TLIG magazine issue 41

T R U E L I F E I N G O D 16 The Catholic Archdiocese of Guntur lies in India’s Andhra Pradesh State, located in the South-East re- gion. Fr. Joji Raj Pulipati is the parish priest of this diocese and has three villages under his care. Each of these villages has its own church. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chinakakani Village (the main parish church) has approximately three hundred fifty Catholic families; Christ the King Church in Veni- gandla Village has approximately one hundred fifty Catholic families; St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Kaza Village has approximately eighty-five Catholic families. All three churches are part of one parish. Fr. Joji single-handedly administers to the Catholic community in these villages, and is assisted by elders in each church. The people of these villages are mainly farmers, and as we all know, the farmers’ condition in India is dire. They are considered ‘low caste’ and are unjustly mar- ginalized, neglected, and deprived of essential ameni- ties. The Kaza Village experienced the worst effects of this neglect by the local authorities. The contami- nated ground water was polluted to the extent that widespread illnesses ensued; additionally, water con- sumption led to fatalities. As this situation worsened, Fr. Joji sought help from any sources he could reach through social media. He met many of our True Life in God [TLIG] friends on Face book and commu- nicated with them. He sent letters to each of them, explaining the dire situation in his villages. Upon receiving this letter, Satoru, from Japan, was touched. He responded to Fr. Joji via Face book and Messenger so as to understand the issue more clear- ly. Satoru felt a strong desire to assist these people; hence, with the help of other TLIG Japan members he assured Fr. Joji that they would finance the cost. Satoru then contactedAgnello Fernandes, the Nation- al India TLIG contact, to brief him on this situation. He also contacted and briefed Heidi Kyhl, coordinator of the Beth Myriams, to see if TLIG BM could partly assist with this cost. Meanwhile, Fr. Joji found a place for a suitable water purification plant available locally. He graciously received an amount of nine thousand US dollars from the TLIG community, which could pay for the machinery, the construction of a shed for the machinery, and for the installation and accessories etc. Because of this aid, the ground water can be pu- rified and remain clean for the villagers to consume. Satorou’s follow-up letter, as seen below, spells-out TLIG Japan’s present and future India-focused philanthropic ambitions: Dear TLIG India, Let me tell you that, if our donation is reimbursed partially or fully, we would like to use the money for a subsequent project for the same parishio- ners. According to Fr. Joji, there are more people in Chinakakani who also need clean water daily; they live a bit too far from Kaza and find it dif- ficult to carry the heavy water cans daily. Conse- quently, Fr. Joji feels that they must have a vehicle that can carry one hundred water cans. The price for the vehicle is about six-thousand US dol- lars. If our previous donation is reimbursed, we would like to use the money for this next plan. Furthermore, Fr. Joji has a big dream to find a school for the ‘untouchable children’ who have academic potential, but currently can’t get a good education because they are of a lower caste. This plan to educate the poor reminds me of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s mission. In fact,TLIG efforts have promoted the same pursuit in Bangladesh, so why not have a second TLIG school in India? This is just a vision for the future. If God is will- ing, nothing is impossible. We believe in long- term outcomes; the least we can do is to move towards our achievements step by step, as it takes a certain amount of time to accomplish goals. This story has not finished; it continues. May God’s Will be done. In Christ, Satoru From Japan to India with Love As an immediate and positive consequence to this tragic circumstance, close communication ensued between Satoru, Heidi and Agnello on the viability of this water purification project and the best way forward. The TLIG volunteers decided that Agnel- lo should visit the site and prepare a report. They also decided that if TLIG Beth Myriam was to be involved, Fr. Joji would have to form and register a TLIG Prayer group within any or all of the village