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Southwestern

Joshua Newton

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Threat of disease grows in Indian-administered Kashmir region

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Cooking nevertheless
A mother who survived the Oct. 8 earthquake with her son prepares food in a makeshift tent in a village in Indian-administered Kashmir. Health workers have warned that contaminated water may lead to an outbreak of various diseases. Photo by Joshua Newton
BATTAGRAM, Kashmir (BP)--The people of Indian-administered Kashmir who survived the devastating earthquake Oct. 8 face a new foe: illness initiated by impending winter and poor water, food and shelter conditions.
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Recuperating
Nizakat Fatima, a 40-year-old earthquake survivor, recuperates from severe fractures in her shoulders and from neck and leg injuries in a hospital in Indian town of Baramullah. Photo by Joshua Newton

      “The first snow has already fallen in the tops of the mountains,” a relief worker in Indian-administered Kashmir noted. “Bronchitis will be on the rise in no time. The colder it gets, the more bronchitis you’ll have.”
      The next three weeks are crucial, workers say; hundreds of remote villages will become impossible to reach in a couple of weeks as snowfall begins to mount in regions shaken by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake.
      In addition to bronchitis, health workers have warned that unless fresh water, food and shelter become available, diseases such as tetanus, pneumonia, cholera and measles, along with diarrhea, fever and tick-borne viruses from livestock, are certain to spread, especially among survivors with open cuts and sores. Authorities reportedly are killing dogs out of fear they could carry parasites that might spread potentially fatal diseases.

Traumatized earthquake victims still unreached in Kashmir, waiting for help

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Makeshift shelter
A woman slumps down by her six-month-old daughter in a makeshift shelter in Indian-administered Kashmir, awaiting her husband's return from a relief center. Photo by Joshua Newton
SRINAGAR, Kashmir (BP)--Thousands of quake victims in Kashmir remained huddled on hillsides and in the valleys awaiting help, shivering in an onslaught of snow and unrelenting rains.
      Salamat Mir hugged his children close as the thin polythene sheet he had secured to protect his family fluttered in the chilling wind in the Uri sector of Indian-administered Kashmir, which sustained massive destruction in the Oct. 8 earthquake that left 70 percent of the houses severely damaged.

Christians win hearts among India’s quake victims

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Suddenly homeless
A girl child stands in front of her destroyed house in the Uri sector of Indian-administered Kashmir, where the Oct. 8 earthquake collapsed about 70 percent of the houses. Photo by Joshua Newton
SRINAGAR, Kashmir (BP)--In the Muslim-majority, Indian-administered area of Kashmir, parts of which were devastated by the Oct. 8 earthquake, Christian relief agencies actively attend to the hapless.
      NGOs have supplied rice millet, utensils, mattresses, and milk powder to most affected villages. Christian agencies are sending relief mostly through the churches in the valley.

Tsunami relief exemplifies religious inequity, India’s ‘untouchable’ Christians claim

NEW DELHI (BP)--Complaints of social discrimination against lower-caste Dalits, or “untouchables,” who have converted to Christianity have increased all the more as a result of tsunami relief operations since the Dec. 26 tragedy.
      A 45-year-old woman, John Mary [sic], is knocking on doors for help. Being an “untouchable” Christian, she and hundreds of other Dalits in southern Indian states say they are being denied government relief assistance which is duly distributed among other communities.

India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, after defeat at polls, renews push for Hindu nationalism

KOCHI, India (BP)--India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), desperately seeking its way back to power in the Asian giant, is reverting to its anti-minority political platform known as “Hindutva” or Hindu nationalism, according to a Nov. 30 report by Compass Direct.

Congressmen voice shock over persecution in India

AHMEDABAD, India (BP)--"Is he the man we are talking about?"

Hindu militants burn effigy of Christ, assault nun, burn Bibles

BHUBANESWAR, India (BP)--A fresh round of violence by Hindu militants in the northern Indian state of Orissa has put Christian residents in the grip of fear.

Baptist home care in India carries hope & faith to the terminally ill

BANGALORE, India (BP)--Little Williams* had always longed for a blue toy car to play with. But his parents had no money to buy one. Dr. Anuradha* considers herself blessed for delivering the toy to the boy hours before he died.

India: Police-conducted survey alarming to Christians

NEW DELHI, India (BP)--A religious survey being conducted by Gujarat state police officials among the Christian community is raising questions about possible actions targeting Indian Christians by the Hindu fanatics.

Christians in India face Hindu militants’ threats

KOCHI, India (BP)--Indian Christians remain shell-shocked at the attack on a Pennsylvanian churchman, Joseph W. Cooper, in the south Indian state of Kerala.