Archbishop Tutu hails Bihar chief minister

March 3, 2012 by  
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Archbishop Tutu hails Bihar chief ministerBihar, February 10, 2012: Elders in India to create awareness on evils of child marriage.

Nobel Laureate and anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu has praised Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s steps to end child marriage.

Archbishop Tutu said, “I am impressed by the political will being shown by the chief minister to end discrimination prevalent in the society against the girl child.”

He told a press conference that Kumar has set himself “certain benchmarks, and is looking to achieve certain goals”.

“Political will to fight the ills of child marriage is very important. It is not only a human rights issue. It is also a development issue.”

Archbishop Tutu is in India as part of Elders — a group of independent global leaders brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela — to create awareness on the ills of child marriage.

Tutu and the Elders team returned to Delhi Thursday after touring Patna to garner support for eliminating child marriage.

The other member of elders who are in India include Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA, a voluntary organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland, first woman Prime Minister of Norway and Mary Robinson, first woman president of Ireland.

Robinson said, “We are also engaging with grass root workers, students, civil society to create awareness about this burning issue.”

Nearly ten million girls are married out each year before the age of 18 across the world. India stands 14th on the list.

– hindustan times

Bihar’s biggest ever youth convention held

November 16, 2011 by  
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Bihar Yuva Mahasammmelan (youth convention)Bihar, November 15, 2011: Nearly 8,000 youth, the first-ever such huge gathering, attended the Bihar Yuva Mahasammmelan (youth convention) organized at St. Michael’s School, Patna.

Youth from six archdiocese’s of the eastern state of Bihar took part in the Nov 12-13 convention whose theme was “Oh youth! awake and shine to build a new society”.

It was organized by All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) of Bihar in collaboration with other youth movements like Leadership Training Service, Parivartan and Young Christian Students.

Fr. James Rosario, AICUF advisor of Bihar and youth director of Patna Diocese, said the aim of the convention was to form committed future leaders of the country through guided deliberations and through local art and cultural forms.

The convention witnessed several deliberations which included Youth and Media addressed by Mamman Mathew, chief Editor Hindustan Times.
The event was inaugurated by Archbishop William D’Souza of Patna.

Chief guest Sushil Kumar Modi, deputy chief minister of Bihar, delivered the keynote address.

Calling on the state’s youth to gird themselves up and contribute toward nation building, he said “everyone is born special, so one should realize his/her talents and abilities and should make oneself special”.

He requested the students to realize the worsening ecological situation and use resources like water and electricity in a responsible way and plant more trees.

Archbishop D’Souza exhorted the youth to look for stepping-stones and opportunities from stumbling blocks.

He said to realize the dream of a new society, “do as much as good as you can at home, in your colleges, work places and everywhere”.

Uday Narayan Chaudhry, speaker of the assembly and chief guest on the second day presented youth awards to outstanding youth and animators of youth movements of Bihar.

Irene Isabella, one of the participants said, this gathering is not about separation and discrimination, as it had participation from other religions.

Though it is organised by Christians, it is not religious rather secular, which inspired youth to air their struggles.

Sumit (identifying himself with a single name) another participant said after attending the convention he no longer felt alone put part of the collective struggle toward new society.

– shailendra boora