Environmental Justice: Issues and Challenges (July 5-7, 2016)
The National consultation on “Environmental Justice: Issues and Challenges” was held at Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore during 5-7, July, 2016. Rev. Sudhakar Joshua, the Deputy Director of ECC inaugurate the consultation. Prof. Dr. Rajan Varghese, a founding Director and Principal of the Marthoma College of Management and Technology delivered the keynote address. He expounded the theme from various perspectives and clarified some of the traditional approaches which lead to the destruction of Environment.
Dr. Beulah Herbert Samuel took the first session on Women and Environmental Justice. She emphasised human stewardship towards Environment, affirmed the significance of Environmental Justice, and elucidated the impact of Environmental injustice on women. Rev. Christy Gnanadasan took a session on the Impact of Environmental Degradation on Dalits and Tribals. He clarified that human beings are not custodians of the environment but co-exist with nature. Dr. Rajan Varghese took a session on Global Equity and National Responsibility, in which he discussed the Global initiatives for Sustainable development and India’s share in the Millennium Goals. Fr. Jerry Kurian a prominent scholar in the field of communication took a session on Role of Media on Environmental Justice. After he deliberately discussed on the role of media on environmental justice, Fr. Jerry concluded the talk with a challenge that, not only media, every individual has a responsibility to educate and make people aware of this pertinent issue. Mr. Pravir Bragodia who took great initiatives for eco-friendly living took a session on Green Living. He displayed the ill effects and wide varieties of pollution on the environment. He summed up his lecture by advising all the participants to follow the golden rule of Green living which is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Rev. Dr. John Samuel took a session on Eco Linguistics. The participants were very much impressed by the presentation and the way how he explained the extinction of languages in the process of Ecological crisis. A session on Ecology: Some Challenges was taken by Very Rev. Dr. Cherian Thomas, the Director of ECC. Dr. Cherian explored the Earth centered interpretation of the Scripture, and encouraged participants to develop a bio-centric attitude to facilitate Environmental Justice. At the end the delegates were divided into four groups, and Dr. Cherian suggested them to discuss on the possibilities of implementing Environmental Justice at their own areas and level. They had come up with resolutions like, practicing eco-friendly way of living; educating the churches and general public on this pertinent issues by conducting more seminars and organizing various activies like rallies, essay writing competitions, painting, etc. The final session was on, Climate Change and Our Response by Prof. Dr. R. Rajagopalan. He brought out the facts and figures of Climate change during the centuries. His lecture focused on the change of inner consciousness of human beings as the remedy. Thereby, he urged all the participants to join the movements on Environmental Justice.
The consultation concluded in a solemn manner where the Director, Very Rev. Dr. Cherian Thomas after giving a concluding remarks called the delegates to stand and sing, “We Shall Overcome” in unison, which was followed by prayer and benediction.
Thangminlun VaipheiProgramme Executive, ECC