St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata (SXUK) organised a three-day workshop for All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) State Advisers from 14th to 16th April 2023, on the university campus.
Twenty five Jesuit state advisers from different states attended the workshop. The program was the beginning of the year-long celebration of the centenary year of AICUF (1924 – 2024). The theme was ‘AICUF: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.
Father Felix Raj, S.J. who has been in AICUF as a student and its state adviser for many years, presented the rich history and significant milestones of AICUF.
Father Raj said, “The history of any movement is important, and understanding the history is to understand the source and foundation of an organisation.” “The past always enriches the present and the future. All three are closely interconnected,” he added.
Father Jesu Benjamine S.J – the National Adviser of AICUF, traced the present situation of AICUF and its various activities.
A group of three former AICUF members Prof. Charlotte Simpson, Vice-Principal, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata; Ms. Anne Joseph of Ankur Kala Women Centre, Kolkata; and Prof. Panchali Sen, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, spoke on the role of AICUF advisers based on their experience.
A panel discussion consisting of Mr. Jawhar Sircar, Member of Parliament, Dr. Purnendu Roy, CEO and MD of Genesis Hospital, Kolkata, Mrs. Gargi Dasgupta, Clinical Psychologist and Counsellor at SXUK, and Father Patrick Walsh, also took place. They spoke on challenges and opportunities of youth in India.
Erudite panellists made Jesuit advisers think aloud and broaden their national outlook of the issues faced by university students.
A group of six AICUF students spoke candidly, and challenged the Jesuit youth advisers. They raised many issues of how advisers must lead the movement and show the way to the AICUFers to play a creative and prophetic role in the life of the country. The workshop ended with a prioritised road-map of AICUF for one year.