Appeal to observe AUGUST 10th as “Day of Mourning”

 

August 2, 2018

Warm greetings from NCCI – Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns!

National Council of Churches in India – Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns and Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India – Office for SC/BC jointly appeal to the Churches and organisations to actively participate in observing ‘Day of Mourning’ on 10th August to raise our protest regarding the continual negligence of the government to the cry for the rights of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the country.

This year we will use the term “Day of Mourning” instead of ‘Black Day’.  The concept of “Black v/s Fair” comes from the Brahminical mind-set that ‘black is ugly and fair is beautiful’. On the other hand, the Black people and the Dalits hail the colour and the word “Black”, and say “Black is Beautiful”. Hence, when we use the phrase Black Day for August 10th, we are assimilating and accepting the concept that Black is negative, ugly and sad.

The infamous Presidential (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950 was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India. It says “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the scheduled caste” which was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. But this law, as we are all aware of, keeps the Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians from the Scheduled Castes list.

We request you to kindly observe ‘Day of Mourning’ on August 10th by organising protest meetings/ rallies/ demonstrations/ hunger fasts/ submitting memoranda/ candle vigils/ special prayers, and other appropriate programmes in your church/institution to express our solidarity with the suffering Christians and Muslims of Scheduled caste origin.

We would appreciate if you send couple of photos and a brief report of the observance to the undersigned.

Thanking you in anticipation,

With regards,

In Christ,

Pradip Bansrior
Executive Secretary,
Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns,
National Council of Churches in India.

Email: dataconcerns@ncci1914.com

 

Statement of the Consultation for Church Leaders of the Southern Region on “Prophetic Role of Church Leaders in the midst of Injustices”

National Council of Churches in India – Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns

Statement of the Consultation for Church Leaders of the Southern Region on “Prophetic Role of Church Leaders in the midst of Injustices”

In partnership with EMW Germany, Christian Service Agency and Church of South India | held from 24 – 26 July 2018 at CSI Centre, Royapettah, Chennai (TN)

 

S T A T E M E N T

 

We, 46 delegates from the Member Churches, Regional Councils and All India Christian Organisations of National Council Churches in India met at the Consultation for the Church Leaders of the Southern Regions of India in partnership with Evangelisches Missionswerk in Deutschland (EMW Germany), Christian Service Agency (CSA) and Church of South India (CSI) from 24th -26th July 2018 at CSI Centre, Royapettah, Chennai on the theme: “Prophetic Role of Church Leaders in the midst of Injustices” with the following objectives:

  1. To re-read the Bible from Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi perspectives.
  2. To bring contextual awareness of Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi issues, and the imperative importance of Liberation, Equality, Justice and their Rights
  3. To motivate the church/congregation to participate actively in the struggles of oppressed and marginalized people
  4. To encourage the member churches of the NCCI to bring out educational policy guidelines from predominantly Dalit and Adivasi perspectives, which could be used by the institutions of the Churches. This education policy will help the excluded Dalit and Adivasi students to obtain more space.
  5. To make an assessment of the Church’s position and response to the current political situation in the country
  6. To struggle for participation space of Dalits and Tribals/ Adivasis in the decision making process of the Church and Society

And through various deliberations we realise and condemn: Read more

Celebrate Democracy Day!

15th August and 26th January are important days for all Indians, including people belonging to minority communities. 15th August is the day of freedom from colonial rule, the independence of the country, and governing of the country by its own leaders. 26th January is the day of affirming that we are a democratic socialist republic with our own constitution, and our commitment to uphold the constitution in our racially, biologically, ethnically, and religiously pluralistic country.

However we are living in times where democracy and all the values and principles of our constitution are being eroded or given a new meaning. It is becoming the rule (cracy) of people who claim to represent a majority religious community, asserting that they are the primary citizens (demos) of India. Indian democracy is being degenerated into a communal understanding of India as a “nation of Hindus.” As has been said by one of their leaders,

“Nation Concept comprises the five constituent ideas—country, race, religion, culture and language—as the necessary and indispensable ingredients, in the existence of which five in a homogeneous whole, the Nation exists and in the destruction of any one of which the Nation itself experiences extinction.

If, as is indisputably proved, Hindusthan is the land of the Hindus and is the terra firma for the Hindu nation alone to flourish upon, what is to be the fate of all those, who, today, happen to live upon the land, though not belonging to the Hindu Race, Religion and culture?

. . . we must bear in mind that so far as ‘nation’ is concerned, all those, who fall outside the five-fold limits of that idea, can have no place in the national life, unless they abandon their differences, adopt the religion, culture and language of the Nation and completely merge themselves in the National Race. So long, however, as they maintain their racial, religious and cultural differences, they cannot but be only foreigners, who may be either friendly or inimical to the Nation. . .”

Thus we are confronted with Hindutva  Nationocracy. As mentioned in a press release two years ago, “Today our society is witness to increasing religious polarization and fear; and attacks on women, Dalits, Adivasis, religious minorities and working people; the criminal neglect of agriculture leading to an epidemic of farmer suicides; the theft of natural resources; and attacks on livelihoods and workers’ rights; gender violence; the neglect of persons with disabilities; discrimination against Dalit students in schools and universities across the country; and the persecution of people marginalised on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Worst of all, the members and allies of the so-called Sangh Parivar are bent upon curbing our freedoms. They tell people what to wear, write and speak; whom to love and what to eat.” Even persons such as Swami Agnivesh (Social activist and Bandhua Mukti Morcha leader) are not spared.  The Swami said there was a pattern in an assault on him at Pakur on 17th July 2018  in Jharkhand and incidents of mob attacks by vigilante groups on dalits and minorities which appeared “state sponsored”.

Let us celebrate democracy!

This most diverse country in the world belongs equally to all persons who make it its own, regardless of their religious faith (or for that matter, their denial of faith), their caste, gender, class, language, ethnicities, physical and mental abilities, gender identity and sexual orientation. This is the promise that we had made to ourselves during the Independence movement. This is the soul of India’s secular, socialist democratic Constitution.

Let us as Indian Christians, celebrate the spirit and purpose of our independence in our churches and in our mission services. Let us celebrate our democracy along with all like–minded fellow citizens of India. As 15th August 2018 approaches let us give meaningful expressions of our Indian democracy based on our constitution. Let us not only sing the national anthem and salute the Indian Tri-colour but, while praying for the country, also affirm:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; 

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all; and 

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual, and the unity and integrity of all Indians

 

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
General Secretary,
National Council of Churches in India.

 

NCCI President’s Address: Embracing the Strangers and Practicing Prophetic Witness

This is the inaugural address of NCCI President, The Most. Rev. Dr. P C Singh at  the National Consultation on “Embracing the Strangers and Practicing Prophetic Witness” ( A Program of CCA – Vichara | June 19, 2018 | Orthodox Seminary – Kottayam).

Greetings

Let me, first of all, greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It is with great joy that I am bringing greetings from the Church of North India as its Moderator and from the National Council of Churches in India as its President. My own diocese, the Diocese of Jabalpur CNI also joins me in wishing success for this conference.

I congratulate CCA and Vichara for the great partnership in organizing this conference. The Orthodox Church in India has been gracious to provide this Centre as the venue of the conference. It will be only proper to offer a special word of appreciation for the hard work put in by the Vichara team of Prof. Mammen Varkey.

For CCA “Embracing the strangers” has been a favourite theme and  area of action for several years now.  For me, it has been a privilege to serve in CCA Central committee. I see that a good number of  participants  are attending the conference and enjoying the hospitality of “God’s own country”!

Strangers and Wanderers

“A wandering  Aramean was my father…” was the memorial confession of the people of God in the Old Testament.  Abraham, Jacob, and the  people of Israel were all strangers in the land  into which their journey  brought them .  Then, we have the story of 40 years of wandering in the wilderness which depicts many occasions where people were treated as strangers and wanderers. Throughout history even up to modern times we can see people moving or fleeing from one place to another becoming  strangers elsewhere.

According to the UN report – 2013, Asians represented the largest Diaspora group residing outside their major area of birth, accounting for about 19 million migrants living in Europe, some 16 million in Northern America and about 3 million in Oceania.

Compared to other regions of destination, Asia saw the largest increase of international migrants since 2000, adding some 20 million migrants in 13 years, and this growth was mainly fuelled by the demand for foreign labour in the oil-producing countries of Western Asia and in South-Eastern Asian countries with rapidly growing economics such as Malaysia and Thailand.

The influx of migrant workers leaving various Asian countries increase yearly and more than 250,000 workers from Sri Lanka and 100,000 from Thailand have also been leaving their country every year since 2008.

The recent cases of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and  the influx of refugees from Syria give us the magnitude of suffering the “strangers” to other countries had to bear. Some countries decided to embrace the strangers whereas some others closed their doors. I am sure that this conference will take much time to discuss about the recent trends in migration and refugee situations. So I do not wish to go into further details.

We will look at our own country where neighbours are living as strangers and not willing to embrace each other. You know that I am speaking about the curse of caste system in our country. Exclusion or the practice of ostracising a group by segregating them from the mainstream by social custom  is the dynamics of caste system. Even after many years of abolishing  “untouchability”, it is still in practice.  The Dalits of India are untouchable for the upper castes.

Thus, I wish to identify three main reasons which exclude  people from people and  prohibit the opportunity of embracing each other.  That is, these are the reasons which create “strangers” in our communities. Economic crisis and disparity, political aggression, religious intolerance are the main causes. Large communities, especially from Asia migrate to economically affluent countries in search of jobs to keep their life going at least in the minimum way.  Political exclusion and dictatorship as well as  ethnic cleansing  are some of the main reasons which make strangers in one’s own country and outside.  What is happening in Syria is mainly due to religious intolerance.  These  situations can be resolved only through dealing with these basic causes at the root.

The Prophetic Role

What does the Bible say about Embracing the strangers?  Practicing prophetic witness is what the Bible says.  The prophets  stood between God and people  and communicated to people what God wanted to tell them. It was not simple oral communication only, but it was the compulsion of establishing the justice of God in the world. Let us see some of the passages

  • “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 33-34)
  • Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15.7)
  • Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4.9)
  • Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. ” (Hebrews 13. 1)

What can we do to enhance embracing the stranger?

We live in a world which is run by selfish economic motives. People use each other  for commercial gains. Money has become the measure of all things.  Greed has made human race like beasts.  The teaching  about Christ model, that is giving your life for others, does not attract many people.  So we need to create a counter culture of mutual care and deep concern for others.  I would like to make some practical proposal.

  1. Let us start with our homes. Some of us live in heavily protected houses and gated    Access for strangers to such living spaces will be impossible. So we need to make our  homes open to strangers in need.  The “strangers” may be even the people living next door!  As communities we need to formulate organized activities to take care of strangers.
  2. Next, let us take our local church. A recent  book on Parish Revitalization  titled one of the chapters  as, “A Gathering of Strangers?”  (Robert Worley, Chicago).  Are our local churches a gathering of strangers? We need to take a moment of  introspection . There are two questions. First, is our church a place of embracing the strangers within itself? Second,  as a church, do we have an outreach programme for the strangers?
  3.  Embracing the stranger at the grassroots. Embracing the strangers has found  place in international ecumenical councils like CCA and WCC. Even the NCCI has the related concern of migration as one of its ministerial foci. But embracing the stranger  has not found its due place in the agenda of local churches  and local ecumenical communities.  We know that  whatever does not happen  locally does not happen at all. So bringing  the agenda of embracing the stranger in the local ecumenical level is a pending task.
  4. Education from childhood. Christian nurture of children is mainly through Sunday Schools. The church has additional resource of  schools. These educational institutions  can be used as  places where children are taught from childhood  about the  care of strangers. Such positive attitudes are best developed  in schools.
  5. Wider ecumenical instrument. Religious fundamentalism is one of the main causes of exclusion . Strangers are created because of the misinterpretation of religious teachings. When interfaith communities take up the cause of embracing the strangers, it would have a great impact.  Well meaning and peace loving religious leaders can come together and make joint efforts towards this.
  6. The last suggestion is with a punch! Caste system has to go away from Indian community if our country has to be liberated from the bondage of mental and social oppression. The Church can play a model role by removing caste system from her own body. When that happens the Church will have no more strangers!

I am sure that this consultation will bring out rich insights and practical recommendations related to the theme. NCCI and CNI will be happy to follow them as well as implement them.

With blessings,

The Most Rev. Dr. P.C. Singh
Moderator CNI & President NCCI

 

Declaration of the National Consultation on Interfaith Engagement with Human Sexuality and Gender Diversity.

National Consultation on Interfaith Engagement with Human Sexuality and Gender Diversity

July 13-14, YMCA Tourist Hostel, New Delhi

 DECLARATION

While awaiting the judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court of India on Sec 377 of IPC — we the participants of the National Consultation on Interfaith Engagement with Human Gender, Sexes and Sexuality Diversities — organised by Aneka, Bangalore; and the National Council of Churches in India –ESHA, Nagpur; held in Delhi from 13th to 14thof July 2018; declare the following statement as an affirmation of our conviction — that human beings with diverse genders, sexes and sexuality minorities are God’s creation and are a part of natural order. This affirmation is done in the context of LGBTQHI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Hijada, Intersexual)  phobia that attempts to criminalize gender, sexual and sexuality minorities in India.

We believe that love is the basis of all religions and hatred can have no place. However, historically there have been dominant interpretations that have been used to perpetuate oppressive systems against these minorities. As a result, gender, sexual and sexuality minorities are often rejected and alienated by many religious leaders and faith communities.

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NCCI Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2018

Respected Ecumenical Leaders,

Greetings from NCCI- Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns!

Tribal and Adivasi Sunday has been celebrated in many parts of our country in sensitizing the local congregation on Tribal and Adivasi Concerns. Thanks to the enormous support we have received from across the churches, dioceses, parishes and institutions in celebrating this special Sunday. This year also we are inviting you to celebrate the Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 5th August 2018 in your churches/local parishes/institutions.

Read more

An Ecumenical Call for Global Day of Prayer to End Famine (10th June 2018)

An Ecumenical Call for Global Day of Prayer to End Famine (10th June 2018)

Did you feed me, when I was hungry? Though this was a question posed by Jesus several years hundred years ago, communities and nations who are starving for food and suffering from hunger put forward the same question to the world even today. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, 825 million people in the world are malnourished and therefore are deprived of a healthy life (2017)

Here are some alarming facts about hunger and famine in 2016:

  1. Ninety-eight percent of those who suffer from hunger live in developing countries. 553 million live in the Asian and Pacific regions, while 227 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Latin America and the Caribbean account for 47 million.
  2. India has the highest population of hunger. In 2014, over 190.7 million people were undernourished in India.
  3. Approximately nine million people die of hunger every year according to the World Hunger statistics; more than the combined death toll for malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis in 2012.
  4. Over 60 percent of the world’s hungry are women, who have limited access to resources in the patriarchal societies in which they live.
  5. Hunger in women of developing countries causes malnutrition and death of children. Approximately 3.1 million (8500 per day!) children die of hunger each year, and in 2011 poor nutrition accounted for 45 percent of deaths of children under five.
  6. The alarming tragedy is that such deaths take place when the world produces enough food to feed everyone. Food availability per capita has increased from approximately 2220 kcal per person per day in the 1960s to 2790 kcals per person per day in 2006.

In this context, the question of Jesus ‘Did you feed me, when I was hungry?’ in Matt 25: 35 – 40 is not only an indictment of Jesus, but also an experience of several people in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere in the world, who do not have accessibility to adequate food!

Many a time, faith communities( including churches) and even affluent States are comfortable in processing a few philanthropic services in addressing or combating poverty and hunger by providing food grains, rather than seriously looking at poverty and hunger as ‘Justice’ and ‘Human Rights’ issues.

Famine is mostly seen as non-availability of food due to various reasons including draught, war and ecological and natural catastrophes. Moreover, there prevails a view that it is also due to over population. However, the fact is that erroneous and unjust policies of the States and the unjust distribution of food grains cause famine conditions.

Therefore, the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance facilitates this campaign, joining the World Evangelical Alliance and the All Africa Conference of Churches, inviting churches and faith communities around the globe to pray for God’s intervention in the healing of the lands, by sharing enough and healthy food (grains) among the people and also to facilitate the States to develop pro-people policies to ensure healthy food for all citizens.

This ‘Global Day of Prayer to End Famine’ motivates the participating organisations and individuals to affirm “food justice ‘FOR’ all – food-justice ‘OF’ all”.

The idea behind this ecumenical call for prayer is to:

  • Unite the ecumenical partners and faith communities around the globe together in spirit and in action to ministerially and theologically respond to the issues related to famine, poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.
  • Encourage and facilitate their congregations and constituencies to pray for, and reflect and act upon the situation of hunger with information and suggestions.
  • Facilitate the Ecumenical Bodies and Partners to prayerfully work with their respective States to develop pro-people policies to affirm just-distribution of food and health.
  • Bring about concerned awareness regarding impact of famines on the most vulnerable children, women and families and to help address its root causes.
  • Connect with church-related and other humanitarian organisations that are currently working to bring immediate relief and positive long-term change so that children and families can live out God’s aspiration for a dignified, peaceful and violence-free future.
  • Help communities and congregations to uphold each other in prayer and support, by sharing experiences, challenges and solutions.

Hence, the Unity and Mission of the National Council of Churches in India and the Ecumenical Council for Drought and Water Management (ECoDAWM) are  jointly inviting all Members of the NCCI and other faith communities, people’s movements and action groups to observe this day to spread awareness and commit ourselves to act towards eradicating poverty.

We hope all concerned Church and Community leaders will support this effort by organizing meaningful programmes within our churches and organisations.

PLEASE JOIN THIS GLOBAL PRAYER MOVEMENT ON THE 10TH JUNE 2018.

To Know more about the Prayer Day please visit

<https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/wcc-calls-for-global-day-of-prayer-to-end-famine> and  <https://www.wvi.org/learn-more-about-global-day-prayer-end-famine>

To Download Resources Please click:

<https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/events/global-day-of-prayer-to-end-famine-1>

To join the campaign Please click: (Register Your Church / Organisation)

<https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdbN309d0m_m_QxUFG_eRxi8_ymXBPAhqU-NXrmoC6-hS1WVA/viewform>

Yours in God’s Mission,

Dr. William Stanley

President – ECoDAWM

 

Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar

Executive Secretary, NCCI – Unity and Mission

 

Most. Rev. Dr. P C Singh

President – NCCI

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad

General Secretary – NCCI

Green Epistle

Green Epistle to the Indian Churches :

Curse devours the earth  and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt (Isaiah 24:6)

on 

World Environmental Day (June 5, 2018)

Dear Fellow Pilgrims in faith Journey,

Grace to you and Peace from God our Creator!

God created earth and heaven. In the process of creating the cosmos, God  created human beings along with  other earth communities. Unfortunately, due to human greed and irresponsibility, all of God’s earth is polluted with several toxic gases, degradable wastes including plastics. The deep seas are  filled with plastic wastes and consequently the species in the deep seas are adversely affected by plastics. Every year 8-10 million tons of plastic is dumped in the sea.

So also the species on land are afflicted by plastics. Daily we see so many plastic bags lying scattered here and there. Plastic is such a material which cannot be reused. Plastic is damaging our existence. It is estimated that one third of all plastic waste ends up in soils or fresh waters. Most of this plastic disintegrates into particles smaller than five millimetres, referred to as microplastics, and breaks down further into nanoparticles, which are less than 0.1 micrometre in size. In fact, terrestrial microplastic pollution is much higher than marine microplastic pollution – an estimate of four to 23 times more, depending on the environment.

PLASTIC IS A DANGEROUS INVENTION OF HUMANS AND IT NOT ONLY AFFECTS BUT ALSO KILLS THE EARTH COMMUNITIES INCLUDING HUMAN COMMUNITIES. We as faith communities need to be dedicatedly engaged in eliminating the very presence of plastics in our day to day life.  The use of plastic has to be stopped.

In this alarming context of the earth being filled with plastics, UN Environment is making its biggest global call and seeks to mobilize humans for action on 5th  June, World Environment Day (WED). The theme for this year is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. While WED  day has been observed every year since 1973,  from the last couple of decades it is being observed on a larger scale.

We have been experiencing tremendous climate changes since the last few years. These changes have brought  much suffering to living creatures in the various forms: global warming, drought, floods,  landslides, incurable diseases, irregular climate changes and so on . Today the question is ‘How do we as Christians deal with this concern?’

One of the reasons why God created humans is that they should take care of the earth. God has entrusted us with this responsibility. Therefore, whatever good or bad happens,  we are responsible. So far we have not done much in  nurturing, sustaining and protecting God’s creation.

Prophet Isaiah talks about the earth being polluted by its inhabitants. In Isaiah’s context he was talking of earth being polluted by the inhabitants through their disobedience of God’s commandments. This situation  continues even till today; in fact it has become worse. Humans are not only tempted to continue disobeying God but they are destructively tampering God’s creation. Chris Appleby,  in one of his sermons  states:

“The great temptation for Christians as well as for the Jews is the temptation to take God’s  grace for granted; even worse, to feel a sense of superiority, of smugness, because we’re part of  God’s chosen people. The way to overcome that temptation is to remember that with the privilege of being God’s people comes the responsibility to remain faithful; to allow God to be God in every part of our lives.”

Talk about issues faced because of pollution and what can be done about it, is often a topic of discussion in our family and friend circles, but we fail in taking appropriate actions.  Global warming is a curse not only for human kind but also for all  living beings.

 We are responsible for the phenomena of global warming, climate change, and the ever increasing pollution,  and we have to bear the consequences. We have to do something about it.  Today is the time to get into action!  Now the question arises ‘Where do we start?’ and ‘When do we start?’

Therefore to start with, the NCCI – Unity and Mission encourages all its members and the public  at large to give up the use of plastics in our day today life. We have to start  someday,  so why not today? The UN has a very practical slogan this year “If you cannot reuse it, refuse it.” There are few alternatives for plastic which we need to start using. Let us make our campuses and neighborhood ‘PLASTIC-FREE’.

Let us boldly and publicly declare “NO TO PLASTIC !”

Ecologically Yours,

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad

General Secretary

Rev. Christopher Rajkumar

Executive Secretary – Unity and Mission

 

A Report on Three Months Computer Application Training Program at NCCI Campus

National Council of Churches in India

NCCI Communications | NCCI Youth

Computer Application Training Program

28th January 2018 – 30th April 2018

Venue- NCCI Campus, Nagpur

The biggest challenge that young people living below poverty line (BPL) face in their day to day life is the difficulty of accessing employment opportunities.

Though some of them are educated, they fail to get  jobs due to lack of many necessary skills. One  such necessary skill  is  digital skills, which are needed in this era of computer assisted applications. To address this concern,  Rev. Caesar David, Executive Secretary – National Council of Churches in India Communications (NCCI-Com) and Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei, Executive Secretary- Youth Concerns (NCCI-YC) started a Digital Literacy Modular Course of three months for Capacity Enhancement of disadvantaged youth. The aim of this project was to provide the benefits of computer based education and skills training to  students from socially and economically backward areas of Nagpur city, and to equip them for work with computers thereby being able to do better in their life.

The list of students is given below-

 Priyanka Arun Nanhe

 Nandini Umesh Wasnik

 Priyanka Umesh Wasnik

 Somiksha Dilip Gawande

 Sumesh S. Rawte

The pilot project which started with 5 students on January 28, 2018  and which concluded on  April 30, 2018 was conducted  in the  NCCI premises at Nagpur. All the students were from economically weak backgrounds, living in slum localities.

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NCCI-IDEA observes CCA-Asia Sunday at All Saints Cathedral -Nagpur

Theme: ‘Embracing  People with Disabilities: Upholding Their Dignity’.

Greetings from NCCI-IDEA!

The Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI-IDEA) along with the Church of North India-Nagpur Diocese observed CCA-Asia Sunday on the theme, “Embracing  People with Disabilities: Upholding Their Dignity” on 20th May 2018 at All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur.  This cathedral, which is more than 100 years old, observed Asia Sunday in solidarity with Persons with Disabilities.  This initiative of Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) paved the way to encourage Churches in Asia to renew their commitment towards embracing  people with disabilities and to uphold their dignity in accompanying them and mainstreaming their concerns.

All Saints Cathedral and its premises were done up to create awareness and sensitize the worshippers with posters and wheelchairs, emphasizing that the church should take  the initiative to be more disabled-friendly.  The Cathedral for the very first time in its more than 100 years of their faith journey witnessed on the occasion of Asia Sunday a preacher with disabilities, Mrs. Cynthia Shinde, Coordinator of NCCI-IDEA, preaching to the congregation and exhorting them to be Disabled-Friendly. The worship was conducted on the Asia Sunday Theme. Rev. John George, Presbyter, welcomed NCCI –IDEA and called on Dr. Rev. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI and President of IDEA to introduce Christian Conference of Asia and the theme of Asia Sunday.  He also introduced the ministerial journey of IDEA, the forum of NCCI.

The Biblical Reflection started with three dramatic voices: one of a person on wheelchair who said, “I cannot come into the Church because my wheelchair cannot climb the stairs of the church or the raised alter for communion” ; the second  of a parent who said,  “My child who cannot hear and speak is not able to follow the worship or the preaching because there is no sign interpreter, and so I cannot leave my child alone at home and come to church”;  and, the third voice declared,  “I’m a person with visual impairment, I don’t mind coming to church but there is no Braille Bible or Song Book for me to follow the worship. I don’t want to be a mere passive worshipper.”

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