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Odisha CM sanctions Rs 78 lakh for outfits run by Missionaries in state

Thirteen institutions run by Missionaries of Charity in eight districts will benefit from the funds.

Written by Aishwarya Mohanty | Bhubaneswar |
January 4, 2022 9:56:48 pm
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. (File photo)

Days after the Centre’s decision against renewing FCRA registration of the Missionaries of Charity, effectively cutting off its foreign funding, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sanctioned Rs 78.76 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Funds for institutions run by the Missionaries of Charity (MoC) in the state.

Thirteen institutions run by MoC in eight districts will benefit from the funds.

This comes days after Patnaik had directed all district collectors to ensure that no inmate of organisations run by the non-profit organisation across the state suffers from any distress. In a letter to all collectors, he had asked them to be in regular touch with organisations run by MoC, established in 1950 by Mother Teresa, to ensure that no inmate from these outfits suffers, especially from food and health-related issues.

“Wherever needed, funds from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund can be utilised for this purpose,” Patnaik wrote.

An official from the CM’s office said: “Based on the CM’s directions, all collectors carried out assessments in their districts and sent out requirements for the institutions. Based on (these) requests, assistance has been sanctioned.”

According to the official, more than 900 inmates in various leprosy centres and orphanages in the state will benefit from the sanction, and more assistance will be released “as and when required”.

The Sisters of MoC arrived in Odisha in 1974. Since then, they have opened 18 homes: nine for the sick, the abandoned and the elderly; six facilities for children; and three centres for the treatment of leprosy-afflicted and those suffering from mental illness. There are 87 sisters who look after these institutions.

In Odisha, Christians form the largest minority group, with a population of 11.6 lakh, as per the last Census. They constitute 2.7 per cent of the state’s population, followed by Muslims (2.17 per cent).

In 2008, Odisha had witnessed major riots when people from Christian community were targeted by those from Hindutva groups in Kandhamal. At the time of the incident, BJP and BJD were in a coalition government, with Patnaik as chief minister. The BJD called off its alliance with the BJP the following year and also swept the Assembly polls, winning 103 out of 147 seats.

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