2017 Mother Teresa Award to Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, 'example of compassion'
The conferral will take place in Mumbai on December 10th. This year's theme is "Compassion across borders - a compassionate response to the refugee crisis." Fr. Tom "has shown dedication and commitment to a place of great danger."
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, the Salesian abducted in Aden in 2016 and released in September thanks to the Sultan of Oman, is the 2017 winner of Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice. Abraham Mathai, president of the Harmony Foundation, a Mumbai based organization that commemorates the Saint of Calcutta with the award since 2007, announced the winner.
A foundation statement reads that Fr. Tom will be rewarded for his inspirational example of compassionate humanity and for continuing to work at the Homes of the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen despite having had the chance to leave the country. "We praise - continues the document - the dedication and commitment of Fr. Tom for work in a place of great danger, where his colleagues were murdered in cold blood. "
Tom was abducted on March 4, 2016 in the nursing home of Mother Teresa to Aden. In the attack of probable Qaedaists, four nuns and 12 others were killed. The Salesian, 57, was born in Ramapuram, near Pala (Kottayam, Kerala), into a deeply Catholic family. His uncle Matthew, who died in 2015, also Salesian, is the founder of the mission in Yemen.
The conferral will take place next December 10 in Mumbai. The theme of this year's edition is "Compassion Beyond Borders - Compassionate Response to the Refugee Crisis", "Compassionate Response to the Refugee Crisis".
The Harmony Foundation was created in October 2005 to spread the ideas of peace, dialogue and community aid without distinction of religion, caste, belief, gender or ethnicity. Over the years the prize dedicated to the memory of the "Mother of the Poor" has been conferred on various individuals and organizations. Among the recipients of previous editions, the Dalai Lama, Doctors Without Borders and the Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai.
(Nirmala Carvalho collaborated)