ST. PATRICK CHURCH KUTURWA
ST. PATRICK CHURCH KUTURWA
KUTURWA (ARCHD. RAIPUR)
Fr. Vijay Tigga Parish Priest,
Manager, Bharat Mata Middle School
Bro. Rahul Majhi Asst. Parish Priest & Asst. Boarding In-charge
Bro. Libnus Kujur Head Master – Bharat Mata Middle School
Pallotti Seva Ashram
C/o Catholic Church
Korba T. S. – 495 681
Korba Dist., C. G. Tel: 07759298901
Bharat Mata Middle School
St. Vincent Pallotti Boys’ Hostel
1973 : Kuturwa mission / Uprora Region survey was conducted by Fr. Joseph Xaxa and Charles Tirkey. April 1973, Kuturwa was formally erected as Parish and Fr. Charles Tirkey was Made Parish Priest.
Kuturwa is an interior mission parish established in the year 1973 by the German Missionaries in the state of Chhattisgarh/India. This mission is situated 65 kilometers away from the district headquarter Korba and 250 kilometers away from the Archdiocese of Raipur. The place is surrounded by hills, hillocks, mountain ranges, valleys, small streams, rivers and dense forests infested with different kinds of wild animals. This area is inhabited by the tribals mostly where they found water resources and the level ground for cultivation. They are close to nature therefore they are settled in deep forest and their life style matches to the simple way of living. They do not aspire for any kind of creativity in life and development but satisfy with the produce they acquire from their field and the forest.
(1). GEOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND
The parish church is situated in the remote and interior place about 65 kms from the district headquarter Korba. This is also situated on the mouth of Mini Mata Bango Dam. When the Dam is closed the collected water reaches to the place and to their fields. It causes lot of damages to the standing crops. It is 250 kms away from the Archdiocese of Raipur which is headquarter of bishop. This area is known as Vindhya Satpura Hill Range. The place is surrounded by hills, hillocks, mountain range, valleys, small streams, rivers and dense forests infested with different kinds of wild animals. By its natural setup adivasis are attracted and settled in deep forest because their life style matches to their simple way of living. They do not aspire of any kind of creativity of life and development but satisfy with the produce they acquire from their field and the forest. The nearest town is Korba district. The transportation especially Bus service is available once a day that is from Korba to Kuturwa. They are settled down on the mountain and hill area wherever they found the water resources and the land for the cultivation.
(2). BRIEF SKETCH OF KUTURWA MISSION
Kuturwa is an interior mission Parish which was established in the year 1970 by the German Missionaries in the state of Chhattisgarh which is one of the most backward states in India. It has its own geographical and ethical identity and thickly populated by aboriginal tribals.
In 1951 Pallottine missionaries of Sacred Heart Province Friedberg, Germany Fr. Mrsn. Werner Hunold along with Fr. Lawrence Sachu came to Archdiocese of Raipur. Those days the Raipur diocese did not exist. This area was looked after by Nagpur diocese that was of 500 kms away from the place. Meanwhile in 1952, Fr. Joseph Sttick Matter came along with Bro. Joseph Vekant to help them out. These missionaries took keen interest to study the place and the people and began the work of evangelization. Today Raipur has become Archdiocese.
This Kuturwa parish was looked after by two dioceses, namely Raigarh and Nagpur diocese because of its geographical setup. It is situated at the border of both dioceses. This was the reason that it was neglected but now through the help of Pallottine Fathers and Brothers, it is developing. Fr. Charles Tirkey SAC, who was trained in Germany started the mission by staying under the Banyan tree which is still existing.
Kuturwa parish has its mission stations comprising of 310 families and the catholic population is about 2500. Oraons, Mundas and Kharias constitute the catholic community of the Kuturwa Parish. The Parish has now a Primary and Middle School and hostels for boys and girls and dispensary which is looked after by the Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate. There are no proper roads to the interior jungle and there is no transport facility to the far and remote villages. Very often one has to carry the spades and chopper to make the road clear because one is not certain of reaching the place where one is going.
(3). THE PEOPLE AND THEIR SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL VIABILITY
The people of the area are basically very poor and many of them illiterate. They do not have much of a facility for education and further development. They belong to different tribals group such as the Oraons, Mundas and Kharias are the major tribal inhabitants of the place. The other primitive tribes are Gonds, Pandos, Ahirs, Majhwars and so on, who are still preserving their tribal identity. They have their old traditional cultural way of existence in the jungles. All these adivasi almost 90% of them are migrants from other adjacent districts in search of cultivable land. They settled down wherever land and water is available even deep within the dense forest, cutting the trees and clearing the bushes. This process is going on and these people ask the recognition of the land from the government officials. Their food inhabits and clothing is very simple. Their main source of income is agriculture, cattle and fruits of the jungle. Their life and livelihood very much depend on the produce of their land and failure of rain is for them the failure of their daily bread as there are no other facilities.
The people have their house of mud walls and thatched house with dried grass or with country made tiles. The houses are very poorly furnished and have absolutely no sanitation facilities. The ordinary and minimum ammunition of present day living like educational and medical facilities, transport, electricity, drinking water, telephone etc. are only a dream to these peasants. They are simply handicapped when it is needed to cope with the changing world of today.
Mostly these people are agrarians. Their land is situated on the hilly areas surrounded with river valleys. They live hand to mouth. There is only 5% of the land irrigated while 95% of the land depends on yearly erratic monsoon rains. And with this small income they have to sustain the family for 3 to 4 months. The agriculture and its allied activities form the main occupation of the people. The tribal Catholics are poor and they live in the thick jungles. Often the condition becomes so bad that they are forced to migrate to towns and cities to work as unskilled laborers and this has become a common practice during summer. They come back to the village for cultivation, when the next rainy season comes.
Most of the people own their forest land which is of mountain areas, having less than five acres. People acquire them through the forest land Act of the Government of India; that is called ‘Land Acquisition’. It is not certified by the land Revenue department, but yet to work it out. Some of the people have not acquired the land possession paper. Since, it is quite far away from the towns and industrial areas, above 95% of the people of the area is farmers and hired labors. Agriculture is done in the traditional way as it is handed over them by their ancestors.
Since poor people are not politically conscientized because they are illiterate. They are taken adverse advantage by the politicians and middle class business men. They are never prepared to fight for their rights due to the fear and the ignorance of their rights. There are middle class business men for the marketing of their good and purchase of essentials. The politicians and government officials take advantages over them and make use of the poor people for their benefits. Though tribals have a special privilege on politics in the Indian Constitution, but they are not able to make their political carrier outstanding.
The rate of literacy is 23% in Chhattisgarh but in the villages it is below 5%. People are poor, not aware of the value of education, the educational institutions are far and quality education is expensive in the private institutes, and these are the many reasons for which tribals are less educated. In these villages due to poverty and lack of awareness most of the children give up studies at very early stage.
Since the eruption of the Parish, the persons concerned are trying their best to organize the Christian and non Christian tribals and scheduled people of this area through various activities like evangelization, education, faith formation, pastoral activities, family visit, health care and social awareness program etc.
5. AREA, POPULATION AND TRAVEL
At present Kuturwa Parish has over 17 villages, almost having 2500 catholic spread all over the 5 catechists’ jurisdiction. Close to parish only three villages are there. All other are spread over 9 – 35 kilometer area. The people are always welcome to parish centre, most of them come walking and many of the youngsters use a bicycle to reach here. There are monthly gatherings separately for the youth, for the women and for the children born of catholic parents.
Many of the young people have the tendency to leave the villages and find some sort of hired labor in the city. Their living conditions and the remuneration for the hard work done is very poor and minimal. Just 3% of the people are employed in some government or private sectors and most of them as teachers or some low class employees in the office.