|Death of Fr Jacob Srampickal, SJ|
|Written by Philip Lee, WACC Deputy-Director of Programs|
|Monday, 16 April 2012 13:45|
Fr Srampiackal was the inspiration behind the institute and was a co-founder along with Fr John Noronha, former director of Caritas India. He was the first dean of the institute based at Vaishali, a satellite town of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh state. He has served on the ecumenical jury at international film festivals and has served as one of the consultants to the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications.
Fr Srampickal held a doctorate in Development Communication from the University of Leeds, England, and four major diplomas in communications from India. He was president of the Indian unit of UNDA/OCIC, the earlier version of Signis, the Church’s international association for social communication, for six years until 1998. He also headed its Asian wing for eight years from 1993.
As a doctoral student Fr Srampickal met Dr Michael Traber, then WACC's Director of Studies and Publications. He once commented that, "Though I hadn’t cut my teeth as a research writer, Traber asked me to contribute to Media Development, which he edited and which for many years has remained my searchlight to the world of media analysis and criticism." Fr Srampickal later invited Mike Traber to become a visiting professor at NISCORT, the new college Srampickal had helped set up.
Fr Srampickal launched several projects such as the New Delhi Video Festival for NGOs, national seminars on Church and media, online media training for poor countries from Rome, a weekly half hour radio program for migrants from Radio Vatican in Italian, an international bi-annual seminar on theology and communications from Rome. He also taught in 18 theological seminaries of India as visiting professor on the theme of “Why communications for priests and the Catholic Church?”
A tribute from SIGNIS can be found here.