Calcutta, Sept. 21: Mamata Banerjee today handed a cheque for Rs 10 lakh to Christian missionaries to repair the vandalised Christ Church Girls’ High School in Dum Dum.
The gesture came during an afternoon meeting at Writers’ with a four-member team from the West Bengal Association of Christian Schools.
“As chief minister, I love all the people of my state and I love the Christian community too. You should not hesitate to approach me if you need help,” an association source quoted Mamata as saying.
“We appreciate the chief minister’s initiative in giving us the cheque,” said Rev. Abir Adhikari, secretary of the Calcutta Diocese of the Church of North India, who was part of the delegation.
The money came from the local area development fund of Trinamul Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy, officials said.
“We are grateful to the chief minister for giving us her valuable time to discuss our problems,” said the association’s general secretary, Father Moloy D’Costa. The other members of the team were Sister Emelia from St Mary’s School, Entally, and Norton Emmanuel, principal of the Methodist School, Dankuni.
Mamata spoke of how Christian missionary schools had been offering quality education in Bengal for decades and said she would not allow these schools to suffer.
The delegation requested Mamata to visit their churches and Church-run institutions to see how they functioned. She promised to attend some church programmes during Christmas.
Mamata urged the association to arrange a state-level programme at a venue like Netaji Indoor Stadium involving all the 700 Christian missionary schools in the state.