Bangladesh’s Catholic Diocese of Sylhet distributes relief to street kids

Street children in the Diocese of Sylhet in Bangladesh receive relief goods during the pandemic from the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Diocese of Sylhet in Bangladesh has launched a relief distribution drive for street children and the handicapped.

“We have distributed relief in several phases, including rice, pulses, and packets of food, medicine, biscuits, sanitizers, and masks,” said Bishop Bejoy N. D'Cruze, OMI, of Sylhet.

The prelate said that during the pandemic “those who have no work, the unemployed, and the very poor, are living in extreme hardship.”

“People are living in a lot of hardships, especially the street children and the handicapped,” said the bishop.

Among those who benefitted from the diocese program in recent weeks are 50 street children and at least 20 handicapped people around the Sylhet railway station.

“I am thinking of them,” said Bishop D'Cruze.

The diocese and the Catholic Church’s social action arm, Caritas Sylhet, have also extended help to poor families in tea gardens in Khasia punji and other villages. 

Sylhet is a new diocese that was established on July 8, 2011. It is a region in Bangladesh where most tea plantations are located.

There are about 225 tea estates in Sylhet Division and about 700,000 people, mostly indigenous Hindus from 40 groups, earn their livelihood in the tea plantations.

There are about 19,633 Catholics in the diocese.

Bishop D’Cruze said he is “very grateful because in this critical moment our helpful friends have come to our side with financial support.”

“I sincerely give thanks to them. God bless our donors,” said the bishop.

The Diocese of Sylhet has so far provided food and financial assistance to 638 needy and poor families. - Nikhil Gomes/ RVA News