ACN Success Story: India
Ten mopeds to support pastoral work in Indian islands
By ACN International projects department, adapted by the Canadian office
Published online May 6, 2020
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are a chain of some 572 islands in the Indian Ocean belonging to the Indian union, but with only 37 actually inhabited.
Even on the inhabited islands, over one third of the area is a rainforest reserve. They are the homelands of many different indigenous tribes , including some entirely isolated with almost no contact with the outside world. Since the 1980s, the population on these islands has been growing as a result of migration from the Indian mainland. Today the total population is approximately 380,000 people – one third of whom live in the capital, Port Blair.
The Catholic diocese of Port Blair has approximately 34,000 Catholics, almost all are Nicobarese. The 16 parishes of the diocese are scattered across several islands, and there are over 500 small Christian communities. Travel between islands, requires boats; and on the islands themselves, however, what roads there are, are long and difficult to negotiate. Almost none of their priests parishes have a car, and the old bicycles and mopeds that are commonly used, take a heavy battering from the rough roads and do not last long.
And so, last year the diocesan administrator asked ACN for help to purchase 10 new mopeds for pastoral work. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to respond quickly with a donation of $13,500, and the mopeds have now been purchased. Now the priests have an easier time reaching the Catholic faithful in the scattered villages of these remote islands.
The ten priests who have benefited from these new mopeds have expressed their heartfelt gratitude, and the people are happy too. For thanks to your help, the diocese can now intensify its youth outreach, and generally have an easier time reaching the Catholic faithful on a more frequent basis.
Our heartfelt thanks to all our benefactors!