Faith Groups come to the rescue of flood victims

Flash floods in India’s north-eastern state of Assam have claimed 120 lives

NEW DELHI (Taiwan News) — The death toll in the devastating flash floods in India’s north-eastern state of Assam has claimed about 120 lives. It also affected about 334,500 lakh people in 29 out of the 33 districts of the state. Over 139,000 lakh people have taken shelter in 629 relief camps across the state. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the situation may worsen further. In the last 50 years, the state has lost 7% of its land to soil erosion.

Seeing the severity of the situation, leaders of different faiths under the umbrella of Inter Faith Group jointly offered their expertise to the government in training the volunteers who are working with the flood-hit.

The team, led by Professor N Vinod Chandra Menon, founder member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), included Father Frederick D’ Souza, executive director of Caritas India, Swamini Adityananda Saraswati of the [Global Interfaith WASH Alliance] at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Brother Arun Kumar of Brahma Kumaris, Mount Abu, and Sibghatullah Ahmed of Islamic Relief India.

The delegation also distributed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) kits donated by Caritas India, to 1,600 families in the worst-affected villages of Morigaon district. The kit consisted of two buckets, 2 plastic mugs, one Savlon antiseptic, five Lifebuoy bathing soaps, 4 Rani washing soaps, one soap case, five NcDCC tablet strips, 4 meter cotton coloured clothes, 2 packets of toothpastes, five toothbrushes and 1 meter cloth.

About Caritas’ involvement, D’ Souza said his organization wanted to reach the unreachable without any caste or religion. Swamini said the initiative would expand the space of inter-faith. Bro Arun said as children of Brahma (God), we all have a duty to help the affected. Sibghatullah said the effort would strengthen his organization’s work in these areas.