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India: Parish Priest helps tribal youth graduate in IT engineering

Father Christopher with the three students during their graduation from St. Joseph College of Engineering, Chennai, South India.

Father Christopher, the parish priest of the Holy Family Church, encouraged and funded three young people from the village of Basuvanapuram in south India to pursue graduation in Engineering college.

The priest said that this project was started not only to give education to village youth but also to liberate them from caste-based discrimination. It is also a way to save their families from poverty.

Many tribal families are poor and not able to educate their children beyond basic school. that the tribal group got justice.

"Justice must be done, and all the people should be treated equally without discrimination," said the priest.

Miss Malathi (22), Gokul Vishanth (22), and Malini M. (22) are three young women who were supported by the priest and graduated from St. Joseph College of Engineering in Chennai, South India, with bachelor's degrees in information technology.

One of these students, Miss Malathi, talked about how Father Christopher encouraged her and her companions to pursue further studies.

"After finishing higher secondary school, we didn't know what to do, and Father Christopher called and talked with us about going to college; our parents, however, said that Father already helped us finish school and that's enough, so go to work and take care of the family," she told RVA News.

Malathi also said that it is the priest's efforts, which persuaded her parents to send her to school.

"Father (Christopher) convinced our parents and promised them that he would help us graduate," she said.

"We faced a lot of difficulties to keep up with the academics and other things since we came from a tribal background, but we pursued our studies thinking of the generosity of the priest,” she added.

Father Christopher's total commitment to helping them study included paying their college fees, hostel fees, books, materials, and housing costs so that the student's parents don't have to worry about money as much.

"So that we would not be a burden to our family members and we could concentrate more on our education," she said.

Father Christopher is a diocesan priest serving the tribal village of Basuvanapuram in Ooty in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nādu in South India.

- Johnson, SdC, Tamil language service


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