Rev. Dr. Viji Thamby Solomon, PhD is a well known diaconal ministry worker.
He has had his Education in LMS High School, Palliady, Scott Christian College, Nagercoil and the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary (TTS) Madurai. He did his MPhil in Madurai Kamaraj University and he further specialized in Social Development in St. Francis Xavier University, Canada in 1983. He earned his PhD from the University of Kerala in the year 1992 based on the Educational Philosophy of the great Educationist Paulo Friero. He further did Masters in finance management in Pondicherry University.
Rev. Dr. Viji Thamby Solomon, the former Director of ECLOF INDIA (1997-2004) and the Chief Executive Officer of Christian Mission Service (2005-2014), is a native of Kanjikuzhi village, Kanyakumari, the Southernmost District of the Indian Sub continent. Kanyakumari is a multi religious District with Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
Sick people including expecting mothers in Kanjikuzhi village were being carried in cot to the hospital due to lack of highway proximity. Two important persons died on the way to the hospital when they had cardiologic arrest as they couldn’t reach the hospital in the golden hours because of the poor road facility. Youths were organized to construct a road to improve proximity. He was in the forefront to link Kariky - Kanjikuzhi Road by removing a fence that was a stumbling block, and it belongs to a Government establishment, with the assistance of local MLA and Panchyat leaders in the year 1987 .The road was formed with much pain and immense effort in the midst of enormous opposition from various quarters.
The two km road is now tarred by the local panchayat and number of cars and mini buses are flying.
Dr. Solomon recalls how as a school boy, he enjoyed accompanying his father in working in the paddy field, coconut grove, tapioca cultivation, vegetable farming. His grandfather who was a weaving master used to plant tamarind trees as inter crop in the vegetable garden. They have grown and are now yielding fruits. Kanjikuzhi village is surrounded by number of ponds and channels that were used for irrigation and domestic activities. Many are now disappeared and a few are dried.
He worked for 20 years in Rural Theological Institute and the Unemployed Young People’s Association (related Institutions of The Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai) at the executive level. An awareness Educational material based on proverbs called Learning Together was prepared and published. Deepening community wells for irrigation, constructing percolation tanks, heightening the boundaries of village tanks through Food for work Scheme were also executed in 1980. In order to avail Government assistance for development programs rural sheep rearing Society for Dalits, Potters Society, and Milk Society were formed for the marginalized poor in 1981.
He was instrumental in Establishing Three special schools for 300 child laborers in Sivakasi area under NCLP, Government of India in1994. With a view to empower rural youths an Industrial Training Institute that offers skill training in Electrician, Motor Mechanic, Fitter and wireman was established and obtained affiliation under NCVT of Government of India in 1992.
In 1997, he was appointed as Director of Ecumenical Church Loan Fund of India (ECLOFI), a unit of World council of churches, Geneva that provides financial assistance by way of loan to the reputable NGO’s, Self help groups, (Silk weavers, Vegetable vendors, Petty business, Cow rearing, Gypsies) and Church related organizations thereby he was able to connect with grassroots organizations to National Church leaders till 2004.
In 2005, he took charge of Christian Mission Service (CMS) as Chief Executive Officer. He was the first Indian CEO. CMS cares for 6000 children and youths through 74 established Institutions in 6 States. (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra, Karnataka, West Bengal and Maharashtra) with assistance of 580 qualified staff members. In CMS, Awareness education on planting trees, water storage, and water purification, prevention of soil erosion, land pollution, water pollution, and waste management were taught and practiced in the 35 Centers.
After completing his term in CMS, He pursued "Mission studies" as research scholar in Overseas Mission Study Center (OMSC), Connecticut ,USA in 2015.
He was ordained in the Church of South India and served as a honorary pastor in the Madurai Ramnad and Coimbatore Dioceses and is now serving in the kanyakumari Diocese.
He was a Visiting Fellow at the university of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK from 1 october 2017 to 31 September 2018 and the Adelaide college divinity, Australia from 6 October to December 2019.