Romero Day Observance in Delhi
- Romero Day was observed on March 24, 2011 in New Delhi on the 31st Anniversary of the assassination of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. At a function jointly organised by the Archdiocese of Delhi, the El Salvadoran Embassy and JPD Office, Archbishop Vincent M Concessao urged the gathering to emulate the example of Romero whom he called a prophet of modern times. The seminar was followed by Holy Mass at 6.00 pm led by Archbishop Vincent and his auxiliary Bishop Franco Mulakkal, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Similar memorial celebrations took place in different part of the country through the initiatives taken from JPD Office.
- JPD Office participated in an International Congress on the 50th Anniversary of Mater et Magistra organised by Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, held in Rome between 16-18 May, 2011. The theme of the congress was “Justice and Globalisation: From Mater et Magistra to Caitas in Veritate”. Our member bishop, Most Rev. Gerald Almeida was there with the secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam and Mr. Antony Arulraj, Advocacy Officer, and Fr. Maverick, the secretary, Justice Commission, Goa Archdiocese, who have presented their papers in Asian context during the second day of the congress. The participants appreciated their contribution and made a fruitful interaction after their presentation. Our presence was very much felt by all through our active invention now and then during the congress.
- Article 21 of our Constitution guarantees a fundamental right to life and personal liberty. The expression ‘life’ in this article has been judicially interpreted to mean a life with human dignity and not mere survival or animal existence. In the light of this, every individual has a legal right to food and State has a role to play in ensuring this right. Hence JPD Office took up “Right to Food” campaign seriously since 2008.
RTF Campaign has been launched by JPD Office in 18 States and 2 Union territories in India: In each State, we focused on the unreached people. However, the campaigns and the coordinating bodies are in small town areas. The reach outs are always in remote rural areas as our focus has been the unreachable ones, especially the Dalit, Tribal, Rural Poor and the slum Dweller. The Food Schemes that we campaign for include 1) Public Distribution System (PDS); 2) Annapurna; 3) Anna Yojana; 4) Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS); 5) Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS); 6) National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (NREGS); 7) National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS); 8) National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS); and 9) National Family Benefit Schemes (NFBS).
The successful implementation of RTF Programme made people activate the systems in place. It made Public Distribution System function in an efficient way. Our training and action plan at the beginning of the Campaign led the participants to claim their entitlements on RTF schemes as a team. The Illiterate women were taught the schemes and redress mechanisms in local languages. The self-help groups were motivated to have a common focus and to meet the Govt. authorities with boldness since they were clear about their Rights. JPD Office also taught them to struggle for their other Rights.