Rajasthan government to restore two ancient churches

The restoration process would cost at a cost of 75,00,000 rupees each.


The Rajasthan government has decided to conserve two over-century-old churches, which are in dilapidated conditions, at Todgarh in Ajmer and Bandikui in Dausa district.

Christians in the state comprise about 1 percent of the state’s total population.

The restoration process would cost at a cost of 75,00,000 rupees each.

The work is being undertaken by the Rajasthan Heritage Development and Maintenance Authority which has replaced the similar body set up for the conservation of the heritage monuments of Amber.

The authority, headed by former chief secretary Salauddin Ahmed, has started the task of restoring the two churches and all efforts have been made to ensure that the old buildings do not lose its original design.

Todgarh is named after the British Political Agent Col. James Tod who wrote the first authoritative book on the erstwhile Rajputana ‘The Annals & Antiquity of Rajputana’.

The book gives a very interesting aspect of the state focusing on the various principalities and culture of the then princely state.

Located in the midst of hills with lush greens all around, this place was once the summer capital of the British officers located at Ajmer and they would shift their base for four months of summer in the cool climes of Todgarh.

As this village was under the rule of the Mewar state, Maharana Bhim Singh rechristened it Todgarh to honour the British historian and the Political Agent. Col Tod with his own money built a small fortress and in this fort, he wrote the historic book.

Later attracted by its natural beauty, an English Catholic missionary, William Robb, built a church on one of the hillocks. He also built a post office and a jail in the hillock. The church was built by Robb between 1850 and 1860 after the departure of Col Tod to England.

This church still exists but in a dilapidated condition where some reverends who live there try and maintain it with their meager means.

Robb also built a bungalow for himself in 1860 and this bungalow has since been taken over by a Jain spiritual body, Pragya Shikhar.

Bandikui has been a railway junction for over a century now and the British chose it as it is located between Jaipur and Alwar to build the first railway junction in 1873. When Bandikui was being developed as a railway junction, a number of Britons and Christians settled there.

Over 140 years ago, a large number of the British and Indian Christians settled there felt the need to build a church near the railway station.

This Protestant church was built in Roman architecture style. After the British left, the church was maintained by the Anglo Indian communities and Christians, but as the Christians and Anglo-Indian population started dwindling, there was nobody to maintain the church.

As the church was almost deserted, miscreants vandalize it and took away windows, doors and glasses and even the idol of Jesus was stolen.

Source: times of india

Rajasthan , Old Churches , Restoration 
Photograph of painting of Lt. Col James Tod fr...

Photograph of painting of Lt. Col James Tod from, frontispiece, 1920 edition of his Annals and antiquities of Rajasthan, volume 2 edited by William Crooke, Oxford University Press, 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anger over seven-year-old Christian boy’s death

Father claims a cover-up and murder by Hindu fundamentalists.

Anmol Gemethi, who died in mysterious circumstances.

New Delhi:

Accusing police and doctors of shielding the accused, father of a slain Christian boy in Rajasthan, northern India, is demanding a second postmortem of his son’s body, claiming that he was brutally killed by Hindu fundamentalists.

“They are hands in glove. Doctors spoiled the first postmortem by saying that the death happened due to drowning and the police is going by the report,” Harish Gemethi, father of the slain 7-year-old boy, told ucanews.com today.

Gemethi, who belongs to Gamidi village of Dungerpur district, reasoned that if his son, Anmol, died due to drowning then “where did the injuries on the body come from?”

“It is the handiwork of Hindu fundamentalists, one of whom is the head of a nearby village where the body of the boy was found. They had earlier also threatened us not to come to the village because of our faith,” Gemethi, who belonged to the Believers’ Church, alleged.

Anmol’s body was found floating in a river in Tardiobri village in the district on Nov. 19, two days after he went missing.

According to Gemethi, the child’s face was mutilated beyond recognition. There were burn marks on his stomach, his toes were chopped off and one hand and leg were deeply slashed.

“My son’s face looked as if he had been burned up. His eyes, nose and ears were gone, and there was nothing that supported his neck. Yet, the police just refused to take any action,” he said.

However, police said that there was no communal angle to the case and it was an open and shut case of drowning.

The police also confirmed ucanews.com that they have received a fresh complaint of another postmortem Wednesday.

“Nobody was booked since police did not find any evidence against anyone but we would start investigation in to the case again from today after the fresh complaint,” Omendra Bhardwaj, Director General of Police, told ucanews.com.

He said that the injuries on the body were inflicted after the boy’s death and are those of the bites of animals in the river as the body was lying in the river for two days.

Meanwhile, a Christian NGO Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) has sent a memorandum to the president of India, prime minister, governor of Rajasthan and other leaders to ensure justice in the case.

“An appeal was made to the conscience of those concerned to direct corrective and punitive measures immediately. Only a proper investigation and the severest punishment for the killers will serve as a deterrent,” Joseph Dias, CSF head, told ucanews.com.

Source: UCAN News

Rajasthan ,Anger ,Christian Boy’s Death ,Tardiobri Village 
English: Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India. Polski: Pa...

English: Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India. Polski: Pałac Wiatrów w Jaipurze w Indiach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Franciscan nuns take up organic farming

The sisters started farming on their two acre plot.



Besides running a hospital and a school in Rajasthan, the Franciscan sisters have embarked on a new agricultural project of running an organic farm.

The sisters have been doing the farming on their two acre plot.

The inspiration came after the nuns visited Tarumitra Bio-reserve in Patna, where they saw students led by Ms Margaret Molomoo making a great success of their farm in organic farming.

Sr. Isabel, the superior of the small community, said she felt organic farming was more appropriate for Franciscans.

“The intense use of poisonous pesticides and chemical fertilizers have been creating havoc both on the land and its inhabitants” she said.

The nun said that people’s health has deteriorated since the introduction of the new farming methods of India’s ‘Green Revolution’.

With some help from students, the nuns planted a local variety of wheat and did not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticide sprays.

Their first crop was mature and ripe by the end of March.

When the harvesting and threshing was complete, the sisters weighed up the wheat which came out to be 27 quintals. Over 10,000 rupees worth of hay was an extra bonus.

“The best part of the whole story has been that all of us got involved with the land. The traditional respect people had towards the earth is fast disappearing” said Sr. Ishpriya.

Source: ICN

Franciscan Nuns , Organic Farming , Tarumitra

Organic certification

Organic certification (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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