Devastation in Kolkata: can you help?

A massive clean-up operation is continuing as millions of people across northern India try to rebuild their lives following the devastation left by Cyclone Amphan. 

Two weeks ago, many of our partner dioceses in North India, including the Diocese of Kolkata, were badly hit, with streets flooded and blocked by trees, church buildings and community projects devastated, and many people left homeless and without food and water.

The cyclone came on top of the challenges already being faced due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Many people in Kolkata earn their living as daily labourers, and have lost their livelihood because of the lockdown.

Children receiving education through diocesan and CRS schools are now at risk of being trafficked into child labour and child marriage.

The Diocese of Kolkata, in partnership with the Cathedral Relief Service has enabled a relief programme to reach out to the neediest people – 4,500 families have already been helped, but more help is needed in this desperate situation.

The ongoing lockdown, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, has affected the lives of some of the most vulnerable communities across the country, such as the dalits, migrant labourers, waste pickers, widows, elderly etc… both in rural and urban areas.

To cushion the impact of the crisis and to ensure access to essentials, the Church of North India’s Synodical Board of Social Services has been active in providing relief materials like cooked food and rations to the people in need, in the areas of Ajnala, Khemkaran, Kolkata, Barrackpore, Choitanagpur, Chimubeda, Ukanli Panchayat and Bano block as the first emergency response.

Face masks are being produced by the diocese of Kolhapur who are also running a community kitchen for migrant sugarcane workers stranded by lockdown.

The relief work will be followed by various rehabilitation initiatives to sustain the livelihood of the people in the near future.

Please pray for our sisters and brothers in the Church of North India.

>> More from BBC News

For more information, about the general Covid-19 response within the Church of North India please visit http://cnisbss.org/ and for specific information about the situation in Kolkata and the impact upon our joint schools project please contact Anita Matthews (anita@stpetersderby.org.uk) or Alison Brown (Alison.Brown@derby.anglican.org).

How you can help

If you are able to make a financial gift to support this emergency relief work in our link dioceses, then the details you need are:

  • If your church already has a financial link with an affected diocese in India and you wish to donate, please do so using your existing means
  • Alternatively, you can donate via the Calcutta Cathedral Relief Fund (CRS):
    CAF Bank Ltd
    Sort Code 40-52-40
    Account No: 00096998
    Account Name: Friends of Calcutta Cathedral Relief Service
    Please identify the purpose of your donation as “Covid-19 Appeal”. 

Please keep our sisters and brothers in Kolkata in your thoughts and prayers.

 Food distribution in the Diocese of Kolkata following Cyclone Amphan

A message from Bishop Paritosh, Bishop of Calcutta:

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

I thank you immensely for your prayers, care and concern for the people of Kolkata.

Your support so far has helped us in giving hope and smiles to 4500 families in the villages and slums where we work under the Diocese of Kolkata, CNI, in partnership with Cathedral Relief Service Calcutta (CRS).

At this moment we join you in prayers for strengthening our hands to do the work and mission of Christ. With many challenges facing us besides COVID-19 and now the cyclone affected people, we look forward to your prayerful support.

Our priorities in the light of Covid19 and the devastation wreaked by Cyclone Amphan

  • Second phase of food supplies to poorest of the poor families.
  • Rehabilitation for women and children to avoid a rise in child labour, trafficking and child abuse as result of this pandemic.
  • Preventing youth being trapped into antisocial and criminal activities.
  • Rehabilitation of homeless families.
  • Providing livelihood programmes as a means of income generation for the families.

Please continue to pray for us.

+Paritosh

The Diocese of Derby

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