A leadership Training camp was organised by the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns at the CSI Engineering College in Ketti in Nilgiris, hosted by the Coimbatore Diocese, from 24th to 26th November 2017 for the Dalit and Adivasi youngsters from the Eight CSI dioceses in Tamilnadu. The camp was inaugurated by lighting earthern lamps in front of the picture of Madhu, an Adivasi youngster who was brutally killed in Kerala by the dominant caste people alleging that he had stolen rice since he was hungry, a few days before the commencing of the camp. The delegates of the camp expressed their anguish and grief over the killing and demanded that the governments should take stringent measures to stop atrocities against the Adivasi and Dalits in India.
The camp had a solemn beginning with the inaugural session on Saturday morning. Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, the Bishop of the Coimbatore Diocese inaugurated the conference. Earlier, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Department of the Church of South India Synod, welcomed the gathering and gave the orientation to the camp.
Rev. Charles, the Secretary of the Coimbatore Diocese, and Rev. Jacob Livingston, the Director of the Social Concerns Department of the Diocese, gave felicitation speeches. Rev. Santha Reuben, Rev. Victor, Mr. Udayakumar (the Administrator, CSI College of Engineering) and Mr. Bhaskar also shared the dais.
Rev. Dr. Christy Gnanadasan led the class on “A Theological Approach to the self- esteem, resistance and resilience of Dalit Tribal Youth” in the afternoon followed by the session by Rev. Divya Priya, Vellore, on “Dalit Tribal discrimination: Wounded memories and aspirations against odds: A womanist perspective”. The delegates were taken for a picnic to Ootty in the evening.
Rev. Jacob Livingston led the worship service and gave the sermon on the second day. Mr. Prince, Chennai, a Human Resource Trainer, led training sessions on “Building and strengthening leadership: Perseverance, confidence, self- affirmation, overcoming fear, and goal- setting: A personality development training from Dalit Tribal perspective”. The delegates presented their talents and had a great time of fellowship in the camp fire, which was organised in the late evening at the premises of the Engineering College.
On the final day, Rev. Dr. Anandan Formerly Professor, TTS, Madurai, spoke to the youngsters on “Socio- political framework emerges from the theology: A Dalit Tribal youth perspective”. The delegates had a time of deliberations and discussions and a plenary session on various issues, which were raised in the training camp.
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Rev. Sunil Raj Philip
CSI Synod Department of Dalit and Adivasi Concerns