04/30/2021, 17.36
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Caritas helps 80 families whose homes were demolished by the Sindh government

by Shafique Khokhar

Fr Mario Rodrigues, parish priest at St Jude’s, said that we must trust and believe that God is with us, even at such a sad hour. He also prayed for donors, in particular Caritas Italia and Caritas Pakistan Karachi.

Sindh (AsiaNews) – “I cried in front of those who came to demolish my house, where we lived for almost 50 years,” said Razak Masih, a father of five, who go to nearby school. Now he lives in a rented house paying 16,000 rupees (US$ 105), a huge burden for him, since he is the only breadwinner in a family of seven.

His is one of many such cases of distress. To cope with the situation, Caritas Pakistan Karachi has provided some help delivering food packages.

According to Adnan Qadir, president of the Urban Development Department, the latter had decided to widen the Mehmoodabad, Gujjar and Orangi canals (nullahs).

As planned, the government tore down some 4,000 houses on both sides of the Gujjar canal. About 450 Christian families living in the area were also affected.

Aware of the situation, Caritas Pakistan Karachi (CPK) on Wednesday handed out food and nutrition packages to 80 of the most vulnerable Christian families, with disabled, sick and widowed members, in Kuasur Naizi Colony and at the Gujjar nullah. This was done as part of a micro project involving Karachi’s St Jude’s parish with the support of Caritas Italia.

As a result of the government’s action, houses built along the banks of the large Gujjar storm-water drain, which runs through the length of Karachi, Christian families were left homeless.

Caritas Pakistan executive director Amjad Gulzar was present at the distribution along with St Jude’s parish priest Fr Mario Rodrigues, his assistants Fr Ashir Laiqat and Fr Shahzad Arshad, and CPK executive secretary Mansha Noor.

Director Gulzar expressed concern for and solidarity with the families affected, noting that as the social arm of the Catholic Church, Caritas provides immediate relief to the families affected any natural or man-made disaster.

Caritas means love and Caritas always reaches out to the vulnerable and marginalised, to those who suffer from misfortunes.

St Jude’s pastor, Fr Mario Rodrigues, said that we must trust and believe that God is with us, even at such a sad hour, and that he has sent a mediator in the form of Caritas. Hence, we must praise and thank God for all that we have received today.

The clergyman also prayed for donors, in particular Caritas Italia and Caritas Pakistan Karachi for their financial support and relief support.

Fr Rodrigues added that he and his group are doing their best to defend people’s right to a home. With this mind, they urged the Sindh government to provide the homeless with alternate housing and compensation.

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