Fr. Cedric Prakash, (53 years) is a Jesuit Priest of the Gujarat Province committed  to the service of faith and the  promotion of human rights, justice,  peace and harmony. 

 

Currently,, Fr. Prakash is the Director of “Prashant” - a Centre for human rights, justice and peace, and is also the Coordinator of the Province Office for Integral Social Development (POISD) which coordinates the developmental, human rights,  justice and peace works of the Society of Jesus in Gujarat. 

 

For   fourteen   years (1987 – 2001)  Fr. Prakash  was the Director  of  St. Xavier’s Social Service Society, (SXSSS) - an organization working in the slums of Ahmedabad and in the rural areas of Gujarat State - through four inter-related approaches of education, health, organization and environment.  During this period,  he also started  SHANTI - an initiative to promote communal harmony and peace.

 

The Gujarat Education Society (of which he is one of the Trustees) promotes and supports the education for tribal, dalit and OBC children all over Gujarat.  The initiatives supported include Balwadis and Grihini Programmes for young girls. 

 

His other present responsibilities include, being the Director of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Baroda Diocese and the Secretary for Social Communications of the Western Region Catholic Bishops’ Council.  He is a Consultant for the Local Capacities for Peace Project out of Harvard University (US) and has just accepted a Summer Teaching Assignment at the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg (VA) US.

 

Fr. Prakash has graduated in Economics, Philosophy and Theology.  His expertise also includes studies on developmental issues.   He is associated with several organizations and networks nationally and internationally and also sits on the governing bodies of some of them like the Indo-Global Social Service Society (New Delhi).

 

Fr. Prakash is the recipient of several awards.  Among them, are :

 

·         Man of the Year Award by  St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, in 1972.

·        The Kabir Puraskar - an award by the President of India in 1995 - for promotion of Communal Peace and Harmony

·        The Anubhai Chimanlal Nagarika Puraskar - an award by the Mayor of Ahmedabad in 1996 -  for  contribution to the city of Ahmedabad

·        The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award – an award by the Indian Muslim Council

      (USA) in June 2003 -  for humanitarian work.

·        Fr. Parmananda Divarkar Award for Communication for Peace in January 2004 – for promoting dialogue for peace and inter-community harmony.

 

Fr. Prakash has travelled extensively both in India and abroad mainly on lecture tours and to participate in various conferences (including United Nation ones).

 

Some of his recent  involvements have been :

*  a paper on “The Impact of Globalization on Christian  Mission in India”, at the

    Research Seminar on ‘ The Church in India in the Emerging Third Millennium’

    (Bangalore, January 2005)

*  a Talk, “Challenges to our Formators” at a National Seminar organized by the

    International Association for Christian Social Teaching (Chennai, January 2005)

*  Valedictory Address at a Workshop on “Culture of Peace : Women’s Perspectives

    (Ahmedabad, January 2005)

*   Two bal vividha Programmes organized for more than 30,000 children jointly with

     Comet Media Foundation (Ahmedabad / Unai, February 2005)

*   A talk on “ Conflict and Peacebuilding ” at a National Workshop organized by

     OXFAM India  (Bombay March 2004)

 *   Keynote Address “Role of the Press in Promoting Justice and Peace Amidst Religious

     Pluralism at the National Convention of Christian Journalists (Goa, April 2005)

 

In   the  wake  of  the   Communal  Carnage   which  engulfed  Gujarat  from  February-end  2002,

Fr. Prakash has been actively involved in works related to communal harmony, justice and peace.  His Centre has been the hub of various activities, programmes, studies which has tried to respond to the violence.  Besides, he is part of a seventeen-member committee called ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’ which constituted the Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal whose findings have been put together in a voluminous report entitled “Crime Against Humanity”.

 

From 1968 to 1972, as a student,  Fr. Prakash was actively involved with the All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) working fulltime for more than a year from April 1972 onwards.  During this time, he was invited to some of the meetings of the CBCI Commissions including those of Education and Youth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                April 2005

 

 

“Prashant”

Post Box No. 4050, Navrangpura

Ahmedabad : 380 009

Gujarat (India)

Tele: (Off) 079 - 27449744, 27455913

(Fax) 079 -27489018, 26301362

Email :sjprashant@icenet.co.in