Road accident kills nonagenarian missionary nun in Assam
By Allen Brooks
Tezpur: A 93-year-old missionary nun, who spent more than three decades in northeastern India, was killed in a road accident in Assam state.
Sacred Heart Sister Mary Paschal was traveling with Father Deben Kachari, vicar general of Tezpur diocese, on October 10 evening when the accident occurred.
Father Kachari, who is also the in-charge of the Borgang Hospital, was driving the vehicle.
The priest gave side to a pick-up van, but it slammed on to the missionaries’ vehicle, critically injuring both Father Kachari and Sister Paschal.
Both were rushed to the Borgang Hospital where Sister Paschal, a native of Kerala, died later.
Father Kachari, who suffered multiple fractures, was undergoing treatment. His condition was stated to be serious, a message from Tezpur diocese said.
Sister Paschal’s funeral is scheduled at 10:30 am on October 12 at Sacred Heart Sisters’ Cemetery Borgang, a small town in the Sonitpur district of Assam. It is some 270 km northeast of Guwahati, the nerve center of northeastern India.
The nun belongs to the Amala province of the congregation that covers Assam state.
Sister Paschal was the first director when the province opened a home for aspirants in 1989 with ten candidates at Mantripukri near Imphal, capital of the neighboring state of Manipur.
She was among the first two members of a house the province opened at Tellakam under Changanacherry archdiocese. It was meant for sisters who come for holidays, treatment and study. Sisters Paschal and Alice Tom were active in parish activities and house visiting.
In India, one dies every four minutes because of a road accident. An average 1,214 road crashes occur daily in the country. In 2013, the latest records are available, road accidents killed more than 137,000 people. This is more than the number of people killed in all our wars put together, reports northeastindia.com.