Archbishop of Bangalore expresses Solidarity with Uttarakhand Flood victims

Richard D’Souza

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Bangalore : Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras in media release has expressed solidarity with victims of Uttarakhand floods and appealed the clergy and the lay faithful to pray and help the victims generously.

The release states:
"We are aware of the recent floods in Uttarakhand that caused great havoc, hardships and inconvenience to thousands of people who are waiting for shelter, food supplies and evacuation. Thanks to the ongoing mammoth multi-agency rescue and relief operation done for these victims. In spite of the relief works that are in progress, yet thousands of pilgrims are still stranded, trapped or missing in the hills. According to the Home Ministry statement, a total of 50,422 pilgrims are still stranded at various places. Also, over 14,000 people are said to be missing. The bad weather is, however, making it tough for the helicopters to land and evacuate the pilgrims.
The search, rescue and relief operations are being carried out with the help of helicopters and personnel from Army, Air Force, NDRF, the Sashastra Sena Bal. The Uttarakhand Government, other State Governments, NGOs and a number of Voluntary Agencies are also rushing their monetary, food and medicine supplies to the victims. It is reported that rescue operations were stepped up with additional IAF choppers being pressed into service, and over 30,000 pilgrims and tourists have so far been evacuated from different parts of the flood-affected areas. Over 556 people are reported to be dead so far. The Uttarakhand State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre has in its report to the Union Home Ministry said that casualties in the affected areas may run into thousands with about 90 ’dharamashalas’ swept away in the flash floods and property worth crores of rupees has been damaged. According to the latest news, 200 villages vanish from pilgrimage route.
We are also greatly worried and concerned about the current flood situation in Uttarakhand and feel very sorry for those who are stranded and affected due to this natural calamity. While expressing our deep solidarity with those who are suffering and in hardships, it is also our Christian charity and responsibility to extend our maximum help to them. Hence, I earnestly appeal to all of you to generously contribute money for the flood victims.
During the Tsunami time, we collected clothes, blankets, medicines, etc. But, it was very difficult for us to transport them to the locations. And, therefore, this time we are collecting only money, and it would be easy for us to send it to Caritas India, and this Church Organization will utilise our contributions according to the needs of those evacuated and temporarily housed in over 50 relief camps set up for them, and the Caritas will also use our money for the other flood survivors.
May I very earnestly appeal to all the Parish Priests, Superiors of the Religious Communities and Heads of the Institutions to offer special prayers, especially on Sunday, 23rd June, 2013 for these victims, and also request you to motivate your parishioners/members of your institutions to be generous in their contributions. Kindly send the Sunday Collections of 23rd June to the Financial Administrator of the Archdiocese on/before 30th June.
I am fully confident that you will respond more positively to my appeal with your prayers and financial assistance for the flood victims.

With every good wish and God’s blessings,
Yours sincerely,
Bernard Moras
Archbishop of Bangalore"


Media Release

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