Sindhudurg diocese aiding victims of flood and Covid-19 (Photos)
by Nirmala Carvalho

The Sindhudurg Diocesan Development Society (SDDS) has been working with marginalized sectors of society, particularly young people and children, for more than a decade in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - On June 27 and 28, the Sindhudurg Diocesan Development Society (SDDS) distributed mills to 18 families most affected by the 2019 floods that devastated the lives of many people. Sindhudurg Diocesan Development Society (SDDS) director Father Melwin Pais told AsiaNews. "A few days earlier, on June 20, SDDS also distributed 24 sewing machines to affected families in the same villages."

In the month of August last year, Maharashtra was battered by heavy rainfall and many districts in our Diocese of Sindhudurg, Maharashtra were submerged under water and suffered heavy loss to life and livelihood. But the worst affected was the Kolhapur district which was completely submerged by the flood water. Around 204 villages out of total 1234 inKolhapur was affected by floods and 15000 people were relocated to safer places. Homes were completely destroyed, out of the number of houses completely destroyed 160 houses belong to the people from poor communities. The people in these areas are marginal farmers, daily labourers and agricultural farmers.”

Around 342 bridges have collapsed, 29 state highways and 56 main roads have been closed. The most affected district was Shirol, completely submerged in the water overflowing from three nearby rivers.

Villages in the Taluka district were known as the sugar belt, sugar production centers and small-scale industries thrived. Floods have completely destroyed this economy. There was an urgent need for food aid and logistical means to carry out the distribution of food and other relief items in the flooded areas. In order to prevent the deterioration of the physical condition of the most vulnerable population, these people needed continuous assistance

Fr. Melwin Pais, explained to AsiaNews, that the SDDS is the social wing of the diocese of Sindhudurg formed by Bishop Alwyn Barreto. SDDS has been working with the marginalized sectors of society, particularly young people and children, for more than a decade in the Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra, India. Its mission is to focus on the development of the children and young people in rural regions of Maharashtra by making optimal use of the human resources available. His vision is for a self-sufficient rural society, endowed with talents and moral values ​​not only to seek, but to spread awareness and a higher level of consciousness. His efforts include skills training, sustainable livelihood programs, life skills training, disaster management and relief operations.

"In the current lockdown for Covid, SDDS provided food rations and hygiene kits to day laborers, migrant workers, rickshaw drivers, fishermen and precarious teachers. The Sindhudurg Diocesan Development Society (SDDS) is committed to providing food and hygiene kits to these people - regardless of their caste, creed and religion - that we are reaching. To date we have reached almost 1000 families. "

The diocese of Sindhudurg-SDDS has also been involved in the relief operations conducted in Kolhapur after the floods of 2019, distributing 400 hygiene kits and is also engaged in the long-term rehabilitation of 609 families by providing them with sustenance support and assistance in repairing the home, in collaboration with Caritas India.

The distribution of the mills that was carried out on June 27 and 28 to 18 families was one of the activities undertaken by the SDDS to provide livelihood support to the victims of the floods of Kolhapur in 2019, which have upset the lives of many people. The cost of each mill is around 15,680 rupees (around 180 euros). On June 20, SDDS also distributed 24 sewing machines to families affected by the floods in the same villages. Each machine costs around 9,000 rupees (around 105 euros).