21 National News

posted Aug 14, 2018, 8:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 8:45 AM ]

39 killed in a week

The recent five-day rainfall in Kerala has been the worst since 1924. Preliminary estimates show the loss could be around ₹8316 crore. Thirty-nine people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents since August 8. According to the latest official figures, more than 60,000 people, including women, toddlers and senior citizens, have been lodged in various relief camps across 14 districts. 320 relief camps have been set up across the six affected districts of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Idukki.

Nearly 20,000 houses have been fully damaged, and nearly 10,000 km of state PWD roads damaged. Shutters to 27 dams had to be opened across the state, due to water levels inching close to maximum capacity.


President praises Christian community

Kerala's Christian community is a symbol of India's non-negotiable commitment to diversity and pluralism, said Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on August 12.

The Indian President expressed his appreciation for the role Christian schools play in Indian education during the celebrations for the centenary of St Thomas College, Thrissur. He said the community's heritage and history was a matter of "immense pride" for the country. "The Christian community in Kerala is one of the oldest, not only in India, but anywhere else in the world," noting that the real value of education lies in how we learn to help fellow human beings, and not in degrees.


Central India to be drought-proof

Over the years, recurring droughts and frequent crop failures have driven the farming community of central India to despair. A major part of the region is reeling under drought, leading to severe water crisis. Farming communities of Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra and Bundelkhand that straddles Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have lost their livelihoods to the vagaries of nature.

Caritas India, the Church's social action wing, had initiated reflections at various levels for developing strategies of drought intervention. They ended in February 2017 with the formulation of Water and Agriculture Resilience Mission (WARM), a solidarity response of the Church to farmers' distress. The initial phase of the mission was completed in July. It also launched WARM review cum proposal finalisation write-shop from July 30 to Aug. 2, at Nagpur to empower Community-based Organizations as advocacy agents for addressing water security and community mobilisation. They would in turn impart water governance and sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture practices among 30,000 households in Marathwada, Vidarbha and Bundelkhand regions.


Tribals urged to resist exploitation

About 2,000 people who gathered to mark International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples were asked to fight to protect their identity and culture in the face of increasing challenges in India. Leaders who addressed the gathering in New Delhi on Aug. 9 presented data and incidents to show how exploitation of tribal people has increased since 2014.

"Atrocities on tribals are nothing new, but now tribals are branded as anti-national, and the government will always harass them," Jesuit Fr Vincent Ekka, a tribal rights activist, told participants. He said the Indian Constitution provided for tribal people to enjoy self-administration in certain areas, "but local administrative executives are not following it." Fr Ekka heads the department of Tribal Studies at the Jesuit-run Indian Social Institute, which organised the meeting of tribal people and leaders across India on the theme 'Indigenous peoples' migration and movement.'


CCPI meeting

The Conference of Catholic Psychologists of India (CCPI) is holding its 19th Annual Conference at Pillar Institute of Lay Leadership, Animation and Research (PILLAR), Madurai, from September 21-23, 2018. The theme of the Conference is 'Role of Psychology in the Contemporary Technological World'. Participation can be confirmed with the Secretary, Fr Thomas Mathilakathu, CMI (Mob: 94476 82223, ccpimaduraiconference@gmail.com, mathilcmi@gmail.com) or with the President, Dr Fr C.M. Joseph Cherukunnel SDB. (Mob: 95398 09657, cherujoseph@gmail.com)

CBCI felicitates 15 tribal achievers

It was a special occasion for 15 tribal youth, as they were publicly recognised by the Catholic Church for their hard work, brilliance and enthusiasm in achieving standards of excellence.

In a first of its kind, the CBCI Office for Tribals organised a special event to felicitate 15 young tribals for their achievements.

At a function held at the CBCI Centre, New Delhi, on August 10, 2018 on the occasion of 24th International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, tribal youth from different streams such as music, singing, acting, scholarship, airplane pilot, body building, writers, publishers were publicly acclaimed.