Kerala: Christian NGO donates food kits to 1,400 families affected by floods (photos)
by Nirmala Carvalho

Claretian Fathers launched Project Vision to raise fund for tribal groups in Wayanad district. In Kerala, about 120 people have died. Local mud houses were wiped out. The aid will be enough for ten days.


Bangalore (AsiaNews) – A Catholic NGO in Bangalore has donated food kits to about 1,400 families who were victims of floods in Kerala.

Project Vision is behind the initiative. Set up by the Claretian Fathers, the organisation’s purpose is to raise awareness among people about the issue of organ donation.

Given the great emergency in the areas affected by monsoons, the NGO founded by Fr George Kannanthanam collected 20 essential goods (like beans, rice, sugar and salt) needed for people to survive for ten days.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the clergyman said that they brought the kits to Wayanad, a district "inhabited mostly by tribal people.”

“We want to take care of them,” he explained. “We are looking for more help to give shelter and rebuild their homes."

In the past few weeks, India has been battered by monsoon rains. The most affected states are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar.

The toll has been heavy: more than 400 dead, more than 4.7 million people displaced, sheltering in refugee camps, and more than 1.5 million hectares of land under water.

In Kerala, over 255,000 people have been relocated to 1,341 reception camps. In the southern state, heavy rains have cost the lives of 120 people, mainly from landslides in the districts of Malappuram and Wayanad.

In the latter, the Claretians launched a ‘Bangalore cares for Kerala’ drive to help local tribal communities (eight indigenous groups) who lived in mud houses that were swept away by water.

The Catholic NGO said that many have responded to the appeal, donating money to buy the kits, each costing about a thousand rupees (US$ 14).

Many families have donated money worth many kits, like that of Soy Joseph whose contribution bought 150 packages; and Ms Shirley and her colleagues at the Fixotech company who donated money to buy a hundred kits.

Fr Jovial in Calicut received money for 100 kits from Kochi airport employees and another 150 from the city's revenue agency.

Parish volunteers divided the 20 essential items into various packages at the St Sebastian Church in Edappetty, which Fr Thomas Therakam made available to them. The kits were then loaded onto the lorries for distribution. About a hundred kits were set aside for disabled people.

These are the “most satisfying days of my life," said Fr George, because “we could personally provide the kits to help people live safely for some time.”