To the Partner Churches, Prayer Partners and well-wishers.
31st January 2001
Reference: My letter dated 27th of January 2001
I have just arrived from my visit to Kutch, and in the continuation of my letter dated 27th of January, 2001. we would like to give you further details. I was there along with Bishop Sadgunam of ECI. The situation in Kutch is indescribable by any means in words. There is acute shortage of food, clean water and medicines. Still there are places in interior villages where rescue and relief work has not taken pace. This is due to the sear magnitude of the disaster. There is danger of wide spread epidemic of water and air borne diseases as lots of dead bodies are still buried under debris and are rotting. To cope with this danger pesticides, medicines and proper hygienic steps need to be taken.
The Diocesan Secretary, Treasurer, Pastors, counselor and volunteers had visited the earthquake affected sites and the congregations immediately with basic requirements. Still lot more requires to be done immediately.
I am grateful to the CNI overseas partner Churches for their positive and sympathetic response, prayers, love and concern. The General Secretary and Treasurer of the CNI Synod has send appeals to you, through this letter I would like clarify to Overseas Partner churches to kindly send your relief donation through CNI Synod, not directly to our account as mentioned in our previous letter.
Relief Measures being initiated by the Diocese
A. Short Term Relief Measures
- In Ahmedabad most of the residents of the high rise buildings are staying on the roads. Many of these building have developed serious cracks, some will be repaired while many will have to be pulled down. To render help for these homeless people Five community kitchens around Ahmedabad have been setup with the help of CASA and the local Congregations. On an average 500 people are fed in each of these centers and food packets are distributed in the apartments and different hospitals too.
- There are about 200 families belonging to CNI in Kutch District. All most all have lost their homes and are now without anything accept the clothes they are wearing. Ten truck load of material have been send up till now, this contains, food grains, edible oil, stoves, vegetables, matches, candles, soaps, water pouches etc. This was send with the help of financial assistance from CASA, Diocese and local congregations. This was distributed among Christians and other affected people. Still much is required.
- Many friends and well wishers have responded to the appeal made by the Bishop and many more have approached directly for providing the relief material. Bishop Sadgunam of ECI is here and have donated blankets, he accompanied the Bishop of Gujarat to his visit in Kutch yesterday. A team of doctors and paramedics have reached Ahmedabad from Ludhiana Medical college and another team from Village Baptist Church, USA, is expected to reach Ahmedabad on 2nd of February. Teams of volunteers along with relief material from Pune and Bhopal Dioceses are on the way and will reach here anytime.
- Youths and leaders from various parts of Gujarat Diocese have reached Kutch with relief material.
- Many Christians in Ahmedabad have lost their homes or their homes are badly damaged. They need to repair or rebuild their homes again.
- All most all the families in Kutch have lost their homes and belongings. They need to start their lives from nothing. For the short term relief they need to be provided basic amenities, like food grains, new clothing, blankets, utensils, temporary shelter etc., we have planned to provide a kit with above material to 1000 families. Each kit will cost approximately Rs. 2000/-
- There is acute shortage of fresh and clean water. A bore-well or proper water storage facility be setup.
- We have identified 200 Christian families to whom we would like to provide financial assistance of Rs 10,000/- for their starting their normal life again.
- Provide study material (school bags, text books, note pads and stationary) to 2000 students costing approximately Rs. 1500/- per set.
B. Long Term Measures
- Relief material has not reached to our community, whatever relief they have received till now is only through our organizations and churches.
- Provide permanent rehabilitation to 1000 families, this is beyond the reach and resources of the Diocese. This vast project will require our corporate undertaking.
- Repair Churches, Parsonage, Church Halls, Bible Seminary, Diocesan office and Bishop's house.
- Train 100 volunteers for counseling and in assisting rehabilitation programme.
I feel most of the above requirements can be procured in Ahmedabad at a very reasonable prices, but for these we need funds. We trust that God is going to provide these through his servants. With God's grace we all together would share Christian solidarity in this hour of crisis and disaster.
Rt Revd V M Malaviya
Bishop of Gujarat