by Mahesh Kumar
MUMBAI, MAR 16, 2016: Over 1200 women from different slum pockets of Mumbai participated in the International Women's day programme organised by Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) on March 13, at the Don Bosco School Campus, Matunga.
The women were from the 128 Self Help Groups, established by DBDS since 2007, to help them in building their capacity on rights based issues, vocational skills and income improvement.
Along with a cultural programme, there was a a free medical camp- for over 450 women- in collaboration with Lilavati Hospital. Following intensive selection sessions conducted in the slums communities by the social workers of DBDS, those women belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL), the sick, those under treatment, widows and the most deserving were selected for the medical camp.
The event began at eight in the morning with the medical camp conducted in the Provincial House building. 19 doctors and 28 support staff worked to ensure the women had a chance to be screened for all the four specialities: gynaecology problems, skin diseases, cardiac problems and a cancer detection test.
Free medicines were also provided for those in need. "We cannot imagine we could benefit from the medical services of a hospital like Lilavati, that too free of cost," said one of the beneficiaries.
The inauguration programme was held at 11.45 am by remembering victims of domestic violence and dowry harassment. It was followed by a short prayer service. The dignitaries present were Krishna Prakash, Inspector General of Police, Shalini Sharma, Senior Inspector, Chembur, Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai province, Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial and Father Elson Barretto, the Economer.
The highlight of the day was the cultural programme that got the gathering all excited.Through a street play on the importance of education for women, a fashion show on national integration and a dance competition, DBDS aimed at strengthening the concept of equality, education and empowerment of women in our society.
They also had talks on health and managing the finances of the self- help groups. The women were also treated to lunch and snacks. Fr Edwin D'Souza, Rector, Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Dr Aardhana Wagh and Balasaheb, Inspector, Matunga were the Guests of Honour for the cultural programme.
The event was organised by Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director DBDS and his team.