KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – The first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal Miss Mamata Banerjee has nominated Miss Maria Fernandes as vice chair person ofWest Bengal minority commission, 27 July. She has taken charge from Wednesday at West Bengal Minorities Commission Office, Bhawani Bhawan (2nd Floor West) Alipore, Kolkata – 700 027.
Miss Fernandes, a close collaborator the Chief Minister since 1998, is the first woman vice-chair person of the commission as well as first Christian vice-chairperson of the state commission for minorities.
Retd Judge Intaj Ali Shah is the Chairperson of the state minority commission.
“I feel that the Chief Minister has done justice to the Christian Minorities,” says Miss Fernandes.
She adds, “I don’t see any Christian name as vice-chairperson or chairperson of the state Minority Commission since last 34 years inBengal.”
Active member of Trinamool Congress since 1998, Miss Fernandes has held positions -General Secretary West Bengal Trinamool Youth Congress, General Secretary of West Bengal Trinamool Mahila Congress, and Vice Chairperson of West Bengal Trinamool Congress Minority Cell. Currently Miss Fernandes is senior General Secretary of West Bengal Trinamool Congress Minority Cell.
Well known in Kolkata Christian community, the president of the Goan Association of Bengal, Miss Fernandes has been a social activist since her school days at Our Lady Queen of the Missions School Park Circus. Besides being president of Young Christian Students Movement at school, Miss Fernandes became part time Student Animator of the movement in the archdiocese ofCalcutta as well as member of the National Team of YCS Animators.
Former vice-president of Catholic Association of Bengal, the oldest lay organization of Catholics inIndia(marked its centenary 17 July 2011) Miss Fernandes is also an educationist. Since 1988 she is Principal of Holy Cross Mission College which offers courses in BA/BCom/ MA/Com/LLM).
Miss Fernandes was the sole representative ofIndiaat the Citizens Participation in Democracy seminar held atWashingtonDCin 2007. Some 50 countries participated.
She also had contested for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election in 2005 from Ward No. 60 including Taltola and Beniapukur.