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Antony Raj sj (57 years old).


"As a Dalit leader, I had to face hostility from the local government, the police, political parties, non Dalits, and even from certain bishops. My life was often under threat which was why my superiors invited me to get involved in the formation and helping leaders to become aware of development. It is from this invitation that DACA was born. In the same time, having noticed how mediocre the health care brought to Dalits was, I decided to create the Pierre Ceyrac Medical Foundation (CMF) with the help of my friend and companion Pierre Ceyrac:''

" Antony Raj is a fighter. We need men such as him otherwise nothing ever moves !" Pierre Ceyrac, Frontier Pilgrim, 1998.

His role:
He defines the ambitions and the goals of DACA.
He takes in charge the promotion of DACA on a national and international scale so as to gather the funds necessary for DACA to function.

His formation and passed experiences :
Doctor in Sociology, with a PhD from Loyola University of Chicago, Antony Raj came back to India in 1987 and did a research on discrimination against Christian Dalits in Tamil Nadu. This research gave him an opportunity to know the socio-economic conditions of the Dalits and plan programmes for their liberation. This lead him to found the Christian Dalit Liberation Movement, one of the goals of which was to put a term to the practice of untouchability inside the Church itself. This engagement pushed several bishops to openly reject him and they exercised a certain pressure on the General of the Jesuit Society thus making Father Raj take his distance from militancy.
He was then elected to the Presidency of the Federation for the Integration of Dalits whose ambition was to unite the different Dalit movements.
Then, from 1997 to 1999, he was nominated by the government at the head of the Federal Office for the Education of Indian Workers.



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Pierre Ceyrac sj (86 years old).

"My friend Antony, that fighter, that man of action came to see me after I returned from Cambodia to ask me to be a member of their team. How could I refuse such an invitation from such a man ? I invite all young people who will know the third millennium to walk towards the others, towards the sick, towards the outcast, towards those who are rejected, towards all the Dalits and the untouchables of this world. Go to them ! This walk is a fight which never stops. It reveals the never-ending fight for mankind, for his dignity, for his freedom, for his grandeur and beauty. This walk calls on us all to give. All that is given is never lost."

His role:
Father Ceyrac, who has been in India for 60 years (between India and a refugee camp in Cambodia), is an old friend of Father Antony Raj. Among other initiatives he takes part in, DACA is for him the occasion to help those who have nothing (for more information on Father Ceyrac's activities, visit the web site His role is to guide spiritually the DACA institutions and the CMF.

His formation and past experiences:
Holder of a BA in Classical Letters and Philology from the Sorbonne, he pursued his studies in India : BA in Philosophy, Theology, Sanskrit and Tamil.
He arrived in India in 1937 and remained there until 1980 when he left to spend 13 years in a Cambodian Refugee Camp. He returned to India in 1993 and now lives in Madras. Close to Fathers Monchanin, Varillon, de Lubac, Dujardin, he took part in the great movement to renovate the Church. He tried to be a pioneer of the new missionary paths to such an extent that he states: "India is my country, I come back home each time I return here from Cambodia, from France or elsewhere. Profound inculture is what makes me say, as Ruth once did: "Your country is my country, your people are my people, your greatness is my greatness, your misery my misery and your history my history".


Michael Jeyraj sj (62 years old).


" I consider it my "vocation" to work for the empowermwnt of Dalits as a special calling within the Jesuit vocation.It is my deep conviction that any genuine following of Jesus in today's Indian Church essentially demands a deep immersion on our part in the liberation struggles of the Dalit people. Wherever it may be : in Brazil, in Venezuela, in the U.S or in India the social reality reveals so deep injustices that it urges us to act in favour of the poorest. "

His role:
As a responsible of pedagogic projects on both the Campus and the villages, he manages the actions lead in the villages ( e.g:micro-credit, small-savings , evening studies, cultural activities, milk cooperatives) with the support of four coordinators. On the Campus he sets pedagogic objectives as well as long terms plans (e.g: the starting of both a technical high school and university).

His formation and past experiences:
Doctor in psychology of education with a PhD from the university of Pennsylvania (U.S), Michael is also graduate in philosophy, theology , social action and criminology. During 20 years he's been teaching social action in the Loyola College of Madras, then was Provincial of Madurai district from 1981 to 1987 and director during 13 years of the Institute for Development Education Action and Studies (IDEAS) based in Madurai, his arrival in DACA proceeds from a life-long social commitment to the poorest. His studies in Germany , and in the U.S , as well as his numerous travels in South America (Brazil, Venezuela), and Africa ( Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mauritany) allowed him to develop a comparative analysis of the different situations of poverty.

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Santha (40 years old).


"As a Dalit woman, I have been both witness and subject to the oppression that weighs on this condition which is why I have made myself one of its spokesmen. Beyond my particular attachment to the condition of women, my motivation has been to help promote Dalits by education and social action."

Her role:
She takes care of the accounts of DACA and CMF being as efficient in the spending as possible.

Her formation and past experiences:
She has a Diploma in sociology and then took a course in accountancy so as to manage the accounts of the Liberation of Dalits initiatives in which she took part. She was first assistant researcher in sociology to Father Antony Raj and accountant for the DCLM (Dalit Christian Liberation Movement), then secretary in the Federal Office for Education of Indian Workers. Her role as an accountant of DACA and CMF is the pinnacle in a professional life vowed to the Dalit cause.


Br. Jacob (.. years old).



His role:


His formation and past experiences:



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