In Udupi district of Karnataka, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo felicitated Christian women who had contested in the Panchayat elections held in December 2020. Out of 69 contestants who had attended the felicitation function 33 were winning candidates.
Church institutions trained the women for local elections. The main objective of these institutions is to emphasize the various steps to prepare Christian members to participate in multiple local bodies elections.
According to the report
, Church Father Reginald Pinto said, “Since the last two years many women have been trained to participate in the local body elections. Around 25 women were first trained by Wilfred D’Souza, a resource person from Nazeersaab Rural Development Centre at Mysuru. These 25 women, in turn, trained nearly 2,500 women from different parishes of the diocese. Later, in February 2020 Veronica Cornelio and Jannet Mendonca trained 30 women trainees in the panchayat election procedure, who later went to different parishes to train around 130 women who showed an interest in participating village panchayat elections. However, due to the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, further training was put on hold. Despite all the setbacks, more than 100 Catholic women participated in the panchayat elections”.
In his speech, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo said that 42 women who had contested the elections were successful. He appreciated the organizational work done by the Catholic Women’s Organization of the Diocese under the leadership of Fr Reginald Pinto, Director of Sampada. He further said that there are 172 dioceses in India and the Women’s Organization of the Udupi Diocese with various self-help groups have been taken as a model by other dioceses.