Agartala church distributes Xmas gifts among poor, needy

| Updated: Dec 26, 2016 13:48 IST

Agartala (Tripura) [India], Dec.26 (ANI): In an effort to help improve the quality of life of the poor and empower them, the Believers Church Diocese of Agartala organized a gift distribution program here for them that included blankets and income-generating items. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was the chief guest. The others present included the Chief Executive Member of the Tripura Tribal Area Autonomous District Council, Radha Charan Debbarma and Bishop Anil Kumar Debbarma. Addressing the gathering, Sarkar appreciated the effort of the church in helping the needy sections of the state, but simultaneously, without naming the BJP and other Hindutva preaching entities, expressed his concern over a section trying to destroy the secular image of our country. Sarkar said, "Today a power in our country has started saying that all Indians have to come under one religion that is Hinduism. But in our country there are 17 to 18 crore Muslims, 4 to 4.5 crore Christians, 3 crore Buddhists, 2 to 2.5 crore Sikhs and people of many other religions. So, what will be their fate? The section who are propagating that all Indians have to be Hindu, according to them, around 2000 to 2500 years back, other than Hinduism, there was no other religion in the world. This is not correct. They are twisting history and propagating that people from other faiths in our country were once all Hindus and were converted. Hence, we want to reconvert them - 'Ghar Wapasi' and if they want to stay in India they have to get converted to Hindu. If they deny, then they will not be able to live in India and can go to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East or Jerusalem. What are they saying? They are failing to solve fundamental problems in people's daily life and so trying to break the unity of the poor people by dividing them along lines of religion, caste and creed. This is a crime against our Constitution, it is anti-democratic and against humanity." Sarkar also took part in the distribution of tricycle rickshaw, bicycle, sewing machines and blankets among the people. During the gift distribution ceremony, rickshaw pullers received tricycle rickshaw, housewives got sewing machines, fifty school going girls were given a bicycle each so that they could cover the long distance from their homes to their schools and winter blankets were given to 100 poor families. The recipients, a large section of whom were non-Christians, expressed happiness over the state government's largesse. Ratna Debnath, a Hindu housewife, said, "I got a sewing machine from the church and am very happy. Now, I shall be able earn something with this." Sunil Banik said, "I can now ride this rickshaw to earn for my big family. I am very happy." Rubina Debbarma, a tribal girl student, said, "I have to walk a long distance to go to school, but now I shall be going to school in this cycle and which will reduce my problems." Believers Church, a Christian denomination is Biblical and evangelical in faith, for the first time has organised such a gift distribution programme during Christmas in Agartala and with the aim to help the poor section of people so that they can live a better life. Giving gifts during any festival is a tradition, but during Christmas as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew started with 'The Magi', also referred to as the three Wise Men or Kings, who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (ANI)