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Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese inaugurated the first ever Udupi District’s Federation of Men’s Self-Help Groups at Udupi on Sunday, 16th October, 2022. Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo along with other dignitaries formally inaugurated the Federation by unveiling the Logo of the Federation and lighting the lamp. Rev. Fr. Reginald Pinto, Director of Sampada, Udupi along with the office bearers of the Federation were present on the dais along with Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo.

In his message, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo said that the Udupi Diocese just completed ten years of its existence on 15th October 2022. Since its inception, Udupi Diocese has made lot of progress in various fields especially in the sphere of the empowerment of women through the guidance and help from Sampada led by its Director Rev. Fr. Reginald Pinto. The Women’s Self-Help Group has achieved great success and they have not only set up the Udupi District Federation of their Self-Help Groups but also are on the verge of starting their own bank. The Women’s Federation of the Udupi District has become a model for all the dioceses of India. Out of 508 wards in the Udupi Diocese Women’s Self-Help Groups have spread in 456 wards. In a recently held conference, the Stree Sanghatan of the Udupi District has been adjudged as the best among 167 dioceses in India. The Stree Sanghatan of the Udupi Diocese has become a model to other dioceses to follow in the empowerment of women.

Speaking further, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo said that the establishment of the Udupi District Federation of Men’s Self Help Groups is also the first of its kind in India. He complemented the men of different parishes who have come together to form the Self Help Groups that would foster a sense of belonging. However, he cautioned the members to go slow in registering their federation. He said that the women had taken seven years to organize themselves into a strong organization and they have achieved considerable success. Their turn over is around Rs. 27 Crores. The Bishop hoped that men from various parishes would form their own Self Help Groups and reach a modest figure of at least 100 SHGs so that the Federation can be registered. He complimented the men and assured that Rev. Fr. Reginald Pinto and his staff would be always ready to guide and help the SHGs of men.

Stanley Fernandes, the Co-ordinator of Sampada introduced the Office bearers of the Udupi District’s Federation of Men’s Self-Help Groups. The President of the Udupi District Federation of Men’s Self Help Group, Alton Rebeiro of Gangolli Parish welcomed the gathering; Vice President Naveen Fernandes of Kalmady Parish proposed the vote of thanks; and Secretary Edwin Mendonca of Kanajar Parish compered the programme. Treasurer Nelson Machado of Kanajar and directors of the Federation were present on the dais.

Prior to the inauguration of the Udupi District’s Federation of Men’s Self Help Groups, Fr. Reginald Pinto offered the Holy Mass and later conducted a training session for the members highlighting the mission, aims and objectives as well as guidelines for the functioning of the SHGs. 

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