By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) Office for Tribals recognized 15 tribal youth for their hard work, brilliance and enthusiasm in achieving standards of excellence.
In a first of its kind, the CBCI Office for Tribals organized an event to congratulate, encourage and felicitate them for their achievements.
At a function held at the CBCI Centre, New Delhi, on August 10, on the occasion of 24th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, tribal youth from different streams such as music, singing, acting, scholarship, airplane pilot, bodybuilding, writers, and publishers were acclaimed.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of CBCI, who was the chief guest felicitated the young tribals with a rose flower, a memento and a Certificate of Excellence.
“You are not simply the pride of your tribal communities but the pride of whole humanity because you have had the courage and the perseverance to break through barriers and shine forth,” the bishop told the youth.
The prelate reminded them that it was important that the tribals preserve their land, culture, language and unity. Otherwise, they will be swamped out of their existence.
While congratulating them for their achievements, he urged them to help other tribal children and youth to come up and be able to succeed in society.
Bishop Mascarenhas assured the gathering that the Catholic Church would always stand with the tribals and would work for their uplift as it has always done in the past.
In a synchronized and elucidative interaction, Fr. Anthony coaxed the participants to speak out their thoughts. Ms Garima Ekka who stars in the Chatisgarhiya movie Bhai-Bahen ka atut rishta to be released on August 24 gave a heart-rending description of how she grew up in a small unknown village with the encouragement of the Church to come up to where she was today.
Pilots Divya Nancy Tirkey, Joyce Tirkey, and Neha Tirkey explained their own struggles before they could fly high. Hepuni Kajikho a Body Builder from Manipur at the State Level and the International level spoke of his efforts not only at building his body but also his character and career. Praveen Felix Kujur, a composer, singer and musician told the audience that his journey began in the Church choir and from a shy boy in the Church he gained the courage to stand on his own.
Anjali Lakra narrated the story of her striving to become a human resources manager and underlined that she would like to encourage others to follow in her footsteps.
Aditya Baxla, who scored 97% in Grade 10 was full of regret that he could not score more which he felt he could if he had concentrated a little more. The audience was touched as he explained that he was able to achieve the percentage because he cut off from socializing, from his mobile phone and other entertainment from the month of December till his exams to pursue his dream of success.
Anabel Benjamin Bara, a Doctor in Management and Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur expressed his gratitude to the Church institution from which he studied but hoped that more tribal students could be accommodated in XLRI.
Ms Rimi Tadu from Arunachal Pradesh not only got her doctorate from TISS, Mumbai but also undertook a post-doctorate fellowship in Germany. She said her march showed that coming from a small village and difficulties do not matter when you have the drive to do well.
Albert Ganreipou from Manipur who has just cleared the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) recounted how hard work had paid in the long run and credited “the beautiful woman”, his mother for what he had achieved.
Santhali Girl Ruby Hembrom spoke of how she felt excluded in school because she was dark but fought her feelings and pain to open up avenues for other excluded tribals and founded a publishing firm adivaani to publish works by indigenous peoples. She herself is the creator of Santal Creation stories for children.
Nitin Kujur, Praveen Gauri Toppo and Lovina Ekka could not make it to the function and their parents received the awards.