Sunday, October 26, 2008

BIS # 1160 UDDAN ’08 TAKES OFF

Crescens Lemos sdb MATUNGA, OCTOBER 25, 2008: The day that every street kid in Mumbai eagerly looks forward to has arrived! Since the past 24 hours the quadrangle of Don Bosco Matunga is swelling with kids, youngsters and adults. ‘Uddan 2008’ – the repackaged traditional Annual Diwali Mela organized by Shelter Don Bosco, has just set Mumbai ablaze! The inauguration ceremony was held yesterday at 11.30 am with Minister Chagan Bujbal as Chief Guest and Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, as Guest of Honour. After the cerrmonial lamp was lit by the dignitaries on the dais, Fr. Michael Fernandes welcomed the children and the guests. He reiterated that Don Bosco stands by every child in distress and that any street kid in the city who is in need of care can walk into the Shelter at any part of the day or night. He further added that the Diwali Mela had reinvented itself with a focus on careers for the disadvantaged. He invited the youngsters present to take advantage of the opportunities being made available through this Mela. Speaking next, Minister Chagan Bhujbal said that unfortunately there were many NGOs who “say much but do little”. However, here at Uddan he experience a difference, he could see “words in action all around”. He too encouraged the children to look at their future seriously. With the inauguration over, the Mela moved on at a feverish pitch. A heady mix of masti and music ensured that the kids had a great time through the day. Several celebrities dropped into the Mela at various times – Additional Commissioner of Police Mr. Sadanand Date, as also actors Boman Irani, Malika Arora and Amrita Arora. A large number of Salesians from the Mumbai Province and various parts of India mingled cheerfully with the kids. Scores of volunteers moved around briskly organizing the stalls, the games, the eats and the what-have-you. Clearly everyone was having a great time! The Mela is not yet over and ‘Day Two’ promises to be even more fascinating. We’ll keep you informed…!

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