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1. INTRODUCTION:Claretiansare a group of Roman Catholic missionaries working in 67 countries across 5 continents with over 3000 members worldwide. Claretiansare a group of Roman Catholic missionaries working in 67 countries across 5 continents with over 3000 members worldwide. The Congregation called Claretian Missionaries (CMF), was started on July 16, 1849 by Saint Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870), a Spanish Visionary and Social Reformer. St. Claret was a person moved by the Spirit and a “man for all ages.” For the benefit of the ordinary people he started farmers’ guilds and wrote many pamphlets for their benefit. One of the scriptural texts that most inspired Claret was Luke 4.18-19, where Jesus starts his public ministry by entering the Synagogue and reading the passage from the Book of Isaiah, where he proclaims a new world order ‘giving sight to the blind and liberty to the oppressed and proclaiming a year favourable to the Lord.’
In India the Claretians started their work in 1970 and today they work in 15 Indian states, under four Major Organisms, labouring in socio-pastoral, religio-cultural and developmental activities. They have been working in the area of Northeast India over 30 years among the different tribes of the hills and plains, doing pastoral, social, economic and cultural development of the people. The geographical and territorial jurisdiction of the Independent Delegation of the Claretians of Northeast India (NEID) comprises the eight states of Northeast India, viz., Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura - and of Darjeeling Diocese in the eastern part of West Bengal, where the present Sonada house of philosophy is situated. The whole Northeast is the Locus Operandi of the NavJan Trust.
The Claretians run many elementary schools in the centre, and in the more remote areas, secondary and higher secondary schools in the Blocks and District Headquarters, an undergraduate school in Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, and socio-economic-developmental activities in the poorest, marginalized areas and among those on the peripheries of the society. They are working primarily in the difficult, interior and challenging areas of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, besides a few centres in Assam. Since most of the missions are in the interior areas along the Indo-Bangladesh border, the missioners are fondly known as “Border Serving Fathers” (BSF). To strengthen the spiritual and pastoral activities and strengthen the integral dimension of the Congregation, the NavJan was formed and registered as a Trust in the year 2016, to identify and focus concrete socio-economic projects and people-oriented developmental interventions, and community based programs for the benefit of the people on the margins where NavJan serves.
1.1. Origin and growth of NavJan
“NavJan” means ‘New People’, (the prefix ‘Nav’ means ‘new’ and ‘Jan’ means ‘people’) a concept drawn from the biblical concept of the slavery of the people of Israel in Egypt and Yahweh’s intervention and selection of Moses for their liberation, forming a New Liberated People. A similar kind of liberation and empowerment is envisaged by NavJan for the overall socio-economic–cultural development of the people of Northeast India through this “NavJan” Trust. It is the socio-developmental face of the Claretians of North-East Independent Delegation (NEID) through different projects and programs to transform the society, based on Christian values and principles, as “Salt of the Earth” and “Light of the World” (Mt. 5.13-14).
1.2. NavJan - A People Empowerment Trust was registered in Guwahati as the Social Development Wing of the NEID, for the empowerment of the people of the Northeast region through its socio-economic, cultural, developmental initiatives. NavJan is a social, educational and charitable Trust and the deed of Trust was executed at Guwahati on October 31, 2016. The office is situated in Claret Bhavan, Borjhar, Guwahati. The Registration Office is Kamrup Metro, Serial No. 16970/2016; Book & Deed No. Book-IV/4257/2016.The authors or Trustees are Fr. (Dr.) Joseph Mappilaparambil, Fr. Sebastian Mathew (Odackal) and member Fr. SibyKuriakose (Kadumthodu). The Board of Trustees are comprised of the Major Superior of NEID Rev. Fr. Pius Thuruthiyil, as its President, and the Prefect of the Apostolate of NEID, Fr. Joseph Pulickal as the Patron. All the perpetually professed members of NEID are members.