With the help of a national bank, the Church hands out blankets and other items to more than 150 needy families. The poorest and the sick suffer at night from the cold.
Naogaon (AsiaNews) – Caritas Bangladesh recently helped more than 150 poor families against the cold winter by providing them with blankets. One of the people who benefitted is Nirmol Soren.
Every night, he said, "we could not sleep because of the cold - we had no blankets. For this reason, we only fell asleep late, the heat of a fire to warm us.”
The distribution of aid took place last Sunday, 10 January, at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Katadanga, Naogaon, in the eastern part of the district. Caritas also received support from the Rajshahi branch of a national bank, the Dhaka Bank.
Denis C. Baskey, director of Caritas in Rajshahi Division, said that "the Rajshahi branch of the Dhaka Bank and Caritas Rajshahi handed out blankets to those most in need, especially the elderly, widows, orphans, people with disabilities and the sick, in Porsha and Sapahar, two sub-districts in Naogaon District." Some 95 per cent of the beneficiaries are Catholic, he added.
One of them, a disabled person, said that sleeping this winter had become very difficult. "Winter is our enemy because we do not have many warm clothes to wear, and many of us are among the most vulnerable."
St Paul Parish in Naogaon has a membership of 1,700, whilst the Diocese of Rajshahi has about 60,000, mostly tribal.
The harsh temperatures have caused the death of 20 people. In Bangladesh, winters are generally mild, so the population is not equipped with blankets and radiators. In Rajshahi 2,500 families rescued.
Catholics in the poorest areas of Faisalabad diocese have given "food, quilts and a little money" to Mgr Coutts, bishop and national Caritas director. For the bishop, this is a "magnificent example of generosity".