(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions emergency relief continues in flood-swamped India this week as the worst flooding in decades has displaced at least 1.5 million people and killed more than 300. Salesian Missions is providing emergency shelter and food to thousands of flood victims in their communities even with the limited resources available to them.
Bosco Seva Kendra, with the Development Office of the Province, is collaborating with other Salesian Missions communities in the region to continue emergency relief work in the Kurnool, Mahabubnagar and Krishna districts, according to Father Bellamkonda Sudhakar, SDB, who oversees the program. The river Krishna and other rivers in the state are receiving heavy inflow which has resulted in marooning of three major cities and more than 200 villages.
“Rain damaged roads broke transport links to several villages leaving thousands of victims without the assistance they need,” said Fr. Bellamkonda Sudhakar. “Electricity and communication lines are also damaged and given the chaos created by the flood, the extent of the destruction for the residents and their property and livestock has not been determined.”
Hundreds of thousands are now living in temporary shelters, and it’s anticipated that it might take weeks for the flood water to recede and people to get back to their normal lives. With a particular focus on youth, Salesian Missions has a concern for the educational needs of these displaced children.
“Poor villagers who depend on their seasonal agricultural work are now left with nothing for months to come, said Fr. Bellamkonda Sudhakar. “This will force them to stop their children from attending school in order to lend a helping hand in earning a living. Ensuring a bright future necessitates that children continue their studies in safe and accessible learning environments that allow youth to focus on what’s important, learning and thriving.”
Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions (headquartered in New Rochelle, NY) responded to these concerns. “Salesian Missions was in these communities working with children before this disaster struck,” he said. “And will be there long after helping to care for the most vulnerable children after the media attention dies down. The work to give these children and their families hope and opportunity is vital and must continue.”
Salesian Missions programs are found well beyond the borders of India. They are in more than 130 countries around the globe, and have reached more than 3 million youth over the past six decades. Even more impressive, the international programs have been made possible by the generosity of more than 5 million Americans.