A Dalit and Adivasi Women Leadership Training Camp was organised under the auspices of the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Department of the Church of South India (CSI). The camp was held at the CSI Ketti Engineering College in Nilgiris, hosted by the CSI Coimbatore Diocese from 21st to 23rd of March 2018.
The camp was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, the Bishop in CSI Coimbatore Diocese. He stated that this kind of camps will help the Dalit and Tribal women in CSI to envision where they should be after a decade or two and design their own future.
Dr. Susan Thomas, the President of the CSI Synod Women's Fellowship, reiterated the commitment of the Women's Fellowship to uphold the rights, and space of the Dalit and Tribal women in the church. She specifically pointed out the vulnerability the Dalit and Tribal women have because of both being women as well as people of the oppressed communities.
Mrs. Annie Ravinder; the President of the Coimbatore Diocesan Women's Fellowship, Rev. Charles Sam Raj; the Diocesan Secretary of Coimbatore, and Rev. Jacob Livingston; the Social Concerns Director of the Coimbatore Diocese spoke in the inaugural function.
Earlier, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, the Director of the Synod Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Department, welcomed the gathering and explained the aims and objectives of the camp.
The delegates of the camp were taken to Ootty Botanical garden for an outing.
The Second day began with the morning worship service. Rev. Dr. Jayachitra L., the Director of the Christian Education Dept. of the CSI Synod took a class on 'A Theological Approach to the self- esteem, resistance and resilience of Dalit Tribal Women' on the afternoon of the first day.
Rt. Rev. George Stephen; Chairperson, CSI Synod Dalit & Adivasi Concerns Dept., told in his Chairperson’s Address that the Dalit and Adivasi women empowerment is the primary responsibility of the church because our church is led by Jesus who has always a preferential option for the marginalized sections of the society.
Mr. Prince Gnanadas, an HR Trainer from Chennai, along with Ms. Keran Sahana (Ootty) 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" on the second and final day. These interactive sessions filled with games were fun as well as educative.
On the final day a panel discussion on the "Challenges Faced by Dalit Women in the field of Education: Resilience and Resurgence" was led by Prof. Shija Grace and Prof. Jisha Mary Mathew, two young Dalit Professors from the CMS College, Kottayam.
The camp concluded with a resolution to continue this training process for the Dalit and Adivasi women at the regional levels.
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Dept.,