20 National News

posted Mar 15, 2017, 9:32 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 15, 2017, 9:32 AM ]

New Delhi

Prelate decries hate crimes against Indian nationals in US

The Archbishop of Delhi, India, decried attacks on Indian nationals in the United States.


CBCI launches portal for migrant workers

The Labour Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has decided to set up an online portal where migrant workers can register.

“We are happy to announce a new online portal for the management of data on migrants,” said CBCI Labour Office secretary Fr Jaison Vadassery. “It corresponds to our mission to care for the migrant workers of our country” as well as “promote safe migration and ensure social protection for workers who migrate between the Indian states and abroad.”

Presented March 10, the portal is a joint venture with the Workers Federation India (WIF) and was launched on March 15 in the presence of CBCI President, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, CBCI Secretary General Msgr Theodore Mascarenhas, and Labour Office President Msgr Oswald Lewis.

The number of Indians moving abroad or to the country’s most developed cities in search of employment is constantly rising. Migrant labour has become increasingly important for the global economy, especially since those who go abroad send remittances to their homeland, to the benefit of both the nation and their families.


March of Chotanagpur Tribals in Delhi

March 6 saw more than 800 Adivasis from different parts of the country, especially Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Chotanagpur belt and surrounding areas of Delhi-NCR gathered in Delhi for the march against the CNT Act and SPT Act which was going to be passed. This Act would take away the rightful ownership of the land of many tribals in Jharkhand, and place it in the hands of the government to use at will.

At around 11 am, beginning from Mandi House Circle in Delhi, men, women and children stood for almost an hour, before starting the slow and steady march to Jantar Mantar, where they had set up a stage and carpets for sitting. All through the march, young girls and boys were shouting inspiring slogans enthusiastically, and holding high banners and placards giving information of the violated rights. There were even pregnant women among the participants. Some were giving their message accompanied by traditional mandar playing.

Reservations over education plan for minority children

Religious leaders in India doubt the sincerity of a federal government plan to establish world-class health educational institutes for the children of minorities, with many of them seeing it as mere political manoeuvering.

The leaders were referring to a statement made by Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who said on March 1 that the government would establish institutions of excellence to provide technical and medical education including Ayurveda and Unani, ancient Indian and Arab medicine systems.

Fr Joseph Manipadam, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India's Office of Education and Culture, said he hoped the government's proposed plan would include helping Christian minorities, but said he had serious doubts.

"We have to examine thoroughly what the plan is, as most often when the government says minority, it refers mostly to the Muslim community," said Fr Manipadam.

Although "minorities" is a general term used for all linguistic, cultural and religious minorities, in Indian political circles, the word is used to denote Muslims, as they form the largest politically powerful minority. Muslims constitute 172 million, or 15 per cent of India's 1.2 billion people.


Lone Christian member in Pune Municipal Corporation

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, otherwise referred to as a political party representing only the Muslim community, has provided the only Christian member in the newly elected Pune Municipal Corporation.

Ashwini Daniel Landge, an MIM nominee, was elected a member of the Pune Municipal Corporation from the open women category in panel number six from Yerwada. Incidentally, Landge is also the MIM's only member in the 162-member House.

The 32-year-old newly elected corporator has passed Std XII and is a homemaker. She said that local residents raised a fund to pay for her election campaign expenses, including printing of pamphlets.