The Christian community of Pakistan, with Goan prominence, has been
at the service of the country even before it became independent, and
played host to the refuges from India, whether it was in the Punjab
or in Sindh.
The most significant camps opened by a Goan were by Dr Hermann Drago
in the city of Mirpurkhas in interior Sindh. They helped both Hindus
who were leaving for India and Muslims who were arriving from India.
When Dr. Drago passed away some years ago, the Commissioner declared
a holiday in the Division.
Christians also helped in different low lying areas, bastis, slums
and opened dispensaries; Catholic doctors like Dr Bella Lobo, Dr
Orphin D'Sa and Dr Monica Smith gave time to treat the poor.
Betty Menezes received a scholarship to study sociology and social
work at Fordham University in New York and was there from 1957-1959.
She chose to return to Pakistan to serve the community. She worked
for UNICEF and devoted much time to social services within the
Catholic community. She was also active on the board of Lemmens
The St. Lawrence's Social Welfare Society, formerly the Poor Aid
Society, was established in the early 1960s. To this date, members
continue to work with the same dedication and zeal as when it was
started. The society runs a Dispensary (probably the only one in the
archdiocese) in the parish compound, which is open every Thursday
for an hour or so and ably assisted by Drs. Philippa Janjua-Drago
and Mary Braganza. The society also helps at the Dug-Out, the
Janiville and Mother Theresa's Home; and gives cash-rewards to
Catholic Students in parish schools.
In 1969 the Archbishop of Karachi (later Cardinal) Joseph Cordeiro
decided to form Catholic Social Services (CSS), becoming its first
Chairman and chose Cyril Mendes to be the Honorary Secretary. All
Catholic groups doing Social work like Marie Adelaide Centre,
Lemmens Welfare Society, all came under the umbrella of CSS and thus
got a forum to share their experiences and resources. Later Cyril
was elected the Chairman of CSS. He continued to be Chairman for
more than a decade from 1969 to 1979.
CSS successfully solicited donations from and worked with
organizations such as Caritas Germany to send aid to Pakistan and
was involved in everything from opening medical clinics for
vaccinations for the poor in Lalukhet, Nazimabad and rebuilding of
homes damaged by Indian Air force bombing in Keamari after the war.
CSS was the most vibrant organization at that time.