1. Fight for Rights
Church leaders in Chhattisgarh are struggling against a local law that stops Christian priests from setting foot in certain villages. “The atmosphere in the State is not conducive for Christians anymore,” said. Bishop Patras Minj of Ambikapur said that the Missionaries are working under “tremendous fear” after the right-wing Hindu groups unleash a reign of terror, with the silent support of the BJP Govt. Bastar district has faced increasing anti-Christian violence for almost a year. The Chhattisgarh Christian Forum last year challenged the clause in the State High Court, which ruled that the Law should not interfere with the fundamental rights of any citizen. Despite the court order, villages continue to ban priests. The BJP government in the State gives tacit support to hard-line Hindu groups to enact laws to restrain the entry of Christians to these villages.
2. BOSCO, Best NGO
The Central Ministry of Women and Child Development has chosen Bengaluru ‘Oniyavara Seva Coota’ (BOSCO), for the prestigious 2014 National Award for Child Welfare, under Institution Category, for its decades-long outstanding service in the field of welfare of the marginalized children. The award carrying a cash prize of 3 lakh rupees and a citation was presented to Fr. Panamkattu Mathew Thomas, the Executive Director of BOSCO, by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the Hon’ President of India. BOSCO Bengaluru, inspired by St.Don Bosco, is the premier NGO engaged in the rescue and rehabilitation of street and working children in the city of Bengaluru. Initiated by a group of students from Kristu Jyoti College in 1980, it has grown to shelter thousands of vulnerable children from across the country with the unstinting support of the civil society.
3. Study on Stagnant Tribe
The first doctoral thesis dealing with the Reang tribe of North East India has been published as a book by Sr. Janet Florine Tellis, a member of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit. She lived with these people since 2008 and her experiences led to this study. Reang is among the 75 tribes facing extinction in India. Mr. Saikia, the VC of Cotton College State University, Guwahati, released her book at the opening of the two-day national seminar on “Syncretism in India: Cultural and Religious Dimensions.” The book highlights the struggles of a vulnerable tribe to survive in the fast changing modern society. Reangs are reported as the second largest tribal group with a population of 188,220, and is designated by the Central Govt. as Particularly Vulnerable.
4.Service to the Disabled
Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bengaluru opened the diocesan office of a commission, to specially care for persons with disabilities, on 3 Dec. the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. 27 million Indians have physical disability and the Church has to take an active part in bringing such people to the main stream. Fr.Kannanthanam said that the Churches and institutions at present don’t have the basic infrastructure and program that take care of the persons with disabilities. The commission plans to gather data regarding differently abled through primary and secondary sources and to create awareness to develop an atmosphere of receptivity and interaction. Their spiritual and human needs will also be catered to.
5.Jesuits Launch New Magazine
Jesuits in Kerala have come out with the new venture, ‘Ezhuthu’, a monthly with a counter-cultural role in promoting peace and justice, to be published from Kochi. This is a project of the ‘Loyola Institute of Peace and International Relations.’ Hon. Justice Mr. Kurien Joseph inaugurated the function. In his erudite speech he traced the right space the magazine could have in today’s social, political scenario. Renowned social activist Dayabhai released the pilot copy, giving it to Sri Vaikkom Murali.“The magazine is pledged to keep up the great legacy of the Jesuit tradition in terms of literary and cultural contributions,” said the Provincial, Fr Dr.M.K. George. The Chief Editor Prof. V. G. Thampy, Prof. M.K. Sanu, Fr Adapur, and Prof. M. Thomas Mathew felicitated.. Fr Dr. Binoy, the Director of the Institute, welcomed the gathering.