toward Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Care, Support and Treatment” illustrates how bishops [...]