An Inaugural Programme for Peace Centre (NEISSR & Peace Channel) was held on 5th of August, 2022 at Peace Centre, Chúmoukedima. The Inaugural programme for Peace Centre started with a National Anthem followed by a word of blessing for the Peace Centre by Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima, invocatory prayer by Rev. Fr. Chacko Karithayal, Director of Rehabilitation Center, Chumoukedima and the lighting of the Harmony lamp by the Inter-Religious Leaders.
Dr. Fr. C.P Anto, Principal of NEISSR and Director of Peace Channel delivered his welcome address by acknowledging and welcoming the dignitaries, Bishops, Sisters, religious leaders, civil society leaders, academicians, Alumni, faculty and the students present in the programme. He said that it was a dream for the Catholic Churches to have a Peace Centre in Nagaland and now we are able to relieve those dreams because of the continuous and tremendous support and efforts of the people present in the programme. He concluded by stating that NEISSR will be a unique institute in the days to come and should stand out in mainstreaming peace building through Morungs and methods that promotes our rich culture. Likewise, NEISSR will train students to be peace promoters and stress more on skilling, job oriented and academic excellence.
A message was delivered by the chairman, Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima Nagaland where he highlighted on the importance and role of Peace Centre with its two wings NEISSR and Peace Channel. The centre would promote peace and harmony, dissemination of knowledge through seminars, workshops, and outreach programmes. He encouraged everyone to support Peace Education and promotes Peace in the society. He stated that “Peace is a gift of God” and lack of peace will affect the entire society.
Thereafter, a special song was presented by Ms. Tinailu followed by Felicitation to Shri. Jamal Siddiqqui, National President of Minority Front BJP, Peace Activist; Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil, SDB, Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Guwahati; Rev. Fr. Benny Varghese, President Diocesan Fraternity; Most Rev. Paul Mattekat, Bishop of Diphu, Assam; Prof. D. Gnanadurai (VC), Nagaland University; Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary, Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches (NBCC); Mr. Johnny Ruangmei, Present CAN, Joint CEO NSDMA, Home Dept., Govt. of Nagaland; Mr. James Mattam, Chief Executive Officer Vedic IAS Academy, Bangalore.
Guest of honor, Prof. Pardeshi Lal, Honorable Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University in his message expressed his gratitude to Dr. Fr. C. P. Anto and his team for undergoing continuous struggle to advocate for peace which has now come to a success in the form of a Peace Centre. He then stated that he visualizes Peace Centre to be a mission that is going to have its impact undiluted in the society in the future duration. And its significance will go on gaining more and more impact on the society where people capacitated and empowered to come forward for conflict resolution and to make peace in the society. In time to come through Peace Centre many young talents is going to be trained into an able leader who will help built a sense of “Sarva Dharma Sambhav” (equal respect for all regions) in the society and the whole world as a family called “Vasudhaiva”.
Following was the official launching of the Civil service training – Vedic Academy by Mr. James Mattam representing Vedic IAS Academy, Bangalore. During the launching, Mr. James Mattam stated that civil servants are the servants of the society, they do social service of the society. This being first time associating with the social service institute it is a unique opportunity to promote the best and dedicated civil servant for the country from the social sector. A civil servant should be a server with the capacity of all social services, hence, NEISSR students are eligible to serve the country in that perspective. In conclusion he motivated the NEISSR students to build the capacity, knowledge and skills required to be a civil servant and rescue the country.
Prof. Stephen P. Marks, Dean of School of Public Health and Human Development, O. P. Jindal University, Haryana was the chief guest for the occasion. Addressing the audience, Prof. Stephen stated that the creation of this Peace Centre is very special because there are very special needs in the northeast region. It is a region that has known conflict & that continues to know conflict, and is struggling to find its way towards peace and in doing so it is addressing the special needs of the indigenous people.
The establishment of peace centre among community that identify as indigenous people has not only an enriching feature to making this Peace Center successful in the region but also demonstrating to the world that what we have known for generation and failed to attain, it is the indigenous Knowledge that would have saved us from the climate catastrophe we are facing today. So the Peace center that draws among the wisdom and respect for the indigenous rights of the people is also a centre that can be a leader in introducing peace and responses to climate catastrophe that we are facing. This is an opportunity to draw upon the indigenous knowledge, to draw upon a lessons learn from the conflicts in the region and to train people of all ages, of all religion on how to work towards conflict transformation. This centre can also not only work with youth by training them to be individually committed to building peace but also help develop professionally through the civil service training.
In conclusion he expressed his interest in the continuation of the networking and of future collaboration between O. P. Jindal University and Peace Centre.
The inauguration concluded with vote of thanks delivered by Rev. Fr. Kokto Kurian, V. P. & Administrator, NEISSR following the benediction by Rev. Fr. Carlos Neisalhou Kuotsu (Vicar General)