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9 Christians Get Country’s Top Honours

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KANPUR, Uttar Pradesh, JAN 27 (SAR NEWS): The annual Republic Day awards’ list this year is a matter of pride for the Christians in the country as several men and women from the community have won India’s highest honours for their contribution in various fields.

Of the 130 awardees, 9 are Christians. -- Swami Joseph Paulraj (Padmabushan for Science & Engineering); Carmel Burkeson (Padmashri for Art); Bertha Dakhar (Padmashri for Literature & Education); Maria Aurora Couto of Aldona, Goa (Padmashri for Literature & Education); Father Roumaldo D’Souza, founder of Goa Institute of Management (Padmashri for Literature & Education); Dr. Phillip Augustine (Padmashri for Medicine); Prof. Pukkalil Itup John (Padmashri for Science & Engineering); Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil (Padmashri for Social Work); and Ignace Tirkey, former Indian Hockey Captain (Padmashri for Sports).

The Kanpur Catholic Association (KCA), at its meeting held January 27, expressed great joy at so many Christians receiving awards for service to the nation.

It was observed that though Christians form only 2.3 per cent of the nation’s population, 9 of the 130 awards were given to them -- that is 7 per cent or 3 times more than their percentage of population.

This once again establishes that the Christian community is fully integrated and involved at every level of nation-building.


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 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22