2. ZONAL MEETING OF CATHOLIC WOMEN
SDC RANCHI, JHARKHAND
The CBCI Council for Women organized a Leadership Training and Workshop on Social Issues for Dalit and Tribal women of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar on 27th and 28th April at SDC, Ranchi. Total number of 80 women, including Religious Nuns, from 23 (out of 26) Dioceses attended this training program.
The program started with a traditional inauguration ceremony for which Archbishop Felix Toppo, Ranchi and Bishop Binay Kandulna, Khunti (Regional Chairperson for women, Jharkhand) were the Chief guests. The Mahila Sangh of Ranchi Diocese welcomed the guests in their traditional and vibrant manner with their beautiful songs and tribal dance. Sr. Talisha, (Secretary of the CBCI Council for Women), Fr. Valerian Lobo (Youth director and Women’s coordinator of Jamshedpur Diocese), and Regional secretaries presided over the inauguration ceremony.
Archbishop Felix Toppo gave a very motivating speech with references of women from the Bible. Bishop Binay Kandulna motivated the Mahila Sangh members to grow in awareness of the context and reality of the State and Country especially Tribal rights.
Soon after the Welcome ceremony, the Leadership Training was conducted by Fr. Brys, S.J. who was the main resource person. He talked about the qualities of being a good leader. He was very dynamic and animated the workshop well. Fr. Brys and his team – Ms Cecilia and Ms. Manju shared their success stories and journeys of empowerment.
The other topics that were dealt during the workshop were – Gender Sensitization and Awareness on CBCI Guidelines on Sexual Harassment, Legal Awareness on Trafficking, Accompanying Young Minds and Defending India Constitution.
Sr. Talisha, Secretary of CBCI Council for Women gave the session on Gender Sensitization. She gave a brief talk on the attitude and mentality of the society towards girl children and women. Also mentioned how women too were responsible for this act and how it can be prevented. She explained to everyone to spread awareness from the grass root level.
Sr. Lalita, a Lawyer and ProgramCcoordinator at CBCI Office of Tribal Affairs gave the talks on Legal Awareness on Trafficking and Defending Indian Constitution. She spoke about human trafficking, the fate of minors, desperate victims, flesh trade, prostitution, etc. She asked the women to always be alert and on the lookout for any suspicious signs especially with groups of children on railway stations etc. since in the villages of many of the women they themselves have seen of or heard of a story and are aware about it. In Sr. Lalita’s talk on Indian Constitution, she put emphasis on the Amendments Acts of the Constitution. She encouraged women to be a leader like Ruth, Mother Mary, Judith, Elizabeth from the Bible. She particularly highlighted the secular aspect of the Constitutions, the sections protecting the minority rights, minority schools, RTE, Right to Life and Personal liberty, Forest Conservation Act 1980, Forest Right Act 2006, Forest Conservation Amendment Act 2019, etc.
Fr. Valerian spoke about Accompanying young minds and his experience of journeying with the youth. He touched on violence, abuse in different forms, confusion in young minds, challenges faced. He asked women to play their role as true mothers in bringing and moulding the youths in preparing them for the family, the Church, the society.
Outcome of this program was to make the women aware of the social issues, turning them into leaders by inculcating in them the leadership attributes and bringing the Dalit and Tribal women, especially those from the economically weaker regions to the forefront, so they can work with the women on grass-root level in their respective areas.
The participants enjoyed the program very much as it was something relatable and many of them were attending something like this for the first time in their lives. They all opined that it was very enriching and helpful for their mission among the grass roots women.