Category Archives: News & Events








Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ


Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, SJ of Gandhinagar released a unique book entitled “Youth Leadership Development Programme ‘Education Plus’” here in Jai Chemical-Xavier Research Hall, St. Xavier’s College Campus on July 6, 2011. The book is the outcome of a joint venture of St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

In a power-point presentation the coordinator of ‘Jagrat’ programme Fr. (Dr.) Lancy D’Cruz, SJ explained that in 1980 St. Xavier’s College changed its admission policy and began to give more admissions to students from disadvantaged backgrounds like the tribals and from backward classes. Soon the College realized that it is not enough to give such students admission but they needed accompaniment. So in 1986-87 St. Xavier’s College started ‘Jagrat’ activities with remedial programmes to give extra care to these students to develop their self-confidence and leadership qualities. Jagrat activities also called for empowering the staff personnel. So a three-day workshop was organized for the faculty members at IRMA, a management institute for rural leadership training.

“Over the last few years St. Xavier’s College in active collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) designed and documented Jagrat activities. The result is the book Youth Leadership Development Programme ‘Education Plus’,” said Fr. D’Cruz. He said that the book can be used by any institution of learning to empower their students coming from disadvantaged families and communities.

The programme put conscious emphasis on learning through creative methodologies. The focus of the programme has been to ensure that the students are not alienated from their home and community background. On the contrary, the programme helped the students to contribute to the betterment of their communities with their newly acquired knowledge and skills. Fr. Lancy D’Cruz concluded the power-point presentation saying that many students opted for studying MSW (Management in Social Works) instead of pursuing PTC or Bed studies.

Speaking as the Chief Guest, the Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Jose Changanacherry recalled his association with St. Xavier’s College as a student and later a science professor and vice principal of the College. He expressed his wish that not only the students and staff personnel of the College but also many others would use the book for youth leadership development activities.

“Whatever you do, do it better and more”, advised Fr. Changanacherry recalling the Ignatian maxim ‘Magis’. The Jesuit Provincial asked the students to aim excellence and relevance in all their studies and other activities. Quoting former President of India Dr. A. P J. Abdul Kalam, Fr. Changanacherry said that the role of education is to ignite the minds of boys and girls.

Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes in his speech recalled that he was in the College four years back for the inauguration of ‘Jagrat’ programme. “We have come a long way and the partnership between St. Xavier’s College and CRS is a model for all of us,” said the Archbishop. He emphasized the importance of accompanying the students and people leading them to spiritual renaissance. He called for empowering oneself and one’s community and neighbourhood.

The Archbishop expressed the hope that the ideas and activities contained in the book would benefit not only the university level students but also the children in schools.

Speaking on the occasion a faculty member Ishwar Mehra narrated his own transforming experience in the leadership development workshops and visiting students and staying in their houses in remote interior tribal villages. “CRS gave us new skills and we were able to put into practice what we have learned. My attitude and approach to the students changed drastically after visiting and staying in the houses our students,” acknowledged Prof. Mehra.

A student representative also spoke in the function and said that his life was formed by ‘Jagrat’ activities. “I have gained confidence in myself and in my abilities and have developed my leadership qualities,” he said.

The function started with a prayer dance. Then, the Principal of the College Dr. Vincent Braganza, SJ welcomed the Archbishop Fernandes, the Chief Guest, Fr. Changanacherry and other special invitees and the large member of students to the book releasing function.

The tribal students made the programme very interesting with an energetic tribal dance.

The double crown-size book is hard bound and has 144 pages including 8 pages of colour photos of showing activities, meetings, workshops and of exposure programmes. The book in the Self-Help Category is divided into 3 sections, and 7 Modules with 6 Annexes.


 Fr. Raymund Chauhan, SJ (Right) with King Suryavanshi Dhanarajsinh Chandrasinh

 A veteran missionary in Dangs District Fr. Anthony Mailadumpara (Left)

meets two visitors Fr. Shekha



Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ

SHAMGAHAN (Dangs Dist) – (SAR News)

King Suryavanshi Dhanarajsinh Chandrasinh, one of the five kings of Dangs District released Dangi Bhashanu Vyakaran (Grammar of Dangi Language) in a special function held in the premises St. Xavier’s School here at Shamgahan on June 26, 2011. More than 1000 people attended the function including 400 boys and girls of the school.

“It was not a mere book releasing function but a celebration of Dangi life and culture” said Fr. Shekhar Manickam, SJ who traveled from Ahmedabad to attend the function together with his Assistant and a veteran Missionary of 24 years in Dangs and in South Gujarat Fr. Ashok Macwan, SJ. With plenty of music and dances Fr. Macwan qualified the book releasing function as “Dangi cultural festival”.

The book dedication function started with welcoming chief guests with Dangi dance and music and with the inauguration of an exhibition “Dangi cultural life” by King Suryavanshi Dhanarajsinh Chandrasinh of Vasurna. The King of Pimpri, Tirmakrao Sahebrav Pawar and the King of Gavdi, Suryavanshi Kiransinh also visited the exhibition and attended the function.

The Collector of Dangs District P. K. Solanki could not come to inaugurate the exhibition and attend the function due to ill-health.

A number of leaders from Dangs spoke on the occasion appreciating Fr. Raymund Chauhan’s Herculean task of writing and publishing Dangi Language Grammar – a bulky volume of 560 pages plus 32 pages multi-colour photos.

“This book-releasing function is a historical event. We dedicate it not only to Dangi people but to the whole Gujarat,” said Fr. Ishwan Gamit, the Superior and Manager of St. Xavier’s School.

Fr. Gamit said that Fr. Chauhan’s scholarly work of writing the Dangi Language Grammar is very much in the tradition of Jesuit missionaries who have pioneered in learning new local languages and producing scholarly works like the Belgian missionary Fr. Camil Bulke whose thesis on Ramayana has become text book in colleges and universities in North India and like the German missionary Fr. John-Baptist Hoffmann who wrote encyclopedia Mundarica (16 volumes) and Mundari Grammar.

Fr. Gamit said that Dangi is a rich spoken language but without much written literature. Writing in Dangi language started only 3 decades back with parts and then the whole New Testament published in Dangi. He appreciated Fr. Chauhan for working in South Gujarat for the last 25 years and writing 8 books in Gamit including Gamit Language Grammar before venturing into Dangi and producing Dangi Language Grammar.

Dahyabhai Vadu in his speech said that when a language is lost everything is lost. He thanked Fr. Raymund Chauhan, a non-Dangi for his meticulous work in writing Dangi Language Grammar. “It is a great achievement for Dangi language and culture”, he said.

Girish Chaudhari in his speech appreciated Fr. Chauhan’s Herculean task in writing the Dangi Language Grammar. “Through the book Fr. Chauhan has preserved our culture” he said. He ended his speech reciting a poem written by him on youth. Through the poem he said that God has blessed Dangi youth with everything and they should make the best of it with good education.

Speaking in the occasion a teacher and principal of a government primary school at Shamgahan Mr. Gulab Saheb said that through Dangi Language Grammar Fr. Chauhan has put Dangi at the level of world languages. He said that pioneer Jesuit missionary Fathers and Sisters like Fr Jose-Maria Navarro have brought revolutionary changes in Dangs district through their education and other services. “When missionaries go to a village people flock to them, while government officials visit, they have to gather the people with much effort and difficulty,” Principal Gulab said.

Prof. Anand Vasava of Gujarat University and the Editor of “Adilok”, a tribal magazine spoke about the tribal languages of South Gujarat in the context of Dangi Language Grammar. Quoting Fr. Carlos Valles he said, “If a language is lost then the whole culture is lost with it.” He said that the tribal people who form 15% of Gujarat population should love their languages. “Some people may say that the effort of the missionaries to promote the language and culture of tribal people is another way of religious conversion. Culture is our mother and those who promote culture are welcome as they truly serve us”, Vasava said. He said that he dreamed that Fr. Chauhan now would study Vasavi (another tribal language) and produce a Vasavi Language Grammar.

Speaking briefly the two veteran Jesuit missionaries in the Dangs Fr. Raphael Chakkumpidy and Fr. Anthony Mailadumparayil appreciated greatly the hard and dedicated works of Fr. Chauhan. Then, Fr. Anthony Mailadumparayil said a beautiful concluding prayer of blessing. The audience appreciated that both the missionaries spoke in good Dangi language.

Speaking at the end, the author of Dangi Language Grammar Fr. Raymund Chauhan, SJ thanked profusely the Dangi kings, invited guests, the organizers of the function, the artists and all the participants in the function.

Students of St. Xavier’s School and Dangi artists made the whole programme a cultural festival with their dances and music in between the speeches. A special attraction was the musical story of Dangi Language Grammar and its author Fr. Raymund Chauhan by Bagubhai Gamit with a tribal musical instrument “Talisar”.

Prof. Hemalata Jivanbhai Konkani compeered the whole programme with competence.

આઈકન સાયન્ટીફીક

જુલાઈ ૦૨, ૨૦૧૧: ડો.મનીષ વાલેસ (મેડીકલ ઓફિસર, ચિખોદરા) તથા ડો.કલ્પના વાલેસની સુપુત્રી ચિ.કિનિશાએ આઈ.આઈ.ટી., મુંબઈ ખાતે યોજાયેલ આઈકન સાયન્ટીફીકની સ્પર્ધાત્મક પરીક્ષામાં ભાગ લીધો હતો. આણંદ ખાતે સીલેક્શન સ્પર્ધા રાખવામાં આવી હતી જેમાં કિનિશાની પસંદગી થઈ હતી અને મુંબઈ ગઈ હતી. તેણે બનાવેલ સબમરીનનો પ્રોજેક્ટ આઈકોન સાયન્ટીફીકના ફ્રેન્ચાઈઝ શરદભાઈ તથા કિંજલબેનને ખૂબ પસંદ પડ્યો હતો. સ્પર્ધામાં દેશભરમાંથી સ્પર્ધકો આવ્યા હતા. મુંબઈ જવા આવવા સ્પર્ધકોને તથા તેમના વાલીઓને ટ્રેનના પ્રવાસની સુવિધા પૂરી પાડવામાં આવી હતી તથા ઊચ્ચ કક્ષાની હોટેલમાં તેમને ઉતારો આપવામાં આવ્યો હતો.


સ્પર્ધામાં પ્રથમ નંબરે આવનારને અમેરિકા ખાતે નાસાનો પ્રવાસ જ્યારે બીજા નંબરે આવનારને રૂ. ૧૦૦૦ નું ગીફ્ટ વાઉચર તથા ટ્રોફી એનાયત કરવામાં આવી હતી. ચિ. કિનિશાને દ્વિતીય ઈનામ પ્રાપ્ત થયું હતું. કિનિશાને તેના અભ્યાસ સાથે સાથે નૃત્યનો શોખ છે જેમાં હવે મુંબઈની સ્પર્ધામાં મળેલી સફળતાને લીધે સાયન્સ તથા ટેકનોલોજીમાં પણ રસ જાગ્યો છે. ચિ. કિનિશાને તથા તેને પ્રોત્સાહન અપનાર તેનાં માતા-પિતાને આપણાં હાર્દિક અભિનંદન !

(પ્રેષક: ફાધર વિલિયમ)