by Irene Shah
WALVANDA, JAN 30, 2015: Thirteen Salesian Cooperators visited the Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) in Walvanda on January 16; in a bid to learn more about the work of the BSVS and to meet locals from the area.
On their arrival, the Cooperators took a tour of the campus and visited other interesting sites like the Jayvilas palace - ruled by a tribal king - and also Sunset Point. On their return, they visited Gardwadi village.There they interacted with the tribal school children. They played, danced and sang with the students.
Early next morning, Father Anaclete D'mello, director of BSVS celebrated Holy Mass. Later, he addressed the group about the work of the BSVS in the two blocks of Palghar district – namely Jawhar and Mokhada.
Father D'mello has been living in Walvanda since 2010. At present, BSVS works in 40 villages to teach people about their rights and the government schemes which they are unaware off. BSVS, to date, has promoted about 300 women groups called Self Help Groups (SHGs).
BSVS also provides career guidance for school children and youth in various fields like agriculture, defence and police. They help promote youth movements – like Gram Vikas Mandal - for steering village development programmes. BSVS runs a technical school too, to provide skill training in electrical application, welding, automobile two- wheeler and three- wheeler, computers and driving.
The organisation also helps promote poultry farming and looks to the construction of check dams, bore wells to assist in water conservation methods for crop cultivation.
The following day, the group visited Kalmvira village where 80 families live in thatched houses. The children recited poems and sang songs. A Cooperator, Effie Gomes spoke to the youth about the importance of cleanliness, respect and the help they should give their parents. The Cooperators gave students books, pencils, erasers, rulers and soaps.
The Cooperators also visited Shiroshi village. When it was time to return home to Mumbai, they left inspired and enthusiastic to collect some funds and send it to BSVS for the upliftment of the tribal people.