All-India Mennonite Women's Conference
All-India Mennonite Women's Conference was organized by the Mennonite Christian Service Fellowship of India (MCSFI). P. J. Malagar organized a committee of women from the MCSFI constituency. The following committee members helped to get the organization started: coordinator, P. J. Malagar (Mennonite Church in India [MCI], Dhamtari); chairperson, Mrs. H. Bhelwa (MCI, Dhamtari); vice-chairperson, Mrs. Kriparam (Mennonite Brethren (MB), Andhra Pradesh); secretary, Mrs. K. Martin (MCI, Dhamtari); treasurer, Mrs. E. Kniss, (Bihar Mennonite Mandli, Bihar); other members: Mrs. U. Sona, (General Conference Mennonite (GCM), Madhya Pradesh); Miss Leah Sonwani (GCM, Madhya Pradesh); Mrs. Irene Roy (Brethren in Christ, Bihar); Mrs. Premlata John (MB, Andhra Pradesh); and Mrs. P. Sarkar (United Missionary Church of India, Calcutta).
The first conference was held 1-6 November 1977 at the Sunderganj Mennonite Church, Dhamtari. About 250 women from outside Dhamtari were present. They experienced a wonderful and warm fellowship with Mennonite women from a variety of places in India. They decided to retain most of the original committee to plan for the next meeting. Mrs. U. Sona replaced Mrs. E. Kniss as treasurer. The committee met and decided the conference should support one nurse in training at Dhamtari Christian Hospital.
The second All-India Mennonite Women's Conference was held at Shamshabad, Andhra Pradesh (14-18 October 1983). This conference, was coordinated by the director of MCSFI, R. S. Lemuel (MB). At this conference 262 women registered. They made decisions which should give stability for continuation of the organization. They accepted the following goals: (1) to bring unity between Mennonite women in India; (2) to understand their common Anabaptist heritage; (3) to make it possible for Mennonite women in India to meet together for fellowship and mutual understanding; (4) to discuss the status of women in the church and community and to seek solutions to common problems.
The second conference formalized the organization with decisions to meet every five years; require each registered member to contribute six rupees per year; require the treasurer's report be sent to each constituency; and circulate a newsletter every six months. Two women were chosen from each constituency to carry on the business of the organization between meetings. The first officers under this permanent plan were: president, Mrs. K. Martin (MCI); vice-president, Mrs. Arnold (MB); secretary, Mrs. S. Paul (treasurer, Mrs. U. Sona (GCM); and news editor, Mrs. N. Das (MCI).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 16. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Miller, Vesta A. "All-India Mennonite Women's Conference." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4439.html.
APA style: Miller, Vesta A. (1990). All-India Mennonite Women's Conference. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4439.html.