New Delhi (Fides Service) - Catholics in India are delighted that the Indian Social Institute (ISI), prestigious institute for research in social studies run by Jesuit Fathers in Delhi, has obtained the status of Non Government Organisation accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. As an NGO the ISI may take part in debates by the Council, it may be charged with special research and offer opinions to the Council, it will take part in meetings of the International Labour Organisation.
In its statutes the Institute declares its goal: “Our aim is to guarantee every citizen of India social, economic and political justice; freedom of thought, expression, religious belief and practice; equal living conditions and opportunities; brotherhood through respect for the dignity of every person.
ISI was opened in 1951 to respond to the needs of a country living important social and political changes. Since 1980 ISI concentrated its efforts on protecting the rights of minority groups Dalit, tribals, women. Keeping its Christian inspiration and following the Social teaching of the Catholic Church ISI is known for its pluralism, respect for the many different cultures and customs of India culture earning esteem of intellectuals and scholars world wide and credibility at the national and international level.
The recent spread of Hindu fundamentalism and discrimination against minorities led the ISI to undertake research and publish works in the field of respect for human rights, including freedom of conscience, and the promotion of the social and cultural development of the person
The ISI publishes several reviews Social Action; Women’s Link; Legal Views and News; Hum Dalit, an internal bulletin and also regular series of essays on social problems.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/5/2004 lines 32 word 315)