2007-03-23 15:26:31

A Caritas Campaign: “Save the farmers, Save India”

(23 March 2007) : In the hope of alleviating the rate of suicides amongst the indebted farmers in many parts of India, Caritas India has planned to launch a national campaign, starting from the first week of April. The campaign’s slogan is “Save the Farmers, Save India”. Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Mumbai and president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India said, “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's package has not brought a solution to the plight of distressed farmers across the country. Their rising suicides have become a national shame. Hence we have decided to launch a campaign to save farmers.” The suicides of the poor and hapless farmers, he added, should not become “cold national statistics.” “We will put pressure on the Union Government and we will work as a catalyst and mobilize resources to reach out effectively to the families of farmers who have killed themselves,” the prelate said. He has also directed the Archdiocesan Director of Centre for Social Action to study the situation of various families affected by suicides and provide assistance in different dioceses affected by the phenomenon. Given the tragic situation of the farmers, the Archbishop of Mumbai has pushed the diocese to celebrate Lent with prayers, penance, and with effective and significant charity work.

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