Archbishop with KRCBC meets the Chief Minister
14th September 2017: Mr Siddaramaiah, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka made his personal visit to the Archbishop house, Millers Road Bangalore, on Friday 14th of September 2017, at 7.30 pm and met Archbishop Bernard Moras and nine Bishops of Karnataka. The following Bishops were present: Most Rev Gerald Issac Lobo from Udupi Diocese, Most Rev Francis Serrao from Shimoga Diocese, Most Rev Derek Fernandes from Karwara, Most Rev Michael Miranda from Kulaburgi, Most Rev. Thomasappa Anthony Swamy from Chikkamangaluru, Most Rev Henry D’ Souza from Bellary, Most Rev William from Mysore Diocese, Most Rev Lawrance Mukkuzhy from Belthangady Diocese, Most Rev Mar Joseph Aruma Chadath from Bhadravathi Diocese, Mgr Joseph Jayanathan, the Vicar General, Fr Anthony Swamy, the Chancellor and PRO, Fr Lourduswamy, Fr Sebastian Fernandes, Director KROSS and Fr Eugene Lobo SJ, PRO were also present. Hon’ble Education Minister Mr Tanvir Sait, Hon’ble Minister K J George, Mr Ivan D Souza, MLC were also present.
At the Outset Mr Siddaramaiah greeted the Archbishop with a bouquet of Flowers and adorned him with a shawl wishing him a wonderful evening. The Archbishop in turn honoured the Chief Minister with a bouquet of Flowers and a shawl. Then he greeted all the dignitaries present with flowers and welcomed them to the Residence. While welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries, the Archbishop introduced each of the Bishops and persons present and explained how happy he was to have the chief Minister at his residence. He congratulated the CM for the wonderful work he has been doing towards development and progress of the state and said that we are happy to have him as the head of the State wishing further success in his work. He made a special mention of his support to minorities and particularly for rejecting the Somashekar Commission report regarding the church attacks and withdrawing all cases against the youth falsely implicated during the 2008 church attacks. He wished every success in his work and good results in the forthcoming elections.
Mgr Jayanathan then read out the memorandum on behalf of the Archbishop and KRCBC to be presented to the Hon’ble chief Minister. He specifically mentioned of the work done by Christian community in the field of Education, health and social welfare.
Education: The credit of the promotion of education in Karnataka goes to the Christian Church in Karnataka. The Church, wherever established a mission centre, also ensured that it started education and other service-related institutions. It is said that more than 60% of the educational services in Karnataka is rendered by the Christian churches, through its deemed Universities and Autonomous Colleges, First Grade and Post-Graduation Colleges, Pre-University Colleges, Educational Training Institutions, Medical Colleges, Engineering Colleges, Technical Institutions, High Schools, countless Primary Schools in remote places, Nursery Schools, etc.
Health Service: The Christian Church, through hospitals, dispensaries, health centers, mobile clinics, etc., has gone to the remotest villages in Karnataka to reach out the medical facilities to the people who otherwise would have no access to healthcare facilities. especially accessible to the poor and backward people.
Socio-Economic Developmental Initiatives: The Christian Church in Karnataka has promoted literacy, empowerment of women through SHGs, organization and eradication of child-labourers, skill development through vocational and technical training, scholarship to poor children for education.
The Christian Church is also in a big way responds during the situation of calamities through rescue, relief and rehabilitation work for all the affected people irrespective of their religious affiliation, especially during the situations of drought and floods.
Respected Sir, although the Government has allotted Rs. 175 crores for the Christian Welfare Funds, it is a yeoman’s task for the community members to obtain these benefits as innumerable problems they face. The officials at the minority Commission offices, at the district as well as State level, are from one community, and they are not at all cooperative or sympathetic to the Christians. The Christian Minority Welfare Council also is not a Statutory Body. The problems of Christian community cannot be solved unless the Government takes a bold step of establishing a Christian Minority Corporation or a Christian Minority Desk. Hence, we request the Government under your able leadership to establish a Christian Minority Corporation / Desk, as it is done in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Christians are to be declared under category III as a backward community: It is unfortunate that Christians, although most of them are from poor economic back ground, are placed in the general category when it comes to job reservation. Just because the Christian community runs some of the well-known and reputed educational and health institutions, it does not mean the community is a forward community and the people are economically well off. It is sad to state that 85% of our Christian Community are poor and live below-poverty-line (BPL). We earnestly request the Government of Karnataka to declare the Christians as a backward community.
The converted Christians: We appeal to you to offer specific reservations for them and to put them under category I – B. We wish to bring to your kind notice that they are always denied this certificate as converted Christians. It is our humble request to you to issue an appropriate G.O. to all the District Commissioners so that this certificate is issued to all the applicants under this category by the Tahsildars in every Taluka Offices, without any harassment or delay.
The Chief Minister in his reply mentioned of the contribution made by the Christians and he would positively consider all the points presented in the memorandum along with the Education Minister who was personally present there. He said most of the points are concerning education and he will positively do them. He asked the Bishops to encourage people to register themselves in the voters list and ask them to vote without fail. He appreciated all the work done by Christian missionaries and their support he has received.
The Archbishop thanked the Chief Minister for the good work. Fr Eugene Lobo proposed the vote of thanks, The CM and his team teft the Archbishop’s House at 8.35 pm.