Mangalore, Jul 5: Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore felicitated MP Nalin Kumar Kateel on behalf of all the Christians and handed over a memorandum containing six important demands during the visit of the MP to Bishop’s House here on Friday July 4.
Speaking on the occasion, the MP said, “Agriculture in this part of the country continues to exist because of Christian community. I am happy about the fact that I had studied in an institution in Puttur run by Christians. I congratulate them for these contributions. I will definitely try my best towards ensuring that your demands are met.”
Demands contained in the memorandum are as under:
– As per reports, the central government has decided to draw an action plan to develop 100 selected urban areas in India into smart cities. Mangalore city has a large number of prestigious educational institutions, hospitals etc, and the city has also carved out a niche for itself at the international level. Hence, Mangalore should also be included as one among the 100 cities proposed to be developed as per the action plan stated above.
– The union government has been extending assistance to Muslims for undertaking pilgrimage to Mecca. Thousands of Christians undertake pilgrimage to holy centres like Israel, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. Therefore, the subsidy on the lines extended to Muslims should also be given to Christian pilgrims.
– When the BJP was heading the state government, a fund had been created exclusively for the progress of Christian community. The central government too is requested to start such a fund for the welfare of Christians.
– Proposed Niddodi thermal power project, which damages environment and has the potential to drive agricultural labourers to streets, should be shelved.
– There is a need to set up government projects which have the potential to provide jobs, in Dakshina Kannada district. At present, youngsters, after completing their education through a number of educational institutions operating here, are compelled to go to far off places in search of jobs. This has been adversely affecting the family system. Therefore, employment-generating projects need to come up here.
– Steps should be taken to protect Indians stranded in Iraq and facing peril because of volatile situation there.
Monsignor Denis Prabhu, public relations officer, Fr William Menezes, secretary of the parish council of Mangalore diocese, Melvin P Noronha, Fr Henry Sequeira, Fr Patric Rodrigues, Fr John Vas, Fr Francis Rodrigues, Raymond D’Cunha, Ranganath Kini, and several others were present on the occasion.