by Mahesh Kumar
MUMBAI, JAN 29, 2015: Two hundred and sixty eight women, from a series of slums in Mumbai, who undertook skill-based training in basic computing, spoken English, tailoring, garment making, beauty care, hair dressing and mehendi application - to help them earn their livelihood – attended a graduation ceremony at the Salesian Provincial House in Matunga on January 25.
The Don Bosco Development Office succeeded in its efforts to empower the women, who hailed from Cotton Green, Reay road, Dockyard road, Sewri, Antop Hill, Wadala, Dharavi, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Nerul and Seawood.
The women underwent a 45-day long course to hone in on their skills in order to help them make a living in society. More than 300 women attended the certification ceremony for the newly graduated students. After the distribution of certificates, there was a fashion and make-up show held to allow the women from the department of beauty care and mehendi, display their talent.
Father Rolvin D'Mello, the executive director of Don Bosco Development Society, welcomed the gathering after the prayer service. Nishant Sinha, CSR-Manager, Mahanagar Gas Ltd, was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. Father Edwin D'Souza and Father Bonnie Borges inspired the students by exhorting them to use their skills to earn their livelihood.
Imparting skills, forms a part of the women-empowerment activities conducted by the Development office. The office took a cue to conduct the training from Skill India, which is a Government of India Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship initiative.
"In the beginning we were hesitating," said one student, adding, "Since some are housewives it was difficult to give time, because of housework, cooking and small children."
Other students added that the course gave them a sense of self-worth and that it would help them now earn their livelihood to support their families with the extra income. The women were touched by the phenomenal spirit of Don Bosco's system and the friendly method of education.