Odisha Religious towards food security & against human trafficking

January 19, 2013 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india, Orissa

The religious initiatives of Odisha towards food securityOdisha, January 12, 2013: The Social apostolate network of the Religious Congregations working in Sambalpur area of Odisha together with other Christian Denominations and NGOs and Self Help Groups, Diocesan social service team, MSW students etc. totaling more than 60 delegates have jointly taken up the burning issues of Odisha and initiated a strong network to address the Human Trafficking and Food insecurity of the Marginalised People of the state through their day long workshop held at Shanti Bhavan, in Jharsuguda.

It is the Second Phase of the previous year on Government schemes towards people Below Poverty Line – BPL. The SVD Congregation of Indian East province took initiatives and gathered the group for this phase of workshop.

Several Religious Congregations that serve in Odisha ( SVDs, FCC, Servites-OSM, Hand maids, Holy Spirit sisters (SSPS), NGOs and SHGs) came together to respond to the burning issues of the people.

Being the year of Faith, the resource person Fr. Nithiya OFM.Cap highlighted on the spirit of Vatican II and its special focus on option for the poor as a special theme for Odisha in this year of Faith.

Practically it meant to effectively address the predominant issues that threaten the whole society of Odisha namely Human Trafficking and Food insecurity.

He said that the Nine food schemes from the Supreme Court Order does not reach out to the Poorest, namely the Tribals, Dalit, Rural poor and the Slum dwellers. And hence we need to focus on this mission.

“One of the modern forms of slavery, namely Human Trafficking is killing the very fabric of Odisha society and destroying the economic, social and cultural Rights of the marginalized people” said Sr. Mariola B.S. another resource person.

She spoke of the various forms and causes of human Traffcking namely sale of children, child prostitution, child labour, debt bondage/bonded labour, the traffic in persons , the sale of human organs, and other forms of Forced migration.

The issue of recruitment, transportation, transfer, and receipt of persons done through threat, force, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, etc. were analysed in depth.

“In order to respond to these Human Rights Violations, we need to build up a movement, through a strong network of Government officials, Lawyers, Religious Leaders, Grassroots Animators, Supreme Court Advisors, Police department etc. in order to protect the Rights of the people” said Fr. Nithiya, motivating the delegates to enter into effective ways of responding to the issues of Trafficking and Food insecurity.

The delegates came up with a core group that will include the above sectors and will initiate various stages in addressing the issue. The following proposals were made:

2. The delegate of each Religious Cogregation will form a core team of Govt. Officials, NGOs and other religious leaders in their locality and begin data collection with regard to Human Trafficking and the food schemes like Public Distribution System, Mid-day meal, Old age pension, 100 Days labour etc.

3. This core team will gather together and formulate a 10 commandments on Human Trafficking with dos and donts, and collect the contact numbers to help the people in their times of difficulties.

4. This will be published in leaflets and made available to all parishes and temples, to school children and other public places, available to common people to guide and protect women and girls.

5. The Core group of the above mentioned religious congregations, with their respective team members will get the data of outgoing migrants from the village leaders and gram sabha on their whereabouts for their safety and security.

6. Every parish will also have a core team of the delegates from SHGs, Govt. Officials, Lawyers, other denominations and other religious leaders, Delegates from the Youth and Women, and teachers, Labour Officer etc. in getting into a movement to ensure security of women and the status of food schemes.

The parish priest will be the president of this core team with at least two coordinators (man and woman) forming a core executive team.

7. In the forthcoming meeting of all the SVD parish priests on 18th January, 2013, the above proposal of a support team on Human Trafficking and Food insecurity will be discussed in order to effectively address the issues. This could become the models for all the parishes of Odisha.

8. These teams will send monthly report of their activities on the last day of the month to the core team members – Fr.Cherian, Sr. Manju H.M., Fr. Nicolas Barla, Sr. Celin S.Sp.S., and Fr. John David.

9. There will be an elaborate two days residential training in April with the chief advisor to the Supreme Court Commissioner for Right to Food along with the same resource persons.

The Provicials and provincial councilors in charge of social apostolate, the social work directors/directress, diocesan social work directors, grassroots animators, NGOs etc will be in this important State level workshop followed by concrete action plans.

10. This is a special initiative undertaken by the SVDs along with Other Religious Congregations already involved in these issues and others interested in the issues concerning the poorest of the poor in the year of faith.

– nithiya / crib

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