German government has honored missioner Sister Hermanelde Pulm for her five-decade-long work for the poor in India with the prestigious ‘Bundesverdienstkreuz’, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit.
Michael Siebert, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai, on behalf of German Federal President Joachim Gauck, conferred the award to Sister Pulm in a ceremony held in Mumbai on May 23.
Sister Pulm, 79, is a a member of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit in Mumbai. She has been working in India since 1963 through her engagement at the Holy Spirit Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai.
The hospital caters for the medical needs of Indians of all religions, especially the poorer sections of society. With this honour, Germany acknowledges her decades-long, outstanding efforts in serving Indians in need.
Siebert said the nun has “spread a very positive image of Germany in India amongst so many, but without ever stepping into the limelight. You have helped, physically and spiritually, so many babies, children, mothers, fathers, uncles and aunties in the pediatric ward.”
He lauded the nun’s efforts to build “what was then called the ‘jungle hospital’ by many in Andheri” and said her “part is huge in making it into today’s Holy Spirit Hospital.”
The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951. It is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the Nation.
The Order of Merit may be awarded to Germans as well as foreigners for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.