The Catholic Priests’ Conference of India (CPCI), an association of progressive diocesan priests, honoured a Catholic priest from Odisha, Eastern India, for his commitment to promoting minority and human rights. His Grace Bishop Niranjan Sualsingh of Sambalpur, Odisha, presented a plaque and citation to Father Ajay Kumar Singh, a clergy of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese, as a token of appreciation on behalf of CPCI. Father Singh was the main speaker at September 25 meeting, in which about 42 Catholic priests across India discussed on “Social justice and human rights in the context of the Constitution of India.”
As reported by mattersindia.com, Father Philip Kattakayam, CPCI secretary, remarked that “We are honouring Ajay Kumar Singh, a clergy of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese, Odisha, at the CPCI national convention and annual general body meeting held here, for his contribution to the cause of human rights and the welfare of the marginalized.”
Father Singh is currently the director of Odisha Regional Forum for Social Action, Bhubaneswar. It is the social work coordinating body of six Catholic dioceses, under the aegis of Odisha Regional Catholic Bishops’ Council. Father Singh champions the cause of human rights and minority rights issues, Dalit and Tribal rights as part of his advocacy programme among various stakeholders such as with government officials, writers, social workers and people at large. In 2013, Father Singh had received the national minority award for his campaign against the 2008 Kandhamal riots in Odisha.