05/25/2016, 12.02
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India: Berlin awards Sister Hermanelde Pulm, for 50 years of service for poor

by Nirmala Carvalho

The missionary has worked in an Indian hospital since 1963. She is 79 years old and belongs to the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit. The Cross of Merit is the most important award of the German Federal Republic. Sister Hermanelde honored for her tireless and silent work, "far from the limelight."


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The German Government has conferred the Cross of Merit on Sister Hermanelde Pulm, for her commitment to the care of the poor in India for over 50 years. The award was presented by Consul General Michael Siebert, in representation of President Joachim Gauck. The German missionary has lived in India since 1963, where she works at the Holy Spirit Hospital in Andheri (on the outskirts of Mumbai), which provides medical care to all citizens and particularly to the poor, regardless of the religion professed.

The ceremony took place on May 23 in Mumbai. The nun was awarded the prestigious "Bundesverdienstkreuz", the most important contribution that the Federal Republic of Germany gives to individuals who work for the good of the nation. Over the years, the award was presented to heads of state, political leaders, emperors and queens.

Sister Hermanelde, 79, belongs to the Order of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS). Germany wanted to reward her "decades of commitment to those in need in India." During the ceremony, the consul said: "She spread a positive image of Germany among so many people, but never seeking the limelight. She has helped so many children, young people, mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts in the pediatric ward, both physically and spiritually. "

Recalling the nickname that patients have coined affectionately for the nun, "Amma" (spiritual mother), the representative thanked her for having "turned that building that the inhabitants called 'a jungle' hospital into the structure it is today the Holy Spirit Hospital. With her work, she has inspired volunteers and doctors. "

Siebert said that "even today Sister Hermanelde collects clothes and books for the slums residents. All she does is for the good of those who go to the hospital, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, or what religion they belong to. " "As the representative of Germany - he concluded - I want to say that my country is grateful for her outstanding contribution to the relations between India and Germany."

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