Mrs. Neerja R. Prasad of Nagpur, India visited Dr. Sue Dickson's REL341 'World Christianity and Mission' class on Thursday, Oct 4, 2011. Mrs. Prasad serves as the Secretary of the Synodical Women's Fellowship for Christian Service in the Church of North India, and is traveling throughout the United States for the month of October as an International Peacemaker with the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Mrs. Prasad, a Christian activist in many areas of social justice including human trafficking, poverty and gender justice also met with students over lunch in Convo. Mrs. Prasad is a third generation Christian. Her grandfather had been a successful and well-known manufacturer in the South of India. When he converted to Christianity, his community boycotted his products and he and his family were outcast. He migrated with his family to the north where he took a new, Christian surname. Because of his Christian surname, his new community accused him of being a traitor to his country by adopting a foreign religion. The family migrated again, this time to Nagpur where Mrs. Prasad was raised. Mrs. Prasad, has been instrumental in rescuing young women from forced labor and sexual exploitation, in founding orphanages for the children of Christians murdered in the Red Corridor, and in establishing interreligious neighborhood communities to promote understanding, peace, and social justice. .