SKD SISTERS IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
As a response to His Great Command “Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations…and teach them to fulfil all that I have commanded you (Mt 28:19-20)” we Kristudasi Sisters set forth to a land which was alien to us ,leaving all the comforts of our mother land ,Kins and Kiths (dear and near), provide moral and human values etc. holding the Name of Jesus to spread Good News, educate the uneducated,healing the sickin Dhonekhona, a remote village under Namsai District of Arunachal Pradesh, India in the year 2012. It is about 140 kms from Miao, the diocesan headquarter and about 9 kms from Namsai, the districts headquarter. The people of this area predominantly belong to Kamti, Adi, Mishing, Miri, Assamese and Adivasi tribes. The people are very illiterate, poor and involved in cultivation. Most of the people in this area are farmers, having small paddy fields and mainly depending on monsoon for cultivation. Some of them do not own land but they cultivate on others’ land. The season for the cultivation begins from May till September depending on the monsoon. Many of them cultivate both in the paddy fields as well as on the hilly regions or high lands which is called jhum cultivation. They do not use manure so also they don’t have any irrigation facilities for cultivation. The main crops are paddy, maize, yam, pineapple, banana and various types of vegetables etc. Even now they follow the primitive method of cultivation like ploughing with bulls etc. The pattern of their cultivation is single crop in a year. The cultivated grain can sustain them for almost three months and then they will have to look for other source of income like daily labour works etc.
The government schools are not functioning well due to insufficient infrastructure and personal. Therefore, the public leaders of this area requested our bishop Most Rev. George Palliparampil to open a primary school and also donated the land for the same. In 2011the Heralds of Good News fathers opened St. Paul School, Dhonekhona with the permission and blessings of the bishop. The very next year, i.e., in 2012 the Society of Kristu Dasi sisters joined the mission specially for teaching in the school, to run a primary health care centre, village ministry, to work among the women and children and to promote girl child education in this area. With our intervention in the field of education and health care the literacy rate and health condition of women and children etc are improving every year.
Mary Matha Health Care Centre
One of our most important concerns in this mission is health care. Since our villages are very remote area, travelling facilities are very rare. The patients come from 10 surrounded villages even from 20 kms distance. The health care services we provide are:
Primary care for the inpatients
For their primary and emergency cases they approach us to get relief from pain and to get first aid. Above all they have belief in divine touch which would heal them.
We make ourselves available twenty four at their service. The only condition we put forward is that they have to approach us along with the Asha workers whom we are appointed in each villagers.
Conducting health care awareness programme
Every month we conduct awareness classes of various diseases, hygiene. Classes are given to adolescent girls of their physical and psychological changes.
Introduced nutritional foods, their preparation and practical demonstration.
Distributing the vitamins for children and women
They are easily vulnerable to various diseases .They get no care and protection especially during pregnancy period and after delivery. Being aware of this situation we give primary important them and provide all necessary help to women and lactating mothers.
Medical camps in different villages with the support of the Social welfare society of North East
Being part of the local health care facilities we conduct medical camps and distribute the medicines they provide
Covid 19 activities
Special awareness programmes is conducted for Asha workers and villagers, Given hand wash training and distributed sanitizer and mask Distributed edible and stationary items to the poor villagers.
Being remote and backward area schools are very rare. There is one government school which is not functioning fruitfully. So being aware of the needs of the place, Heralds of the Good news Fathers started an English Medium School. Two of our sisters are teaching there. Through this ministry we are trying to do evangelisation and giving Christian and moral values. We try to contact with the parents and villagers who are in different walks of life. Most of the Christian students are given free education.
Hostel for girls and Women Empowerment
According to the culture and custom of this area the girl children are not given education. They consider giving education to girls as futile. Even from their small age they run out of their house and live with their boyfriends. After that both families come together and they get married and become mothers in their adolescence and then onwards take up the burden of the family. Being convinced of this situation we have started a hostel for girls to promote girls education. At present we can accommodate 40 girls. Along with academic studies, we provide them spiritual, moral, psychological and physical education.
There are 10 villages under our pastoral care, and out of this 5 villages are blessed with Catholic population. We visit them quiet often and conduct prayers, catechism classes, teach them to receive Holy Sacraments. On our visits we find out the poor, homeless, and other people who need special care and attention. We could help them by collecting money from various people. The villagers are very happy with our presence among them and are always welcoming.