17 Jun 2019-Social Upliftment

Concern for the social uplift of the people was integral to the work of the missionaries right from the beginning. Father Anthony Debono , at the start of Jesuit Santal Mission at Majlispur in 1925 , had to take up the cause of the helpless Santals (the largest tribe in India) against the money lenders. Every missionary tried in his own way to defend the Santals from exploitation by others. As Santal Mission developed into the Santal Region of the Society of Jesus, we find the emergence of a Coordinator in the area of social uplift. In 1964 Fr.Bernard Bugeja SJ, one of the pioneers designated as In Charge of Social Welfare. At the outbreak of the Bangladesh war in 1971 when thousands were pouring into India in West Dinajpur District of West Bengal, Fr.Yvo Laferla was appointed Coordiator of the Refugee service and from then on the Promoter Of Social Apostolate in the Region as well. In 1979, Fr.Aloysius Camilleri SJ was appointed Coordinator of Social Action (JESA), succeeded by Fr.Anthony LaGreca SJ in 1980. However, Fr.A.Camilleri SJ is once more appointed the Coordinator of Social Action in 1982 and in 1984 was succeeded by Fr.Aloysius Zammit SJ.