Student Christian Movement Celebrates 100 Years in India
The year 2012 is being celebrated as the centenary year of the Student Christian Movement in India and to mark this day, a thanksgiving ceremony was held at Serampore in West Bengal. The oldest movement of student Christians started around a century back and since then the fellowship and discipline has brought about a remarkable influence on the students.
The service which was held on January 28 was attended by students, leaders and friends from various church communities from all over India. Dr. Ruth Manorama, who is a reputed social activist, delivered the centenary lecture to the public present for the ceremony. Dr. Ruth is also the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.
Also speaking on the occasion was Rev. Raj Bharat Patta, who is the chief of the organization, the SCMI. Speaking out his mind on the occasion, Rev. Raj Patta said that the SCMI had come a long way crossing several boundaries and milestones in the hundred year journey so far. He said that the movement had witnessed both pre and post independence experiences and had carried within it, the histories and movements of several of its students and followers.
Found in the year 1912, the SCMI came into being in Serampore, which is also the place from where the modern missionary movement started in India. The Student Christian Movement has had a remarkable effect on the student community inspiring the youth to follow Christ and his Gospels for the betterment of themselves and the society. Initially the movement had a humble start, but it gained momentum over the years by continuously contributing towards bringing about a spiritual awakening for the principals of love and justice as preached by Christ. The movement is affiliated to the World Student Christian Federation or the WSCF, which has more than 10,000 members from 19 states.
Rev. Patta was of the view that now at the helm of its centenary, the movement had a much broader and wider role to play. There were still several challenges that required to be dealt with. He emphasized on the need to go along with the times with better colleges and educational institutes that concentrated on career oriented courses. He was of the view that with increasing privatization of education, the changing lifestyle and the increasing discrimination were some of the challenges that they had to face.
The SCMI chairperson and a Syriac Orthodox bishop, Dr. Geevargheese Mor Coorilos gave the Presidential address at the service. He encouraged the students to participate in the ecumenical movement and take the teachings of Christ seriously. He also encouraged them to establish the social relevance of the Gospels so that more and more people could be liberated from the shackles of social injustice and other irregularities that still marred the Indian society.
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