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Bangladesh Church, youth help homeless battle winter

Dinajpur Diocese and Catholic Students' Movement in Khulna are distributing blankets and winter clothes among the homeless

Bangladesh Church, youth help homeless battle winter

A Catholic youth volunteer in Khulna Diocese offers a blanket to a homeless woman on Jan. 22. (Photo supplied)

Published: January 24, 2022 09:57 AM GMT

Updated: January 24, 2022 11:36 AM GMT

The Catholic Church and youth organizations are distributing winter clothes and blankets among street dwellers to help them deal with a severe winter in parts of Bangladesh.

Dinajpur Diocese and the Bangladesh Catholic Students’ Movement (BCSM) of Khulna Diocese have reached more than 1,200 people, including children, belonging to Christian Hindu and Muslim communities.

Winter has been particularly severe during the past few weeks in northern districts and may worsen.

According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, the lowest temperature of 8.3 degrees Celsius was recorded in the northern subdistrict of Tetulia of Panchagorh on Jan. 22. The severity of the winter could increase, according to the Meteorological Department.

“People in Dinajpur region are suffering more in winter. It has been very cold here for the last two weeks. So, we have provided one blanket each to 1,000 families in different areas on behalf of the diocese,” said Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur.

The prelate said this help was inadequate considering the number of people living in the open and appealed to those who want to help to contact his diocese.

We are having a hard time in this winter. Getting a blanket has alleviated the cold a little bit. But we do not have enough winter clothes

Basonti Rani, 43, a mother of three from Dinajpur, has five members in her family. She received a blanket from Dinajpur Diocese early this month.

“We are having a hard time in this winter. Getting a blanket has alleviated the cold a little bit. But we do not have enough winter clothes. The money we earn as day laborers is not even enough to buy food. How can we think of buying clothes?” Rani told UCA News.

“I thank the Christian community for helping us and hope they will continue to do so.” 

The BCSM in Khulna is collecting donations locally and distributing winter clothes and blankets to those having to spend the cold winter nights on the streets.

“We have been distributing winter clothes and blankets to the poor and street children since before Christmas. There is not much help available because of Covid-19 but we continue to ask for help,” said Hubert Sony Ratna, coordinator of the cloth distribution wing of the BCSM.

He said that on the night of Jan. 23 youth volunteers witnessed a clamor for blankets from hundreds of street dwellers.

“Unfortunately, we had only 20 blankets to give away. It was a very embarrassing situation for us. We appeal to the well-to-do people to come forward and help these people,” Ratna told UCA News.

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