By DCD Desk
Ludhiana: The National Dalit Christian Watch Punjab State Chapter formation meeting on February 14 was organized at Holy Cross Church Ludhiana.
At the meeting, which was attended by 30 people, Sister Anastasia Gill, the national co-convenor of NDCW and Shibi Peter, national coordinator, explained the mission and the interventions of NDCW.
The special situation of Punjab and the problems of the migrant workers were discussed at the meeting.
Bishop Angelo Ruffino Gracias, the apostolic administrator of the Jalandhar diocese, extended all the support and discussed the possibility to arrange the training meeting in collaboration with the Diocesan Scheduled Caste Commission.
He was gracious and made the call to the secretary to support NDCW activities, particularly the training programmes. It was a great blessing to meet the bishop and 30 leaders.
NDCW conducted a one-hour program for them and gave them orientation for state elections. Punjab has a huge poor Dalit population that needs special care.
They belong to the daily wage earner category who may be helped by the Diocese with fee concession, but they cannot afford other expenses to educate their children.
National Dalit Christian Watch Jammu Chapter formation meeting: NDCW Jammu chapter formation meeting was held on February 12 at the Jammu-Srinagar Diocesan Centre, Jammu.
Bishop Ivan Pereira inaugurated the conference, which was attended by about 30 inter-denominational church members.
The bishop said social justice is the fundamental element of the Christian faith. NDCW should be able to stand for the socio-economic advancement of Dalit Christians. For that, the task of uniting the people must be undertaken. The bishop said the special situation of Jammu should also be taken into consideration.
Sr Sneha Gill, the national Co-convenor of NDCW spoke on the issues and activities of Dalit Christians at the national level. She also explained the background and necessity of NDCW state chapter formation. Shibi Peter spoke in detail about the mission and activities of the NDCW.
He also introduced the Dalit Christian Digest web portal to share the local narratives with a wider community. He said the web portal will help to bring various Dalit Christian issues to a national level and strengthen the unity of people.
The leaders who attended the meeting shared the special circumstances and issues of Dalit Christians in Jammu.
They explained that Dalit Christians face many problems of caste discrimination such as untouchability. Christian cemeteries that are next to the burial ground of Hindus are forcefully overtaken by local Hindus and even administration seems to be a part of it.
Christian leaders have been working and the SDM of R.S Pura has allotted another plot to avoid communal tension. The leaders hoped that the initiatives of NDCW would help in addressing the Dalit Christian issues in the region.