20 National News

posted Oct 5, 2017, 10:17 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 10:17 AM ]

International Peace Day – Shanti Milan Sabha

Kaira Social Service Society (KSSS) is working for the promotion of Justice, Peace, Development and Human rights. KSSS has been actively involved in bringing about a society where peace and harmony prevails. It has taken up various initiatives like Inter religious dialogue, peace march, peace education, etc. for building peace and harmony in the most sensitive areas of Ahmedabad, Anand and Kheda Districts.

The main goal of this celebration was to provide a common platform for the representatives of various religious leaders, leaders of different groups like Women Self Help Groups, Children's Parliament, Youth Groups etc. Around 1000 people representing different religions participated in the Peace March which began at Ismailenagar, Anand, and ended at Community Hall, Gamdi, for the Shanti Milan Sabha. Shri Saurabh Singh, DySP of Anand Dist. and Fr Joseph Appavoo, Director of KSSS, did the flag hoisting and initiated the peace rally.

Fr Jagdish Macwan, Asst Director of KSSS, welcomed all. Fr Joseph Appavoo, Director of KSSS, recalled the history of Peace Day. After the Second World War, children from Japan collected coins from 60 countries in 1952, and made a big peace bell and donated it to the UN in 1954. Every year, this bell is rung on September 21. This is the way 'The International Peace Day' is celebrated throughout the world.

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Fr Uzhunnalil given a rousing welcome

Keralite priest Fr Thomas Uzhunnalil, who was freed after being kept in captivity for 18 months by terrorists in Yemen, said he would go to the strife-torn country again for service, if God wishes him to do so.

"Certainly, I will go there, if God wishes me to do so. I am sure He (Jesus) would clear the way for me to do so," the priest told reporters on October 1 in response to a question.

On arrival in India, the 59-year-old priest first went to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India center where he met his elder brother and sister. He then attended a series of meetings with Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj before meeting papal nuncio in India, Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro.

Appearing fragile and fatigued, Father Uzhunnalil later spoke with the media and thanked people of all faiths who prayed for his safety and release. He said family members had told him that Hindu brethren in his hometown in the southern state of Kerala held prayers in temples for his safety. The local Muslim community also prayed for him.


Church leaders told not to oppose Muslim cemetery

Amid opposition by some Catholic leaders to a proposed Muslim burial ground near Margao town in the state, the Goa Church asked its followers to respect the basic rights of every community.

Diocesan Centre for Social Communications, an arm of the Goa Church, issued a statement on Sept. 30, saying disposal of dead bodies is a basic right, therefore creation of a burial ground should not be opposed.


Slum kids ready for Diwali

The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised diya painting, akashkandil (lantern making), Diwali greeting card making and drawing activities for children on September 22 at Chinchwad in Pune to prepare them for the Diwali festival. More than 100 slum children studying daily in the support classes conducted by DBDS participated in the activity. The event was held under the aegis of 'Women Empowerment Project' supported by AXA Business Services Pvt. Ltd.


India records significant fall in infant mortality rate

India has registered a significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). According to the just-released SRS bulletin, IMR of India has declined by three points (8% decline), from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016, compared to two points decline last year.

According to the SRS Bulletin, the gender gap in India for child survival is reducing steadily. The gender difference between female and male IMR has now reduced to less than 10%, giving a major boost to the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' scheme of the Government. Not only this, India also recorded a major drop in birth cohort, which has for the first time come down to below 25 million.