When the monsoon hit the western part of India, no one expected the rains to be as deadly as they turned out to be. Ratnagiri and Raigad, the two coastal districts in Maharashtra’s Konkan region, bore the maximum brunt of the disaster. Responding to the signs of times in a true Sisters of Charity of Nazareth manner, Sisters in the Dockyard community stepped forward with flood relief work for flood victims in Mahad, in the Raigad district.
We worked alongside Parish volunteers who were at the forefront of collecting relief materials from generous donors. Our continuous efforts to segregate, pack and load materials in the trucks, spanning over day and night, brought a sense of solidarity to the flood victims. The six trucks were loaded with provisions (drinking water bottles, rice, noodles/ Maggie, sugar, salt, oil, masala, biscuits, sweets, tea leaves, milk powder, potatoes, onions, spices, varieties pulses wheat flour, etc). When the floodwater subsided and roads became possible for travel, we, Sisters Vijaya Chalil, Sheela Barla, and Saroj Kumari along with Fr. Nigel Barrett, the Parish Priest, went to Mahad to deliver the provisions, clothes, and other necessities. What we saw and heard were heart-wrenching scenes and painful memories of those who lost their loved ones to this natural disaster. While the pandemic has hurt the economy and life sources of people, the floods caused massive destruction to houses, cultivation, and shops in their area. Several houses had been submerged in floodwaters. Their essentials for survival had been destroyed and washed out. At this tragic moment, religious men and women over there are working together, preparing food packets and distributing them to the people. We not only helped with provisions and materials but also offered emotional support to those who share their life-saving experiences while visiting the houses. Although the water is subsided, it will take a long time for people to get back to their normalcy. Let us continue to hold them in our prayers.
Sister Saroj Kumari, SCN
Source and more photos: https://scnfamily.org/posts/