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- Fr.Thomas D'Silva

Bongaigaon (CBCI  News), July 30: Leaders of various Churches and Christian denominations met here  at the Bishop's House and resolved to pray for peace and reconciliation, and to act unitedly to bring relief to over four hundred thousand  people who are put up in various camps in the districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri in Lower Assam.

Inter Church Peace Mission (ICPM), an umbrella organization headed by Bishop Nityananda Borgoyari of Northern Evaangelical Lutheran Church (NELC- Bodo) and Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of the Catholic diocese of Bongaigaon, Bishop Juel Tudu of NELC (Santhal), Bishop Sulen Narzary of Lutheran Church- as vice presidents,  issued a  statement appealing for peace and restraint. “We resolve to work for the restoration of peace,” read the statement.

The group has  formed a core committee of five representatives from NELC, Baptist (both Bodo and Garo) and Catholic Church. The members decided to visit all the camps in Lower Assam as a 'goodwill mission' on August 3-4.

Later in the day, the Peace and Relief Co-ordination Committee (PRCC) met under the chairmanship of Bishop Pulloppillil to take stock of the situation. The director of Bongaigaon Gana Seva Society (BGSS), Fr. David Antony briefed the gathering on various steps taken.

Reporting on the health situation in the camps, Sr. Annette, the superior of St.  Augustine Convent, which runs a hospital in Bongaigaon, said  “gastroenteritis, skin diseases, malaria, fever and other water-borne diseases are common among 600 odd patients her team examined at Mongalia Bazaar camp under Bijni Sub-division in Chirang district.”

The PRCC charted out an immediate action of making BGSS premises as its base camp and Bijni, Kajalgaon, Kokrajhar, Gossaigaon, Gauripur and Bongaigaon as cluster camps for the relief teams for easy movement and accessibility. Each cluster camp will have a sister-in-charge as facilitator and contact person.

As the government is already supplying food materials, the PRCC said medicines, clothes, mosquito nets, clean drinking water and baby food are their immediate priorities.

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