From Chilli Powder to Rights & Justice Oriented Education- Vaccine of Gender Based & Sexual Violence- Jessica Borgoary Promote 16 Days Activism Campaign

Jessica Borgoary Promoting 16 Days Activism Campaign

When I was in school I watched a Hindi film know as ‘ Mirch Masala’ ( Chilli Powder) The film was directed by Ketan Mehta. It starred Naseruddin Shah and Smita Patil in the lead roles. The film is set in colonial in the early 1940s. The plot begins with an arrogant Indian local tax collector and with his henchmen exploiting villagers. The tax collector and his men were harassing women . The village headman who was not strong to oppose him even supplied him with women from the village for his pleasure. No one had courage to protest against such violence.

However the story takes a different turn when the tax collector boldly asks Sonbai a young woman from the village for sexual favours, and harassed  her. Enraged, Sonabai, in an act of defense,  slaps the tax collector. She then had to flee immediately with the soldiers and henchmen in hot pursuit.She takes refuge in a spice factory where red chillies are grounded into powder. The women of the village worked here. Sonabai and the women were supported by a watchman and male school teacher who strategize to end such violence.

Sonabai organized women in the factory and when the tax collector and his men raided the factory the women in factory mount a sudden and surprising defense. They attack the tax collector with freshly ground red chilli powder in teams of two. The film ends with the tax collector on his knees, screaming in pain as the chilli burns his face and eyes.

The situation of women and girls being ‘eve teased’, bullied, harassed and sexually abused has not changed in India. In fact such violence has increased. Now when women  are no longer confined within homes and are out in the world,  they face harassment and abuse schools, colleges and workplaces. 

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“Violence on Women & Girls Betrays the Teachings of Jesus”- Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI Promoting White Ribbon Campaign

Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad – General secretary NCCI promoting White Ribbon Campaign

Men and Boys should take action to end men’s gender based violence on women and girls” states Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad – General Secretary of National Council of Churches in India” ‘Towards Just and Inclusive Communities’ is NCC India’s Quadrennial Theme 2016-2020. Rev Dr Gaikwad states “We cannot build just and inclusive communities unless we seriously address the issue of violence on women and girls in India.”

Gender based violence and sexual violence has become pandemic in India. India 4th dangerous country in the world for women to live and girl child to survive. 53 percent of children in India face sexual abuse. Times of India reports every 20 minutes a woman or girl is raped in India. India witnesses one of the highest female infanticide incidents in the world as revealed in a first ever global study on female infanticide by Asian Centre for Human Rights, a Delhi-based NGO in 2016. The BBC reports about once every five minutes an incident of domestic violence is reported in India, under its legal definition of ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives.’

Gaikwad further states that “The sign of hope is some of our member churches and church leaders are engaging in various forms of ministry to end violence on women and girls. However we need to understand empowerment of women and girls alone is not solution to this problem. Men and boys can play crucial role to end gender based and sexual violence. Gender justice, gender equality and gender equity is not ‘women’s issue’ alone. We need to empower men and boys also regarding gender justice so that they understand the scale of the problem, and become part of the solution, alongside women. If women are empowered alone and not men violence on women will increase more”

Restrictive gender roles and stereotyped gender norms harm men as well as women, boys as well as girls though girls are more vulnerable. . Men and boys have a crucial role to play in creating a culture where male violence, abuse and harassment against women and girls are simply seen as unacceptable. Men also need to support survivors of gender based violence take a stand against gender violence in their workplaces, schools, communities and families.

In 2015 during Quadrennial Assembly of ‘All India Council of Christian Women’ (at present known as Women’s Concern Ministry of NCCI ) Rev Dr Gaikwad promoted ‘White Ribbon Campaign’. He invited men church heads and leaders to take action against violence on women and girls in their own home, church or society.

Church Heads Promoting White Ribbon Campaign during Women’s Assembly in Kerala 2015

The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls. It was formed by a group men in Canada in November 1991 as a response to the École Polytechnique massacre of female students who was shot dead by Marc Lépine . The campaign was intended to raise awareness about the prevalence of male violence against women. White Ribbon symbolizing “the idea of men giving up their arms and violence.” This campaign is active in many counties in the world. ‘White Ribbon Campaign’ is a the movement that seeks to promote healthy relationships, gender equity, and a compassionate vision of masculinity

Rev Dr Gaikwad opines “Discrimination and violence on women, girls and children betrays the teaching of Jesus. Jesus broke the silence regarding culture of gender based in his society . Jesus showed the world compassion to women and girls through positive masculinity as opposed to patriarchal masculinity. Hence it is prophetic duty of the church to promote such positive masculinity and empower men and boys to end violence on women and girls .”

In 2015 National Council of Churches launched ‘365 Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence: Make it Happen Now Campaign: Make it Happen Now !’ NCCI also conducts various Capacity Enhancement and Human Rights Training in partnership with member churches and ecumenical partners to promote gender mainstreaming. ‘Certificate Course for Gender Justice’ is one such initiative of Women’s Concerns Ministry is to train pastors and lay leader ,youth ,community leaders both male and female.

As we commemorate ‘16 Days of Activism Against Violence on Women and Girls Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad invites churches, congregations and individuals “TAKE ACTION NOW. DO NOT REMAIN SILENT REGARDING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE ,SEXUAL ABUSE OF WOMEN , GIRLS AND CHILDREN .”

#16 Days Activism @ NCCI

Reported by Moumita Biswas – Executive Secretary – Women Concerns Ministry – National Council of Churches in India

Appeal from NCC Bangladesh.

Dear Friends,

We had earlier published the plans and efforts of NCC Bangladesh in responding to the Rohingya Crisis, especially attending to the refugees in Bangladesh. We are now publishing this urgent appeal from NCC Bangladesh. We urge you this Christmas that you remember how Joseph and Mary along with baby Jesus had to flee their homeland and seek asylum in Egypt because of the massacre of King Herod’s army, and think of extending  your support to the Rohingyas fleeing the massacre in Myanmar and taking refuge in Bangladesh.

You may directly contact Rev. David  A. Das, General Secretary, NCC Bangladesh at

Thanking you,

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,

General Secretary, NCCI

‘Because I am Precious in God’s Eyes – I will Not Keep Silent about Gender Based Violence – Shyreeti Daveena Shares her Story

Shyreeti Daveena

The colour of my skin is black and I love my body. My mother says my eyes are dark and bright as the doe and I am lovely. But yet I faced discrimination in school because of my body and colour of my skin by my teachers and peers. Though majority of Indians have brown, dark brown and dark skin yet women and girls with lighter skin are regarded beautiful.

Whenever there was school function, plays or dance drama the fairer and thinner girls were given chance to be main characters in the play or dance drama. Talent was not the criteria of selection. Girls like me with darker skin were discriminated and not given opportunities. However boys with darker skin did not share the same plight as girls.  Dark skinned boys were regarded as handsome. I always felt rejected. I lost self confidence, had low self esteem and I became an introvert person. This affected my academic performance in school. Teachers ridiculed me and called me ‘dumb’. My teachers failed to realize psychological abuse and discrimination is also a form of gender based violence.

Even  now when I go  for my tuition classes  many boys tease me calling me names like  ‘Kalla Khatta’ ( Black and Sour), ‘Moti Kali’ ( Black fat woman ) and even use sexist language. Eve teasing is quite common phenomenon in India and culture of gender based violence exists in our country.

It took me a long time to gain back my confidence which was broken by my teachers in school. My parents helped me to gain my confidence as they reminded me ‘I am beautiful created in image of God’. My involvement in various Sunday School and youth group activities in our church helped me to discover my own leadership qualities and talents.  Galatians 3:38 inspired me “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”Today I am proud of who I am.

There are many like me in India who face discrimination because of stereotyped gender norms which moulds minds of people and culture. In India girls with darker skin becomes often burden for their parents. In an arranged marriage system which still prevails in India parents have to pay more dowry during marriage for their daughters with darker skin.

The media also portrays women with lighter skin and thin body as beautiful. Whitening creams have been promoted through racist advertising. For years, advertisers of skin-lightening creams and other products have shown people — mostly women — with dark skin as having problems when it comes to finding jobs, getting married and generally being accepted by society. The makers of these advertisement include behemoths like Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble . The so-called ‘Fairness Cream’ industry in India is booming .There is even a fairness cream named ‘ Fair and Lovely’.  I strongly believe advertising should not communicate any discrimination as a result of skin colour.

As youth leader I feel church can play a crucial role in deconstructing stereotyped gender norms, ideologies and transform mindset of people. I often wonder why is colour white always associated with purity and black is regarded as dirty or evil. Even today we sing in the church ‘Jesus like lily pure and white’. All colours are created by God are beautiful. From childhood we are conditioned about an arche type image of Jesus as man with light skin  in white robe. We are hardly taught to imagine Jesus as an Asian man with sun tanned dusky brown skin. His clothes must have been soiled with mud and dirt as he traveled from place to place.  Just as white – Black is also beautiful.

25th November is the UN Declared International Day International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence begins on 25 November and end on 10 December, Human Rights Day.

16 Days of Activism Campaign provides me the opportunity to share my story. I have pledged ‘Because I Am Precious in God’s Eyes – I will not Keep Silent about Gender Based Violence and Sexual violence ’.  I invite all of you to join this campaign and  ‘Break the Silence’ and ‘Take Action’ to end any sorts of gender based violence whether in our home, school, church or society.

 (Shyreeti Daveena is a young adolescent girl an active youth church leader – residing in Nagpur and is studying class XI  )

 #16 Days of  Activism@ Shyreeti Daveena 

Women’s Concerns Ministry ,
National Council of Churches in India

Indian Constitution Day

Sunday, 26th November 2017 is turning out to be a  very special day. On this Sunday the Church of North India (CNI) in particular will be celebrating CNI Formation Day. Many churches will also be observing it as a day of prayer for the persecuted church. Still others will be observing it as Disability Advocacy Sunday (NCCI special observance). So also some would be celebrating it as India Constitution Day. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November 1949.

Kindly find below the link to download an Order of Worship which has been drafted by Rev. Dr. Satish C. Gyan, a renowned Theologian, Former General Secretary, Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI); and Former Director/General Secretary, Raipur Churches Development & Relief Committee (RCDRC).

English: INDIAN CONSTITUTION DAY – Order of Worship – 26.11.2017

Hindi: संविधान दिवस – आराधना विधि २६.११.२०१७

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao, CCA’s third General Secretary passes away

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao 1929 – 2017. (Pic. source:

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao, former general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) passed away in Singapore on 16 November.

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao (1929 – 2017) served as a Methodist pastor in Malaysia and Singapore before being consecrated the first Asian Bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia and Singapore from 1968 to 1973. He was elected as the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia between 1973 and 1985 and was directly involved in social justice issues, ministering to the marginalised and oppressed in the region.

In 1988, he accepted an invitation to be Visiting Professor of World Christianity, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA. He also taught in summer school at the Vancouver School of Theology, Canada in 1990.

Rev. Yap was on the Council of the Inter-Religious Organisation in Singapore and was committed to the promotion of inter-faith dialogue and understanding. He served as the Pastoral Advisor of the Free Community Church, which counts many LGBT Christians in its congregation.

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) mourns the loss of this great leader whose pioneering work in many areas will always be remembered for the practical expressions of ecumenism and Christ’s love. He associated with those on the margins, the oppressed, the minorities and those whom the society largely considered as different. It is his exemplary work that will continue to inspire generations to come, to walk with faith and grace for an effective and holistic ministry.


‘Water for life’ – Joint program of VCLC-NCCI and the EWN-WCC

‘Water for life’ –

Joint program of VCLC- National Council of Churches in India and the EWN-World Council of Churches

3rd November 2017 | NCCI Campus, Nagpur.

A one-day consultation on ‘Water for life’ was organized in the NCCI Campus on the 3rd of November 2017. It was a joint program of the Vidarbha Centre for Labour Concerns – National Council of Churches in India VCLC – NCCI) and Ecumenical Water Network – World Council of Churches (EWN – WCC). The 50 participants in the consultation were from the Church of North India, Mar Thoma Church, and the Orthodox Seminary, from faith-based organizations and also people (people of different faith traditions) from Butibori – MIDC and Totladoh who have been affected by developmental activities in the region. NCCI Secretaries and Interns also participated in this consultation.

The major focus of the program was on the International, National and Local issues of the Water Crisis as water is being commoditized and therefore this natural resource is made available unequally.

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Gender Justice on Agenda at Anglican Women’s Network Meet in London

Steering Group Members of International Anglican Women’s Network- Meet in London

The Steering Group for the International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) met in London from 16th – 21st October to discuss the many issues facing women throughout the world. These women used theological and biblical perspectives to discuss far reaching issues such as gender-based violence, human trafficking, and sustainable economic empowerment.

According to Revd. Terrie Robinson Director for Women in Church and Society of Anglican Communion  “IAWN’s purpose is to be a bold and prophetic voice for all women throughout the Anglican Communion working to uphold the God-given dignity of women and girls, to eradicate gender-based inequality and violence, and to promote just relationships among all people.” The IAWN steering group revisited and refreshed its priorities. The group is in regular contact online but strives to meet in person once during each three year cycle. Terrie Robinson describes this as a “unique opportunity”, saying that the face to face environment allows them to plan strategically for the years leading up to the next ACC meeting.

According to Moumita Biswas ( from Church of North India,  and Executive Secretary of Women’s Concerns, National Council of Churches in India) an IAWN Steering Group member from Asia,  “This meeting will have great  potential for wide reaching impact, particularly when the stories and strategies are communicated in provinces. And not only within the Communion but we also do networking with other organisations like the World Council of Churches, the Asian Church Women’s Conference, the Christian Conference of Asia – so there is wider ecumenism that [this] Anglican network could have an impact on”. Biswas further states that “Church of North India and Church of South India, which are members  of the National Council of Churches in India, also belong to Anglican Communion. So Women’s Concerns Ministry of NCCI will also promote the Gender Justice Agenda of IAWN among CNI and CSI and share it with  women’s fellowships of other member churches.”

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An Ecumenical Commemoration of 500 Years of Reformation

“Reformation is a Process and we need to adopt and adapt to…”

said Fr. Peter, a Catholic Rector at the Ecumenical Commemoration of 500 Years of Reformation.

The Churches and the Christian Communities and Organisations in Nagpur gathered together at the All Saints Cathedral of the Church of North India in Nagpur, to participate in a commemorative Eucharist worship on 31st October 2017 at 6.30 pm. remembering Martin Luther and his colleagues, who advocated reformation in the Church 500 years ago on the same day.

Over hundred people, including persons with disabilities, clerics, theologates, mission and social workers, participated in this ecumenical worship representing different ecclesial confessions from Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Lutheran, Church of North India,  and Free Church Traditions.

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Presbyterian Church of India Declaration on Climate Change

Rev.  Laldawngliana,  Moderator  of the  Presbyterian  Church  of  India  (PCI)   officially  released  and  dedicated  the  PCI’s  Declaration  on  Climate Change   in Shillong  on 1st November 2017   during  the  meeting  of the  PCI’s  Peace  &  Justice  Committee  chaired  by  Rev.  Dr.  P. B.  M.  Basaiawmoit,  the  Committee  Chairman.

This  is  an  outcome  from  the  One  Day  Consultation  on  taking forward  the  Paris  COP21 Agreement  on  Climate  Change  held  last year  in  Shillong  itself  and partnered   with  Centre  for  Social Development  (CSD),  Imphal.

This  Declaration  has  been  released  before  the  meeting  of COP 23  in  Bonn,  Germany,  during  06 – 17  November,  2017  with the  hope  that all  stakeholders  will  seriously  and  concertedly act  without  reservation  on  mitigating  climate  change.

Download the Climate Action.pdf