Sunday, January 31, 2010


Eileen Buthello
: Visitors, benefactors and friends all came in good numbers to Maria Ashiana, Lonavla to celebrate its Annual Thanksgiving Day on January 26, 2010. The chief Guest was Mr. Loris Joppini, President of Asha Foundation, Switzerland. He came along with 9 other members of the foundation from Switzerland.

The festivities began since early morn with the flag hoisting and a special mass. There was a well balanced entertainment programme with the Salesian Sisters and postulants from Lonavla performing a couple of Indian dances. The Don Bosco High School band played some foot tapping pieces. The Pangoli Village Community children performed some beautiful folk dances and some scintillating performances by the Maria Ashiana boys brought the audience to a thunderous applause. A special violin and tabla duet performance by Ms. Sunita and Mr. Bhushan was the highlight of the morning, but who stole the hearts of the audience was the special dance performance by the Asha Foundation group to the song Y.M.C.A it brought all to their feet and applauding their participative gesture. Ms. Eileen Buthello read the annual report of the activities and achievements that took place in the year 2009-2010.

Pangoli Day as has been the tradition started by Maria Ashiana in 2001 was celebrated in the village. It was a red letter day for the villagers. Special games were organized and the villagers contributed to have their stage, sound and lights set up in the village. Special performances were staged by the villagers. The Maria Ashiana boys put up two dances to the loud applause of the villagers. The high point of the celebration was the reading of the achievements of the village by the village headman Mr. Dama Hole. It was an emotional moment as he stated how the village was united in getting water taps, a gymnasium, an angawadi and a library for the aging from the government schemes. The village has realized the resources they have through the schemes and have been taking their rights to get these schemes for tribals to their village. The evening ended with a Special vote of thanks from the Villagers to the staff and Director of Maria Ashiana for helping facilitate change in their village.

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