Saturday, August 30, 2008


Ranald Lopes sdb
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 30, 2008: Saturday is market day at Chhota. But make no mistake, the jeeploads of people that travelled from their villages to the quaint tribal town of Chhota this Saturday, August 30, were not on their way to the market. To use an old cliché, today all roads literally led to Don Bosco. The campus wore a distinct look of festivity with streamers dancing in the wind as the village band merrily trumpeted its music. The occasion being celebrated was the inauguration of the new Skills Training Centre. The festivities began the previous evening as the local tribal priests or magic men began their chanting at sunset, calling on the gods, the ancestors and the benevolent spirits to bless this new venture. With much fervour and zest they kept up their rituals through the night, ceasing only at sunrise. At 10.30 am the official inaugural ceremony got underway. The Chief Guest was Ms. Roswitha Maus, Projects Manager of Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany. Present for the occasion were Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, Fr. Anaclete D’Mello, Provincial Economer, several Salesians from the Gujarat Region, Staff and Students of Don Bosco Chhota, and a multitude of villagers. The programme began with a Prayer Dance and this was followed by a Gujarati Garba. The guests were then welcomed with garlands and bouquets. Next, Fr. Elson Barretto addressed the gathering and thanked the many persons who were instrumental in furthering this project. The blessing of the Skills Training Centre was then done by Fr. Michael Fernandes. Speaking during the blessing ceremony, he too expressed his thanks to all who had supported this project and prayed that many may benefit from it. Ms Roswitha Maus then unveiled the inaugural plaque and cut the ribbon to open the centre. This new institute will offer a variety of skills training courses including tailoring, bakery and confectionery, two wheeler servicing, carpentry and welding. It has been funded by the German Ministry for Development Cooperation in collaboration with Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany

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