Tamil Nadu bishops urge government to heed poor

The seminar highlighted issues of migrants and refugees


By Rani HCM

Ooty: Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council (TNBC) has urged the government to pay heed to the cry of the underprivileged traditional occupational groups in the southern Indian state.

This concern was raised at a seminar held at St. Theodore Sanatorium, Coonur, Ooty on June 7- 8 organized by CBCI Office for Labour in collaboration with TNBC.

More than 35 representatives from nine Catholic dioceses and a few movements working for the cause of the workers discussed extensively the issues and challenges of the unorganized workers of Tamil Nadu.

Archbishop Antony Anandarayar of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, chairman, TNBC Regional Labour Commission, exhorted the participants to be at the side of the poor workers and help them to avail the social security schemes allocated for them, respect the workers and give them the dignity of the work they are doing particularly the women workers.

The legislation on sexual harassment against women must be implemented in all the Church institutions he reminded.

The prelate condemned the uncivilized and inhuman behavior of the police officials on the poor laborers at Sterlite Copper factory in Thoothukudi. He along the participants observed two minutes silent prayer for the victims of the police attack at Thoothukudi (Tuticorin).

The seminar highlighted issues of migrants and refugees. They sought recourse to the key issues of Tamil Nadu such as migration, unorganized workers social security; need to form trade unions and political exploitation.

The dioceses will assist the migrants to register the migrants in the web portal www.wifmdm.com of CBCI Office for Labour for safe migration and help at the destination if required.

The seminar helped the participants to take steps towards the creation of awareness among the unorganized workers. Organizing the unorganized workers is an urgent need in Tamil Nadu, observed the group.

The participants also worked out a plan of action which includes sensitization of directors and core team members, dissolving internal conflicts and differences, voicing for humanitarian concerns, focusing on the government schemes and social security.

The dioceses will implement the steps taken for rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. All the resource persons emphasized on the social teaching of the Catholic Church beginning with Pope Leo’s 1891 landmark social encyclical, Rerum Novarum ‘On Capital and Labour’ and continuing today the Church has had much to say about the rights and duties of the worker and of business.

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3 thoughts on “Tamil Nadu bishops urge government to heed poor

  1. It is high time our beloved bishops came down to the level of ordinary men and women. The lifestyle of our leaders may not match with their so called teachings or exhortations.When so much of atrocities happening around, how many of our leaders are raising their voice? Can they be real prophets today? God help us!

  2. There may not be anything wrong in asking for Govt. help to uplift the poor. It is felt that each parish can do many good things for the less privileged. To cite example, every parish can start a Death Relief Fund? Ever family may be requested to become members and to contribute ten or twenty rupees every month. If there are 300 families in the parish and 250 contribute ,every month it comes to Rs 2500 / 5000. These days the coffin and a white sheet etc needed for burial are expensive. A committee with the parish priest as president can draw up rules and fix an amount to be disbursed to the family where death occurred.The charitable middle class and rich families can contribute more monthly and can forego the help ,if they so choose.
    Similarly a marriage fund can be operated to help poor families at the time of marriage of their daughters. Many such good schemes can do lot of good, provided the Parish priest co-operates.

  3. This appeal is issued from the sylvan surroundings of the Ooty hill resort. It robs it if it’s authenticity. Does the Catholic church encourage trade unions in its institutions. Do we practice what we preach

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