In the first week of April, Joy Nedumparambil from Kérala, India, accepted our invitation and came to visit Slovakia. He came to share his experience, but also to witness about massive floods, which destroyed more than 200 000 homes in Kerala last year. During his visit, he attended lectures and discussions at schools and parishes in Bratislava, Košice, Bardejov, and Dubnica nad Váhom. The media also showed interest in talking to him. You can watch and listen to one of the lectures from the recording. The video is in English.
Joy Nedumparambil, SDB (Salesians of Don Bosco), was born in 1973 in India. He studied art, theology and philosophy at the Salesian’s university in Darjeeling, Bengali. Afterwards, as a Salesian, he worked as an administrator and deputy director of the Don Bosco mission in Davangere, Karnataka, he aimed at preventing child labor. There he devoted himself to street children, to rescue working children and to their rehabilitation and community development. During his tenure, two canters for more than 200 street children were built, which still serve as a dormitory and school. After six years there, father Joy continued his studies in Bombay, where he successfully completed his master´s degree in social work. In 2010, he started working for the Salesian development organization BREADS (Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society), where he still works, currently as executive director. At the beginning of his tenure, he implemented the pan Indic project of the ministry of agriculture, focused on the vocational training of young people living below the poverty line in three Indian states. In the interest of employing trained youth, he managed to establish a cooperation with Accenture and Bosch India. Thanks to his determination and hard work, they managed to train and employ more than 15 000 young people in 25 centers in three Indian states. Under BREADS, father Joy continues to focus on at-risk youth, industrial education for youth, community development, capacity building of development workers, promotion of education and support for the livelihoods of vulnerable groups.
The massive floods in Kerala in 100 years
In August 2018, the massive floods hit Kerala, which, according to locals, were the worst in 100 years. Heavy monsoon rains caused rivers to overflow to such an extent that they began to overflow from their beds and flood almost the entire country. In the region Idukki, south Kerala, the increase in average precipitation was up to 94%. No one expected such water, and no one was even ready for it. For the first time they had to open 35 of the 54 water reservoirs in the country, which were no longer able to hold the water from the surrounding rivers. The water poured literally everywhere. It flooded and destroyed thousands of houses, schools, hospitals, temples and other important buildings. It washed away roads and bridges, as a result locals, especially from the countryside and from the high-laying regions, were cut off from the outside world and ambulance assistance. More than 400 people died, and dozens of people remained missing.
- 1,45 million people in humanitarian camps
- 20 000 destroyed homes
- 483 dead
- 57 000 ha of agricultural land destroyed
- 8 000 head of dead cattle
- 35 massive landslides
- Rains robbed the economy of 195.2 billion rupees
- 83 000 km of destroyed roads (of which 16000km were busy roads)
Dangerous landslides have occurred in many places as a result of constant floods. Many fields and large agricultural areas were completely devastated. Local wildlife and cattle were also at risk. Nearly 1,5 million people had to be evacuated and relocated to humanitarian camps. After two weeks, rain began to weaken, and the water dropped. Only then did the trigger that the floods left behind gradually begin to show.
Give back together, what water took
At the time of the floods in Kerala, BREADS led by Fr. Joy has taken on the role of coordinating the organization of first-responder humanitarian initiatives and later long-term development solutions for the affected population The donations were used to help repair houses damaged by floods in the Indian province Kerala and to rebuild completely destroyed ones; also to maintain the living of the poorest families and the families which were the most affected by floods.
We thank all participants.