Poem: Caste Your Burden. CBCI Seminar: Dalit Women

November 20, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india


The  Shudra washed His disciples’ feet,  The  Vaishya was a carpenter’s son,

The Brahmin discussed the Torah with priests,  The Kshatriya was King – Mighty One !

From these four, who is Jesus ?  Did HE teach us all about caste ?

Or did we learn from ancestors,  who believed in it in the past ?

We’re all brothers and sisters, says Paul, partaking of Jesus at Mass.

What do we think is important ?  Is it caste, or is it class ?

Let’s prove our class by our actions, by being forgiving and caring,

By showing compassion to neighbours, by our kindness, loving and sharing.

Heaven isn’t only for Brahmins, Even proof that you are one, Will not ensure your entry, and it certainly won’t be fun . . . . .

. . . . . . to be turned away at the Pearly Gates, in spite of your “Brahmin” Pass,

Jesus made Heaven for friends of His, not for Christians with caste and no class !

– louise  rodrigues


“Dalit Catholic Women Leadership Building”

CBCI Offices for SC/BC, Women and Youth

8th-10th of November, Pallotine Animation Centre, Nagpur

Dalit Cathoilc women leadership buildingThe first National seminar on “Dalit Catholic Women Leadership Building” was held in Nagpur from 8th to 10th November 2013 in which 35 delegates from all over the country  participated.

Most Rev. Neethinathan the chairperson for CBCI office for SC/BC and Most Rev. Archbishop Abraham, the Archbishop of Nagpur greeted the participants and insisted about their leadership both in the church and in the society.

The seminar bagan with the Holy Eucharist by Fr. Franklin. The resource persons dealt the following topics:   Ms. Asha, “Dalit Women in the context of Indian society”, Fr. Bosco sj, “Status of Dalit Christians in the Church and in Society” , Fr. Raj, “Constitutional rights of Dalit Christian”,  Sr. Urmila, “Dalit Women, multiple oppression and exclusion”, Sr. Helen, “Women in Social Teaching and Policies of the Church in India”, Ms. Leela kumari,  “Leadership of Dalit Christian women: Opportunities and Challenges”. In the Panel Sr. Margarette, Ms. Jessy and Ms. Nalini shared their experiences as Dalit Catholic Women leaders.

Group discussions were held where the participants analysed the situation of Dalit Catholic women and came out with concrete action plans in personal, parish, diocesan, regional and national levels. The participants also visited Dr. Ambedkar Memorial (Dishka Bhumi) where Dr. Ambetkar converted himself to Buddhism with five lakhs followers.

The participants came out with the following statement;


Dalit Catholic Women Leadership Building

We, 35 participants of the National Seminar, “Dalit Catholic Women Leadership Building” that took place in Pallottine Animation Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, from 8-10 November 2013, reflected on various issues of Dalit Christian women across the country and possible ways of addressing them through our leadership. We are grateful for this opportunity to participate

We realized

  • That Dalits across India contribute immensely to the nation-building but their contribution is not recognized and devalued.
  • That Dalit women are Dalits among the Dalits and further Dalit Christian women face four times discrimination. As Dalit women belonging to other faiths, Dalit Christian women are victims of sexual violence, trafficking, unsafe migration, and forced labour like manual scavenging.
  • That by the denial of SC status to Dalit Christians the Dalit Christian women are the most affected since their educational, employment, economic and political rights, and legal rights are denied.
  • That Dalit Christian women are rarely represented in the decision making bodies of the church from parish to the national levels, and also in the Dalit Christian campaigns.

We resolve

  • To grow in the conviction that we are universal leaders and have the capacity to transform our pains and wounded-ness into power.
  • To  form solidarity groups of Dalit Christian women at our own level to grow in consciousness of the empowerment of Dalit women
  • To speak to the concerned leaders of the church of the need to strengthen Dalit catholic women leadership in the diocesan, regional and national levels.

We recommend

  • that the church leadership represented by respective commissions hold training for developing leadership of Dalit catholic women and create possibilities of including them as leaders in their campaigns for Dalit Christian rights
  • that the church leadership creates Dalit Catholic women Forum to strengthen their voices in society especially in relation to political leadership.

The national seminar was jointly organised by the CBCI offices for Women, Youth and SC/BC by the secretaries Sr. Helen, Fr. Franklin and Fr. Devasagayaraj.

– z devasagaya raj

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