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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India from the General Secretary of NCCI

Dear Prime Minister,

Greetings!

Kindly lend me your ears as I share my mann ki baat with you.

You are a very good orator, who can rouse the masses. You are a very powerful executive, who can control all actions of the government. You are an IT savvy person, who can make clever use of all forms of media to your development schemes. You are an astute business entrepreneur, who can maneuver the globalization system to serve your vision of development. You are indeed a model for many 21st century persons who aspire to fame, position and power.

However while all seems grand and beautiful with your leadership, there are serious concerns that many Indian citizens would like to draw to your notice. They know that you are not unaware of these serious concerns, but are distressed that you are not taking actions which the situations demand. Let me highlight these concerns by drawing your attention to the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution describes five cardinal features of the Indian state:

(1) India is a Sovereign State:
As a sovereign independent state, India is free both internally and externally to take her own decisions and implement these for her people and territories.

However don’t you think that our sovereignty is under threat at the hands of certain powers within and outside the country? For instance, as you are well aware, economic globalization limits the capacity of our country to determine our own policy outcomes in three main ways: through trade and economic integration; financial markets; and the competition for employment. So also our state sovereignty is weakened by fundamentalist, casteist, communal and commercial forces within the country.

(2) India is a Socialist State:
It reflects the country’s commitment to secure social, economic and political justice for its entire people. India stands for ending all forms of exploitation as well as for securing equitable distribution of income, resources and wealth.

However the difference in the wealth share held by India’s poorest 10 per cent and the richest 10 per cent is enormous; India’s richest 10 per cent holds 370 times the share of wealth that it’s poorest hold. Despite being a much larger economy and growing at a faster rate than its Asian regional peers, India’s progress on Human Development Index has been dismal due to poor social indicators.

Part IV of the Indian Constitution which talks about Directive Principles of State Policy asserts that the state shall strive to secure a social order in which justice – social, economic and political – shall inform all the institutions of national life; that the state shall strive to minimize inequalities in income; that operation of economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to
  
the common detriment; etc. These guiding principles are far more important today as your Government talks about development.

(3) India is a Secular State:
Needless to tell you, there is no such thing as a state religion of India. India guarantees equal freedom to all religions; all religions enjoy equality of status and respect.

However a spate of controversies from promulgation of anti-conversion laws to attacks on religious persons and places based on rumoured, contrived and false allegations to ghar wapsi and love jihad do not at all glorify India as a secular state. I am sure you will agree that such situations should not be brushed aside simply by calling them ‘saddening’ and ‘undesirable’.

The issue of conversion, I suppose you are aware, has been mischievously publicized. The Indian Government Census figures for instance state that in 1951 Christians constituted only 2.23% of the Indian population while in 2011, Christians constituted only 2.30% of the Indian population. Where are the so-called massive numbers of conversions to Christianity as publicized by some sections of society? Still they keep misinterpreting church humanitarian services such as education, health care and social service as enticements to convert.


(4) India is a Democratic State:
We are proud that our country is the largest democracy in the world.

However I’m sure you do discern that Indian democracy is under threat. Our elections in certain sections of the country are influenced by money power, muscle power, and communal considerations. India’s Parliament too has been corrupted. Following the 2014 Parliamentary election, 185 MPs had criminal cases pending against them. Of these, 112 lawmakers faced charges related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, and crimes against women.

Citizens too routinely have to bribe public officials for services that are free by law – such as access to healthcare and education, obtaining telephone connections or driving licenses. India’s poor more often find themselves victims of the law rather than enjoying the protection of it. Corruption is also corroding the impartiality of India’s judiciary.

(5) India is a Republic: 
In India being a republic, we affirm a form of government in which power is explicitly vested in the people, who in turn exercise their power through elected representatives.

However, a big threat to the republican structure of our country is the rise of fascism. Fascism as you very well know is a political ideology that imposes strict social and economical measures as a method of empowering the government and stripping citizens of rights. Some of the defining characteristics of fascism are: racism/casteism, militarism, dictatorship, and destructive nationalistic policies.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Funeral Service of Bishop Dr. Taranath Sagar, Tributes and Condolence messages

The funeral service of Bishop Dr. Taranath Sagar was held on October 21, 2015  at 11:00 am at Richmond Town Methodist Church, Bangalore. It was attended by large numbers of people from around the country and abroad. The service was conducted by Rev. M. A. Daniel, General Secretary, MCI. Bishop Anil Servand delivered the message in which he spoke about Bishop Sagar’s ecumenical initiatives, various accomplishments and works he inspired. He also shared his intention to continue exploring possibilities to further the talks of the Methodist Church in India joining Church of North India (CNI), Church of South India (CSI) and the Marthoma Church in the Communion of Churches in India (CCI) for greater witness and service.

Among many esteemed leaders present, the following members gave eulogies: Bishop N. L. Karkare, President of the Council of Bishops, MCI; Bishop Subodh Mondol, Bishop, MCI Delhi Episcopal area; Bishop Philip Masih, Bishop, MCI Lucknow Episcopal area;  Dr. J. N. Hanchinmani, Central Treasurer, MCI; Fr. Bernard, Archbishop of Bangalore; Rev. M. A. Daniel, General Secretary, MCI; Mr. Michael Paul, Executive Council Member, MCI; Most Rev. Dyvashirvadam, Moderator, CSI; Rt. Rev. P. C. Singh, Deputy Moderator, CNI; Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary, Christian Conference of Asia; Rev. Christopher Rajkumar (on behalf of Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, NCCI); Dr. Santanu Patro, Registrar, Senate of Serampore College; Rev. Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, Director, CISRS; Mr. Sanjeev Dayanand, Conference Treasurer, South India Regional Conference, MCI; Rev. B. U. Bhaktanand, Brother-in-law of Bishop Dr. Sagar; Mr. Surendranath Sagar, Brother of Bishop Dr. Sagar; and Mrs. Sharon, Daughter of Bishop Dr. Sagar.


From the NCCI, Rev. Christopher Rajkumar, Rev. Caesar David, Rev. Sweety Helen and Mr. Samuel Jayakumar paid their respects on behalf of the NCCI family and placed wreaths. Dr. Saramma Varghese also placed wreaths on behalf of All India Council for Christian Women (AICCW) and the Orthodox Church. It was a solemn service marked with an air of grief. It was also a time of thanksgiving to God for the leadership and vision that the Church has been blessed with by the wonderful ministry of Bishop Dr. Sagar. The rich tributes and remembrances shared during this service gave evidence of the profundity of Bishop Dr. Sagar’s work, and there was the overwhelming sense of inspiration to continue carrying on his vision and faithful service for the Glory of God and to the blessing of people.

NCCI office received several condolence messages / tributes. These are found here below. 
(Please note that there are also other messages received on NCCI's facebook page - www.facebook.com/nccionline). We are grateful to the individuals and organizations for writing in to express grief and sympathy.

These messages will be also passed on to the family of Bishop Dr. Sagar.

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A  few  minutes  back,  have  received  information  through  msg that  Bishop  Taranath  Sagar,  President,  NCCI  has  passed  away into  glory.
We  had  been  together  in  the  NCCI  Executive  Committee  during 2004-08  and  then  had  served  with  him  during  his  Presidentship  during  2008-12.
I  vividly  remember  his  interjection  during  the  2004 Tirunelvelli  Quadrennial  and  then  working  together  in  the Presidium  of  2008-12,  Bishop  Sagar,  the  President,  Sushma, Michael  Angeleous  and  self  as  Vice-Presidents.  We  were  quite a team  and  it  was  difficult  times  we  faced  -  with  court cases  against  NCCI  filed  in  the  Nagpur  Bench  of  the  Bombay High  Court  as  well,  in  the  Nagpur  District  Court.
During  the  2010  CCA  Assembly  in  Kuala  Lumpur,  were  together along  with  Sushma  Ramaswamy  (my  co-Vice President)  as  NCCI delegates.
After  the  2012  Bengaluru  Quadrennial,  we  met  off  and  on  and the  last  time,  I  met  him  was  in  New  Delhi  at  the  ESHA programme  during  26  &  27  August,  2015.  We  exchanged  notes and  views  at  the  YMCA,  New  Delhi  during  dinner  time.  And so,  it  is  difficult  to  digest  that  Bishop  Taranath  Sagar  is no  more  with  us.
As  far  as  I  can  recollect,  Bishop  Sagar  is  the  2nd  NCCI President  to  have  passed  away  while  holding  office.  The earlier  one  was  Bishop  Vinod  Peter  (CNI)  during  the  2000-04 term  but  this  was  Bishop  Sagar's  2nd  consecutive  term. He  was  also  the  2nd  Methodist  Bishop  to  be  elected  for  a  second consecutive  term.  Earlier,  it  was Bishop  S. L. Parmar It  is  a  big  loss  to the  Methodist  Church  in  India  and  to the  ecumenical  movement  in  India, in  Asia  and  globally  and more  so, his  wife  who  has   been  his  source  of  strength  and encouragement  through  out  their  wedded  life  and  the  off springs.  My  heartfelt  condolence  to  you  Mrs.  Sagar  and  the children.  May  the  Spirit  uphold  you  and  strengthen  you,  guide  you  and  lead  you  every  step  in  your  pilgrimage  with  the hope  that in  eternity,  we  will  be  re-united  with  our  loved
ones   who  have  gone  ahead  of  us  to  eternal  glory.

Rev.  Dr.  P. B. M.  Basaiawmoit

NCCI  Vice-President  (2008-12)
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CCA 


 Press Release


 Bishop Taranath Sagar Passes Away
19 October 2015


Bishop Dr. Taranath Sagar, senior Bishop of the Methodist Church in India and the President of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) passed away at 8.00 p.m. on Monday 19 October 2015. He died of a heart attack in a hospital in Bangalore, India. The funeral service will be held at 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday 21 October at the Richmond Town Methodist Church, Bangalore.

Bishop Sagar has been actively involved in the ecumenical movement during the past three decades through various ecumenical and ecclesiastical organisations in India, Asia and at the global levels. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) since its last General Assembly held in Jakarta in May 2015. He was first elected to the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches at the Port Allegro Assembly, Brazil in 2006 and for a second term at the Bussan Assembly in 2013. He was the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Bishop Conference in India, and President of the Asian Methodist Bishops Conference. He served numerous other church and ecumenical organisations in various capacities during the past several years including as the Secretary of the Maharashtra Christian Council, President of the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Bangalore and the United Theological College in Bangalore.

Recalling his ecumenical contributions, Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia said that “With the passing away of Bishop Taranath Sagar, the Indian and Asian ecumenical movement lost a committed ecumenist who has been faithfully echoing the concerns and aspirations of the Asian churches in the global ecumenical movement. We thank God for the gifts God bestowed on Bishop Taranath Sagar, who guided the Church and various ecumenical organisations during the past three decades. He was a committed Christian, ecumenical Statesman, staunch defender, who was always raising his voice for justice and dignity of the marginalized and the persecuted. While tirelessly articulating his convictions, Bishop Sagar could relate to all sections of the people, and he spared no efforts to defend justice and dignity”.

Mathews George further added that “such was the personal charisma of Bishop Sagar that he became a servant of God and a leader in the Asian and global ecumenical movement. Bishop Sagar always possessed the strength to be in solidarity with the marginalized, uncompromising even in the face of fierce opposition out of his Christian commitment and convictions.”

Bishop Sagar at the 14th General Assembly         

- CCA COMMUNICATIONS

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Dear Dr.Roger,

We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear the sudden demise of Rt.Rev.Dr. Taranath Sagar on 19th October 2015 at Bengaluru. We express our heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family members, colleagues and friends. At this time of mourning we pray to the Almighty to give moral strength, courage and support to all the members of the family,  kith and kin, colleagues and friends. It is a great loss to the global ecumenical family and Bishop Sagar will be remembered for his committed and dedicated service to humanity that he carried a message of love, peace and justice to all human and nature which needs to be sustained and continued with a hope for ever. Our Prayer to God and wish his soul to rest in eternal peace in the abode of Almighty.

In Solidarity,

William Stanley

on-behalf of IRDWSI, ODAF, FCFC and Oikotree. 
 

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Dear  Dr  Roger Gaikwad

We  the  Utkal Christian Council family  are shocked to hear the sad news of departing of our dear leader Bishop Dr  Taranath Sagar , the President of NCCI . He left us when

NCCI is  on her new ventures . We pray almighty to give His heavenly   consolation to the bereaved  members of his family  and his Church .


Jyotsna Rani Patro

Secretary UCC
on behalf of all member churches   

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Dear Ecumenical Friends,

Its  a sad news for all of us to hear the final call of Bishop Sagar, for eternal rest. As the President of the NCCI he has rendered commendable leadership  all through the various times. Indeed he was a colleagues and a friend to one and all. l sincerely convey  the deepest sympathy to his  wife and all  Methodist Church members from NCCI, and all its partners at  this time of bereavement. May his soul be  RIP.

I  beg your  pardon for my inability to be present in person, yet my prayer with you all.

Sincerely yours

Revd. Dr.Mar Atsongchanger
Vice President, NCCI 
Executive Secretary Ao Baptist Church Association(ABAM)

Impur- 798615, Mokokchung, Nagaland, E-mail: abamimpur7@yahoo.co.in website: www.abamimpur.com Ph: 0369-2262202


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We were shocked and saddened to hear passing away of Bishop Sagar. My only extended engagement with Bishop Sagar was during the visit of Indian delegation to China in November 2014 and I fondly remember the friendly and gracious ways he engaged with the Indian group as well as the Chinese colleagues we met in a few congregations, church institutions, theological seminaries, and the Chinese government officials for Religious affairs. I have referred several times to few photos we posted on this trip in the our website: www.ftesea.org  when we talked about the China visit and Indian delegation members. 

It is our prayer that God give the needed strength to his family members, office, church, ecumenical colleagues, and to all his friends/well wishers to bear this irreplaceable loss, and to continue the  ministry that Bishop has been engaged in church and society.

Shanti/Peace

H.S. Wilson
Executive Director, FTESEA
web: www.ftesea.org


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To
Rev.Dr.Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary
National Council of Churches in India 
Nagpur 

 Dear Dr.Roger,
I can not believe that Bishop Dr.Taranath Sagar has passed away. I am shocked and saddened to hear this tragic news. 
I had the privilege of working with him form 2008 to 2012 as Vice President of NCCI during his first Presidential tenure. 
His able leadership had guided NCCI through difficult times. He had profound engagement in the worldwide ecumenical movement. 
I remember all good moment I spend with him on and off the meetings. He was kind enough to host several NCCI's meeting at his place in Bangalore. That reflected his deep commitment for the movement. 

His sudden death has caused great loss to the ecumenical communities around the world, particularly to NCCI. 

I join the behaved family in this time of grief and pain. at the same time, I thank God for blessing the Ecumenical Movement in India through his potential leadership. 

My deepest condolence and prayer 

kindest regards
angelious michael 

  
Angelious Michael
Coordinator
Partnership Desk & 
Youth Desk
Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church
Jeypore-764 001, Koraput Dist
Odisha - INDIA
Ph:   +91-6854-231440(off)


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To:
General Secretary
National Council of Churches in India


With sadness and shock, we received the news of the passing away of Bishop Dr. Taranath Sagar, Senior Bishop of Methodist Church in India and the President of the National Council of Churches in India.  Bishop Sagar was one of the tall Ecumenical leaders of India who was the proponent of wider ecumenism and worked diligently for that goal during the past 3 decades through various ecumenical and ecclesiastical organizations in India, Asia and at the Global level.  The encouraging move from the Methodist Church in India to initiate the discussion to be part of the Communion of Churches in India was the result of his envision.  In his passing away, CSI has lost a good friend, and a valuable partner in mission.  The Churches in India and in Asia lost a powerful voice which represented the marginal communities with genuine commitment. 

On behalf of Church of South India, the Moderator, Most Rev. Dr. G. Dyvasirvadam, the Deputy Moderator, Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Treasurer, Adv. Robert Bruce and the General Secretary, Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, express deep condolences on the demise of Bishop Sagar and pray that the presence of the comforting spirit of the Lord be upon his wife Mrs. Padma Sagar and his son and daughter and their families.

RATHNAKARA SADANANDA


REV.DR. D.R. SADANANDA
General Secretary, CSI &
Hon. Secretary, CSITA
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
SYNOD SECRETARIAT
CSI Centre, No. 5 Whites Road
Royapettah, Chennai - 600 014, INDIA
synodcsi@gmail.com
csi@vsnl.com



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Dear Rev. Gaikwad,

I am distressed at the news of the passing away of former Chairperson and the present ECC Council Memeber Rt. Rev. Dr. Taranath Sagar on October 19, 2015.  As I understand he was a godly man with sterling virtues and will be deeply mourned by the NCCI Committee.

May I tender our deepest condolences from my personal behalf and on behalf of the National Council of YMCAs of India.  Our prayers for the peaceful repose of the soul in heaven and for strength to the bereaved family in this hour of tragedy.

--
Ch.R.P. Mani Kumar
National General Secretary
The National Council of YMCAs of India
Bharat Yuvak Bhavan
Jai Singh Road, New Delhi-110001
Mobile : +91-9654370580
E-mail : ngsymcaindia@gmail.com

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Dear Dr.Gaikwad

We convey our deepest condolences from Normisjon as the NCCI lost its very dynamic President Bishop Taranath Sagar. I and my wife had a very close working partnership with the Methodist Church in Andaman Islands under the leadership of Bishop Taranath Sagar and we maintained a long-standing friendship with him beyond our denominational boundaries. His active involvement in the mission initiatives of the Church is very much remembered at this point of time. 

We pray that the NCCI and the Methodist Church will find peace and comfort at this moment of loss of a great mentor. Be assured of our continuous prayers.

Sincerely

Gladstone.R.Rajesh Kumar
Coordinator-Asia Base
Normisjon


Address: H#62 First Floor Road 7A Block H Banani Dhaka - 1213 Bangladesh
Phone: +8801787659336 (O) +8801977659336 (P)

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Dear Mr Gaikwad,

Greetings from Geneva

Please find attached a message of condolence from the general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, on behalf of the World Council of Churches.  We hope that you will be able to share it as part of Bishop Sagar’s funeral service on tomorrow.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

With kindest regards,

Garland F. Pierce

Rev. Garland F. Pierce
Senior Assistant to the General Secretary
World Council of Churches
Route de Ferney 150
PO Box 2100
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland
Phone:  +41 22 791 6093
Fax:  +41 22 791 6535
Email:  gfp@wcc-coe.org
www.oikoumene.org





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Dear Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,

Greetings in His precious name. I would be grateful to you if you could convey my hearty condolence to the bereaved family of Bishop Taranath Sagar.

CONDOLENCE MESSAGE

       I have come to know today that Bishop Taranath Sagar, President, NCCI has died of heart attack which shocked me very much. I have no hesitation to say that one of the leading church leaders in India has left us untimely. I had come to know the Rev. Taranath Sagar as the General Secretary of the Methodist Church in India some time in 1990 while I was the General Secetary of the National Council of Churches in India. He was very promt in replying any letter which he had received from NCCI office without fail. He was a man of integrity in his personal life. It appeared that the constituent members of NCCI are proud of his good leadership. His tremendous contributions with the help of the Rev. Dr. Roger Gaiwad, the General Secretary of the National Council in the ongoing ministry of the National Council would not be erased in our minds. May God be with his bereaved family even in the days to come. 

Rev. K. LungMuana
Former General Secretary, NCCI
Mission Vengthlang, Aizawl, Mizoram: 796005
Tel. 09862575021


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Dear all:
I am deeply shocked to know about the sudden and sad demise of Bishop Dr. Taranath Sagar. Needless to say that the Global Ecumenical Forum has lost an asset.

I was blessed to be a part of the team , that worked under Bishop Sagar’s leadership , during his first tenure as the NCCI President . My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and the Church . May God rest his soul in peace . 

Sagarika Chetty
Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church
Odisha

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am very much shocked to hear the sad news that Bishop Taranath Sagar of the Methodist Church in India has suddenly expired by heart attack. He was one of my friends and as much I know him he was very much open minded and humble church leader. He tried his best to serve sincerely his own Church and Ecumenical bodies in national and International level. It is a great loss for all of us indeed! May be he was too much involved with lot of responsibilities and did not care about his health. 

I personally and on behalf our Church would like to send condolence to all his dear and near ones for this time of mourning. We pray to Almighty God that he may grant his soul eternal peace and  comfort to his family members and friends.  

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,...they will rest from their labor."  (Rev. 14:13)

In Christ,

Bishop Paul S. Sarker
Bishop of Dhaka and Moderator

Church of Bangladesh


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The Salvation Army  National Secretariat _________________________________ 

Rev.Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
NCCI General Secretary.


Dear Respected Sir,

It is very shocking news to receive that Bishop Dr. Taranath S. Sagar, President of NCCI was passed away on Monday 19th October. We are so blessed by his able leadership especially as a President of NCCI. We had wonderful time with him in several occasions. Please pass on our deep condolence to Bishop's bereaved family and Methodist Church in India. On behalf of The Salvation Army India we pay our Tributes to Bishop Dr Taranath Sagar, a Man of God.

We are very sorry for the late tributes from our side. At present we are in holidays and when I just opened my office mail box I have noted the below mail and responding immediately. At the same time I have forwarded to all the heads of the Salvation Army in India.

Grace and Peace be with the family of Bishop Taranath Sagar and all the colleagues who closely worked with him.


Sincerely


Daniel Raju Dasari
Lieut.Colonel
National Secretary
The Salvation Army
National Secretariat
37 Lenin Sarani
Dharmatala, Kolkata-700 013
West Bengal, INDIA

Tel: + 91 (0) 33 2249 7210 ext: 201
Fax: + 91 (0) 33 22497210

E-mail: ind_secretariat@ind.salvationarmy.org
http://www.salvationarmy.org/india 




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Dear Rev Roger Gaikwad,

It is with great sorrow that we in CMAI, learned of the death of  Rt. Rev. Bishop Taranath Sagar.  I write this to express my sincere condolences on his sudden and unexpected passing.  As President of NCCI,  he had a strong commitment to the ecumenical movement in India, and I know that you will be missing his dynamic leadership in the family of NCCI. 

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife and to the entire family who grieve, and we pray that our Lord provides the much needed comfort and His divine peace during this difficult time.

Kindly accept our condolences.

Yours sincerely,
  
Dr. Bimal Charles
General Secretary, CMAI

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Dear Members of the Methodist Church in India,
dear Members of the National Council of Churches of India (NCCI).

With profound sadness we have received the news of the passing away of Bishop Taranath Sunanam Sagar. Churches in India and Asia but also Christians around the world will miss his dynamic ecumenical leadership.

Bread for the World-EED has always appreciated the development oriented initiatives of the Methodist Church in India in cooperation with CASA and NCCI. Please be assured that we are with you in prayers. May we ask you to convey our deep sympathy to his family.

Very sincerely yours,


Roswita Kupke
Head of South Asia Unit

Brot für die Welt - Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst
Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V.
Caroline-Michaelis-Str.1
10115 Berlin
Phone.:  +49 30 65211 1304 | Fax:  +49 30 65211 3304
roswita.kupke@brot-fuer-die-welt.org
www.brot-fuer-die-welt.de

www.brot-fuer-die-welt.de


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Friday, 23 October 2015

On-line petition to Shri Narendra Modi for passing EDPAL Bill in the Parliament

NCCI promotes justice and equality initiatives, and envisions a society that is free from discrimination and intolerance. NCCI supports the current initiative in the form of an online petition from its constituent member, The Leprosy Mission,  for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy. The following information has been received from The Leprosy Mission, India.

 As many of you know, recently the Law Commission of India submitted its report No: 256 to the Government of India on steps to be taken to end discrimination against people affected by leprosy, and empower them to be included in the development process. The Law Commission also submitted a draft Bill, titled ‘Eliminating Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy’ (EDPAL) Bill, 2015, for repealing all the 14 laws discriminating people affected by leprosy.

 The Parliament of India needs to act on the recommendations of the Law Commission and pass EDPAL Bill and also, bring new legislation for rehabilitation of people affected by leprosy. For this, the Government of India has to start the parliamentary process.

 Sixteen national and international organisations working in the field of leprosy have come together as a collective, under the banner, ‘United4Change’, and petitioned the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, to get EDPAL Bill passed in the Parliament and bring new legislation for rehabilitation of people affected by leprosy.

Re-routing Mission- Church Women's Mission and Evangelization Paradigms to Support Widows and Single Mums


Photo:  A young girl sharing her testimony of struggles and sacrifices of her mum as single parent raising and  educating  her and how the  scholarship  from Project Deborah will help her )

All India Council of Christian Women congratulates Diocesan Women’s Fellowship of Christian Service (DWFCS) - Delhi Diocese of Church of North India for initiating Project Deborah to provide educational scholarships for children from economically challenged mothers or who are widows and single parents. The strategy of fund raising adopted by these women is organizing fetes. This year a fete was organized on 11th October at St James Church, New Delhi.  According to Mrs. Mavis Perez Russel, President, Women’s Fellowship of Delhi Diocese, CNI, Widows and single mums are most vulnerable, neglected, and stigmatized by Indian society. They face different forms of violence and discrimination perpetuated even by their own family members and relatives. Such violence not only affects them but has negative impact on their children. Those mothers from economically poor background suffer much more and have to struggle hard to raise their children. This scholarship is to support and acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices made by widows and single mums to raise their children.”