Friday, August 27, 2010

Mother Teresa and I





Mother Teresa and I

- Fr. Cedric Prakash sj *


Like many others, the world over, I have had the privilege to interact closely with Mother Teresa on several occasions.  Each time I was simply overwhelmed by this amazing woman! 


As I reflect on her many characteristics, what struck me most are:


·        Her Compassion

Mother Teresa was compassion personified. She had the extraordinary gift of touching almost anyone with her heart; from the dying man on the street to the President of a powerful country.  Her love was contagious and over the years, she succeeded in opening many doors with this one key.


·        Her Candour

Mother was honest to the core, to the discomfort of many!  She had no hesitation in calling 'a spade, a spade'.  She was transparent and did not hide the fact that she was able to serve the poorest of the poor only because she loved Jesus and saw him in them.


·        Her Courage

Mother Teresa demonstrated a tremendous courage in whatever she did. She feared only God and not any human.  She was convinced that what she and her Sisters were doing was very much needed. She was ready to face any amount of obstacles to ensure that the dying, the orphan, the unloved and the rejected had a home to go to.


·        Her Commitment

What Mother has surely shown each one of us is the importance for commitment in order to make our world a better place.  Her unflagging commitment to the poorest of the poor has been her hallmark all along.  Her Missionaries of Charity continue this legacy today.


As we celebrate the memory of this great Saint on her Centenary, a fitting tribute to her would be to try to emulate at least a tiny bit of the characteristics she radiated while on this earth.






(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)

25th August, 2010



Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad – 380 052

Phone: 79   27455913, 66522333
Fax: 79  27489018


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Prayer for the Millennium Goals


Prayer for the Millennium Goals


In a world where so many go hungry,

        Let us make the fruits of Creation available for all.

In a world where one billion of our brothers and sisters do not have safe drinking water,

        Let us help the waters run clear.

In a world where so many children die so young,

        And so many mothers die in childbirth,

        And so many families are ravaged by disease,

        Let us bring health and healing.

In a world where women carry such heavy burdens,

        Let us recognize and restore the rights of all.

Let us join together, with a new sense of global community,

A new awareness of our need for one another

And for this fragile planet,

To meet the clear challenges of the Millennium Goals,

To bring hope as substantial as bread,

To make human dignity as visible as wheat in the fields.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Article - "Freedom"- From What? - by Fr. Cedric Prakash sj (August 15th 2010)



-         Fr. Cedric Prakash*


The little slum child thrust her hand into my stationary vehicle, at the signal stop, clutching a dozen or so plastic tricolours; "buy one" she begged, "for Rs.5.00 and if you pay Rs.10.00, I will give you three".


The irony and the tragedy of the situation could not be lost! This little girl, not more than ten years, should have been in school.  And here she was desperate to earn some money and perhaps help supplement the meagre earnings of her family.  What does the Right to Education mean to her and to perhaps millions of other children all over the country who really have no access to any kind of education?  Is she a beneficiary of the 'Save the Girl Child Campaign' or one of the 'Garib Kalyan Melas' on which the Government spends so much merely on publicity and fanfare?  How about the laws for the Prevention of Child Labour – is there a political will to ensure its implementation? These and many other questions hit me simultaneously.


The reality becomes even more frightening as one is caught in the whirlwind of what is happening all around: scams, scandals, insecurity, and violence. For the little girl out there, the corruption in the run-up to the Common Wealth Games might mean nothing and she might not be aware that tonnes of food grains are rotting in several parts of the country and providing a feast for the rodents. The fact is that the grain which is being allowed to rot is rightfully hers. A recent directive of the Supreme Court has ordered this. Perhaps this little girl is related to one of those, who get into our gutters to clean them. An in-depth study highlights the fact that forty-one sewerage workers in the last four years have lost their lives in the sewers of urban Gujarat.


As for the plastic tri-colors, she desperately wants to sell, she is blissfully unaware that plastics, such as these, are not permissible in many parts of the world and also in some parts of India. All she wants to do is to earn a few bucks as she tries to capitalize on my sense of 'patriotism'.


Patriotism? For what? Does mere flag- waving ensure 'freedom'?


I hesitate once again as she begs a final time. Her freedom has been bought several times over. Should I attempt to buy it-once again? The signal turns green…She quickly runs to the side of the road…


(*Fr. Cedric Prakash sj is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)

PRASHANT   (A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052

Phone:   27455913,  66522333  Fax :   27489018