ASIA/INDIA - Education for tribal communities essential element for improving society

Monday, 4 July 2005

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - Education for tribal communities is essential for improving society in India. This is the point of departure for Vishwamndal Sevashram Social Centre in Bombay run by the local Jesuit Fathers which serves tribal communities in the mountainous area of Maharashtra state, west India.
Fr Godfrey D’Lima said these people, mainly Adivasi, live in remote areas difficult to reach. Most of them are subsistence farmers and herdsmen and they still follow centuries old tribal customs with a living standard of mere survival. The communities are cut off from social and cultural events. To educate the children in this region for whom there are no local state schools, the Jesuits have opened education centres which combine tribal needs with a curriculum including basic medical care, farming techniques, irrigation systems, microcredit and other subjects useful for daily life.
At the education centres the Jesuits are assisted by volunteers Catholics and non. A special contribution is offered by a community of Canossian sisters who help local women to improve their cultural knowledge, awareness and development.
The idea of the Centre is to promote development by providing formation to improve living standards. This human promotion social work is a path for mission, attention for every human person, proper to the Christian.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 4/7/2005 righe 33 parole 336)