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Missionaries of Charity completed 71 years of charity work among poor this year

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Kolkata, Dec 27 (PTI) Saint Teresa of Calcutta, then known as Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity, which hit the headlines on Monday after revelations that renewal of a mandatory registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, has been refused by the Government with just about 10 members in October 1950.

The Mother and her organisation which ran orphanages, homes for the dying and lepers, shot into prominence after she won the Ramon Magsasay Peace Prize in 1962 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. This year it completed 71 years of work in India. Mother Teresa’s work, which hit news headlines and won international recognition was funded by foreign and Indian donors. However the non-renewal of FCRA registration means that the donations the Missionaries used to receive from abroad to carry on its charitable work will not be permitted to be transferred.

The organisation today is spread over 139 countries and now looks after refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless besides victims of floods, epidemics and famine.

St Teresa who was canonised in September 2016, was born Agnes Gonxja Bojaxihu, in Skopje, Albania in 1910, and arrived in India in 1929, where she first joined with sisters of Loreto and took her first vow as nun in 1931 and came to be known as Teresa.

While teaching in school she was struck by the stark poverty all around and in 1948 received permission to leave the convent and serve the poor.

With little or no funds, she started an open air school for children and was joined by volunteers. The Holy See permitted her to start her own order the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. In 1965 it became an international religious congregation by the decree of the Pope.

After Mother Teresa’s death in 1997, the stewardship of Missionaries of Charity passed on to Sister Nirmala who has now been succeeded by Sister M Prema MC.

Earlier this month an FIR was registered against the director of a children’s home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Gujarat for allegedly attempting to convert inmates. PTI SUS JRC JRC

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