Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes and Youth Affairs P.K. Jayalakshmi has said the development projects for the poor implemented in five districts by the Sulthan Bathery Catholic diocese through Shreyas, a forum formed by the diocese, are commendable.

She was speaking after inaugurating the sacerdotal silver jubilee programmes of Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Church, at Sulthan Bathery on Saturday.

Ms. Jayalakshmi said the diocese's projects could make a positive change in the lives of many a family in the districts. She said that as a Minister she would do her best for the welfare of the downtrodden, especially the tribes people.

Sublime message

Delivering a benedictory speech, Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos said that one of the greatest contributions of the ancient Vedic culture to the modern world was its sublime message ‘Loka samastha sukhino bhavandu'(wellbeing of all beings).

The Catholicos said the message could be realised in the modern world by nurturing a patriotic feeling in the minds of the public as well as by treating the poor with love.

Pointing out the emerging threats from the communal forces and anti-social elements in the country, the Catholicos said the great culture of the country should not be shattered for the selfishness of a small group. Though religious feeling was the most sensitive feeling, the people should not become its slaves, he said.

A reception was accorded to Ms. Jayalakshmi and I.C. Balakrishnan, MLA of Sulthan Bathery, on the occasion.

Joseph Mar Thomas, Bishop, Sulthan Bathery diocese, presided over the function. M.I. Shanavas, MP, inaugurated the ‘Haritha Wayanad,' a social forestry project; and the MLA inaugurated the ‘Small enterprises for all and job for all,' an entrepreneurship development project; at the function.