One bishop is absent from Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Synod of the Bishops on the family. He was invited, he wanted to come, his name is on the participant list, but he is not in Rome. He is some 4,000 miles away. And few—if any—people outside the synod hall even know he is not there.His name is Bishop Anthony Borwah, 48, and he leads the Catholic Diocese of GBarnga in central Liberia, where Ebola is wreaking havoc. Tony, as he is called, learned he could not travel to the Synod in late August, when the Ivory Coast closed its borders due to the Ebola outbreak and restricted the one airline that could have taken him to Abidjan, where he needed to apply in person for a Schengen visa to travel to the European Union.Borwah may not be at the Synod, nor is he able to participate remotely due to technological limits, but the gathering’s focus on the family is vital to his Liberian families. Ebola is their most urgent challenge, but it is not the only one, he explained to TIME in this exclusive interview. Borwah submitted an essay to the Synod—an “intervention” in Vatican-speak—about the situations facing Liberian families. Borwah’s essay is not being read aloud at the Synod but will be entered into the written record and considered in any final documents that the Synod produces.“Enormous are the pastoral challenges of the family in Liberia today,” his essay begins, before continuing to describe the challenges including Ebola, polygamy, migration, unemployment, the lack of a father-figures, domestic violence, child trafficking, and sexual tourism. “Existential questions from the poor, prevalently during the Civil war, are been asked again: Where is God? What wrong have we (Liberians) done again? How come we have once again become the abandoned and scum of the earth?”The past few months since Ebola outbreak have been brutal for Liberia, where about 69% of the population is Christian, according to Pew Research Center. Borwah has lost dear friends to the virus, including his spiritual director, Father Miguel from Spain, his mentor and medical doctor Abraham Borbor, and his prayer partner Tidi Dogba. While the Catholic community as a whole has not had many deaths in Gbarnga, he says, those who are dying are relatives and friends. “As Bishop of my people I carry within my heart their wounds and pains every moment of life here,” he says.The Liberian Catholic community is doing what it can to combat the virus. Borwah has called on all Catholics in his diocese to gather in prayer against Ebola from 5 to 6 p.m. every day from September 1 through November 30. The church uses the first ten minutes for education and updates about Ebola, and then for the last 50 minutes they pray with the Holy Rosary. They are observing strict medical rules about what kind of interaction they can have while together for prayer. No touching, no handshakes, and entrances of churches, homes, and offices have buckets of chlorinated water for hand washing.The Catholic Church is also collaborating with the government on the national Ebola Task Force Team, Borwah says. The National Catholic Health Team is training nurses in three Catholic dioceses in Liberia, and Catholic clinics remain open. “Our Human Rights Department is also actively involved in violations issue[s] that may occur under such a crisis situation and the state of emergency when rights are restricted,” Borwah adds. “We hope to soon begin the distribution of food to mainly quarantined communities and other affected areas.”The Ebola devastation extends beyond just a health crisis for Liberian families. The virus’ highly contagious nature means that family members are kept at a great distance from infected loved ones. Ignoring the restriction, on the other hand, can lead to death, but Liberian families are very affectionate especially in difficult times, Borwah explains, and the inability to show real human kindness is wounding morale.Poverty is also increasing, he says. Already more than 80% of families in Liberia live below the poverty line, according to the Central Intelligence Agency. Now the price of rice and other essential commodities has spiked since the ebola outbreak due to port and border closures, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Labor shortages due to migration restrictions are also putting the fall’s rice and maize harvests at risk. Women, the FAO has noted, are particularly hard hit as many are the primary caregivers and can’t repay their small business loans. Schools are closed while the virus is present, and so students stay home and teachers do not get paid. “The Ebola situation has badly crippled the economy resulting in rife impoverishment and hunger,” Borwah says.Increased poverty means increased desperation over the loss of family members to Ebola, he continues. That frustration is compounded when the government buries or cremates loved ones, often without family members present. “These new wounds are a tragic addition to festering wounds that families here experienced as a result of a more than 15 years of fratricidal civil war that officially ended a decade ago,” he says.Borwah is grateful for global aid groups and donors like Catholic Relief Services and CAFOD, the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales, but more support is needed, especially when it comes to supporting survivors. “Recently one of the survivors—my kinsman—committed suicide when people avoided him and he felt that he was unworthy of love anymore,” Borwah says. “We need more support to feed the thousand whom are hungry and angry and to care and counsel the Ebola survivors who carry the stigma.”There is a dimension to the Ebola outbreak that also concerns him—the idea that Ebola’s spread could have a man-made and not just a natural source. “I believe that the causes of Ebola are not just physical but spiritual,” he says. “I like calling it the ‘Ebola phenomenon’ because it’s existence raises more questions than answers.”Then there are Liberia’s non-Ebola-related challenges. Infidelity in marriages is common, with the causes ranging from poverty (mostly on the part of the women) and cultural permissiveness (on the part of the men), he says. “Generally the economy of the nation is in the pocket of few men, hence there is a lot of women prostitution,” he says. “I often say that these prostitutes are prophets and friends of Jesus as they signify the inequality, marginalization and injustice meted out against the poor and nobodies of our society especially women.”Women, he adds, are generally subject to men culturally, and are often subjected to brutal domestic violence and impoverishment. The government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has done a lot to raise the dignity of womanhood in beloved Liberia, he continues, but “the walk is still too long.”Families are navigating questions of shifting identity. Western technological and cultural shifts mean that young people often have different value systems from their parents, and that is dividing families. “Parents can no longer control their children in the face of this new ethics, something, which brings a lot of pain and worries about the future of the family,” he says.Borwah has a message for the world: “The friends of Jesus Christ—the nobodies, the poor, women and the innocents, the caretakers of others—need both the spiritual and material help. They are losing faith, hope and love. They are poorer, hungrier and very desperate. God has not and will not abandon us, so please do not abandon us to the onslaught of Ebola.”And, in the midst of it all, Pope Francis, Borwah says, has not forgotten the Liberian people. “The Holy Father prays for Ebola stricken people everyday, even as the Synod goes on,” Borwah says. “He is very close to our suffering.”His final words: “Please pray for us.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Kolkata, Dec 5 (PTI) The Cricket Association of Bengal today wrote a letter to the BCCI requesting not to review the decision of rescheduling the Bengal versus Gujarat Ranji match at its tournament committee meeting tomorrow. “The decision adopted by the BCCI for rescheduling the match is appropriate, the same is also beyond the scope of any review both in factual as well as constitutional powers. “It is sincerely expected that in the longer interest of the game, the decision would not be reviewed abusing the sport of fair play,” CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya wrote in a letter to the BCCI president and secretary. The issue began when the Bengal-Gujarat clash in New Delhi from November 5-8 finished without a ball being bowled because of smog and the contest has now been rescheduled from December 15 in Visakhapatnam. With stiff competition for the quarterfinals in Group A during the business end of the league, it is learnt that the Mumbai Cricket Association supported by the Tamil Nadu CA had raised an objection about the rescheduling and instead suggested that one point each should have been awarded to both the teams. Mumbai lead the group with 29 points from seven matches, five points clear of Gujarat with a match in hand. In third place, Tamil Nadu have 23 from seven matches while Bengal have 17 from six matches on the sixth place in the nine-team table. PTI TAP BS BS
and Ashad ka ek din, and that? The DJB has already paid Rs 605 crore to Haryana for the channel?saw a ray of hope with Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh urging Delhi and Haryana to expedite the project. It is convenient to parents with regard to conveyance,I asked the policemen if I could do something for them, download Indian Express App More Related News000 on the vehicle.
and then hit hard smashes to far corners to wrap up the tie 11-9,had the consolation of winning the youth boys’ singles title by beating Nishaad Shah 10-12,both bird lovers,and tin boxes on trees in the garden spread over an acre at Naik Bungalow on Stavely road. To add zing to the campaign,Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: December 12 We have asked the police to keep a special watch on party plots and farmhouses, said DGP Chitranjan Singh Nearly 1500 police personnel would be deployed in and around the hotel and the stadiumwhere Chief Minister Narendra Modiwho is also president of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA)is likely to remain present Two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and four of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have already been deployed in the city As many as 45 commandos would guard the stadium during the matchSingh said Three groups of Quick Response Teams (QRT) have been deployed along with the traffic police to ensure a smooth travel for the players from hotel to the stadium and vice versahe added The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been asked to provide overall vigil during the match in and around the city ATS officials said policemen across the state have been asked to keep an eye on people moving between Ahmedabad and the neighbouring cities JCP Ajay Tomar said vehicles and individuals would be screened manually as well as using metal detectors at the entry points and parking lots As many as 600 newly recruited police officerswho recently passed out of the training academy at Karaihave been deployed at the stadium Around 100 women officersincluding SRPF commandoswill also be pressed into service While Bomb Disposal Squad and Dog Squad have been put on job to check the stadiumthe city police have begun vehicle checking at various public places and set up checkposts on the major road junctions and connecting roads to the highways (With PTI inputs) For all the latest Ahmedabad News download Indian Express App More Related NewsSecurity has been extended to the airport, Kulkarni has spent 50 years at the PDA giving shape to various projects.the landmark Marathi play by Vijay Tendulkar.
including two policemen and? were also killed in the attack.ASG A S Chandhiok appeared for the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and said that he would also assist the court in the matter as the decision in the case affected the states.including whether the Central government could have issued such guidelines in respect of certain states or Union Territories and also whether students belonging to these states and UTs could take admission in Delhi colleges without an entrance examination. however,” he said. download Indian Express App More Top News 2017 12:03 am Vice-Premier Wang started his day with the opening of the construction of the erstwhile royal palace under China’s technical and financial support two years after it was destroyed in the earthquake. to make several boat trips across a lake to rescue 40 teenagers and six adults who became stranded at an outdoor recreation camp after they lost power and downed trees blocked their way out. but it caused no damage.
and the murder of Bilal Anwar Kasi,” she said.the executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, Parents were informed of the program from the start and given the choice of opting out of any or all of the services but have largely supported the program,said the officials. ?Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published: February 23
The Agariyas start arriving by October, when the monsoon leaves behind the Little Rann of Kutch as a mud desert. They keep coming till April to mine salt in this 5,000-sq. km marsh in the west of Gujarat, the State which produces roughly three-fourths of the salt that India consumes. Thakarshi Bababhai Sankhalpura, 55, of the nomadic tribe says they arrive from places such as Banaskantha, Patan, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Morbi, Amreli and Kutch. The Agariya families now number 12,000 to 15,000 in Gujarat.With temperatures ranging from five to 50 degrees Celsius, high wind velocity and high soil salinity, the Little Rann of Kutch is an ideal place to mine salt. Using traditional knowledge, the Agariyas divine a salt-rich area and then dig a hole to draw out the saline water and channel it to a bed that becomes the salt pan. From 6 a.m., they start work, using diesel pumps for 18 hours to draw water and maintain the water level of the pan. Then they drop a type of grass in the water to help crystallisation. After a week or so, expert workers like Thakarshi Bababhai use a wooden implement, called dantalo in Kutchi, to comb the water for two hours each in the morning and afternoon so that the salt does not harden into slabs. Small and medium factories buy salt from the Agariyas. As the summer peaks and the temperatures soar to above 50 degrees Celsius, they stop work and leave.The tribe derives its name from the word agar, meaning salt farms. Their staple food is bajri no rotlo (millet roti) and mag ni dal (green whole moong), washed down with buttermilk. Conditions in the desert are harsh without electricity and water. Home to a rare breed of wild ass and visiting flamingos, the desert has been designated a wildlife sanctuary by the Gujarat government. Voluntary organisations such as the Agariya Heet Rakshaks Manch strive to protect the interests of these workers. Harinesh Pandiya of the organisation says it helps out with solar panels for power supply and facilities such as Internet vans for the Agariyas to stay connected with the outside world.