13 Empowering the tribals- Fr Calistus Fernandes

posted Oct 16, 2018, 10:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 16, 2018, 10:36 AM ]
Jankalyan Centre for Community Organisation (CCO) is situated at Mahad Taluka, Raigad Distict, 180 km away to the south-east of Mumbai at the foothills of Mahabaleshwar, the so-called Mission area of the Archdiocese of Bombay. According to the 1991 Census, Raigad district has 2,23,000 tribals. This comprises 11% of the total population of Raigad. Among these, 4% tribal Katkaris stay in Mahad taluka. Today, the face of Raigad is undergoing a rapid change due to the setting up of numerous industries and globalisation. A large section of this tribal community still live in dehumanising conditions. Lack of basic amenities like health, water, shelter and education, malnutrition, illiteracy, superstition, exploitation (especially of women), unemployment, deforestation and other equally serious factors, has threatened the lifestyle and the very existence of these tribals.


Jankalyan, along with the other 20 CCOs working in Raigad district, unitedly commit to serve the people, especially the marginalised and the oppressed, with a preferential option for the tribals, to promote abundance of life based on life values and communal harmony through fellowship, aiming at the integral development of people by enabling them to commit themselves towards becoming self-realized, with a strong belief in their potential to become aware of their unjust and oppressive situation and change it through their personal and collective action. In this effort, the Church-based CCOs cooperate and network with like-minded individuals and non-governmental organisations to be more effective.


To actualise the vision into action, the CCOs work at the grassroot level, especially among the marginalised, to boost the spirit and consciousness through the process of empowerment, with well reflected and clear-cut objectives.