CAMILLIAN TASK FORCE Sharing The Experience.Bro. Madhu A PILGRIMAGE TO YAMUNOTRI Yamuna is a famous river in India and yamunotri is where it begins. This is a holy place for Hindus as they believe that visiting yamunotri would give them Moksha ( salvation). We the CTF team headed by me with Sr. Edline , Jeena , Merline, Fr. Jofree and Fr. Sebastian are entrusted with the villages that are on the way to yamunotri. The people call river as Mata (mother) and worship her and pilgrims would wear saffron dress. We the CTF members also in saffron dress started our journey towards Yemunotri. People seeing us in this pilgrim dress would shout Jai Mataji ( hail to the mother) we would also happily reply Jai Mataji remembering Mother Mary. This pilgrimage gave us a dharshan ( vision ) of a living God and opened our eyes to a new reality of life. THE ROADLESS TRAVELLED Yes this is the title of a famous bookâ€Ś when I think of our travel to theses villages this is what comes to mind. The roads to these villages are completely destroyed at certain places. Some places there are no roads at all you have to make your own way, you have to pass through the fallen trees and bushes. Sometimes you have to walk all through the day and still you donâ€™t reach the destination. Sometimes the climbing is too steep you struggle to find your breath, your heart rate increasing all your body sweating no way than to take a break and proceed. We observed locals smoking bedi (local cigarette) while they take a break. We even desired to have something like that to boost out energy. Many a times just a slip of your foot you would be the end. The travel all throughout was a ROADLESS TRAVELLED
BHAGO BHAGO ( RUN RUN ) ……A MIRACULOUS ESCAPE W e were heading towards our village and we come across a place where the stones are still falling from the top. We stopped wondering what to do then we hear a sound Bhago Bhago meaning run and we see people run across. There is no other way to go further than to run between these falling stones. We gathered our courage and ran… all safe. We had to cross this way four times and one time with big boxes of medicines and solar lamps. People here run the race of their life…. Sometime they do die in this run. As the stones are falling from very high a small stone is enough to make the worse happen. Now for the last time we are crossing this place as usual running for life…at first the sisters were running half the way I could see stones rolling down oh GO….D.yes…stones spared them… they crossed unhurt. Now it is my turn I together with Fr. Sebastin started running half the way I could hear the sound of the stones rolling down.. I was prepared for the worst…..continued running the race of our life…..one stone just fell in front of me and another fell behind. The one that fell behind fell touching the bag of Fr. Sebastian. Hoooo a great escape both of us just escaped….when you take risk for others god will take care of you. THE PROMISED LAND The land at times is so beautiful greenish everywhere, you look around and everywhere you see mountains and valleys …so beautiful…. it reminded me of the promised land where honey and milk flows. In fact this land is called as Deva Bhoomi meaning God’s Land.
UNDERSTAND BETTER THE WORDS ‘LEAVING THE 99 AND GOING FOR THE ONE’ It was our second village that we started our journey….the road is damaged at many places and so we had to walk. We started walking in the morning it was a long walk and some places were very dangerous. As I was walking I just wondered “ I have left the patients in our centre, my companions leaving their own responsibilities are walking risking our lives for what …. Is it worth…doing this…I do not know …my mind wandered. Finally by evening we decided to camp in a village and proceed to our destination the fallowing day as it was getting dark and raining heavily. We just sat all hungry as we had no lunch. Someone pointed out at my foot that was still bleeding because of the bite of leech. I was just wondering if I walked all the way for nothing then some people came from the village telling us there is delivery complication can you help us… I just jumped without asking further..the lady has delivered and the baby was safe but the placenta has not come out even after four hours …there is no doctor and there is no way to take her anywhere. The lady was laying there in pain….others were wondering what to do. I have not managed something like this before but was convinced god made me walk all the way for this, I and Sr.jeena put on gloves and started to remove placenta…..in the processes all the CTF members got involved someone holding light others holding patient……at certain point we thought it would break all of us posed had small prayer silently the resumed ….yes successfully we were able to remove it and the patient fine. All of us came out with happy faces...I washed my hands and looked at the foot the bleeding on my foot has stopped. As I walked the words of Jesus “ leavening the 99 and going for the one “ kept ringing in my ears and I understand them better today. DANCING TO THE TUNES OF LEECH All most all of us had the experience of for the first time the bit of leech and more the bit the feeling of having it crawling on feet for was very horrible to some of us ,so they would shout and jump practically dancing …..oh yes this was entertaining part of our journey. MAN DOES NOT LIVE ON RICE ALONE BUT CAN SURVIVE ON BISCUTS AND POTATOS TOO Yes we the CTF members mostly from south India all like to eat rice…but as we walk from village to village we do not have rice…some times we have to eat biscuits that we carry other times eat potatoes. The simple food that was provided by our villagers became very delicious…..back home we could choose our food here no choice just grab what you get.
This mission that we took up looked impossible at the very first out set. On second day our local coordinator Fr. Sebastian seeing the condition of the road and falling stones told us three times to return , to go back but we insisted to go forward. With a bit of courage and lot of God’s blessing and protection we were able to reach there. In fact CTF is the first one to reach these villages. We were able to reach to the top of the mountain the last village of the Indian border. Thus the mission that looked impossible became possible through HIM Thus our team successfully completed our pilgrimage to Yamunotri all of us back safe. It was worth taking risk as we could visit six villages in 12 days and in each village there were lot of medical needs as the roads were cut off. In each village we attended to the medical needs of at least 170 patients. This means we could give medical care to more than one thousand people.
Today I feel proud to have been part of the CTF and my first vow that “I would serve the sick even in danger of my own life” becomes alive and active everyday here. As we head towards another region I would like to say together with the people of the land Jai Mataji..Hail to the mother. …….looking ahead Bro.Madhu MI