Operation Rice Bowl’s next stop: India

| March 28, 2012 | 0 Comments

During this Lenten season, Catholics in the archdiocese have been encouraged to enrich their spiritual journey by participating in Catholic Relief Service’s Operation Rice Bowl. The program introduces participants to countries where poor communities are being strengthened by the work of the Catholic Church through CRS. This week’s country is India.

ORB annually connects nearly 13,000 faith communities across the United States with their brothers and sisters around the world. Through reading personal stories, viewing online videos and cooking simple meatless dishes that are typical daily fare in the featured countries, Catholics here are reminded that many people in the world do not have enough to eat or clean, safe water to drink.

Participants unite in a common faith when they pray for change within themselves and for those around the world. ORB provides an avenue to donate personal and family resources saved through preparing frugal meals during the six weeks of Lent.

These small sacrifices collectively add up to make a significant difference for others around the globe.

Seventy-five percent of the money collected is sent to CRS for overseas humanitarian programs and 25 percent of it remains in our own archdiocese for local food programs. You can learn more about the ORB at http://orb.crs.org.


Photo by Laura Sheahen / Catholic Relief Services

My name is Gulsana, and I am 13 years old. I live with my parents, four brothers and two sisters in the village of Bahadurnagar in India. My parents work hard but don’t earn much and can’t afford enough food for our family. The littlest person in our family is my 2-year-old sister Shabnam, who has always been small for her age. Mrs. Seini, a health worker who works with Catholic Relief Services in our village, visited our house with a special chart about nutrition and healthy growth for babies. She weighed Shabnam and told us that she needed more food.

Mrs. Seini offered to give us a nutritious powdered food from the government every week, but my father didn’t want to try it. He thought it was strange food for a baby. Worried about my sister, I talked to Mrs. Seini again. She told me to fry the food and add sugar to make a kind of pudding. My father tasted the pudding and said it was good, so we gave some to Shabnam. Now that Shabnam is getting more food, she looks healthier and moves around and plays more. Mrs. Seini says she has improved a lot. I am so happy that I was able to help my little sister.

India: Tehri

2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 green chili peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
1?4 tsp. turmeric
4 cups of various vegetables of choice, chopped (peas, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes)
2 cups rice
Salt to taste
4 cups water

Heat the oil in a pot, add cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chili peppers, onion and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chopped vegetables and sauté until slightly fried. Add rice, salt and water. Cook until rice and vegetables are done and the water is completely absorbed — about 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings


Category: Lent