Sorrow and concern descend as the Missionaries of Charity have been forced to close their Nirmala Shishu Bhavan orphanage in Kanpur, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Opened in 1968, it was built on land owned by India’s Ministry of Defense and had a lease that expired in 2019. But it was only recently that the Ministry of Defense made the announcement, stating that the nuns were trespassers and should be fined or evicted.
The decision also comes days after the Indian home minister announced in late December that the license allowing the Missionaries of Charity to receive subsidies from abroad had not been renewed. Their application for renewal of their license under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was rejected “for failing to meet eligibility requirements.”
Sister Prema, the superior of the congregation, thought it prudent to go before authorities to peacefully hand over the keys to the facility. The sisters have placed more than 1,500 orphans with adoptive families over the past five years. The last 11 remaining children, most of whom are severely disabled, have been transferred to other homes.
On December 27, 2021, in the wake of the Indian government’s announcement of the renewal of their license, Sister Prema had announced, as a precautionary measure, that she had asked her centers not to touch any accounts with foreign funds “until the problem is resolved.”