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An update to an original story out of Rajgir, India, on the severe thunderstorm that hit an SCN ministry for children affected by polio.
From Malini Manjoly, SCN:
Dear Sisters and Friends,
Chetanalaya, Rajgir is slowing getting back to normal. The thunderstorm and the rain that lashed on Friday terrified the girls (most of whom have polio) staying at the SCN school and left a path of destruction.
The storms were powerful ripping up most of the mango trees in the compound and demolishing parts of the roof over the girls dormitory and windows in the main building and garage door. The make-shift school building and the dining room have also been damaged. As the storms came through some of the girls had to be rescued. The first hand accounts are chilling.
On Friday suddenly it began to get dark and a severe thunder storm broke loose with heavy rains at around 9:30 a.m. Rose Plathottathil, SCN, could see bricks and part of the roof flying all around the compound. With great difficulty, she struggled to get to the school side where the girls were gathered. As she reached the school she heard the cries of girls from the laundry. Four of the girls who are only able to get around by using both their hands and feet (because their polio leaves them unable to walk standing upright) were trapped in waist deep water. Sister Rose carried each one of them on her hip to safety. As the make-shift buildings came down one-by-one the girls ran to safety into the oldest building which with-stood the storm.
The girls and Sister Rose were very frightened, for they had never witnessed such fury of the nature in Rajgir. As they cried in fear, they began to say the Rosary.
Sister Rose was able to call other SCNs for help. SCNs Roselyn Karakattu and Smita Karikkattil, from Patna, left for Rajgir and rushed to aid Sister Rose and the girls. Manisha Azhakathu, SCN, also joined them from Bakhtiarpur. SCNs Philomena Kottoor, Cecily Velleringatt and Lucy Puthukkatt from Mokama came the following day.
There is much to be done to get Rajgir back up and running. But all are grateful that all of our SCN family members are safe. Since the storm all but 26 of the girls have returned to their homes for summer vacation. At Asha Kiran, Rajgir, 108 physically challenged girls reside and study throughout the year.
Others did not survive the storms. According to reports, one person died in the town of Rajgir and many of the huts were blown to pieces. Thirty people died in other parts of the state of Bihar where Rajgir is located. People have been left with no electricity and phone lines are out.
Please join the SCN Congregation as we continue to pray for the victims of these recent storms. To see more pictures of damage from the storm click here.