Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29, 2009: Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla, celebrated the Annual Campus Staff Christmas Party with a difference. The enthusiasm and joy of the Campus Staff was very palpable as they gathered together to celebrate the theme “Live Life, Give Life and Support Life.” A prayer service cum presentation with specific focus on Human and Child Rights prepared by Fr. Christopher was followed by a very appreciatively relevant Christmas Message ‘Staying Connected’ by Fr. Bosco Pereira, Campus Minister of yore. The message “stay connected because we care, love and share our joys and sorrows with all” found many eager takers.
The highlight of this celebration was the unexpected initiative of the staff of the Don Bosco Maritime Academy who launched a collection drive to make a difference to some of the victims of the 26/11 terrorist attack. They identified 4 victims from among the numerous casualties of that day who were still in dire need of assistance, presenting these with a monetary contribution which would help them tide over their ill fate, to some measure. This was a very noble and touching expression of caring, sharing and giving! Some games and snacks followed and everyone departed home with the hope that the Christmas Season and the New Year would usher in Peace, Safety and Security to all in the world.
The 4 victims of 26/11 who were helped are:
1. Mr. Jagan Bokade: sustained several bullet injuries and was seriously wounded which has damaged the lower half of his body. Was in Bombay Hospital till October 2009, and having undergone several surgeries till date is currently awaiting funds for further surgeries. Being the main family bread earner he is now bed-ridden with a plaster. He has a wife and a six year old son.
2. Mr. Bharat Shyam Navadia: A young door to door salesman of sarees lost his wife Poonam to bullet injuries. Bharat too got a bullet on the right hand and has undergone several operations, still awaiting further treatment. He has 2 kids – 2 and 3 years old. Being incapacitated, Bharat is struggling to take care of his children and is presently unemployed.
3. Mr. Lalji Pande: This 54 years old citizen has to care for his aged father, mother, wife and 2 children. He sustained bullet injuries in his right hand rendering it disabled. Initially received help from the Government and was operated upon. He lost his livelihood due to injury and is now struggling with a 52% disability. He now moves from pillar to post trying to receive the announced relief and rehabilitation package.
4. Mr. Ashok Sannap: 52 year old Ashok was at Nariman house when he was hit by bullets resulting in permanent damage and weakness to his liver. He was treated at JJ Hospital and the bullet was removed. Presently he is unable to take up any job and is finding it difficult to meet his monthly medical expenses amounting to Rs. 2000 per month. He is the sole earning member of his family with a wife and 3 daughters. He is yet to receive the assured compensation form the Home Ministry, Govt. of India.