Thursday, April 10, 2008

Developing Communities in South Dinajpur

With support from Caritas India, Social Welfare Institute is supporting the poor for their development in the District of South Dinajpur. This project is headed by Fr. Herman Kindo and Mr. Jayanta Das. The team did an excellent job-- along with over 20 field workers-- in completing the activities in the last year. The Report of the first year for the period covering July 2007 - March 2008 is available by clicking on the link : Annual Report of ICDP. We thank Fr. Herman and Mr. Jayanta for the hardwork and the excellent job they have done for the benefit and development of the poor. Congrats to the entire team.

Neighboring Diocese Plans for Development

The neighboring Diocese of Darjeeling is planning for the development of the people within its operational area (the Hills of Darjeeling and the State of Sikkim), through an exercise called "Diocesan Perspective Plan". This is being done at Pushpika, in Kalimpong. Anuggyalaya, the official organization of the diocese, led by Fr. Valentine Rai, is organizing the entire program. Priests, religious and many lay persons from the diocese are taking part in the program that is scheduled for 10 -11, April 2008. The Bishop Rt. Rev. Stephen Lepcha, in his Keynote Address mentioned that we must move from the known territories of relief and aid to the till now untouched areas of people's rights and empowerment. The full text is available by clicking on : The Bishop's Address.

Fr. I.P. Sarto, the Director of ABCD, the West Bengal Regional Forum, Mr. Sanjay Rozario, the Regional Manager of W. Bengal region, and Puthumai A. Nazarene, Director, Social Welfare Institute, Raiganj are the external facilitators along with Mr. Roshan, Sr. Sabrina and Fr. Michael from Darjeeling to help in the planning.

Reporting CBDP

The Community Based Disaster Preparedness project supported by Catholic Relief Services and Caritas India for the year April 2007 - March 2008 came to an end on 31 March 2007. The project was headed by Ms. Rekha Soren and Ms. Bimala Baru, with Mr. Subhash Topno, Mr. Ansarul Haque, Mr. Prabir, Mr. Bishwanath Soren and Mr. Kalicharan as field Supervisors and a team of over 30 field workers. The Report for the Month of March 08 is available by clicking on this link. We thank all the Staff associate with the Project during the entire year in order to achieve the objectives of the project.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Minister Inaugurates Disaster Preparedness Project

The Hon'ble Minister In-Charge of Civil Defense, Dr. Sreekumar Mukherjee, inaugurated two Community Based Disaster Preparedness (CBDP) Projects of Social Welfare Institute, Raiganj. At a inaugural function held at the training center of the organization, D.D.C. at Chotparua, the Minister viewed some mock-drills of the Staff before he addressed the gathering of SWI Staff and people gathered for the occasion. He was welcomed by the CBDP Staff and the Sisters at D.D.C, and was led to the dais by dancing tribal girls. Addressing the gathering in the background of a bus tragedy that killed 20 persons just two days ago in Kolkata, the Minister said, "Most deaths at such times take place in the first five minutes itself. That's why every person must be trained to respond to natural calamities and tragic accidents. CBDP programs are meant to build resilience in the communities in order to help them cope with disasters and respond to them correctly when such occur." He was officially welcomed by the Director Puthumai A. Nazarene. Ms. Rekha Soren and Ms. Bimala Baru, the two Coordinators of the CBDP Projects organized the program splendidly. (in the picture : the Hon'ble Minister and Director, SWI, surrounded by the Staff)

The two Community Based Disaster Preparedness projects are being supported by Caritas India, Catholic Relief Services, UNICEF and the Ministry of Civil Defense, Government of West Bengal.