FATHER CEDRIC PRAKASH
An outstanding human rights activist deeply committed to the defence and the promotion of human rights nationwide, someone, whose work in the promotion of Communal harmony is equally outstanding.
Born in the cosmopolitan city of Bombay in an intensely pluralistic culture nurtured in him the importance of unity and diversity, a value which has made Father Cedric Prakash an excellent bridge builder who provides leadership and direction in cross cultural scenarios where communities intersect.
Upon completing his BA (Hons) from St. Xaviers College Bombay in 1972, Father Prakash joined the Society of Jesus in Gujarat in July 1974 where he has worked in the missions of South Gujarat in the tribal area of Umarpada and then later in April 1987 was involved in the slums of Ahmedabad ,and in the rural areas of Gujarat State through four inter-related approaches of education, health, organization and environment.
In June 2001, he began “PRASHANT” A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace which became like ‘Noah’s Ark’ of safety to those who were rendered homeless after fleeing the marauding communal gangs in the wake of the communal carnage which engulfed Gujarat State in the year 2002.
Father Cedric Prakash has always been at the forefront on issues affecting the marginalized minorities and other vulnerable sections of society in Gujarat and also nationwide, often risking his own safety by boldly confronting those who propagate hate and promote communalism. There are those who close their eyes towards communal hatred, and then there are those like Father Cedric, who chooses to unite the different communities, knowing fully well that India comes first.