Hope is found in faith in Tamil Nadu tragedy
Faith springs from the devastation that is Tamil Nadu, India, says John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union after a visit to the hard-hit state where he travelled from Nagappatinam to Pondicherry.
"It might seem impossible," he told AsiaNews, "but I saw signs of hope spring among desperate people." The most significant one is people of different faith "rediscovering their faith in such tragic circumstances".
"Such a tragedy," Mr Dayal said, "leads people to look inward and many found in their faith the strength to react".
In India as elsewhere, rescue and aid operations feature great inter-faith solidarity. They involve everyone, especially among the young.
"I saw many young Catholics from the interior go to the coast to help move the rubbles and lend a hand to families and children in refugee camps".
Caritas and the Catholic Church are implementing short and long term plans to help immediate needs and reconstruction.
For Mr Dayal, one of the first things that ought to be done is "raise money to help fishermen fix their boats or buy new ones".
Tamil Nadu bishops and Indian Catholic organisations are thinking about raising funds abroad to restart services around the shrine of Our Lady of Good Health in Vailankanni. The tsunami's fury spared the shrine itself but swept away much around it, killing at least a thousand people, including many pilgrims.
Hope is found in faith in Tamil Nadu tragedy (Asia News 5/1/05)
Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni
Caritas Australia | Caritas Australia Asian Eathquake/Tsunami Appeal
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6 Jan 2005