Bangladesh lies in the eastern part of India at the head of the Bay of Bengal. It is roughly the size of the state of Iowa.
State Religion is Islam (majority are Sunni Muslim.) Hindus account for about 10% of the population. Buddhists, Christians and other groups form other religious minorities, each with less than 1% of the total population. (About .1% of the population is Catholic.)
Problems for people here:
Extreme poverty and overcrowding have been an issue ever since the country’s independence in 1971. The rural areas have always been poor, which has driven many into the large metropolises, like Dhaka. In the cities people only find more of the same, just with more overcrowding; here, people work themselves to death merely trying to make ends meet. Due to wage gaps there is no shortage of people and companies to take advantage of these people who live in the slums of the major cities.
How PIME helps the mission here:
PIME has helped to construct chapels, as well as sponsor the education and housing of children as well as seminarians in different areas across the country. However, some of the biggest work has been in cooperation with the Dhanjuri Leprosy Control Center in Dinajpur. The Leprosy Control Center helps to administer and to distribute medical aid to those suffering from leprosy (Hansen’s Disease); they also help to educate people about the signs of the disease and how to avoid it. These measures together have helped to drastically reduce the presence of the disease in areas where it was once a major issue.