Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network. An online workshop on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The passion of churches towards promoting and actualising inclusion was revived at the GAAD workshop of the NCCI. Emphasising the heart of innovation is accessibility the participants were encouraged to cater innovative ideas for making digital accessibility a reality.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is observed to bring focus on digital access and inclusion. According to the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website, “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access or inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

In line with this Global observance, the National Council of Churches in India’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment and Communications Department collaborated an online workshop on 15 May, 2024 themed “Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network”. The teams of Communication and Disability from various churches and institutions join to receive insights on making church communication accessible to all.

Rev. Ribin John, Executive Secretary, NCCI Ecumenical Fora moderated the workshop and Mr. Nelason Nag, Program Executive, NCCI- Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompniment introduced Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) to all the praticipants. Ms Neelam Gaikwad, NCCI  Communications program executive spoke about practical strategies to address digital accessibility challenges and Ms. Smriti Priyansha, Document and Research Program Ececutive discussed case studies and identification of digital barriers faced by people with disabilities.

The expected outcome of this workshop was churches will become aware of the digital barriers that people with different types of disabilities face and will receive practical insights and strategies for overcoming these barriers. This will help create a barrier-free digital environment for all church attendees.

This events was not limited to awareness and engagement but also a commitment to pouring ceaseless efforts towards accessibility and prioritising inclusion at all steps.


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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Report of Regional Seminar on Transparency, Accountability and Responsibility (Dumka | Nov. 28 – 29, 2017)

Report of Church Leaders Seminar On Transparency, Accountability and Responsibility (TAR)

November 28-29, 2017 |Dumka, Santal Parganas, Jharkhand

Organised by: National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Christian Service Agency (CSA) and Santalia Council of Churches (SCC)


The TAR Conference was initiated by the Grace of the Lord, with a session of Devotion, led jointly by Revd Francis Hansdak’ and Revd Roshan Hansdak’.

The Keynote Address to the Conference was also delivered by Revd Roshan Hansdak’.

Then Revd Caesar David deliberated upon “the Historical Necessity of Strengthening Good Practices in Our Churches and Organisations”. He emphasised upon the necessity of stringent upkeep of Ethics and Values in these challenging times, when a focused invigilatory approach is being adopted by the Government, and the FCRA Compliant Bank A/cs. of many Organisations are being closed due to detection of irregularities. He explained, to upkeep Ethics and Values, our Churches and CBOs need to do no new things, as these are the same set of Christian Values of Honesty, Love, Kindness and Integrity, we are supposed to adhere in all of our Activities. This of course doesn’t mean that the Church and its affiliate CBOs have been lax in upkeep of Ethics and Values, but merely is indicative of the Grey Areas of Ethics, which is open to opportunistic interpretations to suit the situation at hand. As an example he cited the rampant but inappropriate use of pirated proprietary softwares in our Churches, instead of Freewares and Sharewares.

There is also a shyness on the part of us in acknowledging corruption in our Churches. But denying the existence of corruption is doing disservice to our Churches in actuality. Contrary to the popular perception that, corruption comprises solely of monetary malpractices, Revd Caesar explained, there are various types of corruption involving Power Abuses, Illegalities, Handling of Donations, Procurement Acceleration, Sexual Abuses and Favours, Manipulations and Collusions etc. which erodes the Values, stems the Church growth, perpetuates inefficiencies, and lessens the faith upon the Church. All these factors ultimately compounds towards a weak Church. In contrast, adherence to the Global indicators of Ethics, Freedom and Transparency leads to a Sustainable and Strengthened Church.

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Please share widely and encourage students to avail themselves of these schemes and scholarships.

> Resources > Links has also been updated with the above links.

NCCI Song Book and Mobile App Released

NCCI SONG BOOK and Mobile App comprising traditional hymns, contemporary and ecumenical songs from various regions in India were released in the course of NCCI’s Executive Committee Meeting on February 14, 2017 at UELCI, Chennai, by Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, President of National Council of Churches in India and in the presence of NCCI Treasurer, Rev. Dr. A. G. Augustine Jeyakumar, NCCI Vice Presidents, Mrs. Aleyamma Thomas and Mr. Liju Jacob Kuriakose, and NCCI General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad.

Releasing the Song Book, Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh congratulated NCCI’s Commission on Communication and said he is ‘happy to release this song book for the Glory of God and to the blessing of people’. He wishes and prays for this to be ‘yet another channel of God’s love and blessing in the form of hope, victory and fortitude that these songs inspire us for.’ He further noted that “It is an expression and celebration of ecumenical spirituality which seeks to understand, experience and communicate that which binds all creation in groaning and redemption, builds communities, and supports life in its fullness.”

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Manipur Situation: Appeal letters to Prime Minister and National Commission for Minorities, India.


Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_1

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_2

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_3




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Communication for Peace and Unity: Indian Traditional Games Celebration


26th January 2017, NCCI Campus, Nagpur

 NCCI Commission on Communications in partnership with India Peace Centre (IPC) and Christian Service Agency (CSA) organized an event on ‘Indian non-formal Games ’ at NCCI Campus Nagpur on 26th January 2017. The theme of this unique event was ‘Communication for Peace and Unity’. The main focus of this event was to promote peace, friendship and unity through games and help break barriers of communication, encourage low cost gaming and socializing. There were participants from various churches along with some children who participated in the event.

IMG_7259This event started with registration. After registration, I was privileged to welcome  all the church leaders and participants. Rt. Rev. Paul Dupare (Bishop, Nagpur Diocese, CNI) inaugurated the event with a  word of prayer. Miss Simran, intern from IPC gave instructions to all participants regarding  rules of the games. There were so many traditional games like Gilli Danda, Lagori, spinning tops, playing with marbles, tyre race, skipping etc. All the persons present participated enthusiastically in the games .

The first round was ‘free practice and get together’ round. The participants from different churches and organizations had a time to interact with each other and practiced together. I noticed that even senior participants were fully involved in the games and enjoyed them thoroughly.

IMG_7290Rev. Caesar David conducted the challenge round. In this round, all participants played Gilli-danda, Lagori, Spinning the top, Marbles and skipping. There were 5 prizes for every sport: first, second, third and 2 consolation prizes.  (As one of our aims was to promote good health, health products like Corn flakes, Oats, Honey and Dates were given as  prizes.)

Mr. Kasta Dip led the evaluation session. All participants shared their thoughts and what they learnt from this event.  Rev. Arif Umer Saheb said the closing prayer after that all participated in a fellowship lunch.

The Indian traditional games event was successfully organized and participants from different churches and organizations appIMG_7439 - Copyreciated the concept of playing together for communication and peace-building processes. Playing games of yester years was a very emotional experience for many participants who played the games as kids. Reconnecting with their childhood evoked not only child-like happiness and appreciation of simple joys but also inspired child-like mutual trust and loving harmony.

This event helped us to understand the importance of sports in peace building in our society. Sports can bring people together towards a common goal, while promoting respect and community with others. By building relationships between different groups, conflict can be transformed. In addition, sports can be used to impart values of good sportsmanship, teamwork, respect and communication skills needed to reduce tensions and prevent conflict.

Neelam Gaikwad

Programme Assistant – NCCI Commission on Communications.




Mainstream media is often found to under-represent the interests of people in the margins of society such as the dalits in India who are outcaste. In this context, the lack of channels and inability to communicate their own concerns and bring to the fore their experiences of discrimination, has led to ignorance, unaddressed issues of inequality, inaccessibility to basic services, neglect, denial of rights and exclusion from the processes of decision-making and policy-making. The emerging consciousness about importance of Information and Communications Technology in the exploration of alternative media to create communication spaces can lead to the creation of pathways to digital frontiers that provide solutions towards affirmation of communication rights and implementation of inclusion concepts.

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NCCI’s new website


NCCI’s new website was inaugurated by NCCI President, Honourable Bishop Dr. P. C. Singh on August 11, 2016 in the course of the General Body meeting in Chennai. Bishop Dr. P. C. Singh appreciated NCCI’s Commission on Communications and Relations for the upgrade, and wished the website to be a channel for more effective accomplishment of ecumenical objectives as communicating communities seeking to synergize efforts in service of the Church and Society.

NCCI’s new website is aimed at incorporating newer strategies and website components towards optimizing available technology to the various ways people currently use it, and its new domain name brings into focus the historic standing and commitment of the Council. The website will serve as a repository for reference and relevant data as well as a portal for news from NCCI, its member bodies and ecumenical concerns in general. With a responsive web design and integrated cross-platform content sharing (eg. in addition to email, facebook, twitter and other online social media, news posts viewed on mobile devices can now be shared on whatsapp as well), NCCI has responded practically to changing trends of accessing and sharing data across multiple platforms, including smart phones. The NCCI news app for AndroidTM devices that complements the news components of the website, continues to be freely available on Google PlayTM


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NCCI Communications Pre-assembly (April 8 – 10, 2016 | CSI Synod, Chennai) – Program Report.

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) Communications pre-assembly entitled “Towards Just and Inclusive Communities: Communication for Life, Enablement and Growth”, organized by NCCI’s Commission on Communications and Relations, in partnership with Church of South India(CSI) Synod and Board of Theological Education of Senate of Serampore College(BTESSC), was held in CSI Synod, Chennai from April 8 to April 10, 2016.


There were 46 registered participants at this program representing many of NCCI member Churches and Organizations: Church of South India (CSI), Church of North India (CNI), Board of Theological Education of Senate of Serampore College (BTESSC), Marthoma Church, The Bible Society of India (BSI), The Salvation Army, Lott Carey Baptist Mission, India Peace Centre (IPC), India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC), Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches (STBC), Tamil Nadu Christian Council (TNCC), Hindustani Covenant Church (HCC), Christian Literature Society (CLS), Inter-Church Service Association (ICSA), Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI), Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church (GELC), Andhra Pradesh Council of Churches (APCC), Chattisgarh Council of Churches (CCC), Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC), National Missionary Society of India (NMSI), Kerala Council of Churches (KCC), NCCI – Urban Rural Mission (NCCI – URM). There were also members from other institutions: Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Leonard Theological College, Anna University, Karnataka Christian Educational Society (KACES) and Madras Christian College.
Devotions on April 8th and 9th were prepared by Rev. Dr. Bavani Rajan (Pastor, Arcot Lutheran Church, Tambaram). His messages were inspiring Biblical reflections on various aspects of communications. His Praise & Worship team led the singing during the devotions.
At the inaugural session on April 8, 2016, on the dais were Adv. C. Robert Bruce(Hon. Treasurer, CSI), Rev. A. Suresh Kumar (Secretary, Trichy – Tanjore Diocese, CSI), Rev. Dr. Mohan Larbeer (Secretary, BTESSC), Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad (General Secretary, NCCI), Rev. Sunil Raj Philip (Director, Departments of Communication and Dalit & Adivasi concern, CSI Synod) andRev. Solomon (Director, Youth Department, CSI Synod). Adv. C. Robert Bruce inaugurated the program by lighting the lamp and gave the inaugural address. Each of the other dignitaries also added a flame to the lamp and spoke briefly to bring greetings and to wish the program and participants well.
The keynote address was delivered by Rev. A. Suresh Kumar. Tracing the development of communications to illustrate the context we are in and to which we need to be relevant to, he spoke emphatically and comprehensively about the range of communication issues that the Churches must address. He challenged Christian Communicators to strive to harness the vast potential in emerging technology while also avoiding the pitfalls and inherent dangers of such a rapidly changing context.
A Statement Committee was formed. Ms. Sushma Ramswami (Communication Secretary, Church of North India) and Rev. Abraham Varghese (Director of Animation Centre, Marthoma Church) headed the Statement Committee. Ms. Eva David (Executive Secretary, Inter-Church Service Association) and Mr. Joshua Marvin (Karnataka Central Diocese, CSI) volunteered to be the listeners.
The next two sessions “Prophetic role of the Communicator” and “Affirmative action” were taken by Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad. Among other challenges, he emphasized on social analysis, solidarity, advocacy and networking responsibilities of the communicator. He spoke also on affirmative action as non-compromising and definitive action on the side of justice for wholesome growth and development.
The session on “Networking: Church with People of other faiths” was taken by Mr. Kasta Dip (Director, India Peace Centre). He spoke about the conceptual and practical dimensions of the Church’s networking with people of other faiths. While emphasizing the need for working together and clarifying objectives of harmony, he gave practical hints for better networking and relations.
The session on “Pathways to Digital Frontiers for Just and Inclusive Communities” was taken by Rev. Sandeep Theophil (Director, Balmatta Institute of Language and Vocational studies; Principal, Karnataka Institute of Commerce; PRO, Karnataka Christian Educational Society). He spoke about using digital technology to counter the growing sense of discrimination and dissent by developing solutions that are ingrained with the culture of inclusion, peace and justice.
This section of presentations was moderated by Rev. Dr. Mohan Larbeer who, in his comments, underlined the emphasis on ‘Justice to the people using communication tools’ and also stressed on the need to develop counter-culture and counter-narratives to combat some of the issues found detrimental to justice objectives.
Most of the post-lunch sessions were on networking. The session on“Networking: Between Churches / denominations” was taken by Rev. Juliet Prince (Presbyter, CSI Madras Diocese). She spoke on the theological understanding of Church networking by presenting several models, and then emphasized the need for networking between Churches and denominations drawing out the possibilities as well as areas of challenges that need to be dealt with, finally concluding with the importance of oneness in common witness to be strong enough to challenge structures of violence and injustice.
The next session, “Networking: Church and Secular Media”, was taken byProf. Dr. I. Arul Aram (Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Anna University; Former HOD of Media and Communications; Research Scholar and Guide). He spoke about networking between Church and media with reference to its need and challenges. He spoke with concern for strengthening the ministries of the Church and with a focus on positive engagement to ensure growth and impact.
The session on “Networking: Church with FBOs and NGOs” was conducted byMr. Kasta Dip; he spoke about the need for building wider networks for greater impact in Church and Society as well as the obstacles that sometimes hamper this process of building wider networks. The session also brought out the need for capacity enhancement for Churches to be able to effectively network on a broader level.
The last session in this section, “Communication for Development” was taken by Prof. Dr. P. V. Sangeetha (HOD, PG Department of Communication, Madras Christian College, Chennai). She brought out the significant role and relationship between communication and development, and emphasized the need for alternative, participatory and people-centered paradigms.
The moderator for this section, Major Babu Samraj (Communication Secretary and Editor, The Salvation Army India National Secretariat, Kolkata), commented in acknowledgement of the need for wider networking of Churches and urged the exploration of working together at various levels towards adding strength to efforts for Just and Inclusive communities.
On April 9, 2016, the first session of the day “ICT Perspectives – Available tools and changing paradigms of efficiency” was taken by Prof. Thomas Manoj Samuel (Professor of Communications, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai) who presented the vast array of technology that is available today and ways in which the Church can benefit from these in its struggle for justice and peace in the society. He challenged the Churches to explore the possibilities in this direction with greater enthusiasm, expectation and openness.
The sessions on “Communication towards Life, Enablement and Growth” and “Communication for Peace” were taken by Rev. Dr. Samuel W. Meshack(President, World Association for Christian Communication – WACC; Chairperson, NCCI Program Commission on Communications and Relations). Among other things, he explained how Communication affirms life by promoting truth-telling, fairness, openness, inclusion, participation and dialogue while it threatens life by censorship, misinformation, hate-speech, lies and exclusion. The latter session also brought out that Peace is ‘not only the absence of war, violence and hostilities, but also the enjoyment of justice, equality and the entire range of human rights and fundamental freedoms within society’. Complete with references to the Earth Charter, WACC Principles and other global models of communication, he dealt with the subject comprehensively, and challenged the Church as a communicator and also as individual communicators, to explore the potential of communication for Life, Enablement and Growth.
The next session “Addressing discrimination: specific issues about gender, caste, indigenous people, dispossessed, minorities (religious, sexual, racial, etc.)” was basically about ‘Communicating for emancipation’ and taken by Prof. Lanusenla Longkumer (Professor of Communications, Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur). Her paper delineated some of the struggles of people, particularly women, in their everyday lives and made an appeal to the churches and individual citizens to join hands in the search for the meaning for life. She presented several case studies to show instances of violence and discrimination. She also spoke about the Church’s response and included a video presentation showing examples of simple communication tools for campaigning and advocacy such as street plays, towards addressing these issues.
The last input session “The Church’s response, initiatives and challenges”was taken by Rev. Dr. Joel Patrick (Auxiliary Secretary, Jabalpur Auxiliary of the Bible Society of India). He spoke about the various communication models and tools used by Churches. While he urged exploration of new age communication technologies and models, he cautioned against dilution of core elements like people’s participation, identities, community spirit, indigenous forms of communication, and so on which may be counter-productive to the Church’s objectives.
This section was moderated by Dr. Esther Kathiroli (Secretary, Tamil Nadu Christian Council). She commented on communication tools for Just and Inclusive Community, and urged Churches to address specific issues in their respective areas especially those concerning basic rights. She stressed the important role played by communication in addressing these. She challenged Churches to use their communication modules more effectively and if found inadequate, to develop them urgently.
The afternoon of the second day was devoted to group discussions in which participants split in three groups had brain-storming sessions in light of the input sessions that had been conducted so far. The groups made lists of communications-related recommendations to Churches and Christian organizations. These lists were then handed over to the Statement committee to be incorporated in the draft that was being prepared.
On April 10, 2016, the Statement Committee – Ms. Sushma Ramswami and Rev. Abraham Varghese – presented the Statement draft to the participants which was followed by discussions, changes and finalization. The program closed withclosing comments, vote of thanks and closing prayer by Rev. Dr. Samuel Meshack. Rev. Dr. Mohan Larbeer pronounced the Benediction.
As noted from Rev. Dr. Samuel Meshack’s vote of thanks, the program team puts on record its sincere thanks to CSI Synod (Honorable Moderator of CSI, The Most Rev. Dr. G. Dyvasirvadam; Treasurer, Adv. C. Robert Bruce; General Secretary of CSI, Rev. Dr. Ratnakara Sadananda; and Director of departments of Communication, Dalits and Adivasis Concerns, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip) and BTESSC (Secretary, Rev. Dr. Mohan Larbeer) for their kind and generous support as partners with NCCI’s Commission on Communications and Relations for this Pre-assembly. Special thanks to all the resource persons for their valuable input through the presentations, insights, discussions and guidance.
We are very grateful to Rev. Dr. Samuel Meshack and Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad for strengthening the work of the commission through their continuous guidance and support.
The NCCI Communications Pre-assembly program brought together Church and Christian Organization leaders from across NCCI’s member bodies, most of them communication heads of their respective organizations. The resource persons were all communication experts equipped with the skill, knowledge and vision to contribute through their presentations, valuable ideas and directions for the communication concerns in India. The program was successful in covering the vast array of communication-related issues and concerns that the Churches and Christian Organizations in India must address especially in achieving the objectives of Just and Inclusive Communities. The program clearly established the role of communications as undeniably crucial, especially in the current context characterized by revolutionary and rapid changes in all aspects of life.Communication functions and tools must be developed by Churches and Christian organizations, and can be effectively used for solutions towards Life, Enablement and Growth.
Rev. Caesar J. David
Executive Secretary,
Commission on Communications and Relations,
National Council of Churches in India.


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