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Registered RNI No. 45550/88


Published on 10th and 25th every month
MCN/209/2015-2017

Posted at Mumbai Patrika Channel Sorting Office,


Mumbai - 400 001
on 10th & 25th every month.
PAGE 1

VOLUME 28 ISSUE 15

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

MUMBAI

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION

Rs. 100

Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition

Food campaigners call for


greater convergence
of all struggles
At a time when human rights, in particular those of the most marginalized, are being
undermined by corporate interests, patriarchy, gender-based violence, and conflicts,
there is the need for greater convergence in the struggles for justice,
and rights of communities, particularly for land, water, forests, natural resources,
livelihood and identity.
The Global Network for the Right to
Food and Nutrition (GNRtFN), held a
three-day meeting in Nepal, from 20 to
22 July, involving civil society
organizations and social movements.
The network, officially launched in
June 2013, was the result of a broad
consultative process responding to the
aggravation of the chronic world food
crisis, including the persistence of gross
violations of the right to food and the
prevailing impunity of perpetrators.
The network is focused on joint
struggles toward the full realization of the
human right to adequate food and nutrition
in the context of the indivisibility of human
rights and peoples sovereignty, which can
be traced back to the preparation of the
Civil Society Parallel Forum ahead of the
World Food Summit in 1996.
At a time when human rights, in
particular those of the most marginalized,
are being undermined by corporate
interests, patriarchy, gender-based
violence, and conflicts, the meeting called
for the greater convergence in the
struggles for justice and rights of
communities, particularly for land, water,
forests, natural resources, livelihood and
identity. The participants discussed the

way forward to the full realization of


adequate food and nutrition.
Inspired by the meetings host country,
Nepal, which, though still recovering from
the devastating earthquakes, recently
began consultations toward a draft
constitution that enshrines food
sovereignty, the worldwide network
concluded its third meeting with a public
declaration.

GNRtFN Public Declaration


We, the members and friends of the
Global Network for the Right to Food and
Nutrition (GNRtFN) from social
movements and civil society organizations
(CSOs), met in Kathmandu for the third
global meeting of the network, and
discussed ways to achieve the full
realization of the human right to adequate
food and nutrition, and the threats, to food
sovereignty and peoples control over
resources increasing with each passing
day. The meeting is held at a moment
when the struggle against the corporate
capture of the food system, where global
trade agreements undermine the rights
of people and the capacities of
governments to respect, protect and fulfill
the human right to adequate food

Mission to the commercially


sexually exploited women

To ensure them a new life

and nutrition, has intensified.


It is a period in which traditional and
local indigenous knowledge, practices
and foods are replaced by low quality, ultra
processed food that perpetuate hunger
and malnutrition in all of its forms. The
land, water, forests, other natural
resources,livelihoods, identity and

physical existence of many communities


and indigenous peoples are threatened.
In many cases, people have paid with their
lives in their struggle to secure the right to
adequate food and nutrition. A period in
which women continue to have to fight
patriarchy in every sphere of their life
Contd. Page 5 Col. 1 ..>>>

Contents

Editorial
More Than
Just Tree-Planting!
Speak out in order to give
a voice to the voiceless
Enable them
to begin a new life

Review decision on SSP


and expedite rehabilitation
Biblical God is not the God above,
but a vulnerable God

Should we follow
this mad man?
Reprioritize allocation
to reflect womens interests

Strengthening the Powerless

4
L to R: Rev. Sam N. Joshua, Mr. Anson Thomas, Rev. Oommen George, Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen,
Rev. Sabu K. Cherian and Mrs. Susan Thomas

A highly challenging mission effort has been initiated jointly by the Church of
St. Mary, the Virgin (Malayalam Congregation), Parel, St. James Church, Borivali
Contd. Page 3 Col. 1 ..>>>

Urbanization goes hand in hand


with rise in urban violence
Defend the primacy of human
rights over the current model of
development
Poor women have suffered the
most due to budgetary cuts

A 24-hour Indian
Be sensitive to the people
with special needs

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

PAGE 2

Pope Francis Encyclical Is

Modern Goliath
surrenders to David!
July 20, 2015, the day when the Cuban flag was unfurled
at the US State Department, ought to have been celebrated
as an event more significant than the fall of the Berlin wall in
1989. It was on that historic day, the US re-established
formally the diplomatic relations with that tiny nation, after
five decades, and the embassies were opened by the two
countries.
The fall of the Berlin wall was celebrated with great
jubilation across the world and with unparalleled wide media
coverage. But the historic significance of the re-opening of
embassies by the US and Cuba, after 56 years was rather
ignored by the media. For more than five decades, the US,
the economic and military super power of the present world,
along with her powerful Western allies, has been unleashing
all kinds of covert and overt operations - blockade,
intimidations, espionage, media war- to wipe out
independent Cuba from the world of nations. Who was
fighting against whom? The super power US, the fourth
largest country covering 38 million sq. miles and with 318.9
million people against Cuba, a tiny Island nation in the Atlantic
with 42,474 sq .miles (106th in size) and 11 million people.
It is true until 1989, Cuba received full support from the Soviet
Union. But, with the fall of the Soviet Union, people all over
the world thought that Cuba would be crushed by the US,
within a short time.
Amazingly Cuba bravely withstood, all these years, even
after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, it can be
described as a 56-year war from 1959 to 2015 by the US
and her allies against Cuba. It is a shameful fact that even
the UN did not do anything to save Cuba and her people
from the unethical and cruel economic blockade. Except the
countries in the Soviet block, no country had the courage
and conviction, to question the justifiability of the US. The
US, a country which boasts of its democratic roots, was
unwilling to let the people of Cuba to decide their own destiny.
The US propagated that a free Cuba was a threat to the US
and democracy in the entire world! And sadly, no democratic
country questioned the ridiculous arguments in support of
the decades-long war against that tiny country.
Finally, the US had to concede its defeat in her 56-year
war against Cuba. The opening of Embassies in July by
both countries reminds us of the fall of Goliath before David.
No doubt, the astounding will and the unchallengeable
commitment of the leadership and the people of Cuba,
despite untold suffering for such a long period, strengthened
Cuba in facing the might of the league of powerful nations.
For a long time the US administration must have been
thinking that her strategy against Cuba was a failure. But it is
President Obama who showed the courage to change the
policy. President Obamas willingness and the negotiations
initiated by Pope Francis and Canada, led to the historic
hopeful decisions.
This historic event, a historic victory of the tiny Cuba, was
down-played by the corporate media. And the peace-loving
nations did not come forward to celebrate it!
The change in the policy of the US on this issue cannot
be ruled out as a strategic surrender with the concealed
agenda of defeating Cuba through co-option. We have to
wait and see whether Cuba will be co-opted by the US, in
future.

More Than
Just TTree-Planting!
ree-Planting!
Cedric Prakash
The truth is that relegating or equating the Popes Encyclical to tree-planting is very unfortunate:
either one does not have the courage to read the Encyclical
nor the openness to be able to accept
what the Pope is saying very directly and unequivocally.
In the opening chapter of the Encyclical,
the Pope invites every single citizen to listen to the groanings of creation;
to become painfully aware, to dare to turn
what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering
and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.
At a recent meeting, the
Popes latest Encyclical
Laudato Si on the care of our
common home was being
discussed by a group. A senior
and well-intentioned member
suddenly suggested that in the
context of the Encyclical, we
should encourage the children
in our schools to plant trees.
Some certainly applauded the
suggestion; others retorted we
have been doing so, for the last
several years and at least one
rather strongly said that the
Popes Encyclical is not about
tree-planting!
Tree-planting as such is not
such a bad idea at all; one can
learn plenty: sensitivity to nature
and how to nurture a tender
sapling from the very beginning.
So when one talks about the
Popes Encyclical and about treeplanting in the same breath, one
is surely going to warm the
cockles of the heart of many
across the board: of the rich and
the famous; of the powerful and
other vested interests; of
Governments and those in
authority; of those who plunder
and destroy this earth because
of their rapacious greed and
selfishness. Wow, they would
say, the Pope in Laudato Si is
speaking about tree-planting; we
have nothing to fear! After all, one
cannot deny that some of the
most luscious gardens, wellmanicured lawns and even
personal forests belong to these
very groups that are responsible
for global warming, climate
change and for profiteering after
ruining the fragile eco-systems,
which belong to all of us.
The truth is that relegating or
equating the Popes Encyclical to
tree-planting is very unfortunate:

production and affects the


present and the future of regional
economies ; well, bio-tech
companies across the world will
surely not be happy with this
statement!

either one does not have the


courage to read the Encyclical
nor the openness to be able to
accept what the Pope is saying
very directly and unequivocally.
In the opening chapter of the
Encyclical, the Pope invites every
single citizen to listen to the
groanings of creation; to
become painfully aware, to dare
to turn what is happening to the
world into our own personal
suffering and thus to discover
what each of us can do about it.
The chapter deals with several
aspects of the present
ecological crisis: pollution,
waste and the throw-away
culture; climate as a common
good; displacement and
migration
caused
by
environmental degradation;
access to safe drinking water as
a basic and universal human
right; loss of bio-diversity;
decline in the quality of human
life and break-down of society;
global inequality. He has also
denounced pesticides and
genetically engineered (GE)
crops, declaring the spread of
these crops destroys the
complex web of eco-systems,
decreases
diversity
in

Laudato Si focuses on
human rights violations and
injustices. Pope Francis does
not mince words when he says
injustices abound and growing
numbers of people are deprived
of basic human rights and
considered
expendable,
committing oneself to the
common good means to make
choices in solidarity based on a
preferential option for the poorest
of our brothers and sisters.
Laudato

which touches every


single dimension of our
human existence. The
Pope invites all to an
ecological conversion, to
change directions so
that we can truly care for
our common home;
He challenges all what kind
of world do we want to leave to
those who come after us , to
children who are now growing
up ?
To rubbish this timely and
important message or to
relegate it to tree-planting
would certainly be a great
disservice not to the Pope but
to Planet Earth!
Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the
Director of PRASHANT,
the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit
Centre for Human Rights,
Justice and Peace.

For All Editorial and Business Correspondence:

Publilus Syrus

is

radical in nature and

Thought for the Fortnight

It is a bad plan that admits


of no modification

Si

indeed path-breaking,

Prof. Mammen Varkey


Editor in Chief
Peoples Reporter, Post Box No.12,
Mavelikara - 690 101, Kerala, India
Phone : 09446916374, 0479 - 2300096, 2304355
E-mail : mammenvarkey@gmail.com, prprtr@gmail.com

PAGE 3

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

World Association for Christian Communication

Speak out in order to give


a voice to the voiceless
Samuel W. Meshack
[The Rev. Dr. Samuel W.
Meshack is the President of the
World Association for Christian
Communication]
Today, we are experiencing
a trend of silencing those who
work to give a voice to the
voiceless. Journalists are
facing threats to their lives or
being killed. Press Emblem
Campaign (PEC) quoted by
IndiaToday reports that a total
of 71 Journalists were killed
from January to June 2015 and
not just in war zones. In 2014 a
total of 138 journalists was
killed. The fundamental right to
freedom of speech and freedom
of expression is in danger in
many parts of the world.
Civil society organizations
working towards promoting
human
rights
issues
championed by the United
Nations are being challenged.
For WACC, the Christian

All WACCs members and partners worldwide


will consciously and conscientiously speak out
in order to restore a voice to the voiceless
and help preserve the dignity of all, through communication.
2012-2016 and entering into a
new
Strategic
Plan.
Consequently, 2016 will be a
year of preparation. It is a task for
the new Board to evaluate the
current strategic plan before we
consider a new plan to
strengthen our mission and
advance WACCs work to
promote communication for all.

principle of communication
being prophetic is at stake. How
do we fulfil our mission of
promoting communication rights
in todays world? How do we
achieve communication for all
in such circumstances? This is
a real challenge.
In this respect, we are
fortunate that many opportunities
are knocking at the door of WACC
to partner with civil society
organizations and others in the
ecumenical movement in ways
that raise the profile of WACC as
a promoter of communication
rights within the UN system and
other international bodies. I am
confident that with the new Board
of Directors, the Officers and the
General Secretariat WACC will
move maintain its critical and

prophetic voice in challenging the


powers that be, and in
strengthening the voices of the
marginalized, dispossessed
and silenced.
WACC will soon be
completing its Strategic Plan

In order to strengthen the


Regional Associations and work
with them more effectively, we are
proposing to set up a
Presidents Council. The Officers
have accepted the proposal and
we shall soon start work
alongside other committees that
support the work of the Board.
This is a call for every member of
every region to connect with
WACC to help promote its vision

and mission.
I am honoured to have been
elected as the President of this
prestigious association to
continue the task of advancing
WACCs cause, knowing fully
well the challenges and
opportunities I need to address.
However, with everyones support
both locally, regionally and
globally, together we can achieve
WACCs
purpose
and
strengthen
ongoing
relationships and partnerships
and discover new opportunities
for promoting communication for
all.
It is my fervent prayer that
all WACCs members and
partners worldwide will
consciously
and
conscientiously speak out in
order to restore a voice to the
voiceless and help preserve the
dignity of all through
communication.

Mission to the commercially, sexually, exploited Women

Enable them
to begin a new life
The Shalom Mission is
taking up the great task of
reaching out to these hapless,
abused and orphaned sisters
and freeing them form the
chains of the brothers and to
enable them to begin a new life
and would be protected so that
they would not have to go back
to their former life situations.

Miss. Vijaya, a girl saved from the Red


Light Area by Mr. Anson Thomas shares
her experience of pain and suffering. First
from L. Mr. Mathew K. Alex.

Sisters saved from, or still exploited sexually in, the Red Light Area,
with the leaders and facilitators of
Shalom Mumbai Mission ,
at the CSI Retreat Centre, Kottayam

>>> Contd. from Page 1 Col. 2


and Holly Immanuel Church,
Vasai, in partnership with the
Madhya (Central) Kerala
Diocese of the Church of South
India, to free the commercially,
sexually exploited women and
to re-habilitate them and to
ensure them a new life of
security and peace.
Through
this
Mission
initiative, it is hoped that those
who are sexually exploited and
attacked, in Mumbai city, would
be liberated and would be
facilitated to begin normal social
life and to lead life of dignity and
equality. And to facilitate their

journey back to normal life, they


would be given safe residence,
secure environment, education
and skill-training.
As part of this programme,
which called Shalom Mumbai
Mission, a team of twenty
commercially, sexually exploited
women and ten facilitators,
under the leadership of Rev.
Sam Mathew K., Rev. Sam N.
Joshua, Mr.Mathew K. Alex and
Mr. Tibu Oommen George, of the
Mission organized a week-long
tour, mainly to the town of
Kottayam and Alleppey in Kerala
with the purpose of introducing
the cruelly treated sex workers

confined forcibly, brutally to the


brothels in the red-street areas
of Mumbai, to normal life
situations and to interact with
people who are concerned with,
and willing to be involved in, this
extremely challenging Mission
effort. It was a great time of
learning and revival for those
unfortunate sisters.
The CSI Madya Kerala
Diocese gave a reception to them
at the CSI Retreat Centre,
Kottayam on 1 August. The Rt.
Rev. Thomas K. Oommen,
presided over the programme.
Rev. Oommen George, Rev. Sabu

K. Cherian, Rev. Sam Mathew


K., Rev. Sam N. Joshua, Mr.
Mathew K. Alex, Mr. Anson
Thomas and others spoke. It was
the challenge raised Mr. Anson
Thomas, a former officer of the
Indian Customs and a former
goal keeper of the Indian
Customs Hockey Team, who had
dedicated his life fully for the
highly risky mission work among
the sexually exploited sisters in
the red-streets in Mumbai.
Responding to his call, the 10th
North Indian Madhya Kerala
Family and Youth Conference at
Mumbai.

The Two Os in
the BOOK
are great
openings to the
wide world of
knowledge

PAGE 4

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

Mission of God

Strengthening the Powerless


S. Chandra Mohan
[Rev S. Chandra Mohan is a
CSI Presbyter and is a leading
social activist, and Director of
The Corner Stone, Chennai.]
The European Union has,
now, imposed a lot of hurdles
against Greece. It forces the
Government to withdraw itself
from all welfare programmes
for people in Greece. And from
policies related to industries
and workers employment. One
can compare the EU agreement
with that of the agreement that
was imposed by the World on
Germany, immediately after the
world war.
Greece is facing the killer
economic face of neocolonization (it has so many
faces!), and crony capitalism.
As a result of the bowing of
Greece before the EU, it has
received Euro 7 billion from the
EU as a loan (Times of India, 19
July 2015).
Similar to the situation of the
Greek people each Indian
encounters the killer face of neocolonization. Former officers of
the World Bank, International
Monetary Fund, and Asian
Development Bank, both in the
UPA and now in the BJP, rule,
govern, the killer Indian Economy,

As per the recent Economic Survey with 14 parameters,


conducted by 3 authorities door to door,
51.14% of the rural people in India are in the grip of poverty.
92% of rural homes are run on less than Rs.10k per month.
30% of the rural households own no land and are engaged in manual labour.
In Tamil Nadu, 78.08% of the rural families earn less than Rs.5000 per month.
Hence, what is needed is an economy that helps us to be self-reliant.
for the interests of the global
corporates. We were told
mesmerizingly in the 1990s that
the Neo-colonization would wipe
out our tears and the Market will
solve our problem of poverty,
when the then PM Rao signed
the WTO agreement. But in
reality, it has only helped about
2000 super rich people in India
to grow richer and own 25% of
the national wealth, and make
Governance of the Indian
Economy totally reel in their
hands. These super rich people
suggest the National Budget
plans, and propose projects that
suit their interests. Our
shepherds have become thieves
and friends of thieves!
Result? As per the recent
Economic Survey with 14
parameters, conducted by 3
authorities door to door, 51.14%
of the rural people in India are in
the grip of poverty. 92% of rural
homes are run on less than

Rs.10k per month. 30% of the


rural households own no land
and are engaged in manual
labour. In Tamil Nadu, 78.08% of
the rural families earn less than
Rs.5000 per month. Hence, what
is needed is an economy that
helps us to be self-reliant. The
Congress and the BJP think, this
move of privatization will help the
Indian economy.
It is a proven fact that

privatization will only help


increase the economic gap
among people. Employment
elasticity is not favouring India.
Even a Rs1000 cr investment is
not generating even 300
employments. Larger part of the
investment goes into land and
machine capital. Hence most
industries prefer to take workers
on contract. In an industry where
there are 10,000 workers, only
1000 are their full time
employees; rest of them are
contract labourers. But the rulers
are trying to nullify even the
existing labour rules and make
almost every worker with no
labour law provisions. Big capital
based industries will only help
crony capitalism. Governments
and the ruling parties are trying
to exploit the labour force.
Lotus plant has a part above
the water line; it has another part
below the water line. Psychology
of the people on either of the

water line is different. Those


above the water line will always
find it difficult to understand the
needs and development of the
people below the water line.
Those below the water line find it
difficult to understand the
mystery and tactics of those
above the water line.
The ones above the
water line, in the apex of
life, decide the Poverty
Line! They neither know
India nor Indian poverty.
It is an absurdity that
these
people
are
controlling National
Planning.
These people think that if an
Indian is able to purchase a kilo
of rice for Rs.40, that Indian has
risen above the Poverty Line!
They do not consider who will
bring the Indian fuel, grocery etc.
The wealthy Indians are happy
to have 200 cylinders of gas and
more to each of their family, but
announce and advise the poor,
through Governments, for more
sacrifices. From the time of
Independence, poverty in India
Contd. Page 6 Col. 1 ..>>>

Safe Cities and Gender Budgeting

Urbanization goes hand in hand


with rise in urban violence
[Dr. Vibhuti Patel is the Director
of CSSEIP and Professor and
Head,
Post
Graduate
Department of Economics,
SNDT Womens University]

Introduction
Urbanisation often goes
hand in hand with a rise in urban
violence and crime that
manifests in terms of street
harassment of women and girls,
stalking, sexual violence,
blackmailing and extortion
rackets. Children and women are
seen as soft spots who can be
victimized by predators. One such
incident in the city is enough and
the feeling of insecurity is spread
like wild fire. It not only frightens
girls and women, it controls every
act they consider doing then
onwards.

Smart cities
have to be safe cities:
Town planners, policy makers
and budget experts need to do
gender budgeting incorporating
facets such as women-friendly
civic infrastructure- water,
sanitation, health care, safe
transport, public toilets, helplines,

Vibhuti Patel
Vibhuti
Town planners, policy makers
and budgetPatel
experts need to do gender budgeting

incorporating facets such as women-friendly civic infrastructurewater, sanitation, health care, safe transport, public toilets, helplines,
skill development for crisis management and, safety at work place.
While making budgets for social defense services,
consideration must be given to safety of girls and women in schools and colleges
skill development for crisis
management and, safety at work
place. While making budgets for
social
defense
services,
consideration must be given to
safety of girls and women in
schools and colleges in terms
of prevention of child sexual
abuse through public education
and counselling facilities,
separate toilets for girls and boys
in schools, legal literacy on
POCSO Act, 2012 and Prevention
of
Sexual
Harassment
Workplace Act, 2013, special
cells in the police department to
take action against display of
pornographic images, SMS
messages, cybercrimes that
victimize young girls at public
places, in public transportbuses, local trains, rickshaws
and taxis. Installation of panic
buttons for customers in
rickshaws and taxis need to be

separated from their family


members and sleeping at night
at railway stations, bus stations
and footpaths.

Law and Order Situation


and Street Harassment:

made mandatory in all cities.


Women vendors and child
workers, women employees
working in the night shifts are
highly exposed to unwanted
sexual advances and petty
harassment. Hence, budgetary
allocation for referral centres /
information desks should be
provided in markets and public
places. This will also reduce
trafficking of children and women

Conflicts in the city make


women
unsafe.
Hostility
between rival groups is played
on the bodies of women and girls
in the form of rape, sexual
harassment, provocation for
physical assaults. Insular
existence harms community
spirit. Fear psychosis about
safety of girls also increases
incidences of child marriages.
More budget allocation is needed
for efficient running of Police
Helplines -103, 1091 with the
help of professional counsellors.
For running One-stop crisis
centres within public hospitals
for women survivors of violence,

there needs to make financial


provision for the salaries of
doctors, counselling, emergency
shelter and legal aid. Along with
the
financial allocation,
transparent guidelines for post
trauma care, counseling,
rehabilitation, compensation
need to be provided so that funds
can be used judiciously.

Urban Infrastructure
and Safety of Women
From the point of view of
macro-economic policy, gender
friendly infrastructure plays
pivotal role in creating gender
friendly cities. City planners need
to make budgetary provision for
safe housing and night shelter
for homeless women, half way
homes for elderly women,
information desk for women and
children at railway stations/
buses.
Road widening for 4 wheelers
and heavy vehicles have taken
toll of pavements. Mass of
women who have to walk on the
streets get harassed by men in
moving two-wheelers, three
Contd. Page 5 Col. 1 ..>>>

PAGE 5

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition

Defend the primacy of human rights


over the current model of development
>>> Contd. from Page 1 Col. 4
resulting in the disproportionate
load
of
unpaid
care
responsibilities at home and
affecting their access to
education, health care, fair
wages, natural resources, and
even control over their own
bodies and lives. A period when
conflicts, instability, land, ocean,
fisheries, rangelands, forests
and other resource grabbing,
climate change, injustices and
economic uncertainties have
resulted in unprecedented
numbers of people being
displaced and migrating to seek
livelihoods and security.
But there is hope, as Nepal,
which is recovering from a
devastating earthquake, had the
first public consultation on the
July 20, 2015 in hundreds of
locations across the country, to
debate and deliberate the draft
Constitution, which enshrines
food sovereignty.
We, the participants in
the meeting,
reaffirm
our commitment to:
1.
Support and protect
human rights defenders against
repression, violence and
criminalization to which they are
often subjected to;
2.

Mobilize

network

Resist and reverse dangers posed to food sovereignty and nutrition by commercialization
of malnutrition through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
Defend the primacy of human rights over the current global model of development, trade,
investment and taxation;
members and friends to
strengthen human rights
accountability and the application
of the human rights based
frameworks from the local to the
global level;
3.
End the impunity of
abusers and violators of the
human rights to adequate food
and nutrition and related rights;
4.
Proactively promote full
and meaningful participation of
most affected communities in
decision making processes at all
levels, from local to global;
5.
Promote the inter dependence and indivisibility of
all human rights;
6.
Call for an end to all
forms of discrimination and
violence against women and
recognize the critical role that
women play in food systems;
7.
Develop analyses and
advocacy instruments to
publicize the networks concerns
and specific struggles against
human rights violations;
8.
Enact
a
binding
international human rights

instrument for the regulation of


Transnational Corporations
(TNCs).
9.
Promote and protect the
human right to adequate food
and nutrition in the context of the
indivisibility of the human rights
of all human beings in particular
marginalized populations and
groups including, peasants,
fisherfolk,
pastoralists,
indigenous peoples, agriculture
and
plantation
workers,
migrants and migrant workers,
internally displaced people,
refugees and asylum-seekers,
Persons with Disabilities
(PWDs), people living with HIV/
AIDS, dalits,urban poor,people
affected by disasters(both
natural and man-made), people
living under occupation, religious
and ethnic minorities, LGBTQI,
and
other
discriminated
communities, and in particular
women, elderly, young people
and
children
in
these
communities;
10.
Fight for the full
realization of all rights of all

women including the right to


education, to health, to land, to
livelihood and equal pay, to all
sexual and reproductive rights, to
maternity protection and the right
to breastfeed;
11. Promote the full
realization of all rights of children
in particular in the first 1000 days
of life, within a life cycle
approach,by directly tackling the
root causes of violations,
including
by
protecting,
promoting and supporting
optimal breast feeding and local
and
culturally
adequate
complementary feeding;
12. Fight corporate capture in
all its forms and across sectors,
be it of resources, institutions,
policy spaces or structures of
governance;
13. Resist and reverse
dangers posed to food
sovereignty and nutrition by
commercialization of malnutrition
through
Public
Private
Partnerships (PPPs) and multistakeholder initiatives;
14. Hold States accountable

for their Extra Territorial


Obligations (ETOs) to regulate
corporations and financial
institutions;
15. Call on academics,
researchers and research
institutions
to
generate
independent evidence, including
and building on peoples
traditional knowledge systems;
16.
Strive
to
push
governments
for
policy
coherence with the promotion
and protection of the human right
to adequate food and nutrition;
17. Defend the primacy of
human rights over the current
global model of development,
trade, investment and taxation;
18. Call on all governments
to sign and ratify all relevant
International Human Rights
instruments, including the
Optional Protocol of the
International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights. We, the friends and
members of the GNRtFN,resolve
to move towards greater
convergence of all the struggles
of different movements of
communities around the world
to fight collectively the
continuing assaults on peoples
sovereignty.

Safe Cities and Gender Budgeting

Poor women have suffered the most


due to budgetar
y cuts
budgetary
>>> Contd. from Page 4 Col. 5
wheelers, four wheelers and
trucks. Proper foot paths for
pedestrians, vendors, hawkers
whose presence ensures safety
must be given as much
importance as construction of
bridges and flyovers. Budgetary
allocation for installation of CCTV
cameras must be made at all
public places, highways and
streets in the business hubs.
Proper street lighting in the
peripheral areas of the city is vital
for the safety of citizens,
especially women, children and
senior citizens. Regular safety
audit by citizens forum is
important to identify unsafe
areas. Safe, clean and free
toilets for women at railway
stations, bus stops, markets,
public places are urgently
required in the cities. Budgetary
allocation
for
gender
sensitization workshops for
police personnel is important to
change the mindset of victimblaming among them.

Advantages of the
safety for women
Feeling safe is to feel

Poor women have suffered the most due to drastic budgetary cuts
in PDS and public health, safe public transport & child care facilities,
food security, drinking water and sanitation.
There is no gender mainstreaming
with respect to safety of women in the budgets of ULBs.
protected. It is a feeling of wellbeing which can envelop a family,
a community, a neighbourhood
and a city. Its composition is hard
to decipher, but it is an all encompassing feeling of calm
which is often as invisible as
clean unpolluted air and,
inversely, when fear and anxiety
take its place, that feeling is as
palpable as though it was a
physical reality. Safe cities
ensure more freedom, less
confinement & control and
enhance womens opportunities
to travel, to attain education-jobcareer.

Gender Budgeting in
Urban Local SelfGovernment Bodies
(ULBs)
With this perspective in mind,
Urban Local Self Government
Bodies have to work for gender

budgeting. Striving for Gender


friendly cities have become a
strategic objective of the urban
planners, policy makers and
practitioners. Citizens fora,
community based organizers
and NGOs are publicly debating
the issues concerning revenue
generation
and
public
expenditure of the urban bodies
with gender lens. Right to
information has proved to be an
important tool in the hands of civil
society for transparency in public
expenditure.

committee. The portion for


committed funds cant be
changed by councillors at the
time of final approval. Revision
of property-tax takes place once
in 4 years. We need to integrate
the safety of women as a major
concern in flagship centrallysponsored schemes such as
JNNURM, PMSSY, NUHM which
are supposed to have 30% of
funds as Womens Component.

Municipal Budgets

1.
State
&
Central
governments Allocation, State
and Centrally sponsored
schemes.

In municipality, the Accounts


Superintendent tables the
statement for income and
expenditure in December. Also
he/she gives estimates of
income and expenditure for the
financial year and seeks
responses from Municipal
Commissioner, President of
Municipality, and standing

There are three Sources of


Income for Municipal councils/
corporations:

2. Revenues obtained
through local taxes-water,
electricity, road, etc.
3. Funds obtained from the
Finance Commissions.

Gender Concerns

For past 15 years, gender


economists and womens
groups are making efforts to
answer the following questions:
How to enable women to
direct
economy
through
designing and constructing
fiscal policy?
How to link economic
governance
to
political
governance?
How to enable EWRs to
participate in the budget-making
efforts?
They have used methods of
Participatory Appraisal (PA) and
Focus Group discussion (FGD)
to identify gender concerns.

Macro-economic Policies
and Gender Audit of
Municipal Budgets
Trend analysis of allocation
to social sector in the pre (before
1991) and post (after 1991)
structural
Adjustment
Programme (SAP) phase has
revealed that poor women have
suffered the most due to drastic
budgetary cuts in PDS and public
health, safe public transport &
Contd. Page 7 Col. 1 ..>>>

PAGE 6

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

Narmada Struggle

Review decision on SSP


and expedite rehabilitation
The struggle of the people
in the Narmada valley is
symbolic of the struggle of
millions of common people
across the country and is a
united fight to sustain peace,
justice and democracy in these
trying times.
A day-long Convention, was
organized at the constitution
club in New Delhi on 28 July, on
the eve of 30 years of relentless
struggle by the Narmada
Bachao Andolan in the Sardar
Sarovar project affected areas
for their legal, human and
constitutional rights.
More than two hundred
people including many present
and former MPs, Retired Judges,
senior social activists, lawyers,
artists, film makers, writers,
technical
experts,
environmentalists, academics
and young persons participated
and expressed solidarity with the
resilient adivasis, farmers, fisher
people, landless and thousands
of other Sardar Sarovar Project
(SSP) oustees who have been
challenging the illegality of the
raise in dam height in violation
of the binding norms of the
Narmada Tribunal and the
Judgements of the Supreme
Court. Numerous supporters
from the Left parties were
proffered. The Bhumi Adhikar
Andolan also participated in the
Convention.
Affected people from the
Valley highlighted that there is

The decision to raise the dam has serious implications


on the lives of thousands of people,
while on the ground, rehabilitation with land and livelihood is far from over.
The recent issue of throwing 16,000 families out of submergence
on the basis of wrong back-water calculations was decried by the convention
and a review was called for as
also the rehabilitation of all these oustees.
not enough understanding of
what
happened
after
displacement, with or without
Rehabilitation and Resettlement.
As Sanobar bi from Chikhalda
village said, women were the
worse affected. Alluding to the
Modis favorite Swacch Bharat
Abhiyan, she said of what use
are toilets for people who have
no homes or livelihood?!.
Representatives from 3 states
spoke of their 30 years of
struggle and the gradual
disintegration of their culture
because of displacement, lack of
good land, poor state of
resettlement sites, massive
corruption etc.
Veterans Shri Kuldip Nayyar,
Admiral Ramdas and Jst. Retd.
Rajinder Sachar, who heard the
representatives from the three
states of Gujarat, Madhya
Pradesh and Maharashtra,
stated that the struggle in
Narmada was emblematic of
what was happening in the whole
country. They conveyed their
complete solidarity and assured
that they should raise the issue
at every possible fora.
The Convention began with
a presentation by Com. Hannan

Mollah,
environmentalist
Soumuya Dutta, senior socialist
leader Dr. Sunilam and reservoir
expert Dr. Raj Kachroo, who
shared their findings and
feelings after their visit to the
valley and mentioned highlights
from their Fact-Finding Report.
They stated that the decision to
raise the dam has serious
implications on the lives of
thousands of people, while on
the ground rehabilitation with
land and livelihood is far from
over. The recent issue of
throwing 16,000 families out of
submergence on the basis of
wrong back-water calculations
was decried and a review was
called for as also the
rehabilitation of all these
oustees.
Activists from Gujarat
including Rohit Prajapati,
Lakhan Musafir, Sagar Rabari
and Krishnakant exposed the
hoax of development by SSP in
Gujarat and questioned the fact
that when less than 15%
reservoir water is utilized, less
than 30% canals have been built,
why is there an urgency, on the
basis of illegality to push the dam
ahead? It is only for companies

that lakhs of hecatres of land are


being de-commanded and
millions of litres of water are
being doled out at throw away
prices to bottled water
companies?
Medha Patkar reflected upon
how initial concerns of
environment, the destruction of
local economy and adivasi
cultures have all come true in the
past 30 years. Admiral Ramdass,
an old supporter of the NBA
reiterated, The law has been far
too slow and often misleading
for people. Adv. Sanjay Parikh,
legal expert for the NBA reflected
on how the growing perception
that
the
struggles
for
environmental
justice
automatically meant being antidevelopment. It has also
influenced the Judiciary which
is a grave concern.
Shri. Prajapati echoed the
sentiment of the hall and stated
if the Govt. has declared war
against the people, the people
are ready to accept the
challenge.
Com. Annie Raja, NFIW;
Kavita Shrivastava, PUCL, Shri
K.B. Saxena, Former Secy, Govt.

of India and expert on land


issues, Suhas Borker, senior
media person and many others
spoke during various sessions
and questioned the legality of the
present dam work in the light of
massive legal and human rights
violations and huge backlog of
R&R. Adv. Sanjay Parikh
expressed concern over how the
growing perception of raising
environmental questions means
anti-development is influencing
the Judiciary.
The
Convention
concluded with the
strong resolution of
those in the parliament
as well those in the
villages, cities and
streets, to carry forward
and
intensify
the
struggle for justice. The
Andolan declared that
there would be a padyatra in the whole of the
valley starting from 6
August from Khalghat till
12 August, ending at
Rajghat,
where
a
Satyagrah would be
launched.

For more details contact


Vimal
@9718479517
or
Shabnam @9643349452
NBA News

Mission of God
Strengthening the Powerless

Biblical God is not the God above,


but a vulnerable God
>>> Contd. from Page 4 Col. 5
has gone to the pyramidal top.
Individually owned businesses
have been killed. Small business
firms are exiting. Agriculture
lands are turned into real
estates. They are given away to
the corporate as SEZ. Villages
are becoming places unfit for
living. The poor migrate to cities.
Life has become literally nothing
but selling of ones labour.
Each day, thousands alight
on to rail platforms in South India
with
their
families
and
belongings. They take shelter on
the way side, and walk miles
searching for job. They are
wanted as cheap labourers in
the sites of constructions,
quarries, and metro rails. They
shed their labour, and convert
their blood into money to be sent
to the dependents in their home
states.
According to the poverty line

God of Liberation came down and stood with the powerless people
and challenged the covetous
and told the people of Israel not to covet but follow the policy and principles of justice
where the Land belongs to people,
and is not of the kings and rulers.
God of the Bible and ancient Israel asked for distributive justice
and a heart for listening to the cries of the poor.
as estimated by those above the
Lotus Water Line, no one of these
migrant persons is below poverty
line! No person with conscience
will say that these poor have
crossed the poverty line! Unable
to get good house for fair rent,
they commute kilometres to sub
urban-fringe places to get a
sleep where house rents are
less costly. They run from station
to station to catch next trains,
connecting trains. Seeing them
in tears would pain any one. The
wage they get is daily Rs.300.
Poverty is not a natural
phenomenon. It is a state which
men create unnaturally. It means

allowing a few to covet all


mangoes meant for all. Those
covet do not feel any shame. This
covetousness has sent millions
to the pit of poverty historically.
Unfortunately, those above the
Lotus Line do not put a line for
the rich. What needed now is the
training
against
this
covetousness; not training on
Success; rather spirituality in
action against covetousness.
Bible tells not to covet. God of
Liberation came down and stood
with the powerless people and
challenged the covetous and told
the people of Israel not to covet
but follow the policy and

principles of justice where the


Land belongs to people, and is
not of the kings and rulers. God
of the Bible and ancient Israel
asked for distributive justice and
a heart for listening to the cries
of the poor.
Biblical God also tells that He
is not the God above, but a
vulnerable God, a God who is a
friend who stands with the
powerless. The concept of God,
as the Bible portrays, does not
give hierarchical Brahmanical
dominance to our rulers; but tells
that He is Emmanuel; a God with
us, and a friend. Jesus was

vulnerable, yet powerful, but is a


friend to the vulnerable. The
principle of Manna tells that one
can eat an amount of food only to
fill his stomach, but cannot
accumulate. Any accumulation
will bring stench of filth. Life is
more worthy than wealth. Indian
rulers through killer economy
have made the people poor,
powerless, and mere machines
for giving them votes. The Church
needs this understanding of the
vulnerable, powerful God who
takes sides with the poor and the
concept of Manna. Gandhi
declares that poverty is violence;
and those who use tactics to
sustain poverty in India are
exploiters. The Mission therefore
asks us to side with the
powerless; to speak about the
powerful God who is with the
powerless; and motivate us to
fight against the crony capitalism.

PAGE 7

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

To be a disciple of Jesus 2

Should we follow
this mad man?
307
Mammen Varkey
And he went up on the mountain, and called to him
those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he
appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to
preach, and have authority to cast out demons:..
Then Jesus went home. Again, such a large crowd
gathered that Jesus and his disciples had no time to eat.
When his family heard about it, they set out to take charge
of him, because people were saying, Hes gone mad!
Mark 3: 20, 21. (TEV)
The very first major
experience the twelve had,
in their life of discipleship,
was that they had to hear
their Master being branded
mad, and members of his
own family coming to take
charge of him! Who were
these twelve? They were
persons who came down
with the power for, the
excitement and thrill of the
possibility of, even casting
out demons! That branding
implied that they were the

followers of a mad man.


Indirectly, it meant that they
were also a set of mad
people. Could it have been
anything but most painful,
shocking? Have we ever
cared to have a deep
reflection on it? Very sadly,
many would not have!!

A matter
of critical significance
A profound reflection, a deep
delving into the branding,
accusation is of foundational

importance in our life of faith, in


our discipleship. The right
response to it will, in fact, decide
whether we are truly following our
Master, Jesus of Nazareth, our
Lord, Jesus whom the Gospels
reveal to us. Or we are following
somebody else! It is a matter of
critical, decisive significance!

The first question to the


disciples
What was the response of the
twelve disciples to the first
question raised to them in their
life of following the Man from
Nazareth? No doubt, they were
exceedingly joyful, proud that they
all got a selection which many
others wanted to have but didnt.
Mark. 3: 13. But now, most
disturbingly, rather unbearably,
they heard that the selection was
by a man whom the society
branded mad, - a branding
which his family did not
challenge, so indirectly approved.

The first conclave of the


disciples, to decide on
the madness
of their Master!
Naturally, the twelve came

together to have a deliberation on


this accusation. It must have
been the first occasion, after their
selection, to have come together
for a deep deliberation on an
issue! So, very significantly, the
first conclave of the disciples was
to take a decision on the
madness of their Master! What
an unfortunate set of disciples
they must have been! The twelve
disciples knew well that the
branding was, indirectly, a call to
them, to dissociate themselves
form the mad man and to save
themselves from being branded
mad.

Heated exchanges,
opposing views and
finally a joint declaration
Certainly, they must been
terribly disturbed pained. They
went into a deep, agonizing
deliberation. It is only reasonable
to make a guess that there must
have been very heated
exchanges. The nature of the
persons like Judas, Peter, even
john and Jacob, revealed to us
by the Gospels, should come to
our mind. The different
questions and responses

narrated in the Gospels, in


various places, tempt us to make
such a guess! Some might have
moved the suggestion of even
leaving him and going back to
boats and nets! In fact, at a later
stage in life the majority did it.
Simon Peter, Thomas called the
Twin, Nathanael of Cana in
Galilee, the sons of Zebedee,
and two others of his disciples
were together. Simon Peter said
to them, I am going fishing. They
said to him, we will go with you.
They went out and got into the
boat . Jon 21: 2,3. So the
majority of the twelve who had
been called to catch men went
to catch fish! Mark 1: 16.

The crucial question


before the twelve
The arrival at a consensus
must not have been easily at all
for them! The painful, agonizing
discussions, deliberations led
them to a joint decision, a
decision of paramount historical
decision. What was it? And how
did they arrive at that decision?

Safe Cities and Gender Budgeting

Reprioritize allocation
to reflect women
s interests
womens
>>> Contd. from Page 5 Col. 5
child care facilities, food security,
drinking water and sanitation.
There
is
no
gender
mainstreaming with respect to
safety of women in the budgets
of ULBs.
Gender sensitive budget
demands re-prioratisation of
financial allocations by municipal
bodies in favour of
Working womens hostels,
crches, cheap eating facilities,
public toilets
Women friendly and SAFE
public transport- local trains,
Metro, buses
Housing- subsidized for
single/ deserted/ divorced/
widowed women
Nutrition- strengthening
PDS, mid-day meals
Health- Abolition of user
fees for BPL population, one stop
crisis centre in public hospital for
women/girls survivors of violence
linked with shelter homes

Skill training centres for


women and tailor made courses

Safe, efficient and


cheap public Transport-bus,
train, metro

Water- Safe drinking


water in the community centres

Waste ManagementTechnological upgradation-

Civil society groups must be allowed to give their opinions


on suitable budgetary allocations and generation of revenues from local sources.
They can verify/cross check collected data
and results of the surveys/interactive workshops
and prepare a vision document.
Occupational health & safety of
recycling workers/rag pickers

Proper electrification in
the communities

M u l t i p u r p o s e
Community centres, half way
homes for elderly and mentally
disturbed women
Method
of
Revenue
Generation: Sevaral state
governments have sent GR
regarding allocation of 5% of the
total revenues for women and
children. This should be
increased to 10%. Kerala has
done this. Moreover, urban local
self-government (LSGs) bodies
can raise revenues by heavy
taxes on Tobacco, alcohol, private
vehicles and entertainment
industry. Portion of fine, collected
for causing damage to
environment (introduction of
Green Tax), high speed driving,
wrong parking and breaking
rules, can be used for welfare of
women and children.
Surcharge,
earmarked
charge for specific purpose such
as Education Cess-2 % of salary,

income tax for disaster


management have raised
revenues for urban LSG. In
Maharashtra, transport cess at
the time of Bangladesh war in
1971, later on was diverted to
EGS kitty.

Meetings with
the stake-holders
Urban LSGs should organize
discussion on needs identified
by EWRs with GOs, NGOs and
SHGs. They should be made
aware of the Socio-economic
Profile of the Municipality. The
ward officers should ensure
scrutiny of needs and perceived
problems by impartial experts
who can also suggest methods
to fulfil needs (Labour, land,
services). Financial aspects of
programmes and projects
should be discussed in a
transparent manner.

Tasks of
Citizens Association
Civil society groups must be
allowed to give their opinions on

suitable budgetary allocations


and generation of revenues from
local sources. They can verify/
cross check collected data and
results of the surveys/interactive
workshops and prepare a vision
document. Sub-committees can
work out details of different
budget heads and it must have
all stake groups of the ward.
Presentation of reports of these
sub-committees should be
made through EWRs to the
municipal authorities. Currently
womens groups are lobbying for
reprioritization of allocation to
reflect womens interests. E.g.
Financial
allocation
for
implementation of DV act,
PCPNDT Act, utilisation of funds
earmarked for Swadhar scheme
for
women
in
difficult
circumstances and working
womens hostels in urban
centres.

Our WORK
will decide
whether we love
W or K
win the World
or Kick against
the pricks!

PAGE 8

AUGUST 10 - 25, 2015

Rose Kennedy

We are initiating a major effort for the promotion of our


ecumenical periodical, Peoples Reporter, and for streamlining
its circulation and related things.
For the last 15 years, by the amazing grace of God, we have
never missed the official dates for posting, the 10th and the 25th of
every month.
We earnestly solicit your goodwill
and whole-hearted co-operation.
Please feel free to inform us, at the earliest, if you are not
getting the Peoples Reporter regularly.
Please renew your subscription, if you have not, already,
done it. The annual subscription is Rs.100/- only for
individuals, and Rs. 250/- only for institutions. Please send
your subscription by cheque drawn in favour of the Peoples
Reporter to the address given below. Please send the
subscription for 3 or more years together.

A Tribute

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A 24-hour Indian

Please make a generous contribution, in addition to your


subscription. As you can well understand, the publication of
this ecumenical fortnightly is a huge financial commitment.
So, please, help us as much as you can. We would value it
very much.
Please inform us of the change, if any, in your address.
We would be happy to publish your articles and reflections,
and news, reports and photos of the nationally/internationally
important events, you are associated with.
To enlarge PRs mission and reach,
we need your unreserved support.
We, very earnestly, appeal to you to introduce
the Peoples Reporter to as many friends, relatives and
concerned persons, as possible. If you will write to them,
marking copies to us, either by email or post, we will, then,
follow them up directly with them. We would be only happy to
send sample copies to prospective subscribers.
Mammen Varkey
Editor-in-Chief
Peoples Reporter,
Puthenpurackal Kottayil (Post Box No. 12)
Mavelikara - 690101,
Kerala, india
Phone: 0091-9446916374 / 0091-9446117221
Email: prprtr@gmail.com / mammenvarkey@gmail.com

Ever Since I came to know that Dr. A.P.J. Abdul


Kalams schooling in Schwartz High School,
Ramanathapuram, which coincidentally
correlated to my studies in the same school in
the 1950s, I have cultivated a reverential
affectionate affinity towards his exemplary life
and nationalistic contributions. Ignited by his
inspirational thoughts, speeches and writings, I
have written five books under the titles The SocioEconomic Thoughts of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (with
Tamil and Telugu versions), Dr. Kalams PURA
Model and Societal Transformation, Dr. Abdul
Kalams Futuristic India.
Exactly ten years ago, I had the privilege, along
with my wife, of meeting Dr. Kalam at Rashtrapati
Bhavan on 27 June 2005. When he got deeply
engrossed over the book, Dr. Kalams PURA Model
and Societal Transformation, I told, his name
would always be remembered for the advocacy of
PURA Model. While accepting my compliments,
Dr.Kalam said that the PURA Model was
multifaceted development mechanism in its
impactional dynamics with the main thrust on
employment generation. He added, He has to

sell the idea of PURA. He immediately referred to


how a Womens Engineering College in Vallam
has transformed the life pattern and social system
of fisherfolk-villages in and around Thanjavur
district through the effective implementation of
PURA schemes.
Dr. Kalam remarked that
instead of focusing on individual thoughts, I could,
being a Vellorian and writer, highlight the regional
social issues and changes. He immediately
referred the successful waste management
carried out in the Katpadi panchayat area. He also
recalled how waste had been recycled into bricks
in Hyderabad. Besides, he suggested to study the
impacts of 100-year old institutions, especially CMC
Hospital, in the life and livelihood of people in and
around Vellore.
After the 15-minute memorable interaction, My
Wife, a retired staff Nurse told me that instead of
taking some rest after lunch at the age of 75, the
President had chosen to spend busy hours in
meeting all kinds of citizens untiringly. Truly, till his
death!.
We have lost a humane past President.He
constantly thought about the upliftment of 126 crore
Indians.He envisioned an earthly paradise of
developed India for all by 2020. Dr. Kalam was a
self-made man, a satellite scientist and an
indigenous missile innovator.He energized young
minds. He was a non-political leader, inter-faith
symbolizer, a socio-economic thinker and above
all, a nationalist.
Dr. Kalam has left a precious legacy of an
empowered youth community to change the
Indian landscape in the second half of the 21st
century.
P. Jegadish Gandhi
(Dr. P. Jegadish Gandhi is the Founder
Chairman of the Vellore Institute for
Development Studies)

NCCI: Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment

Be sensitive to the people with special needs

Participants in the consultation

The National Council of


Churches in Indias (NCCI)
Indian Disability Ecumenical
Accompaniment (IDEA), the
Engage Disability Network (EDN)
and Christian Service Agency
(CSA) organized a consultation
on Towards Inclusive Society:
From Disability Perspective,
jointly at the NCCI Campus on
21 July.

The aim of the consultation


was to prepare collective action
plans to work at the grass-root
communities
to
become
inclusive by not considering the
people with disabilities (PWDs)
as a burden, and not isolating
them socially by our attitudes and
behaviors including use of
derogatory
and
abusive
languages that stigmatize and

discriminate the PWDs.


Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
General Secretary, NCCI, in his
presidential address informed
that the NCCI had developed a
work place policy where there
would be zero discrimination on
the basis of physical fitness,
caste, creed, gender and
generation in the working
environment of the NCCI. He
called upon all the organizations
and churches and religious
institutions to formulate such
policies that would promote
inclusiveness.
Rev. Amin Kalwale, Pastor, All
Saints Cathedral, Nagpur, Ms.
Ashrita Bhelwa, an educationist,
Mr. Philip Alloysis, a trainer, Mrs.
Cynthia Shinde, a PWD, Mr.
Sathia Rabbin Das, and Rev.

Anand Michael led the various


sessions.
Rev. Christopher Rajkumar,
Executive
Secretary,
Commission on Justice, Peace
and Creation, NCCI, and the
Director of IDEA, noted, The
visible disability has become
invisible in the society at large
since the society, socially and
psychologically isolates the
PWDs from the access to the
public spheres of community
life.
The consultation resolved
to work with all the care-giving
institutions
and
faith
communities to sensitize the
society to become inclusive.
Reported
by
the
Commission on Justice, Peace
and Creation, NCCI

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Editor
Valiyapurayidam
Mammen Varkki

The views expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the editors.

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