28 August 2018 - The president of the bishops of India provides details on how to make donations. Meanwhile, in the Indian state affected by floods, more than 300 thousand people are still displaced. The appeal for solidarity: "The archdiocese cannot remain silent in the face of the harrowing pain of Kerala".
Card. Oswald Gracias, President of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI) and Archbishop of Mumbai (in Maharashtra), has asked the Catholics of his diocese for prayers and practical help for Kerala. Dated 18 August, the Cardinal's appeal also contains details for donations. Meanwhile, the rains have stopped falling in the southern Indian state, hit by the worst flood in the last hundred years. There remains an entire territory to be cleaned up and rebuilt, while more than 326 thousand people are still displaced in refugee camps. Alongside the human and environmental tragedy, the solidarity of all the Indian people has excelled, which has so far donated seven billion rupees to the State bill (85.4 million euros).
For almost a week now, the State of Kerala has been battered by torrential rains, overflowing rivers, release of dam waters and a series of landslides. The unprecedented havoc caused by floods has wrought innumerable misery and devastation. The death toll at the time of writing is 364, and steadily rising. Houses and roads are collapsing due to floods and landslides. Thousands of people are stranded on the terraces of their homes with no food, water or sanitation. Large parts of Kerala have become one big lake. Our defence forces have swiftly moved in, and are rendering maximum assistance in the rescue efforts.
The Archdiocese of Bombay cannot stay silent, while our brothers and sisters are going through harrowing times in Kerala. Caritas India, the Catholic Church's social arm, has already placed teams in different parts of Kerala to assist and coordinate relief operations. I make a fervent appeal to all our churches, convents and other institutions to join in the relief efforts. First of all, by prayer for the victims, their families and the rescue teams. We could add this intention in the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass. We also urgently need financial assistance to continue and extend our relief efforts being coordinated by Caritas India. Please be generous in making your contributions. Donations and cheques are to be drawn in favour of Centre for Social Action and sent to: Centre for Social Action, Eucharistic Congress Building III - Ground floor, 5 Convent Street, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001. Donors are requested to give their PAN number and contact details. You may also donate online at www.csamumbai.in (All donations made to this cause are eligible for income tax exemption under section 80G).
We pray for the people of Kerala. We pray for all our generous benefactors. God bless you.
* by Oswald Gracias*
Archbishop of Mumbai, president of the Indian Bishops 'Conference (CBCI) and of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences