Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the horrific train crash which took place in the eastern state of Odisha on Friday. The crash, which is suspected to have been caused by a signalling failure, happened near the Bahanaga Bazar station, about 170 miles south of Kolkata. Three trains were involved in the crash, which has been described as the worst seen in India this century. As of Sunday 4th June, 275 people had died and more than 1,000 were injured.
We pray for:
Those who have survived the crash. May God bring healing to both their physical and mental health following this traumatic experience.
Friends and family of those who have died, and those who are still searching for missing loved ones. May they lean on Almighty God for strength at this time.
Those who are missing. In Jesus’ name, we pray that they would be found alive and uninjured soon, and that the death toll would not grow any larger.
We are saddened to announce the death of Asit Dutta, better known to all at CRS as Asit Da, which means ‘elder brother’. Asit Da served CRS for 42 years, with a particular focus on improving the health of disadvantaged communities. He was involved in setting up health projects for the children, women and wider communities where health facilities were previously minimal or non-existent. Most recently, he helped establish the Bosekati health clinic at St Luke’s Church, which has already provided over 500 people with life-changing health check-ups and medication.
Rig David, Director and Secretary of CRS, said: ‘Asit Da was extremely organised and methodical in his work. He was always ready to help anyone in need of medical assistance. He always wore a smile and tried to do his best lovingly, even in the most difficult situations. He was an extremely strong-minded person who came back to continue his work at CRS a week before he left us for his heavenly abode.’
CRS has been recognised by the national skill corporation of the Government of India as an authorised training centre, after much hard work and dedication by the team in Kolkata. This means all women’s empowerment programmes will be recognised and each of the women and girls being trained will receive a certificate from the Government, benefitting their livelihoods and future prospects. A fantastic achievement for CRS and all the women and girls they serve.
In early September, members of the CRS core team travelled to the UK to visit London, Derby, Oxford and Cambridge. Among them were Rig David, Director and Secretary, and The Rt. Revd. Dr. Paritosh Canning, Bishop of Calcutta and Chairman of CRS. The visit was intended to strengthen links with the Church of North India (CNI), raise awareness of the work being done in the Diocese of Calcutta and increase valuable support of CRS. Look out for more about the trip in the next Friends of CRS newsletter update, coming soon.
Representatives from Larsen & Toubro (L&T) recently visited the Nari Dana project at the Bishop’s House in Kolkata, and were treated to a tour.
Mr Sanjeev Sharma, L&T’s General Manger, travelled from the company’s Mumbai headquarters for the visit, and was joined by Mr Prosenjit Roy, Kolkata Branch Manager, and Mr Govind Shaw, Kolkata HR Head.
One of India’s biggest construction companies, Larsen & Toubro have provided support for Nari Dana in various ways over the past few years, including arranging transport and food for the women during 2020 to enable them to continue the activities at times when Government lockdown restrictions allowed.
The women received a real boost from the visit and the interest Mr Sharma, Mr Roy and Mr Shaw showed in the project.