Jesuit social activist receives ‘Nation Builders Award 2019’

Jothi (right) receiving the award

By Matters India Reporter

Kolkata, September 9, 2019: Jesuit social activist Father Irudaya Jothi has received this year’s “Nation Builders Award 2019”

The event on Sept 7 at Rotary Sadan took place a day ahead of the celebrations of the International Literacy Day.

Father Jothi received the award, along with others, for his tireless service to humanity and in building a vibrant nation, said Lovina Khan, assistant governor of Zone 24 of Rotary International, Dist 3291.

“I am immensely pleased that that you are the recipient of this award, in recognition of your care and concerned for those in disadvantaged circumstances,” she added.

The other awardees were Salony Priya, counselor and HR consultant, Margaret King, head mistress of Loreto Day School, and Beverly Fernandes, teacher of St. Xavier’s School Kolkata.

Ajay Agarwal, district governor of Rotary club, was the chief guest who stressed the many good works Rotary Clubs all over the world do for humanity.

Rotary International gladly acknowledges the unspoken, yet committed efforts made by others for the betterment of society, especially in the area of education, he added.

National Builders Award is given every year co-hosted by ‘Open Arms Educational and Charitable Trust. Khan is one of the trustees and main organizers of the event.

Rotarians donated 15 tricycle vans for the poor.

A recipient of the van was Johan Sipai, a daily wage laborer and a member of the Ragabpur Catholic parish. I am sure my life will change for better and I shall work hard to earn my living and education my two children,” he said while accepting the van.

In the past 15 years, Father Jothi has helped form five strong women’s movements at the block level, which have applied for NGO registration numbers.

Their members are rural Dalit and Adivasi women who have become a formidable force at the grassroots. Their self-help groups and federations have become independent and empowered movements at the block level.
They network with the state and national Right To Food Campaign, Right to Work Campaign and other movements at the local level.

Udayani, the social service wing of the Kolkata Jesuits, coordinates these movements.

Jesuit Father John Kerketta, a former assistant in Udayani, has now taken over as the new director while Father Jothi functions as the secretary.

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