By IJ Saldanha Shet, Mangalore
July 15, 2011: ‘Disha Bethany’ Sets Up Centre in Greater Noida for those Competing in Civil Services Exams – The formal inauguration of which took place on June 30,2011.
The Bethany Sisters have taken a novel approach to tackle the challenges of Indian realities and fight the formidable challenges of corruption, communalism and degrading poverty.
These Bethany sisters have several provinces in India and their Northern Province, has opened a Study Centre at Disha Bethany in Greater Noida in the NCR, Delhi, to help train women and men aspiring to compete in the civil service exams ( For IAS,IFS,IPS…..)
The aspirants will get the coaching in professional centres in Delhi and the Bethany nuns have arranged residential facilities and a Study Centre to provide them a conducive environment with a library and computer facilities. KNEUS has set up separate hostel facilities for men. Already there are three women and seven men studying for the next round of the competitive exams.
It was a moving experience to listen to the dreams of young women and men - Gloria, Mary, Stella, Lancy, Ejoy, Josephine Sebastian, Ashanz Vincent, Kulkant, Pavan and Selestine hailing from the states of Arunachal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Karnataka , Kerala and so on.
In the light of the principles enunciated by the Bethany Founder ‘Servant of God’ Msgr.Raymond F C Mascarenhas of Mangalore (1875-1960) now on the path to sainthood in the church. This great man and the four pioneers, were beacons of light to focus on education in Kanara in the early 20th century when there was little scope for getting a good education in the country. To spread education he founded the Mangalore based indigenous order of NUNS called ‘ BETHANY SISTERS’ (BS). Today, the Bethany Congregation is a model of high religious standards and learning and has spread over India and parts of the world. Made up near 1,400 nuns, 170 communities in 48 diocese in India and 9 diocese abroad. The nuns render yeoman service in women’s welfare, health care, geriatric care, and so on - in particular education.
“Empowering young people, especially young women fired with vision and values of Jesus Christ, and His teaching to serve humanity and the country through Civil Services is a response of Bethany to the signs of our times,” said Sr Maria Leena, Provincial Superior, Northern Province at the inauguration of the Study Centre at Disha Bethany, on June 30, 2011.
Archbishop Albert D’ Souza, Archbishop of Agra and Secretary General of CBCI, presided over the inaugural Eucharist. He underscored the need for a new kind of leadership capable of swimming against the currents to deal with the formidable challenges of corruption, communalism and degrading poverty and congratulated the Bethany Sisters on taking up this project.
He called on the young students to shine brightly with the inner light of the Divine Spirit that does not get extinguished by external storms and to be committed leaders to fight corruption, communalism and other dark forces that cripple life of the common man. “Beginning is hard but beginning must happen,” he said appreciating the new initiative taken by Bethany Sisters in the North as a part of their silver jubilee project.
Introducing the significance of the day, former Superior General of Bethany Sisters Sr Jyoti recalled the passionate commitment of the Servant of God, Mgr Raymond FC Mascarenhas, Founder of Bethany to the realization of the Kingdom manifesto - to bring good news to the poor and to liberate the captives...(cf. Lk 4: 18-19).
Mr Jojo Mathew, Director, Alternative Learning System, in his message expressed his willingness to work with the leadership of the Church in the formation of the Youth for civil services. “I am ready to share my expertise and resources to train the youth with required skills, provided they work hard, and are willing to follow the guidance given. You need to have patience and give me sufficient time to see positive results provided the students are well motivated to persevere in their efforts,” he asserted with confidence. He offered to subsidize the costs for Disha Bethany students as part of his commitment to the cause.
Sr Zelie also acknowledged gratefully the support and guidance given by Archbishop Albert D’souza, the Bishops of UP, sevaral key people who made the project possible; as also Bethany Superior General Sr Wilberta, Provincial Superior Sr Maria Leena, Mr Jojo Mathew, Director, Alternative Learning System (ALS) and Mr KP Fabian IFS (Rtd), former Ambassador to the Vatican and many more who contribute.
Focus on Civil Services and the Formation of youth for Civil Services is a new response of Bethany in the context of Indian realities to meet the new challenges according to the signs of our times. For the last 90 years (1921 -2011) Bethany Sisters have initiated projects to empower the marginalized groups i.e. dalit, tribal, women and children of rural areas and urban slums through education, community development, entrepreneurship and pioneered a wide range of welfare activities for the people of India.
Disha Bethany, HS 11/ B - 1, Delta II, Greater Noida(NCR), Uttar Pradesh -201 308
Website:www.bethanydisha.org, Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org