Monday, August 31, 2009

BIS #1521 PARSIH WEBSITE LAUNCHED


Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, AUGUST 31, 2009
: The congregation attending the Saturday evening Eucharist on August 29, 2009 was privileged and delighted to witness the launch of the Resurrection parish Website. The website, the brain-child of Fr. Edwin Colaco, is the product of months of dedicated efforts put in by him and his team of computer-savvy parishioners.
After the Eucharist, the website was projected through the LCD on a screen so that the entire congregation could have a glimpse of it. Fr. Edwin explained the Salient features of the website http://www.resurrectionchurchvirar.blogspot.com/ which included various parish information, readings of the day, catechetical material, action songs, games, happenings in different communities and associations along with the latest photographs, all of which can be downloaded absolutely free of cost. The information on the website will be periodically updated.
The launch of the parish website marks yet another mile-stone in achieving the united mission – of being an empowered and vibrant parish. Thanks to the dynamic and the visionary qualities of the parish team, a wealth of information is now just a click away.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

BIS #1520 RETURNING TO THE VILLAGE, REVIVING THE GRAM SABHA

Gregory Almeida sdb
KAWANT, AUGUST 29, 2009:
August 27, 2009, marked a major event for Don Bosco Kawant, as the students of Standard IX visited Singalda village to witness a Gram Sabha LIVE!

Before visiting the village, the students were briefed about the importance and purpose of Gram Sabhas through two short videos dealing with the benefits of attending Gram Sabhas and the practical problems that people face while participating in them.

The students were welcomed by the Sarpanch and Talati of the village, and were given a place of honour at the very front of the gathering! As the meeting progressed, it was obvious that the officials were making a special effort to conduct the proceedings properly and answer people’s questions, even if it was only an attempt to leave a good impression on the children! The people of the village were also happy to have the students in their midst, and this strengthened their resolve to participate actively in future programmes.
At the meeting, the students were able to put all their classroom knowledge of Panchayat systems into perspective, as they witnessed first-hand the way in which government systems function in the villages. The experience helped them understand that although many factors prevent people from claming their rights, they can move towards empowerment by insisting on participating in Panchayati Raj institutions.

With the Governance Project taking shape in our province through a focus on the NREG and Panchayati Raj, this visit helped the students realize that it is their turn to return to their villages and participate in programmes such as the Gram Sabha. While many students leave the village after completing their studies, today’s experience helped the children understand that proper guidance, organized strength and leadership can also enable people in the rural areas to live a dignified life.
Attending the Gram Sabha reminded these future leaders of their responsibility towards their villages. The entire experience recalled the story of the film ‘Swades’, wherein the educated hero returns to his village to lead his people to a just form of development. And at Don Bosco Kawant, the time has come for our young people to return to the villages to bring about a CHANGE FOR BETTER LIVING.

Friday, August 28, 2009

BIS #1519 LOCAL ECONOMERS MEET

Bernard Britto sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 28, 2009:
“Finance is an important sector of any organization. Optimum use of it makes or breaks the organization”. Keeping this in mind 37 Administrators or local Economers of the Mumbai Province gathered for a meeting at Don Bosco Provincial House Matunga on August 28, 2009. The day long meeting began with Fr. Allwyn Misquitta leading the gathering with praise and worship, where he invited all to be in touch with self and God there by presenting a powerful movie clipping on thirsting for love and concern.
Mr. Jaganath Khanolkar, the lawyer and consultant of the Economers office started off by explaining the directives of the government and have standardization among the various regions of Mumbai, Madhya Maharashtra and Gujarat. Mr. Ashok the Chartered Accountant of the Mumbai region explained the intricacies & Silent features of TDS that is Tax Deducted at Source- the mode of collection of Direct taxes by the income –tax department.
An impacting moment during the gathering was when Mr. Ashok requested all the administrators to stand for 2 minutes silence while explaining the Dead Stock register because this particular register, though mandatory for all trusts and charities was never taken seriously and never maintained.
Fr. Elson Barretto, the Economer of the Mumbai Province presented a paper on what the local Economer ought to do and be. He explained that the local Economer recognizes his role as a steward. He exercises his stewardship on behalf of the congregation, as the one immediately responsible for the administration of the temporal goods of the religious house, and not as the owner. The Salesian playing the role of the local Economer fulfils his role in a network of roles in a given constitution of the Salesian community.
Concluding the meet Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial summed up the various presentations and clarified questions the house. He agreed that though a major part of the work was done by the clerks and accountants of the houses the administrators also need to be aware and competent in their field of Administration of goods and flow of finances. He accepted the suggestions that the next meeting each administrator will invite their accountant for a follow-up analysis and evaluation. In the end he thanked the administrators for their time and showed appreciation for all the work that they are doing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BIS #1518 STATES OF INDIA- ALIVE

Sarita Rego
BORIVLI, AUGUST 27, 2009: A wonderful presentation on different states of India was executed at Don Bosco High School, Borivli
on August 21, 2009. The presentation which took place in the classrooms was carried about by the students of Std. Six under the guidance of their teachers.
What followed was a myriad of emotions, as the students dressed up in different costumes, colours, fabrics brought in food items from different states of India. The states of Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala and many others were a visual delight. It was an enticing moment when the state of Goa entered right into the classrooms. The students with colourful hats, strumming the guitar to popular mandos and those dressed in the traditional Lungi, serving food on banana leaves had the attention of every one. Each state had a story to tell and the delicacies of every state were warmly served to the visiting teachers and staff members welcomed with a traditional aarti.

This whole exercise proved as a unique and excellent way to teach Social Sciences and get the students involved in the syllabi. The students and teachers look forward to more such wonderful displays of varied cultures, clothing and cuisines with PowerPoint presentations to help children understand better.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BIS #1517 CREATING LEADERS

Alex Lokanathan
VIRAR, AUGUST 26, 2009
: Fr. Johnson Menezes, the director of the youth of the Vasai diocese was extremely impressed by the way the youth group was functioning in the Resurrection parish at Virar. He mentioned that many youth groups were limping and that with some guidance they would do well. The idea of having the training programme was born during this discussion.
The training programme was held on Sunday, August 23, 2009 from 9.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. Each parish was asked to send 5 potential youth leaders and 2 youth animators. There were 53 members present for the programme. The main thrust of the programme was to equip the youth with a working knowledge of how to conduct youth meetings and organize various activities in the parish.
Each session had 2 parts. Firstly, there was an input session. Next, it was followed by putting the acquired knowledge into practice. Fr. Gregory initiated the youth into prayer and conducted a session on ‘being a prophet’. Fr. Edwin Colaco, drawing from his rich experience of guiding youth groups was at his very best as he taught how to prepare action songs, value games and sessions which is essential to a youth meeting. He then explained the importance of the agenda forms, registration forms and break forms for a better and smoother running of the youth groups. Finally, Fr. Blany Pinto emphasized the need of a vision for every youth group. He then proceeded on to explain how to plan, execute and evaluate the various youth activities.
The programme ended with Fr. Johnson Menezes thanking the Salesians for animating the youth. The youth returned back to their parishes with great satisfaction a resolve that they would leave no stone unturned to make their youth groups a vibrant one.

BIS #1516 BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS AT NERUL

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS AT NERUL
NERUL, AUGUST 26, 2009:
Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul celebrated the birthday of Fr. Vivian D’souza’s on August 25, 2009. The programme began with the cutting of the birthday cake. The students personally wished him with flowers and cards. A birthday message was read both by the primary and the pre-primary students. A bouquet was presented to him on behalf of the staff and students of Don Bosco School.

A lively programme was organized by the students. The programme comprised of a birthday dance & song put up by the primary section, a birthday polka dance put up by the pre- primary section and a birthday poem which was recited by a student. Fr. Vivian concluded the programme by addressing the students.

BIS #1515 YOUNG MEET AT DIVYADAAN

Aneesh Chacko sdb
NASHIK, AUGUST 26, 2009
: On the, Sunday August 23, 2009, the youth of three different parishes of Nashik met at Divyadaan to know the extent with which they are influenced by the world of media today. It was a day long meet organized by the youth of the Holy Cross parish and the coordinating brothers together with the other brothers of Mph. The day consisted of two sessions, discussion, interaction, party games and songs. The resource persons for the input sessions were Fr. Edison Fernandes, SDB and Fr. Robert Pen, SDB respectively.
The input sessions centered on the influence of media on young and the developmental issues. The day began with an inaugural service followed by the icebreaking session and the input session. The sessions were lively and interactive. One could notice the curiosity and change of opinions in the young when Fr. Edison was speaking about the early jump from childhood to adolescence and adolescence to early adulthood.
At 12.15 pm Fr. Kenneth, SJ celebrated the Eucharist and in his homily he preached about the rich young man of the gospel and threw light on the values that the young people hold on to in the fast growing mediated world of media.
The presence of 80 youth were 80 made the day a successful one. Fr. Ivo Coelho made his Salesian presence felt by actively involving himself in the events of the day. Being in charge of the youth of Don Bosco parish, he convened a meeting of all the youth leaders in the afternoon to plan for the coming events. Fr. Suresh Sathe, the parish priest of St. Anne’s also graced the occasion by his presence.
At the end of the meeting, the young were all happy and enthusiastic and appreciated the moment of being together. Having given their curiosity to explore the media a tinge of responsible evaluation, they went home satisfied.
“Youth is a time given by providence to every person and given to him as a responsibility. During that time he searches, like the young man in the gospel, for answers to basic questions; he searches not only for the meaning of life but also for a concrete way to go about living his life. This is the most fundamental characteristic of youth.”- Pope John Paul II (an extract from the inaugural service)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BIS #1514 ARCHBISHOP THOMAS MENAMPARAMPIL VISITS DBYC

Savio D’souza sdb
PUNE, AUGUST 25, 2009:
The community of Don Bosco Youth Centre was glad to felicitate Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop of Guwahati on August 21, 2009, as he was on his short visit to Pune for a seminar on Science and Religion. The Lordship celebrated the Eucharist for the community. During the homily he spoke of our contribution as religious in this era where science and religion prevailed. Adding to it he said that our vocabulary required to correspond to new cultures and ideas and the Salesians need to have an active response to the needs of the times with the beautiful charisma that Don Bosco has blessed us.
After the Holy Eucharist the community gathered around the Lordship for a community photo and soon after breakfast the Bishop bid the community good bye.

Monday, August 24, 2009

BIS #1513 DBYA-SA ANIMATES PYPT OF CHENNAI

Jeffrey Gladstone sdb
CHENNAI, AUGUST 24, 2009:
The think-tank of the Youth Pastoral Ministry of the Chennai Province, i.e., the Province Youth Pastoral Team (PYPT) comprising of the Delegate, Commission Heads and Sector Heads along with some special invitees gathered at their provincial house on August 15 and 16, 2009, in order to be animated at depth on the four dimensions relating to the Salesian Youth Ministry.
The DBYA-South Asia team from Delhi was present in its full strength to carry forward the all-important task of rekindling and renewing the hearts and minds of the Chennai PYPT. Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu, the Provincial welcomed the resource persons and spelt out the reasons for arranging such a meeting. Fr. Maria Charles, the South Asian Delegate for the Youth Ministry set the tone for the programme by enunciating the various nuances enshrined in the Salesian Youth Ministry Model. It was followed by a free and frank review of the Youth Pastoral Plan in the province which was indeed a moment of confronting the brutal facts with an open mind as paraphrased by Fr. Joe Arimpoor, the National Delegate for Groups and Movements. The first day came to a close with a Thanksgiving Benediction service conducted by Fr. Brian Moras, the National Delegate for Vocation Animation and Guidance.
The second day unfurled itself with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr. Joe Andrew, the Vice-Provincial of Chennai Province. During the day, a lot of time was spent in trying to understand the various dimensions of the Salesian Youth Ministry. Fr. Arimpoor threw open the challenges involved in forming Bosco Youth Groups as a South Asian Venture. Fr. Jeyapalan, the National Delegate for Evangelization and Catechesis shared with us the paradigm shift that emerged during the National Salesian Catechetical Coordinators Meet held at Kolkata in July 2009. Fr. Brian Moras, with his well prepared power-point programme, presented the challenges faced in Vocation animation and Guidance, especially in the area of Vocation Recruitment and Promotion to Salesian life. Education, being the basic stratum of Salesian Youth Ministry, Fr. Maria Charles took the house, through a powerful presentation, for a daring Re-look at Education Vision 2020. It, of course, served as an Examination of Conscience of our Educational Ministry.
At the end of the presentation of all the dimensions, the entire Assembly engaged itself in an active sharing of the challenges and plans in the Youth Ministry in different sectors of our mission in the Province. That exercise helped all those present to sharpen the focus of the mission in various sectors and to redouble the efforts to Encounter the YOUNG PERSON in his/her totality.
The two days of animation of PYPT came to an end with the clarion call from the Vice Provincial to make the effects of this animation programme trickle down to the individual commissions, communities and confreres.

BIS #1512 WORLD SENIOR CITIZENS' DAY AT VIRAR

Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, AUGUST 24, 2009:
To commemorate World Senior Citizens’ day, the newly founded Senior citizens’ cell by Fr. Edwin Colaco decided to offer the 7.00 pm Eucharist on August 21, 2009, at Virar for their intentions and then to felicitate them.
It was touching to see the fervor on the faces of the elders as they walked slowly in procession towards the altar for the Eucharist. In his homily, Fr. Edwin narrated how the C3 formula - CARE, CONCERN AND COMPASSION inspired him to introduce the cell years back at Antop Hill. A short but meaningful prayer for the seniors, accompanied by them being blessed marked the conclusion of the solemn Eucharist. After the Eucharist, snacks were served and a light sing-song session was held.
The Senior Citizens cell which is a brain wave of Fr. Edwin in the parish will be officially launched on September 28, 2009 with a Eucharist at 6.00 p.m. followed by an evening of games and entertainment. The parish is expecting over 100 seniors for the programme. This is certainly another feather in the cap of the Parish, which is bubbling with activity. The seniors have felt appreciated and they are eagerly awaiting the next programme in September.

BIS #1511 ORIENTATION IN THE TIME OF MALARIA

Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 24, 2009
: The enthusiastic band of First Year ITI students of St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute at the DBCL Campus at Kurla, Mumbai braved the heavy showers and the general malarial onslaught to participate in a two-day orientation programme held on August 20 and 21, 2009. The programme was organized by the staff and faculty for the newcomers.

Commencing at 8:00 a.m. on the August, 20 with a prayer-reflection “itni shakti hume dena daata”, Fr. Richard D’Silva, Dean of SJITI addressed the students and extended them a warm welcome and a pleasant journey throughout their years of study. Quoting from the Mahabharata, he said: “be like Arjuna, whose focus and single-minded determination made him the king of archers.” The programme then continued with a short session of ice-breakers well-coordinated by Cl. Clayton D’Mello, who invited and animated the students to mingle among themselves and make new friends. The other sessions for the day included Campus Behaviour and Mannerisms, Rules and Regulations to be followed in the Institute, and a Movie-Discussion on the life and works of Don Bosco among other things.

The next day began with an assembly amidst thundering showers and lightning. Mr. Xavier Fernandes, the Principal of SJITI explained the universal prayer “Our Father” to the students, after which, the out-going Principal Mr. Amar took over. He briefed the students regards the various trades, the details of the Hand-book and also other formalities that would have to be observed in the Institute. After this hectic session, the students were taken on a guided Campus Tour organnised by Mr. Karl Pereira and the respective trade-instructors. The programme came to a conclusion with the distribution of the workshop-tools, uniform and personal safety equipment.

It was an enriching experience for both, the staff as well as the students right at the beginning of the academic year. Perhaps this feel-good factor will help to create a ‘SJITI Shining’ in the year ahead.

Friday, August 21, 2009

BIS #1510 SHG . ONE STEP TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT

Melvin Pangya
BORIVLI, AUGUST 21, 2009:
Bosco Yuva Sanghatana, Borivli organized a three days training program on Self Help Groups for the poor and marginalized women from Shivaji Nagar. Thirty five women from Gouri Nagar, Shivaji Nagar and Sai Dham slums attended this training programme.
The training began with the lighting of the lamp by Fr. Anaclete D’mello and Fr. Anthony Santarita. Mr. Melvin Pangya introduced brief the organization and its various initiatives in the province. He mentioned that the organization not only works in urban but also to reaches out to the poor and marginalized groups in the tribal areas. Fr. Anaclete, in his address encouraged the women and said that It was indeed commendable that women from Shivaji Nagar came together to learn about Self Help Groups. He added that the organization is ready to expand the support not only women but also wants to reach out to youth and children of the area.
The session began with the introduction of the participants by way of an ice breaker. The women actively participated in the training. Societal analysis, concepts and importance of SHG’s and how to conduct meetings were the areas that were touched upon in the training.
Mrs. Anju Limbachiya one of the participants expressed her gratitude and said that the training served as an eye opener. The participants have assured that they would willingly work under the guidance of the organization. The training helped to clarify their many doubts related to SHG’s. The training ended with the song “Hum Honge Kamyab”.

BIS #1509 SCHOOL PRINCIPALS' MEETING

Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, AUGUST 21, 2009:
The Principals’ of the 23 Salesian schools from the regions of Gujrat, Madhya Maharashtra and Mumbai came together on August 20, 2009, at the Provincial House, Matunga for the Education Commission: School Principals’ Meeting which lasted the whole day.
The opening session had Fr. Glen Lowe lead the Principals through a beautiful prayer by way of a power point presentation. Fr. Boniface D’souza, Co-ordinator of the Schools briefly informed the participants about the happenings of the day while Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, introduced the meeting. Pre- lunch the participants saw Mr. Anand Castelinho speak about the ‘RTI’ legislation as applicable to schools. He dealt with the various parts of RTI that affected the interests of the school and principals. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice- Provincial gave a comprehensive idea of all the possible mental ailments that could afflict school going children and what remediation programs could be initiated for them. He also mentioned that the institutions could benefit from the programs offered by Prafulta. Fr. Donald Fernandes’ input was dedicated to the personal development of students as a composite of values adopted and beliefs nurtured. The second half of this session mainly concerned the establishment of the education board with facilities for legal assistance.
Post lunch the house was involved in discussions on how various activities could be adopted at the school level for teachers and students for the Jubilee year “Return to Don Bosco”. The plans were left to be finalised in the near future. The formation and placements of principals, appraisal of school functionaries, activities in schools and the possibilities of adopting a common procedure for all schools in academic, non- academic areas and administrative areas were discussed. The Principals expressed their appreciation and gratitude for a programme that totally engaged them. Many plans that are still in the pipeline will soon see the light of the day. The Provincial and the sizable number of his Councillors lent both colour and valuable support to the gathering.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BIS #1508 MEDICAL CHECK UP CAMP

Sarita Rego
BORIVLI, AUGUST 20, 2009:
The Don Bosco Past Pupils Alumni, Borivli, under the able leadership of Past Pupil Mr. Hemant Jain, his team of PPA members and guidance of Fr. George Carlos, Principal, organized a medical check up camp on the August 11- 13, 2009, for the benefit of the primary and secondary students of the school.
Nearly 1500 students participated in the camp and were attended to by 12 doctors. The students with symptoms of viral flu and severe cough and cold were identified and remedial action was suggested. 10 PPA members volunteered during the three days camp. The successful execution was highly appreciated by the students, parents and management. The event was also covered by the local print media.
Don Bosco High School, Borivli under the able leadership of Principal Fr. George Carlos helped create awareness by encouraging students to attend the Medical Camp in order to safeguard the health of the precious students and also educate them through the intercom everyday about the preventive measures that need to be taken in order to combat Swine Flu and fight the fear element associated with this H1N1 virus.

BIS #1507 FOOTBALL MANIA 2009

Rickson Fernandes sdb
LONAVLA, AUGUST 20
, 2009: In the midst of the swine flu, the past pupils association of Don Bosco, Lonavla organized a Dawn to Dusk 7-Aside football tournament for the football lovers on August 19, 2009. In the present circumstances they managed to infect 16 teams with the virus of the football monsoon fever. Fr. Lorenzo D’Souza the past pupils in- charge and with the Leadership of Gijo, the president of the unit, the Football Mania 2009 was a great success and a very well appreciated tournament.

One of the special characteristics of this event was the presence of Salesians from Mumbai and Pune, who also played in the tournament. The occasion began with a prayer service wherein blessings of God were invoked. A small inspirational talk by Fr. Lorenzo followed during which also explained the rules of the game. The draws for the game were later made. The teams moved on to the grounds where two games went on simultaneously.

A number of prizes were given in different achievements; highest goal scorer, best player etc. The runners-up were the Gex team (Don Bosco Yerwada football team) and the winning trophy was awarded to Go sports team from Pune. All through the day the sun shone brightly however the final match was faced with showers of blessings which made it truly a Football Monsoon Mania.

BIS #1506 CAMPUS LIFE TO CORPORATE LIFE

CHINCHWAD, AUGUST 20, 2009: At the close of the year a workshop entitled "Campus Life to Corporate Life" was conducted for the outgoing students of Don Bosco Technical Institute, Chinchwad. The workshop was built around the belief that the youth would be moving into a different environment from what they were used to, and needed to be able to articulate and face their concerns as well as to prepare them (within the limitations of what could be done in a brief workshop) to enter this new world.
In order to facilitate greater participation the youth were divided into two groups, each of around 20 to 25 participants, and the two workshops (each of one day) were conducted primarily in Hindi and Marathi.
The workshop started with an exercise that helped the students articulate their own fears and anxieties in making this transition, and this was used as an entry point into helping them learn how to deal with some of the issues that they themselves had raised. The ability and need to think out of the box (creatively) was also stressed through exercises and instructions. Finally the necessity and importance of working in a team was taught and stressed through two different games, with a number of useful principles being thus taught to the participants. In order to ensure internalization of the lessons, the youth were asked to create small ‘nataks’ (shirt plays) to express what they gained from the sessions. This allowed the resource person Mr. Josantony Joseph to highlight and add to their understanding of the various inputs given during the workshop.
The feedback from the youth was extremely positive, with a number pointing out that the methodology of teaching through exercises rather than through lecturing was far more effective. They also suggested that kind of a workshop could profitably be conducted at an earlier stage in their training at Don Bosco Technical Institute.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BIS #1505 SWINE FLU HELPS SJITI TO ORIENT ITSELF

Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 19, 2009:
The Staff and Faculty of the St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute at the Don Bosco Centre for Learning Campus at Kurla, were engrossed in an Orientation Process which lasted three days, beginning August 17 and finishing on the August 19. Taking advantage of the deplorable health situation whereby the students were asked to remain at home, the teaching faculty and the other staff sat through grueling sessions animated by different people.

Day one had Fr. Xavier Devdas of Shelter and Karjat fame, taking the participants through the entire process of awareness, stress management and inner healing. Combining theory with practical exercises, Fr. Xavier invited the participants to look at themselves in order to live life to the full. He said: “Do not carry your stress, tensions, problems, etc. to the students… Manage yourselves and then be available to manage the students.. We are all important, we cannot take our bodies for granted.. So please let us take care of ourselves and then care for the others…”

Day two was dedicated to understanding the Don Bosco Way of Educating. In a session filled with practical examples and discussion-reflection, Fr. Christopher made the participants look at Don Bosco’s Educational Method with a situational focus. The faculty and the staff voiced their opinions, their understanding and even managed to clarify certain lingering doubts. It was a fruitful session wherein the participants became more aware and were eager to implement this Preventive System in the process of educating youngsters for the industry. The latter part of the day was dedicated to the clarification of Roles and the other aspects of daily functioning with regard to the Institute. Fr. Richard D’Silva, the Dean of SJITI drove home the point that “we are here to educate the youngsters to life and therefore it is imperative that we create an ambient of learning and lead by example.” Following this, a session on Networking and Administration was conducted by Mr. Xavier Fernandes, the Principal of SJITI. He dealt with the importance and the primary significance of established networks and linkages. Explaining with examples and citing modern theories of management, he stressed the need to be bound together in a net of information, communication and relationships in order to achieve more not only for the respective trade-workshops but also as an Institute as a whole.

Day three was devoted to the nitty-gritty routine functioning of the Institute. Mr. Amar Pathikond, the out-going Principal of SJITI, briefed the participants’ regarding the formalities and the various systems which are already in place at the Institute, but which need to be clarified and adhered to by the entire faculty and students. Later in the day, Fr Adolph Furtado, Director of DBCL addressed the participants, asking them for their feedback and inviting them to work together within the Salesian framework, by practical application of the method for the greater benefit of the students in our care. He stressed the need for scalable deliverables, especially with regard to the MES (Modular Employable Skill) and other such Competency Programmes which are on the anvil.

This was a welcome break as well as a learning process for the Staff and Faculty at SJITI, which is otherwise loaded with full-time activity throughout the academic year. The Participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude for a programme of this nature and some commented: “it was a good opportunity to clarify issues…” Some others felt: “we enjoyed this programme as it was not very heavy but at the same time helped us to understand the system and the infrastructural framework…” Others were happy at having “experience of de-stressing oneself to help oneself and others to live life more fully.”

BIS #1504 DBDS WORKING TOWARS WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, AUGUST
19, 2009: The scorching heat of the Mumbai sun and the dusty air did not deter the spirits of the women from the slums of Dharavi who had gathered on the afternoon of August 17, 2009 at the Ekvira Mitra Mandal community centre for the inaugural tailoring class.
“Aaj class ka pehla din hain”, chirped Laxmi, a housewife from Dharavi. She and her friends were visibly enthusiastic about their first day at the class. Other than the sixty women who had gathered at the community centre, Fr. Savio Silveira, Mr. Jairam Chowgule from Ekvira Mitra Mandal, Mr. Vijay Rajput, Mr. Sunil Katkar and Mr. Manish Daliya from Vijay Apparels; Mr. Arun Birade from the Apparel Training and Designing Centre were present for the inauguration ceremony.
Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Mumbai Development office delivered the welcome address after which floral tributes were presented to the guests. The afternoon saw the women students perform an aarti for the machines while the breaking of the coconut to ward off evil followed. In her introductory address Ms. Pednekar mentioned the keen interest of these women to learn tailoring. The women wanted to contribute to their partners earnings so that their children would be able to have a better education.
Fr. Savio, in his address mentioned that only screaming and shouting slogans for women empowerment on Women’s Day is not enough. He added that they needed to move ahead by developing skills. Mr. Chowgule from Ekvira Mitra Mandal gave a simple yet interesting example about a vehicle with two wheels. He compared the vehicle with life and the two wheels to a husband and a wife. In order that the vehicle should function well both the wheels need to be in balance. In the same way, even a husband and wife need to support each other. If the wife develops her skills and contributes to the income of the family, the whole family will benefit. Apart from the tailoring course Don Bosco Development Society also trains for basic computer skills and spoken English at the same community centre at Dharavi which benefits youth and children from the surrounding locality.
After the tailoring course jobs will be provided to these women by Raj Apparels. Visits to factories will also be arranged as the course progresses. These classes will be held regularly for the next two months. It is commendable to see these women balance out their household chores and their regular classes. Don Bosco Development Society is surely heading towards Saksham- women empowerment in all fields.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BIS #1503 A TRIPLE FEAST AT SATPUR

Smita Salve
NASHIK, AUGUST 18, 2009:
For the last few years, for various reasons there were no confirmations done at St. Dominic Savio Church, Satpur, Nashik. However, the confirmation catechesis was intermittent. Several youngsters were already at either junior or senior college level or working. The youth expressed impatience and annoyance. The parish council members approached the parish priest, Fr. Nelson Falcao and requested him to do something about it. The parish priest took it up as a priority and invited the confirmation candidates to attend the Sunday mass and confirmation catechesis regularly. With the help of Bro. Neville, Bro. Ryan, Bro. Rudolf, Sr. Anita fma, Salesian novices and catechism teachers, he divided them in groups, took their regular attendance and made them go through a rigorous catechesis. Not only that, with all his work the parish priest himself took catechetical sessions helping the youth to understand what they believe and to reason out their faith, memorised doctrines and prayers.

Finally, after a year’s thorough and regular catechesis and church attendance 61 youngsters and a few adults were confirmed by Archbishop Felix Machado on August 15, 2009 at 10.30 am. During his homily, the Archbishop asked a few catechetical questions to the candidates and they answered them very well. He praised the catechetical preparation of the youth and the adults. The triple solemnity of the Assumption-Independence and Confirmation was well prepared: the mahila mandal worked for about two weeks cleaning the church premises and the church; the youth group saw to the decorations, rangoli, flower arrangements and the singing; the parish council members saw to the felicitations and a saha-bhojan, i.e., a meal, for about 500 faithful.

After the Eucharistic Celebration followed the felicitations for the guests and honouring of about 80 students of Satpur area from Std. I to graduation level who secured more than 60% in the final examinations. Due to the afternoon meal that was prepared for all, people did not rush home to do their own cooking, but rather relaxed in the church premises for long. One experienced caring and sharing during the saha-bhojan. Most happy and grateful were those confirmed and their parents since they got something that was long due.

BIS #1502 TRIBAL RIGHTS RALLY

Subhash Shirsath
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 18, 2009
: S. F. School ground, at Chhotaudepur was abuzz with activity on August 4, 2009, as more than fifteen thousand tribals gathered for the Rally and Jahir Sabha for Tribal Rights of Forest Land and Forest Assets under Forest Act of 2006 organised by the Adhivasi Mahasabha, Gujarat on World tribal Day. Apart from the tribals, 39 NGO partner- members of Adhivasi Mahasabha from Vadodara, Dahod and Panchmahals districts, 69 Van Adhikari Samitee members and tribal farmers from villages of Jambughoda and Halol talukas participated in this rally.

In this rally, the tribal people were seen with banners, posters and shouting slogans. A sharing session at the rally brought out the grievances the young and old faced with the forest department. After which the Adhivasi Mahasabha’s team members made the people aware of their rights.

Fr. Xavier, who has been working for tribal development for the last 20 years, was the resource person for the day. Drawing from his long and rich experience in this movement, he shared several interesting issues with the people. He emphasized the need of coming together and fighting back to tackle common problems. Fr. Xavier finalized 14 issues of forest land farming and land issues of 10,000 tribal farmers which have been submitted to the Regional Collector.

The rally ended with the traditional performance of a tribal dance.

BIS #15O1 NARUKOT YOUTH LEARN NEW SKILL

Subhash Shirsath
NARUKOT, AUGUST 18, 2009:
A workshop on Hand Pump Repairing was organized by Don Bosco Education Society, Narukot in collaboration with Gujarat Jal-seva Talim Kendra, Gandhinagar, from July 28 to July 30, 2009. This workshop was specially designed for
the youth of Jambhughoda Taluka .

Mr. G. K. Chug, Chief Executive Training Officer- GJTI and Fr. Brian Boothello, Vice Rector Narukot Education Society were among others who inaugurated workshop. Mr. G. K. Chug motivated the youth to change their attitude of callousness and take the initiative to protect public property.

The first day of training the participants learnt the basic set up and expansion of their own enterprises using their newly-acquired skills, handpump cleaning and care, tools of handpump repairing and methods of handpump installation. The next day of the training, the participants had indoor practical sessions of installing hand pumps. After which, all trainees were divided into three groups through which they repaired seven hand pumps in Jambughoda, Narukot and Jhaban villages. On the last day of the workshop, three hand pumps were repaired in Narukot village.

In conclusion a valediction programme was organized wherein the participants received certificates and reading material. The participants agree to take their newly acquired skill forward by repairing the hand pumps of their own village. 55 youth from 25 villages have benefitted from this workshop. Considering that hand pumps are a necessity in every village, the course will enable the young people to maintain the assets of their village and build a sustainable livelihood for themselves.

BIS #15OO VIRAR INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

Agnelo Fernandes
VIRAR, AUGUST 18, 2009:
Parishioners of the Resurrection Church, Virar (E) assembled to witness the hoisting of the national flag on the occasion of India’s 62nd Independence Day celebrations.

The national flag was unfurled by the Parish Priest Fr. Blany Pinto, after which the National anthem was reverently sung. Parishioners were attired in traditional clothes, largely in the colours of our tricolour – namely saffron, white and green.

The Eucharist on the occasion of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother was celebrated by Fr. Edwin Colaco. Fr. Edwin in his homily, stressed that we need to keep Mother Mary as our model for positive thinking. Each of us has been blessed with a free will, which we need to use with prudence. Despite our independent will, we should learn to be dependent on God and whole-heartedly pledge our loyalty to our nation.

The evening witnessed a beautiful dance performance by our youth, to the tune of patriotic songs. Their costumes and the props used, reflected the colours of the national flag. An evening of a blend of hip-hop, salsa, waltz, jive and Bollywood numbers kept the Parishioners glued to the dance floor. A variety of delicious snacks and food items were available across the counter. On the spot prizes were given covering all age-groups.

The Cultural Committee, under the guidance of Fr. Edwin, put in months of hard-work to ensure a memorable Indepen-dance for all the parishioners.

Monday, August 17, 2009

BIS #1499 FAMILY'S DAY OUT. A MOVEMENT FORWARD

Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 17, 2009:
Boscowadi at Uttan-Gorai was converted into a hotspot on Sunday, August 16, 2009 as a 90-strong contingent of the Salesian Family descended on the quiet little camp house to celebrate their first-of-a-kind picnic, commemorating the Birth Anniversary of Don Bosco. It was a spirited potpourri of Co-operators, Past-Pupils, Volunteers, FMAs and Salesians, in varied hues, shapes, ages and from different walks of life, including Fr Michael Fernandes, the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai.

Hitting the tarmac simultaneously, from Matunga and Andheri at 7:00 a.m. and filling up as the journey progressed, the huge buses wound their way into the hinterland of the Mumbai outskirts amidst oohs and aahs, meandering along the refreshingly green and cool foliage before coming to a halt at the intended hotspot. Breakfast was the starting fare, followed by the Eucharistic Meal presided over by Fr Michael Fernandes. Celebrating the occasion, Fr Michael invited the picnickers to become “bread for our brothers and sisters in imitation our Saviour and model Jesus Christ, the bread of life.”

It was then a dash to the roaring sea, which however wasn’t too inviting thanks to the litter and the oil slick… but the enterprising picnickers continued with their fun, frolicking and collecting shells along the shore. It was singing, chatting, mingling around with “old and newer siblings”… a quintessentially picnicky feeling with crooning away, belting out of golden oldies, spontaneous dances, choruses, games, regaling each other with the memories of the ‘good old days’ and a general familial ambient both indoors and out on the refreshingly spirited waterfront.

The mood of the day was a passionate mixture of nostalgia, recollectedness, friendly banter, flirty swings and even enterprisingly futuristic planning. The sumptuous platter served up in the noon, only added to the camaraderie. Later in the evening, the ‘Housie’ with animated gusto and punching of numbers gave the siblings an opportunity to engage in a cheerful duel, culminating in the munching of biscuits and sipping of the ever tasty chai. Others of a more pious and divine orientation walked up the stairs to the Shrine atop Bhatte-Bundar, for a darshan. Some others who couldn’t resist the temptation to stay away from the inviting waves of the sea darted down the beach and in to the ‘not-so-clean’ waters anyway, just to get the thrill-feel. Just a little before sun-down the festival party clambered into the house-on-wheels, heading back to husband, wife, children grandchildren and the daily routine of life.

It was a coup of sorts with the entire Family coming together for this venture of togetherness and party-time. It was even more appropriate that this was on the Birth Anniversary of our Father and Founder. Some of the members opined “It is so nice … I feel at home… It would be nice to meet up more often like this… Wow… this is great… Thanks to Fr Elias….” etc, etc, etc. The Salesian Confreres of Don Bosco Matunga, Dominic Savio Andheri and Bosco Boys were specially thanked, appreciated and prayed for, for having made this adventure possible. Perhaps the only dampener was… the scorching heat with water, water everywhere, not a drop that fell… and yet the family’s day was made…!!

BIS #1498 COMMISSIONING OF PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERS

Flovi D’Souza sdb
SAVEDI, AUGUST 17, 2009:
The feast of the Assumption was celebrated with great devoutness and solemnity at Don Bosco parish, Savedi. The Hoy Eucharist was held at 9.00 am in the school hall. It was well attended by the parishioners as well as the school children. The Eucharist was animated by the school teachers and the singing and the overall arrangement was seen to by Br. Richard and Br. Arun, along with the help of the boarders. The highlight of the mass was the oath taken by the newly appointed Parish Council members, who have been elected and represent the several zones in the parish.

The SSC and HSC students who secured first class and above in the last board examinations were also felicitated after the post communion prayer. The Marian month for the boarders was officially inaugurated with a small prayer service held immediately after the mass. The Marian Month will conclude on September 12, 2009, which coincides with the Marian Pilgrimage held at the Marian Shrine at Haregaon, Ahmednagar District.

The commissioning of the Parish Council members marks a new chapter in the chronicles of Don Bosco Savedi as the role envisaged empowers them to play a greater role in the animation of the parish community as a whole. They are seen as the extending arms of the parish priest, as they are expected to be the “channels” of the parish priest in their respective zones. The outcome expected is a vivacious, devout and a fervent parish community.

BIS #1497 BACK TO BACK CELEBRATIONS AT SHELTER

Roshan Gonsalves sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 17, 2009:
With great enthusiasm and energy Janmashtami was celebrated on August 14, 2009, at Shelter Don Bosco, Vadala. Speakers blaring the song “Govinda Alla re Alla” were enough for people to know that the Shelter boys were upto something extraordinary. Fr. William Falcao inaugurated the Dahi Handi festival while the boys ganged in teams to reach the handi. Undaunted by the many deterrents, the boys lived up to the excitement with cheerful glee. With showers of water the boys were overjoyed by the environment and mood. The boys enjoyed the festival to the Fullest.
August 15, Independence Day again proved to be a day of celebration at the Shelter. The chief guest for the occasion was Mr. Raghunath Tawai, the area Corporator and Fr. William Falcao. With a Proud Salute to the Tricolor the chief guest gave a wonderful message of Love and Peace to the boys. He asked the boys to make the best use of the opportunities that were offered to them at Shelter. The first anniversary of 'Mission Shikshan’ was also celebrated. Mission Shikshan was launched last year on August 15 at Shelter Don Bosco, the motto of which has been ‘Let's Unite to Ignite the Flame of Passion… To Educate The Less Fortunate'. Fr. William Falcao thanked all the people who came forward for this fruitful cause and also gave an unforgettable message to the boys on “Education” as a tool to build their future. He assured them that Don Bosco was with them all the way for their education, and to help them acquire necessary skills for their livelihood.
On this occasion the children took part in a drawing Competition conducted by TSMC (Youth Group from Rotary club). Khaleel and Ejaz Khan were the winners in the seniors’ category while Manoj and Salman won in the juniors’ category. The back to back celebrations at Shelter have not only brought the inmates close but also derived in them self confidence and motivation.

BIS #1496 DIVYADAAN STAGES 'UNCLE'S WALKING STICK'

Ranson D’souza sdb
NASHIK, AUGUST 17, 2009:
On August 15, 2009, the community of Divyadaan staged a three act comedy play - Uncle’s Walking Stick - in honour of our Lady on the feast of her Assumption. Br. Leon Cruz the director with the support of Fr. Valerian and the community of Divyadaan got together to stage this play. Preparations for this play began well in advance and already a month before the final show the actors were seen memorising their parts furiously. The Brothers were involved in various committees like the lights and sound, the stage and backdrop, the make-up, the costumes, the publicity, ushers etc. Almost everyone was involved in some work or the other. The brothers showed a lot of generosity in carrying out the task assigned to them, taking out time from their daily activities, sacrificing even their afternoon games and keeping aside some time in the night as well for doing their work. One could see the dedication and hard work of the brothers not forgetting all the other activities and the philosophical studies which they were doing simultaneously.
The whole program began with the Divyadaan Band playing ‘Gentle Woman’ and ‘Say, has anybody seen my sweet gypsy Rose’. There was a short presentation dedicated to all priests, keeping in mind the theme for this year which is ‘Faithfulness to Christ, Faithfulness of Priests’. The presentation consisted of three short video clippings. The first clipping included Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of this year as the year of the priests wherein he speaks about the call of God which may come anytime, to anyone, anywhere. He encourages each one of us to be tuned in to God’s frequency so that we can hear his voice when he calls; in the second clipping the interview of the famous football star Hilgenbrinck from Chile with the CNN news channel was shown. This famous footballer was interviewed because he had made a decision to give up his flourishing professional football career and become a priest. In the interview he mentions that he had heard the call of God. He would always spend some time during the day in personal prayer apart from his daily practices of piety. He felt that he was privileged to serve the people of God by becoming a pastor. The third clipping was about Pope John Paul II’s message to all the faithful wherein he says that the Church is proud of her priests, loves them, honours them and recognizes with gratitude their pastoral work and the witness of their life. Priests are important not only for what they do, but also for who they are – men of great integrity, men of prayer and pastoral charity, always authentic in their love towards Jesus Christ and His people.
Fr. Savio D’Souza the rector of Divyadaan then welcomed the gathering and with this began the show of three acts. At the end of the first act there was a choral recitation ‘The Entertainer’ by the brothers. The show ended on a happy note. All who came had an enjoyable time and went back to their communities and homes cheerful and happy. Even the community of Divyadaan were thrilled with their success and joyfully danced at the end of the evening.

BIS #1495 BIRTHDAYS ARE MOMENTS TO CHERISH

Lynette Sequeira
MUMBAI, AUGUST 17, 2009:
The staff and students of Don Bosco High School, Borivli celebrated the birthday of their Principal Fr. George Carlos with much enthusiasm on August 13, 2009. The school marching band welcomed the birthday boy along with the Administrator, Fr. Allwyn and Fr. Anthony Goyal with a wonderful welcome song. Two groups of students from Std. VII and Std. X presented some foot-tapping dances which were thoroughly enjoyed by all present. The Electric band then sang some melodious songs which included a couple of Fr. George's favourite songs.

The icing on the cake was the PowerPoint Presentation. Even though the staff and students have known Fr. George Carlos for just a brief period of a couple of months, the teachers and students who planned the programme, ensured that all got a chance to learn a little more about him, his background, his hobbies, his likes and dislikes and also his family, through a wonderful presentation. It also helped Fr. Principal to re-live some of his memories from his childhood and youth.

Instead of gifts for the Principal, the P.T.A. decided to make a collection of stationary items which could be distributed to needy children. The students contributed a large variety of articles generously which were presented to Fr. George as a birthday present. These gifts will be sent to a number of centres where they can be put to good use.

Friday, August 14, 2009

BIS #1494 ADULT BAPTISMS AT SATPUR

Clara Lohana
NASHIK, AUGUST 14, 2009:
After regular church attendance and rigorous catechesis by lay catechism teachers and the parish priest himself, sixteen adults received the sacrament of baptism on August 12, 2009 at Satpur, Nashik. Those who belonged to a different faith had to prepare an affidavit affirming that they are receiving baptism knowingly, willingly, freely and without any force or compulsion. This is a type of a direct evangelization or one may call it new evangelization. This is a sign and a symbol of new people wanting to believe in Christ and his Church. This is a sign of hope.

Those baptised are grateful to Fr. Nelson Falcao, the parish priest, who has guided them during their catechetical training and journey towards Christ and to all the catechetical teachers who have helped in teaching prayers and catechism to these adults.

BIS #1493 VIANNEY SUNDAY IN VIRAR

Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, AUGUST 14, 2009:
The Sunday evening Eucharist on August 09, 2009 was celebrated specially to felicitate our dear parish priests, Fr. Blany Pinto and Fr. Edwin Colaco, on the occasion of Vianney Sunday.
In his homily, the main celebrant shared some insights on the life of the saint, who is duly revered for his simplicity and humility. The intercessions made during the prayer of the faithful spelt out the virtues of a committed pastor as contained in the word ‘SHEPHERD’. The recently elected parish pastoral council members were inducted during the Eucharist. The entire team of council members and the coordinators along with their respective association were thanked for their service to the church. The congregation was made aware of how much the diocese appreciated the commendable work done in the parish especially with the SCC’s and the youth. Floral tributes were presented to both the priests as a token of love. A fellowship meal was organized by the parish council thereafter.
Vianney Sunday provides the congregation with a wonderful opportunity to express their sincere appreciation to the dedicated work the priests put into making the parish more vibrant. But for the many initiatives and opportunities the priests provide the congregation, they would have not felt the deep sense of belonging in the truly Salesian parish of Virar.

BIS #1492 DB TECH MUMBAI HOLDS MEETING AT DBCL

Anand Raj
MUMBAI, AUGUST 14, 2009:
Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL), Kurla, organized the meeting of Principals of the Technical Training Institutes in the Mumbai Province on August 13, 2009. The meeting began with a prayer song, after which Fr. Adolph Furtado, Director of DBCL welcomed all the participants. In the first session of the day Fr. Savio Silveira made a presentation on the emerging trends in the Indian economy and their impact on youth. He spoke about the growth that India is witnessing in the manufacturing and service sectors, the demographic dividend that India enjoys, and the skills gap that the country is facing. He further went on to explain the National Policy on Skills Development and the role that DB Tech India wished to play in the national skills mission.
In the next session Mr. Amar Patinkond, Principal of St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute oriented the participants on the Modular Employable Skills (MES) programme. He explained the salient features of the scheme and emphasized the importance of this programme in the skill development sector today. He presented a few concepts and ideas involved in delivering quality training to the young through these short-term programmes.
During the post-lunch session, Mr. Soman, Principal of Don Bosco Maritime Academy explained the role that DBCL would play in the monitoring and evaluation of the Technical Institutes in the province. Drawing from his experience, he elaborated the responsibility of each institute in the province in promoting quality and need based technical education. In the discussion that followed, all the participants were in consensus to treat the following areas with top priority: attention to improve quality in the training, need for taking up short term courses with government linkages, scaling up the number of students, strategies for sustainability of programmes and better-coordinated placement services. The meeting concluded on an enthusiastic note with the participants expressing their resolve to take the skills development sector in the province to new heights.

BIS #1491 WORKSHOPS AT R&D

Sangmitra Shirodkar
MUMBAI, AUGUST 14, 2009:
The Shelter Don Bosco Research Centre (R&D), Matunga conducted workshops between August 10 and 13, 2009. Three major workshops were held on Basic Research Techniques for Co-ordinators/ Social Workers, Critical Field Reflection/ Analysis for Field workers and Advanced Practices of SPSS (Quantitative) and NVivo (Qualitative) Packages. The workshops were excellently executed by Dr. Bipasha Biswas, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, St. Louis, Missouri (USA).

The staff members from Balprafulta, Development Office, Shelter Don Bosco and the R&D participated in these different workshops and had a lot to contribute as well as learn in the interactive sessions. Dr. Biswas gave an insightful orientation to the Micro system that social work is done in. She provided that work done even with individuals has to be referred to in the Meso system, the Exo and the Macro system. The workshops dealt with deisgning and managing small scale immediate field studies. It helped field workers to critically analyze their field interventions, reflect on their cases during report writing and consequently bring more effective inputs to their reports and the organizations’ interventions.

The three workshops were aptly culminated with field visits and meetings with groups from the various community sites of the displaced populations the R&D has been involved with. An enriching experience through which the participants understood that work interventions need to be more effective and focused.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

DIVYADAAN - Invitation for a seminar on “Ethics and Politics of Climate Change”

DIVYADAAN- SALESIAN INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY
Don Bosco Marg, Nashik -422005.
Emails: saviojudedsouza@gmail.com Ph: (0) 9881269240
robertpen.sdb@gmail.com Ph: (0) 9422667619

Sub: Invitation for a seminar on “Ethics and Politics of Climate Change”

Dear Fr. Rector and Community,

Cordial Greetings from Divyadaan, Nashik!

We are happy to inform you that Divyadaan, Salesian Institute of Philosophy, is going to organize a seminar on “Ethics and Politics of climate change” on 11 and 12 September 2009.
This seminar is an effort to understand the current global crisis of climate change by having scientific understanding of climate change, the politicization of climate change and the ethical issues involved in it. It will also help the participants to critically evaluate the issue and begin implementation of the ideas favourable for preserving ecological balance.

The Resource Persons for this seminar are:

1. Dominic D’Souza – Member of the India Network of Ethics and Climate change, Vaizak.
2. Walter Mendonca - Member of the India Network of Ethics and Climate change, Vaizak.

The Proposed Programme of the seminar is as follows:

Day I (11th September 2009): 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Theme: Science and Politics of Climate Change
Day II (12th September 2009): 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Theme: Ethical Dimension of Climate Change

Knowing your interest in the field of Ecology and Environment, we would like to invite you to participate in this seminar. We will greatly appreciate if you could let us know at your earliest convenience about your willingness to accept this invitation. Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sincerely,
Fr. Savio D’Souza SDB
Rector

BIS #1490 JOSEPHITES EMERGE VICTORIOUS

Rohini Patrao
MUMBAI, AUGUST 13, 2009:
With uplifted spirits and excitement in the air the young Josephites marched and conquered the U-14 sub-junior basketball Championship in the 1st Inter District Basketball Festival.

The three day tournament began on Friday, August 7 and lasted for three. It was held at Hoppers near five gardens, with 18 schools participating in it. The Gr. Mumbai Central District Basketball Association presented the "Lakdawala Central District Basketball Olympiad" to the winning team from St. Josephs High School, Wadala.

BIS #1489 WORKSHOP ON NREGA AND PANCHAYATI RAJ INSTITUTIONS

Melvin Pangya
WALVANDA, AUGUST 13, 2009:
Bosco Yuva Sanghatana organized a three days residential workshop for the Grampanchayat Members on August 7- 9, 2009 at Walvanda centre, Jawhar on the Importance of NREGA and Role of Panchayati Raj Institutions. The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the Gram Panchayat members to implement the NREGA Act at the village level and allow the participants to have a better understanding about the Local Self Government. Forty three participants attended and participated in the workshop.
The inauguration of the workshop began with the traditional lightening of the lamp by the Sarpanch, Mrs. Sunanda Laxman Geval and other Panchayat members. The resource person from SPARSH- Center for participatory learning gave inputs on perspectives of Development and Poverty. The session was focused on explaining the NREGA Act: its main features, different formats, the administrative structures to lodge complaints. It also dealt with the role of GramPanchayat and importance of Gram Sabhas. The session was well executed and the participants visibly had their doubts cleared.
In the end Fr. Anaclete D’mello addressed the panchayat members and spoke about the role of the members in creating awareness. He also perceived that each family should have a Job card. He mentioned that there should be more participation from women to be present at the Gramsabha and demand for the work.
The Panchayat members were encouraged and enlightened about this workshop. Mr Mahadu Khirari, Sarpanch from Aase expressed that the workshop really helped them to understand the role of Gram panchayat in the village development. Participants pledged to take active part in awareness building.
The workshop ended with the lighting of the candle by each participant- a sign of spreading awareness in tune with the song “Hum Honge Kamyab”.

BIS #1488 UNDERSTANDING THE NREGA AT KAWANT

Gregory Almeida sdb
KAWANT, AUGUST 13, 2009:
For 145 SHG leaders and community members from the villages of Kawant, August 12, marked one of the first achievements in their efforts to secure their rights under the NREGA. The programme, organized by the DISHA social work team, began with a screening of a film explaining the Act and its implementation. This was followed by a short session in which Fr. Gregory, the director of the DISHA team, introduced the objectives of the day’s programme and encouraged people to participate actively and share their experiences. The Chief Guest for the day was Mr. Manish Patel, the Deputy Programme Officer for the NREGA from the District Rural Development Agency, Vadodara.
The next session comprised a set of case studies, in which people from various villages presented the status of the NREGA in their area and the problems that they face in securing work and wages under this Act. It was encouraging to see that some people had come prepared with their questions and did not hesitate to speak confidently to the Programme Officer.
In the last session, Mr. Patel addressed the questions raised by the people and suggested solutions that they can use to claim their rights. He also made immediate note of two cases and assured the complainants that he would take up the issue with the concerned authorities. He then went on to explain some of the processes involved in the implementation of the Act, such as the appointment of supervisors at the village level, the opening of accounts and the release of funds at the District, State and Block levels.
At the end of the programme, the participants came away with a sense that it is possible to make the government machinery function the way it should. The DISHA staff also gained a better understanding of this law and how they can enable people to use it effectively.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BIS #1487 MARIAN ACADEMY AT DON BOSCO NASHIK

Johnson Bhuria
NASHIK, AUGUST 12, 2009:
The Don Bosco Parish Community at Nashik gathered together to venerate Our Lady assumed into heaven by serenading her through a Marian Academy held on August 10, 2009. The programme which lasted for a whole two hours was meticulously planned and executed by the youth under the guidance of Br. Johnson Bhuriya.
Being Vianney Sunday, Fr. Nelson Falcao, took the opportunity to offer flowers to all the priests who help in the parish, as well as to some of the long standing lay leaders: Mr Robin Susainathan, Mr Rocky D'Souza, and Mr Agnelo D'Souza.
The Divyadaan brothers put up 4 lively dances - Goan mando, Gujarati garba, a North-Eastern Garo dance, and a Tamil war dance. The audience was enthralled as the dances gave a glimpse of the multi-cultural community that is Divyadaan. The senior citizens of Nirmala Home also put up a creative skit, enacting the scene of the Assumption of Our Lady as described in the visions of Maria Valtorta. The skit depicted the energy and enthusiasm of the seniors. It was wonderful to see also all the communities of the parish putting up well-prepared and rehearsed items. The STI novices staged an imaginative 'vocation story' item modelled on the call of Our Lady. The SHTC novices staged two scenes from the life of Blessed Maria Romero, FMA, a devotee of Our Lady. The catechism children also proved their mettle by staging a skit. Fr. Ivo delivered the vote of thanks. The theme of the Academy was Mary Knows the Way, Shows the Way. And the Way is, of course, Jesus.

BIS #1486 YOUTH PASCHERS REFRESHER COURSE

Brian Moras sdb
UTTAN, AUGUST 12, 2009:
One of the suggestions of the Youth Paschers in the reunion in July was to have a refresher course. To this effect 19 Youth Paschers (14 working boys and 5 working girls) attended the Youth Paschers Refresher Course at Boscowadi, Uttan from August 8-9, 2009.
The area surrounding the legendry Tulus Wadi at this point of time is not a pleasant sight; the huge high tides on July 24 brought in huge amounts of plastic. Boscowadi though, is well kept by the caretakers and is a pleasant sight to see. To add to this – the day was blessed with beautiful weather!

The evening began with a game of football followed by a swim. The evening was enlightened by a challenging session by Fr. Glenford Lowe “At Sea with God” which touched some of them deeply. After dinner, a round of introductions followed by a session of Singing with everyone contributing their share of songs.

Fr. Godfrey D’Sa joined the gang on the morning of August 9. He took a session which highlighted a case study on difficult choices to be made in life. The session elicited much discussion and sharing and was well appreciated.

The last session was a planning session for the year ahead. It began with sharing on the activities which bind the Youth Paschers together and the direction they need to move in this year. A core committee of 6 was appointed to animate the group along with Frs. Glen & Brian.

BIS #1485 INUAGURATION OF EMPOWERMENT CENTRE

Melvin Pangya
MUMBAI, AUGUST 12, 2009:
the afternoon of August 11, 2009, saw the collaboration of Jan Shikshan Sanstha and Babali Pada Rahivashi Seva Sangha with Bosco Yuva Sanghatana with an objective of empowering women from the slum area of Babali Pada. More than fifty enthusiastic women gathered for the inauguration at the Empowerment Centre which will conduct a full fledged practical training in the field of tailoring. Fr. Anaclete D’mello graced the occasion as the chief guest.
The inaugural function commenced with the welcoming of guests by a traditional aarti. The opening address was delivered by Mr. Gajanan Gavade who introduced the chief guest and the other honorable guests. He stated the goals of the organization which focuses on empowering the marginalized women by making them independent. Mr. Melvin Pangya briefed the participants on the merits of the organization and its various initiatives in the filed of social development. He categorically mentioned that the organization intends to work not only with women but also the marginalized youth in our society.
One of the participants Mrs. Manisha Bamane took the opportunity to thank the organization for its dignified work in the field of women empowerment. She also mentioned that the local Mandal has done comendable work by collaborating with Don Bosco.
In his address Fr. Anaclete thanked the local mandal for giving the opportunity to work with them. He further elaborated on the spectrum of opportunities that lies not only within the slums of Mumbai but also with the tribal’s of Thane District. One of the programmes in the pipeline is a course for the unemployed youth in spoken English, Computer Education and Life Skills.
Mr. Dayanand Patil, a Development Office staff member reiterated the eagerness of the committee in ensuring success of this programme by mobilizing the local mandals. The programme concluded with the vote of thanks to all its members.