The Telugu Regional conclave of the CSI-DISHA took place at Henry Martyn Institute International Centre for Interfaith Research, Relations and Reconciliation, Hyderabad on 6th & 7th February 2018. Ninety Participants from Telugu Region specially the diocesan institutions - St. Luke School for the Blind, (Nandyal diocese), Prema Nivas Home and School, Vijayawada, (Krishna Godavari diocese), St. Marys polio home Khammam, (Dornakal diocese), CSI Hendry Pendry School for Deaf, Armoor, (Medak Diocese) and from a village in which most people suffer from Disability (Karimnagar Diocese). Students from Andhra Christian Theological College, and Muslim Women and Children from the HMI project areas participated in the conclave.
Rev. Dr. Packiam T. Samuel, Director HMI, Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director CSI – SEVA, Ms. Corrie van der Ven (PCN-KIA), Program Manager Religion & Development Act Alliance, took part in the Inauguration of the conclave.
The two days worship was led by the participants and facilitated by HMI and CSI SEVA Staff. The worship had reflections on disability from the Holy Quran, Srimad Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible.
Mr. Srinivasulu, Founder president, Network of PwD Organizations (NPdO) inaugurated the conclave and provided input on “The Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016”. Participants learnt many things and became aware of the rights and entitlements of PwDs.
Participants worked on the parameters for a Disability Audit to assess the disability awareness and inclusion level in churches and various disability ministries of the CSI. Group work on Disability Audit covered topics such as Accessibility, Appropriate Terminology, Participation, Leadership and Equipment in church, events, hospital, education, social projects and families.
Participants studied the Bible in groups based on the passages below;
Mark 7: 31-37, John 9:18-25, Genesis 1:26-31. They focused on the Challenges faced in understanding these texts from the perspective of Persons with disabilities with regard to God, Creation, Healing, Rights and dignity of Persons with Disabilities.
This conclave is part of the CSI –DISHA program of the CSI – SEVA. The CSI Disability Intervention in Solidarity and Holistic Accompaniment (DISHA) focuses on Accessibility, Theological Discourses and Networking. The Conclave was facilitated by Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director CSI – SEVA, assisted by Rev. Dr. Bethel Krupa Victor, Assistant Professor- UTC, Rev. Yonathan Malipogu, Assistant Professor – ACTC, Mr. Halin J. Dev, Program Executive CSI BCC, Mrs. Jessica Richard, Coordinator, Campaigns CSI – SEVA, and Ms. Merlin Jochebeth, Program Executive CSI – SEVA.
Our special thanks to Rev. Dr. PackiamT. Samuel, Director HMI, and the staff of HMI particularly Ms. Sribala, Ms. Jahan Ara and Ms. Jalaja for the arrangements and assistance during the meeting.