Dr. Kanchan Chandan
Dr. Kanchan Chandan was born to a devout Hindu family, which respected and believed that all paths lead to one destination, one God. She spent her childhood reading religious literature from almost all faiths that were available. However, an interest in science, logic, and facts led to her being an agnostic with a belief in humanity. She is presently working at Panjab University, Chandigarh, India as a Teaching Faculty. She is a Social Researcher and Educationalist with experience in religious minorities; Gender and Women Studies; social exclusion based on religion, caste, class, and gender; inclusive growth and policies; and human development. She is a trained social anthropologist and qualitative researcher. She is actively involved in the academic and administrative activities of her parent institution. She mentors PhD students and has published articles and research papers in many books and journals of national and international repute.
She is associated with several Governmental, Non-Governmental, and Development Organizations for social welfare, community service, and advocacy for women’s education, rights, and empowerment. She possesses more than 15 years of experience in community service and development and conflict resolution, offering guidance to those in need. She is also engaged in providing emotional support and guidance on-call, through active listening and empathy for those suffering from religious/caste atrocities, religious persecution, and domestic violence.
She felt the need to be part of interreligious programmes as a limited understanding of religions and faith is the reason for conflicts in almost every community, state, and country. With India being a multi-ethnic entity where people from diverse religious and ethnic thoughts and experiences reside, the role of interreligious dialogue can’t be ignored. She has taken the course on using interreligious dialogue to strengthen peace, reconciliation, and social cohesion, created by KAICIID.
She is hopeful that this KAICIID platform will enable her to foster interreligious dialogue and end the social epidemic of religious hatred. She is a firm believer that women emissaries with empathy and compassion can create a bridge of trust and faith among people of various faiths for a peaceful world. “Sow seeds of empathy and compassion to enjoy the shadow of peace and harmony” is her motto for peaceful living.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
FAITH- Femina and Interfaith dialogue to build Trust and Harmony
FAITH initiative was carried out from 8th January to 27th May 2021 Chandigarh, India. India is a religiously pluralistic society. Indian Constitution allocates one and all to live out their own religion. Women being the hard doer of about every household are given diminutive role in all the faiths as compared to the men folks. The initiatives capacitated the women in academic and political positions through interfaith dialogue and to lessen the communal hatred and bring peace and harmony. It encouraged women to come out and play a decisive role in religious conflicts. The initiative sensitize and capacitate the society to determine women’s role as peacemakers and dialogue facilitators in religious and social conflict zones. The thrust of this programme is to promote women friendly social zones. The programme is divided into three parts: 1. Plantation Drive Chalo Astha ke Beej se Vishwas ka Ek Ped Lagaye ( lets a seed of faith 2. Webinar series (3 days) 3. Edited Book of Webinar Proceedings The Plantation Drive commenced on 8/1/21 after facilitating and acquainting 12 participants about the intentions, logic and objective of this initiative, followed by 3 days plantation drive and concluded on 27/5/21 with 3 days of webinar series