Infant Jesus Dispensary, Eleru

Lying directly south of Andhra Pradesh [‘land of the Andhras’], and covering most of the south-eastern cone of the country, the ‘Homeland of the Tamils’ (tamil meaning ‘sweet nectar’, for the etymologists among you) is, after ‘A.P.’, the second Indian State whence most of our requests originate.

The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima is a Missionary Congregation with over 430 Sisters in all, having 82 communities working in 34 Dioceses of India, mostly in rural areas. Sister Nirmala Thomas, our contact in Kottar, got in touch to tell us: “We established our mission center in Ramapuram, a remote village in Kanyakumari district in the year 1995. Seeing the deteriorating health conditions of the people in this locality, we started Fatima Health Centre in the year 1996 because of the constant requests for support we were getting from the local people.

Like Jesus who loved the sick and healed them, we have the mission to assist the sick and alleviate their suffering. We hold in high esteem those who share in this ministry of comfort and healing. People make use of the Centre for treating their sickness. We also started expanding our health apostolate for the rural masses in 18 villages, but we require a vehicle to continue our healing ministry effectively in these more remote areas. We therefore request you whether you could extend your financial support to purchase a vehicle for our healing ministry.”

Our own mission to help where we can, by using donated funds in places they will have a practical impact, is once more illustrated by the response we received, which has so much in common with so many others, and shows how our supporters can change things for the better – and quickly – once a form of transport is in service:

“We the Sisters at Fatima Health Clinic are very grateful to SURVIVE-MIVA for releasing  11,700 to procure a vehicle for our Clinic.

We are elated to inform you that we purchased the vehicle with your grant. Earlier our health ministry was severely hampered due to the lack of a vehicle. Now we are happy that we have our own vehicle for our healing ministry. We regularly visit the villages and organise health clinics. People are very happy with our services. We organise health awareness programmes in all the villages. Special awareness programmes on various viral fevers are organised regularly.

We motivate the people to keep their surroundings neat and clean. People are very cooperative and follow the instructions given to them. We send the vehicle to pick up pregnant women to the health centre for the delivery on time. The elderly and vulnerable are also picked up and are brought to the health centre for treatment. We are finally able to return safely to our base, and also arrive on time from the far off villages after our healing ministry. We thank all the well-wishers of SURVIVE-MIVA for your support and request you to continue your support to the missionaries who are in need like us.”