Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. X I No. 3 Bulletin July-September 2008
News Update | Articles | Researchers
New Arrivals | Mails & Emails
Millennium Development Goals
GOAL 1: ERADICATE EXTREME
POVERTY & HUNGER
Reduce by half the
proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
Achieve full and productive
employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
Reduce by half the
proportion of people who suffer from hunger
GOAL 2: ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL
GOAL 3: PROMOTE GENDER
EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN
GOAL 4: REDUCE CHILD
GOAL 5: IMPROVE MATERNAL
GOAL 6: COMBAT HIV/AIDS,
MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES
Halt and begin to reverse
the spread of HIV/AIDS
Achieve, by 2010, universal
access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
Have halted and begun to
reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
GOAL 7: ENSURE
Integrate the principles of
sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the
loss of environmental resources.
Reduce biodiversity loss,
achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
Halve the proportion of the
population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic
Improve the lives of at
least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020
GOAL 8: DEVELOP A GLOBAL
PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT
Address the special needs
of least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island
Develop further an open,
rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
Deal comprehensively with
developing countries’ debt
In cooperation with
developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and
productive work for youth
In cooperation with
pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in
In cooperation with the
private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially
information and communications
The Millennium Development
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from halving extreme
poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary
education, all by the target date of 2015, form a blueprint agreed to by all the
countries of the world and all the leading development institutions.'
The MDGs represent a global partnership that has grown from the commitments and
targets established at the world summits of the 1990s. Responding to the world's
main development challenges and to the calls of civil society, the MDGs promote
poverty reduction, education, maternal health, gender equality, and aim at
combating child mortality, AIDS and other diseases.
Set for the year 2015, the MDGs are an agreed set of goals that can be achieved
if all actors work together and do their part. Poor countries have pledged to
govern better, and invest in their people through health care and education.
Rich countries have pledged to support them, through aid, debt relief, and
World leaders will come together in New York on 25 September 2008 for a
high-level event to renew their commitment to achieving the Millennium
Development Goals by 2015 and to set out concrete plans and practical steps for
"The MDGs are still achievable if we act now. This will require inclusive sound
governance, increased public investment, economic growth, enhanced productive
capacity, and the creation of decent work." UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.
End poverty by 2015
This is the historic promise 189 world leaders made at the United Nations
Millennium Summit in 2000 when they agreed to meet the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). The United Nations Millennium Campaign supports and inspires
people from around the world to take action in support of the Millennium
The MDGs will not be achieved unless each of us plays our part to make sure that
the promises made are delivered. It is up to us to remind our governments, in
both rich and poor countries that we expect them to deliver. No more excuses.
Join the growing global movement of people who are demanding that their
government honor their commitments to achieve the MDGs by 2015. Rich or poor,
young or old, man or woman, your voice counts.
Nearly 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day—yet the world has never
been so prosperous. The world has enough money, resources and technology to end
poverty forever. 2007 marks the halfway point to achieving the MDGs and at this
rate many Goals will not be met. It is more urgent than ever that we intensify
our efforts to demand that promises made to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals and end poverty are kept.
The Millennium Development Goals are a unique opportunity to finally end
poverty. For the first time, commitments have been made at the highest political
level to see these Goals achieved and end extreme poverty. The Goals are
achievable; they have timelines and deadlines; they are locally defined and
measurable. For the first time, there is an agreed global compact in which rich
and poor countries recognize that they share the responsibility to end poverty
and its root causes. But only if governments take urgent and concrete action
Poverty continues to prevail in the world. According to Asian Development Bank,
1.5 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region still live on less than two U.S.
dollars a day.
In recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has experienced sustained high growth
rates, with average economic growth of about 6 percent per year. However, around
600 million people in the region are surviving on less than one dollar a day.
Non-income poverty is proving to be persistent, as evidenced by the millions of
children who still live in hunger, as well as unacceptably high maternal and
child mortality, poor quality education in many countries, and lack of access to
adequate water and sanitation.
Will the Asia-Pacific nations meet the MDGs by 2015?
Malaria Control Goals Are Likely To Be Unachievable
The Sixth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halt and begin to reverse the
incidence of malaria and other major diseases globally is unlikely to be met,
according to Welcome Trust Principal Research Fellow Professor Bob Snow based
at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KENRI) in Nairobi.
Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers, killing over a million people
every year, mainly children and pregnant women in Africa and South-east Asia. It
is caused by the malaria parasite, which is injected into the bloodstream from
the salivary glands of infected mosquitoes. There are a number of different
species of parasite, but the deadliest is the Plasmodium falciparum parasite,
which accounts for 90 per cent of deaths from malaria.
According to research conducted by Prof. Snow as part of the Malaria Atlas
Project, over 40% of the world's population is at risk from infection from the
P. falciparum parasite.
"There is clearly a lot of good will from the international community to tackle
malaria, but more money needs to be invested and this needs to be distributed
more equitably," says Professor Snow.
In 2007, annual funding for malaria control, which includes
insecticide-spraying, use of insecticide-treated bed nets and access to rapid
diagnosis and medicine, amounted to US$1 billion - less than US$1 per person at
risk. Previous studies have estimated the optimum amount required to tackle
malaria to be between US$ 4-5.
"Sixteen countries – that is half of all the people at most risk - receive less
than fifty cents for each person at risk". "This includes seven of the poorest
countries in Africa and two of the most densely populated at-risk countries in
the world, India and Indonesia."
UN a million miles from meeting development goals
Gordon Brown has used his first speech to the UN as prime minister to warn the
world that it is a "million miles" from meeting its promises to relieve poverty,
HIV and illiteracy in poor countries.
Mr Brown told that, at the current rate, some of the UN's touchstone Millennium
Development Goals - due to be fulfilled by 2015 - were a century away from being
honoured. Describing this as a "global emergency", he focused relentlessly on
the role businesses and faith groups - as well as governments - had to play in
He said: "Some people call it the mobilisation of soft power. I call it people
power, people power in support of the leadership of developing countries." In
strongly moral language he called it a "coalition of conscience" and a
"coalition for justice", which in the end could make "globalisation a force for
justice on a global scale".
Mr. Brown told his audience: "We cannot allow our promises that became pledges to
descend into just aspirations, and then wishful thinking, and then only words
that symbolise broken promises. "So it is time to call it what it is: a
development emergency which needs emergency action. "If 30,000 children died
needlessly and avoidably every day in America or Britain, we would call it an
emergency. And an emergency is what it is."
On current rates, Mr Brown pointed out that it would take until 2100, not 2015,
to provide worldwide primary education. A UN progress report on meeting the
goals found that while the proportion of people living on one dollar a day or
less had declined from 45.9% to 41.1% since 1999, reaching the MDG target of
halving the extent of extreme poverty by 2015 required that the current pace be
There has been progress towards universal primary education, with enrolment
increasing from 57% in 1999 to 70% in 2005 - but a gap of 30% remained, and the
number of school-age children was increasing daily. "Today we should evoke the
same spirit to forge a coalition for justice." And when conscience is joined to
conscience, moral force to moral force, think how much of our power to do good
Changing role of the UN
The role of the UN has been under scrutiny since the end of the Cold War – but
more particularly since the Security Council’s refusal to condone intervention
in Iraq. There is widespread criticism that the UN is too slow to respond to the
problems now seen as most urgent. Attention is shifting to the interlinked
global problems that straddle human security, migration, environmental
degradation and climate change. In the globalised era new and multi-faceted
demands are created but the machinery is old and creaking. There is a need for
reform and renewal as an ongoing process, if the UN is to remain fully relevant.
But there is no consensus about where reform effort should be concentrated to
make the organization more effective. Ideological divides and regional group
rigidities continue to frustrate good intentions. On the positive side, there is
resilience and a persistent optimism about the UN which springs from the Charter
The duplication and fragmentation of mandates raises the fundamental question on
what should the UN be doing?
There are three main categories of UN activities:
Core activities that it does
well and where there is a high level of global support: these include
humanitarian responses through OCHA: UNAIDS; the
specialized agencies and in particular those with a strong brand name such as
UNICEF or the World Food Programme.
Core activities where it does
reasonably well but where demand is outstripping supply and there is a
significant degree of overstretch – principally peacekeeping and peace
New areas where the UN needs to
go to respond to new problems and to remain relevant; these are operational,
conceptual and organizational and to prove themselves.
- Samrat Roy
A New Dawn at Salpukur
On 3rd August 2008, students of St. Xavier’s College took two more steps ahead.
Fr. Felix Raj laid the foundation for Snegam work in Salpukur, a village
situated in South 24 Parghanas of West Bengal near Nepalgunj. The village
children numbering more than 200, along with the village elders attended the
function. A very special guest was Mr. Ghani Gazi, about 111 years old, standing
tall and confident amidst the crowd with a broad smile. At the end of the
programme, Fr. Felix Raj felicitated Mr. Gazi.
Chapel cum Study Centre Inaugurated in Debipur
August 3rd was a red-letter day for the people of Debipur. After the programme
in Salpukur, all of us along with Fr. Felix Raj marched to Debipur under
Raghabpur Parish where the efforts of SXC students under Snegam had already
begun a year ago. Fr. Felix Raj inaugurated the newly renovated Chapel-cum-study
Center along with Fr. T. J. Thomas, SJ, the Parish Priest of Raghabpur.
Aryaman Kejriwal, SXC
AICUF Sparks and AICUF Flames
(Excerpts from the Keynote address of Fr. Felix Raj to the AICUF National
Council on August 13 at Chennai.)
“Allow me friends, right at the start, to touch upon the personality of a Person
who has guided AICUF all these years and walked with us in all we have done. The
Person is Jesus Christ. It is in Him and in His life we take inspiration as
AICUFers. He is the ideal example of service, activism, harmony and revolution.
He was the apostle who promoted communities of fellowship and a society based on
love, peace and justice. We owe everything to this Man. And we, as AICUFers
continue to carry out His mission in today’s world.
I am reminded of what Swami Vivekananda once said: “If I were to be among the
apostles of Jesus, I would have washed his feet with the blood of my heart”. We
are His disciples, called to wash one another’s feet and the feet of the world
with our blood. As St. Paul proclaimed, When Jesus is with us, nothing can stop
us from achieving the mission of establishing a just and new society.
What Jesus said 2000 years ago is very true to us:
“You are the light of the
world”. We are the light of the world. When I meet students like you, I see
sparks in them and I see light in them. They are the ‘Taare Zamin Par’. The
world has had many sparks and many lamps in its history – individual persons,
groups, NGOs etc. That is why the world continues to exist. I can give you many
examples. One of them is what happened 84 years ago. A small SICUF-spark became
AICUF-flame. It is a flame that has lit many flames and brought brightness in
the lives of many students.
The strength and brightness of the AICUF-flame are found in its preamble with
its diverse perspectives. I want to emphasize them. AICUFers stand for service
and liberation of human persons as Jesus did. This charism of AICUF has
transformed hundreds of students over the years under the able and committed
leadership of many national and state advisers: Frs Carty, Ceyrac, Beckers,
Claude, Tagore, Gabriel, Manu, Amal and Henry and so on. It has challenged them
to claim their identity as dynamic activists and vanguards of emerging civil
society. Service to humanity is our way to realize the vision of a new and just
It is often said, “Think globally and act locally”. This global – local
dimension is brought out in the remaining three perspectives in the preamble,
which are identities as Indian, Catholic and University student. These are
important identities to realize our universal mission. But we should not be
bogged down by these restricted identities and forget the global one. Global and
local identities are mutually inter-related. We must understand their richness
and take advantage of them to enrich our action.
A student movement must be grassroots-based, democratic and progressive with a
clear ideology and organizational structure. There must be a united effort to
translate concerns into action by sharing resources, building networks and
challenging issues. Otherwise students become vulnerable and they can be used
and co-opted by vested and political interests as it is happening in many
countries. Many political and religious groups exploit the susceptility of
Student organizations patronized by political parties disturb the administrative
and academic climate of university and college campuses. West Bengal is a clear
example for this. There is a need for a review of the nature and functioning of
student organizations in India. Political awareness and knowledge is necessary.
But party-based political involvement must be discouraged.
Age group 18-25 is a vital section of a country. This group is vulnerable, yet
dynamic. About 14% of India’s population is in this group. This group enables
you to see into the future. It is the key to future resources, force and
development of the country. The size and the quality of this group tell upon the
future well-being of the country. Remember, 100% of AICUFers are in this group.
Friends, this council begins the preparation for the consultation next year. The
5th National Convention will be held in 2010. It is time that we begin to
reclaim the student activism without of course, neglecting the importance of
reflection. The praxis we follow will make us torchbearers of peace and harmony.
Students are leaders today. They must seriously resolve to be the agents of a
just civil society.
We need to further renew the AICUFness in each one and the commitment to the
movement. AICUF must spread its wings far and wide and embrace more students and
teachers to become agents of change. We need to work with other movements with
similar vision and charism. The advisers’ network must be strengthened to
facilitate serious reflection among students. National, state and regional ties
need to be strengthened. Let us begin with the study of the Constitution to
understand the AICUF ideology better. AICUF identity must be deepened in each
AICUFer and adviser. AICUFers must be rooted in the movement’s ideology, if we
want to change the country and the world. Each AICUFer is a spark. And the spark
must be kept alive. Let us not forget we are living in the land of million
Father Felix Raj Awarded
by Rotary Club
Fr. Felix Raj SJ was awarded the
MAHADEOLAL SARAOGI AWARD for the year 2008 by
the Rotary Club of Calcutta Welfare Trust on 3rd June 2008. This was a clear
recognition of his service to the poor and the downtrodden. The function was
attended by some of the eminent personalities and many Rotarians of Calcutta. Honorable Chief Justice (Retd.) U. C. Banerjee who worked as High Court Judge in
the Hyderabad High Court chaired the function.
The Award Ceremony was held at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata at 7 in the evening. The
Rotary Club of Calcutta recognizes one individual every year for his or her
outstanding contribution for the service of poor.
Since Fr. Felix Raj could not attend the Award Function due his other
engagement, I received it on his behalf from the Honorable Chief Justice (Retd.)
U. C. Banerjee. The Award carried a Certificate of Appreciation.
Fr. Felix Raj is involved in many programmes for the poor through education,
women’s empowerment and community development. He has inspired many of his
students to become agents of constructive socio-economic development. I am proud
to confess that I am one of them.
Secretary-Director, Parivartan Social Welfare Society
Automium and Mini-Europe
While in Bruxells, Fr. Hincq (86) took me around the city particularly to the
Automium and the Mini-Europe. The Atomium, designed by engineer Andre Waterkeyn
to represent Belgium at the Universal Exhibition in 1958 in Brussels represents
an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times. The nine large spheres connected
by 20 tubes are standing on three enormous bipods and dominates with the height
of 102 meters the entire Heysel plateau. Brussels celebrates the golden jubilee
of the Automium this year.
Mini-Europe gives an exciting voyage through Europe. It is a park of outstanding
quality with models of the Berlin wall, Eiffel tower, HST, Ariane space rocket
etc. In the words of Robert Schuman, the pioneer of the concept of European
Union, “You will find out what these people, regions and countries have in
common… and what makes each one special.
Schuman is acclaimed a faithful Catholic and there are efforts to beatify him. I
stayed at St. Michells Jesuit community which looks after the Church of St.
Michael and a high school. St. Michael is the patron saint of the Brussels city,
and the summit of the 96 meter high city hall is crowned with a statue of St.
This year, Lourdes in France is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the
apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous. In this Jubilee
year, millions of pilgrims gather at the shrine each week. And I was one of
Between February and July 1858, Our Lady appeared to Bernadette 17 times. At the
9th apparition on February 25 Bernadette was asked to drink from the spring and
wash herself. From that day on, the spring has grown into a fountain with
healing properties and never ceased to flow. It was in the 13th apparition that
our Lady asked Bernadette to go and tell the priest to build a Church.
To see thousands of pilgrims from every nation and every culture - the healthy
and the sick, the aged and the young, visiting our Lady of Lourdes is a miracle.
|INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CONGRESS
This year, the International Economic Congress was held at Istanbul, the
Constantinople, the great city of Constantine, June 24 – 29. There were 1400
economists participating among whom only 14 were Indians. Fr. Felix Raj, was the
priest to attend the congress. Fr. Raj also presented a paper on “The Impact of
Globalization on Indigenous People in India”.
Visit to the S(E)OUL
Fr. Felix Raj paid a three-day visit to the Sogang Jesuit University, Seoul,
South Korea June 7-11. His visit was purely to explore possibilities to initiate
exchange programs between Sogang and Xavier’s. Sogang is about 50 years old and
is one of the best Universities in Korea with 12,000 students.
He had cordial meetings with the president, vice-president and deans of the
University. They showed keen interest in academic collaboration with Xavier’s.
He has worked out some concrete exchange programs between the two.
His visit coincided with the recent protest of Korean people against the import
of beef from USA. Fr. Joseph Kim, a professor of theology at SU and Fr.
Kuruvilla of Dumka province who was there to lecture at the SU took him to the
Seoul city center to witness the candlelight protest by around 5 lac people,
mostly youngsters between the age group of 20 to 35. Father said that he was
“pleasantly amazed to see groups of nuns sitting with the people on the road.”
1857 Revolt against the Raj by Mukherjee, R. and Kapoor, Pramod, Lustre
Press, Roli Books, New Delhi, 2008.
A Matter of Equity Freedom
of Faith in Secular India by Dayal, John, Anamika
Publishers & Distributors Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, 2007.
Buddhist Philosophy by
Sharma T. R., Eastern Book Linkers, Delhi, 2007.
Divine Knowledge and Yoga
by Gupta, M. L., Madan Seva Trust, New Delhi, 2005.
Indian Economy by Raj, J. Felix (Ed), Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd.,
New Delhi, 2008.
Journeying Together in Faith
by Edwin, V and Daly, Edwin SJ. Gujarat Sahitya
Kailas-Manasarovar by Pranavananda, Swami FRGS, Admirers of Swami Pranavananda, Bangalore, 2007.
Origin of the Kolkata Police by Nair, P. T., Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2007.
Other Religions of the World
by Seangpolsit, P. Gyan Publishing House, Delhi,
Philosophies of Samkhya and Locke by Roy, S. D. Sundeep Prakashan, Delhi,
Pierre, Ceyrac SJ. - Pelerin des frontieres by Joyeux, Maurice SJ, Les
Editions Du Cerf Paris, 2000.
Political History of India
by Pattanayak, A. K., R. N. Bhattacharya, Kolkata,
Pope John Paul II - A
Tribute by Sullivan, Robert, Bulfinch, Canada, 1999.
Sri Krsna -The Lord of Love by Bharati, S. B. P., Bharatiya Kala Prakashan,
The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto by Hussain, Yasir, Epitome Books, New
The Role of Swami Chinmayananda in Revitalization of Hinduism and
Reinterpretation of Christianity by Masih, Jagdhari, Punthi Pustak ,Calcutta
Vedic Religion and Culture
by Bhargava, P. L., D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd.,
New Delhi, 2008.
Researchers at the Goethals
Fr. C. M. Paul, SDB, Rome, on Impact of Media on Mother Teresa and her mission.
Ms. Mrinalika Dubey, Howrah, on History.
Ms. Payel Biswas, Kolkata, on Indo-German School Partnership.
Ms. Sudipa Topdar, University of Michigan (USA) on Schooling during British
Colonial Period in Bengal (1870-1925).
Titas Chakraborty, University of Pittsburgh (USA), on Social history of maritime
pasts in 17th century Bengal.
Mails & Emails
I would like to congratulate Fr. Felix Raj, SJ, for making it three-in-a row.
1st - the release of book “Indian Economy” 2nd – the CAB Award and 3rd – the
Rotary Award. I have seen most of the Churches as mentioned in your magazine,
but this is the first time I know more about them. You have done a commendable
job by giving the details. Thanks for creating awareness.
Naresh Gupta, National Secretary, JAAI
Many thanks for your Goethals News on the Heritage Churches which was extremely
S.M. Cyril, Loreto Sealdha, Kolkata
Your Staff was very co-operative and helpful. The Library is well maintained and
has a very rich collection of old historical materials.
Ms. Sudipa Topdar. University of Michigan, (USA).
I was indeed very happy to read your wonderful article on “Spirituality for life
and Leadership” in Goethals News - Jan-March 2008. What you have explicitly
expressed in the article is very practical and appropriate. I really enjoyed
reading the third page. And also it gives me more information to provoke my
Rev. Fr. A. Amalraj, Sivagangai.
Thank you for sending article about my great grand father S.V. Setty, the FIRST
INDIAN AVIATOR of our country. He designed, built and tested the aircraft by all
himself in UK (AVRO). The Modern Review is the first paper to publish the
article and also interview of S.V. Setty in UK. All these happened between 1911
May to 1912 June.
G N. Jayaprakash, Bangalore.
The GILRS has the best collection in Calcutta of printed materials on the early
modern period. The missionary records and papers of Fr. Hosten have been the
Titas Chakraborty, University of Pittsburgh, USA.
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa
Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: email@example.com
Director: Dr. Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Staff: Mr. Sunil Mondol and Debu Mondal.