by Mr. Dayanand Pattil
WALVANDA, MAY 26, 2014: Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) conducted, a one week rural experience workshop, for the diocesan brothers from the Diocese of Vasai. It was organized as per the special request of Bishop Felix Machado from May 18 to May 24, 2014. Seven brothers (philosophy and theology students) attended the residential workshop at Walvanda.
During the one week workshop, Mr. Melvin Pangya introduced the brothers, to the BSVS approach for community development in that area. BSVS follows a rights based approach for community development in Jawhar and Mokhada blocks of Thane district. Brothers were provided inputs on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) and life skill modules. PRA was conducted in Dandwell village by the participants and, PSP in Dongerapada hamlet.
To understand the style of local governance, the brothers were provided an opportunity to interact with the Block Development officer, Additional District Health Officer Jawhar, Sub centre in-charge, Walvanda, Agriculture Development Officer, Animal Husbandry Officer, Executive Engineer (Irrigation), Executive Engineer (Water Supply), Project officer Tribal Development, Executive Engineer (Water Supply), Gram Sevak, Sarpanch etc. Bro. Alex Gonsalves, the Assistant Director of BSVS, explained to the brothers about the integrated watershed approach for community development.
Fr. Anaclete D'mello, the Director of BSVS, guided the brothers into a spiritual experience, through creating an atmosphere for meditation, spiritual discourses and dialogue during prayer moments. Fr. D'mello also interacted with the brothers after each module and kindled in them a curiosity to learn and clarify doubts about the topics. Brothers thought of the workshop as a unique experience regarding mission work and also got an idea of how to interact with the people from rural areas. They also realized the need to have similar works in the parishes around Vasai so that they could reach out to the youth.