September 18, Lalitpur-
Interfaith Peace Federation Nepal (IPFN) held its third Annual General Meeting last Wednesday, where former State Home Minister Deepak Prakash Baskota was the chief guest, accompanied by Mr. Jitram Lama, General Secretary of NGO Federation of Nepal.
It was some sight to see eight faith leaders from Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Kirat, Bahai, Islam, Masto, and Sai faith representing as many faith community/religions respectively –pray in their own way one at a time for the success of the programme, immediately followed by the National Anthem.
The program was emceed by IPFN Secretary R. C. Bhattarai, welcome speech was delivered by IPFN Vice-president Mrs. Seema Khan, and Progress Report was presented by G. Secretary Dr. Mahendra Bhattarai, who also remarked that those who are firmly grounded and have conviction in their own faith are more tolerant and appreciative of people of other faith systems.
The Chief Guest expressed his conviction that IPFN will be a movement for peace and interfaith understanding, and longed to collaborate with this movement, whereas Mr. Lama wished success of the programmes of IPFN and promised he would get more familiar with the scriptures in the coming days.
After the opening session and the remarks by the guests, IPFN Chairperson Mr. Ram Bhakta Kurumbang made brief remarks about the history of the birth of the Federation, and ended the session. Then closed session re-elected the existing officials, except some representatives were changed by the member organizations.
These days, the proactive initiatives by IPFN in the field of COVID-19 response, Mental Health, Legal issues, and overall peace and harmony in the society has been slowly but surely recognized.
IPFN is a Federation of 20 strong member organizations from all the provinces, and some other observing entities.
Recently, there has been a mounting expectation and a sort of pressure in IPFN to play even more massive role by way of activism and interfaith dialogue within the entity so the various faith communities get to undertsand each other’s belief system better. But there is a striking lack of such meaningful dialogue yet, as far as this scribe has felt.