By Purushottam Nayak
New Delhi, October 9, 2019: Ten tribal and dalit girls from various parts of India were honored for their academic excellence at a recent function in the national capital.
The awards have been hailed as a novel and unique move by the Catholic Church in India to reach out and encourage the less fortunate girl children, Sister Talisha Nadukudiyil, national secretary for the Council for Women under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said at the October 6 award ceremony.
According to the Sisters of Destitute nun, the move will bring to the limelight those blessed with intellectual acuity to reach the high spectrum of life.
The selection of the awardees was made on the basis of their outstanding performance in studies, despite their financial, cultural and geographical hedges, the nun explained.
This is the second year the award program was organized by the women council in collaboration with the CBCI Offices for Dalit and Tribal Affairs.
The students this year came from Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Telangana, and West Bengal. Eight girls are national toppers while the rest are state toppers in various examination boards.
“We congratulate all of you dear students for your excellency. You stand as role models for your communities and for the girls of this nation,” said Benita Mary Jaiker, an officer of the Indian Police Service who was the chief guest of the program.
She urged the students to remain honest and continue to keep faith and trust in God.
Sister Nadukudiyil noted that the girls excelled not because they got everything they wanted, but because of their determination to overcome all obstacles.
The organizers provided them an opportunity to come to Delhi to attend the award function and go for sightseeing.
The children were overwhelmed with joy as they received the awards in the presence of their parents and a large gathering of Christian women from the national capital.
The parents were also moved to tears of joy as the Church honored and recognized their children.
“I am extremely happy and grateful to CBCI for Women’s Council for recognizing me in the national level,” said Milli Kolipaka, a dalit student, who secured 98 percent marks in the Central Board of Secondary Examination from Warangal diocese of Telangana state.
Her father Shamkar Kolipaka said he was proud of his daughter “whom God has blessed abundantly.”