Tuesday, November 29, 2016

BIS #4994 ASPIRING OLYMPIANS

by Karthik Ramakrishnan

MUMBAI, NOV 29, 2016: The entire premises, of Don Bosco High School, Matunga, reverberated with the victory chant "Bosco, Bosco" on the occasion of the 25th Annual Sports festival held at the institution on November 28.

Given that the institution is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee, the sports fest was conducted at an intra school level on the first day, while inter school events took place on the second day, as participants from other Salesian schools and schools from the vicinity joined in for the mega excitement at Matunga.

A prayer service was held at the onset to invoke the blessings of the Almighty by singing hymns. Day One saw the students turn out in full strength in their respective house jerseys. Students of standard IX D rendered service as referees for the various games. 

Father Edwin D'Souza, Rector at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, was the Chief Guest for the event and declared the meet open. A well-synchronized March Past of the various houses, the RSP, NCC and Scouts was conducted and it was followed by the drill displays and the School band. 

Torch bearers comprising of parent, Mary Benson, Sports educator at G N Khalsa college, staff members Rakesh Singh and Barkha Shah and a student Shakshay Pradhan, lit the flame.  

Father Bernard Fernandes, the Principal of the school, exhorted the students to display a fair game and respect the opponents. Students competed in a variety of games, on the first day, like cricket, football, basketball, kabaddi, chess and table-tennis. 

The DJ played music right through the day, entertaining the spectators and sportsmen alike. The climax of day one was the Tug of War between the Red and Green houses showcasing their might. Towards the end, the athletics winners were felicitated with medals. The Red house emerged as the victors with the highest score.

On day two, the inter-school athletic meet witnessed the Salesian and the neighbouring schools along with Don Bosco High School Matunga vying for top honours in the different athletic events. In a well-contested competition, Don Bosco High School, Matunga emerged as the Best Boys School in Sports while Don Bosco, Naigaon clinched the Best Girls School title. 

"Today's event was a great display of goodwill, team spirit and above all sportsmanship, the true Bosco way," Aakarsh Nair, sports and activity vice captain of Don Bosco High School, Matunga, said.

BIS #4993 DOMESTIC HELPERS DAY

by Donovan Ferrao

 

KUWAIT, NOV 29, 2016: One hundred and fifteen domestic helpers in the North Arabian Vicariate participated in Domestic Helpers Day celebrations, organised by Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) on November 25.

 

The day was ear marked to celebrate the helpers who work tirelessly day and night without fixed workings hours at minimum wages. The day began with the celebration of Holy Mass. In his homily, Father Lionel Braganza referred to the star at Christmas that led the Magi and the shepherds to Jesus in the manger. 

 

He added that each must become a star to guide and help others to understand and celebrate the true spirit of Christ's coming. Moved by the homily, Mary D'souza said, "Rather than focusing too much on decorations, gifts, clothes, and making sweets, each of us ought to prepare spiritually for the coming of Jesus Christ."

 

After Holy mass, the helpers participated in a series of games organised by volunteers. A short jam session followed. The surprise element of the day was the fashion show. All present walked the ramp to the cheers and whistles of the crowd.

 

The day concluded with a short prayer led by Father Braganza. The celebration would not have been possible without the generosity of the parishioners and the kind Samaritans who sponsored the event. Each helper present received a Christmas gift hamper and goodies. 

 

Aunty Mabel, as she is lovingly called, said, "I really had a great day and we want to thank the church, Father Lionel, SPY and all the sponsors! May God bless you; we will always pray for you."

Monday, November 28, 2016

BIS #4992 FOOTBALL TOURNEY FOR THE POOR

by BIS Correspondent

 

PUNE, NOV 28, 2016: Eight teams – comprising of poor and marginalised boys – participated in a seven-a-side football tournament organised by Don Bosco Youth Centre, Pune  on November 26 and 27. 

 

The tournament began with a prayer service. The Rector, Father Nelson Carvalho, garlanded the statue of Saint John Bosco, welcomed the boys and wished them an enjoyable tournament. 

 

The rules of the tournament were explained after which Father Carvalho and Father Briston Britto inaugurated the tournament with a kick-off.


The teams participated with great enthusiasm and a competitive spirit. FC Joseph Heights edged out United FC , 1-0, in the finals. Bosco Juniors B and Chhatrapati Warriors were the other teams that impressed by their performances, but fell at the semi-final stage. 


Doctor Arjun Viegas, an orthopedic surgeon, was the chief guest. In his address, he congratulated FC Joseph Heights for winning the tournament (one goal to zero) and told the gathering that one should balance games with studies and that there should be a 50-50 balance between the two. 


At the end of the tournament, the winners, runners-up and the team that secured the third place were felicitated. It was preceded by individual prizes for the best goalkeeper, all-rounder and best sportsman.

Friday, November 25, 2016

BIS #4991 FILL MY CUP LORD

by Curie Cola├žo

 

KUWAIT, NOV 25, 2016: Around 50 ministry members from St. Therese Parish in Kuwait participated in a yearly recollection entitled "Fill my Cup" aimed at Formation and Spiritual Renewal at Don Bosco School on November 19.

 

Members are advised to make an annual Recollection, and to ensure that all members take part, the parish organises a recollection thrice a year, so that all the members can choose a convenient date. 

 

Father Francisco Pereira animated the recollection and led the participants through prayer, meditation, personal reflection and group sharing.


The participants gathered at the venue and were each given a booklet and a coffee mug. Father Pereira then shed light on the deep spiritual journey they were about to begin.

 

At the recollection, the participants walked along with their respective cups, to six different rooms spread across the venue – each room was intimately connected to a concept namely The Cup of Life, The Open Cup, The Chipped Cup, The Broken cup, The Cup of Compassion and The Cup of Blessing. 

 

At the end of the recollection, the participants were divided into six groups and asked to revisit the room allocated to them along with their Cups. They then took part in a group activity and shared their experiences with one another based on the theme of that particular room. 


Francis Jayaraj said, "The Cup of Life made me realise that the space within the cup represents the divine presence within myself. I was drawn closer to this loving presence and sensed it permeating my entire being. I felt the enlightenment in silence and tranquility, as God spoke 'I am here'." 

 

The recollection concluded with Holy Mass. During the offertory, Father Pereira asked the participants to contemplate on their Cups and place their thoughts and worries into the Cup, as they placed it in front of the altar. 

 

"A truly inspiring, informative and faith-stimulating retreat," Latha Kuruvilla, a participant, said. 

BIS #4990 CRICKET UNITES YOUTH

by Brother George K

 

NASHIK, NOV 25, 2016: Nine youth team's participated in the annual oratory cricket tournament held in Nashik on November 20, which was aimed at bringing youth together as good and honest citizens

 

The Salesians of Don Bosco, Nashik namely, Divyadaan Salesian Institute of Philosophy and Salesian Training Institute were instrumental in organising the tournament for the youth of Nashik.  

 

The matches that ran from dawn to dusk began with a prayer service. Team Siddharth Hotel claimed top honours as they outclassed Team Lankesh in an unpredictable final. The winning team and the runners up received medals and a trophy. 

 

The best bowler award was given to Kundan from the team Lankesh and the best batsman was awarded to Bapu from the team Siddharth Hotel. The man of the match award was presented to Bhushan.

 

Raju Bhujbal, Assistant Commissioner of Police, was the chief guest for the tournament. In his address to the youth, he stressed on the importance of daily exercise. He said that we first learn to walk and then cycle, hence we must go about in life in an orderly manner. He added, that life and games need to be played with a sportsman spirit; one should know that there is a winner and a loser in any given field, keeping that in mind one must try to put in ones best to try to win.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

BIS #4989 CEREMONIOUS INDUCTION OF ALTAR SERVERS

by Ruth Clara Viegas

 

KUWAIT, NOV 24, 2016: Fifty eight boys were inducted as new altar servers and one hundred and thirty six boys renewed their pledge to continue in the ministry at St Therese parish, Kuwait on November 17.

 

After receiving their First Holy Communion in May 2016, the parish announced the registration for the new Altar servers. The boys that had registered were then trained by coordinators, Pascal Fernandes and James Sequeira, who charted out a schedule for eleven Saturdays. They were assisted by four senior altar servers since September.


Ninety per cent attendance was mandatory for the altar servers to be inducted. The boys received a hands-on training on how to serve at the altar and were given an opportunity to get acquainted with the sacred liturgical books and articles used for the Holy Mass.

 

A written test was conducted to check the knowledge of the altar servers with regards to the articles used for the liturgy. Out of the total number registered, only 58 boys qualified to join the Altar Servers ministry.

 

On November 17, Father Derek Misquitta celebrated Holy Mass and Father Blany Pinto, Father Johnson Nedumpurath were concelebrants at a well-attended induction. In the introduction, Father Misquitta referred to St. John Berchmans, the patron of altar servers. He also shared his personal experience as an altar server, of how he was inspired to be a priest.


In his homily, Father Pinto made the altar boys aware that it is God who has called them to serve at the altar. He asked them to be open to God's calling to be a priest or a religious. The boys took their pledge to commit themselves to the altar server's ministry while the existing altar servers renewed their pledge. 

 

Towards the end of Holy Mass, certificates were distributed to the new boys. Trophies and certificates were awarded to the three best altar servers (three juniors and three seniors) for the year September 2015 – August 2016.


"It was worth sending my son for the weekly training. He has learnt a lot and is now ready to serve at Holy Mass," Roselyn D'cruz, a parent, said.

 

"I have not seen such a grand ceremony of inducting new altar servers in any parish till date. Even the invitation card that we received was so artistic that we want to preserve it and cherish the memories," Alex D'souza, another parent, added.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

BIS #4989 PUTTING THE LAST CHILD FIRST

by Cl Kiran Ruptakke

 

MUMBAI, NOV 22, 2016: Around 600 children from various Don Bosco institutions in the city participated in International Children's day, as the First Mumbai province Young at Risk (YaR) day entitled 'Let's Put the Last Child First' at Bosco School hall in Matunga on November 20. 

 

Don Bosco Balprafulta in collaboration with Shelter Don Bosco organised the celebrations and youth from several Don Bosco institutions - namely the hosts Don Bosco Matunga, Bosco Boys Home, St. Dominic Savio parish, Antop Hill, St. Joseph High School, Wadala, Shelter Don Bosco, Don Bosco Balprafulta and Anmol Girls from Wadala – were present for the event.

 

The registration began at 8 am. The children were welcomed by the staff of Shelter and Balprafulta and were served breakfast. The programme started with a short prayer service. Jayesh Chandan, President of the Don Bosco School Alumni, Matunga Unit, was the chief guest. Father Gregory D'Almeida, Director of Balprafulta welcomed those gathered. 

 

Fifty three student volunteers helped in conducting the event. 'Jannat Media Group' then enacted a street play on the theme, 'The Last shall be First'. Children got an opportunity to express themselves through a talent show in the afternoon. Many came forward to sing and dance. 

 

After the talent show the children were entertained by the magician, Sagar Patel who performed a puppet show and a few magic tricks. Fete games were organised too. The highlight of programme was the dance competition and the cultural programme. The day ended with prize distribution and the vote of thanks by Father Roshan Gonsalves, assistant director, Shelter.

BIS #4988 I AM PRECIOUS


by Sheetal Pereira Fernandes

 

KUWAIT, NOV 22, 2016: The Salesian Cooperators from Kuwait conducted a one-day Outreach programme for 120 young boys and girls at a farm house - or chalet as they are known in Kuwait - on November 21. 

 

The seeds were sowed by Father Glenford Lowe earlier in February 2016, on his visit to Kuwait, when he addressed the Salesian Cooperators. While explaining the frame of reference for the Youth Ministry he invited them to organise events which embrace all the four elements – Formation, Spiritual, Physical and Social.

 

The Salesian Cooperators meticulously prepared for the fun-filled Youth Day, which started with action songs by Edward D'Souza followed by an ice-breaker game Bingo. The coordinators, Francis Sam and Christopher Pereira enriched the youth with various sessions on the theme 'I am precious' and our treasure chest being the Word of God i.e. The Bible. At the end of each session, the youth received bookmarks.  
 

A skit entitled "Punchinello" enacted by the youngsters and the Salesian Cooperators raised this question for the youth – What are our black spots and how do we overcome them? The theme of the skit was that God has created us and since He never makes mistakes each one is precious. He has gifted all with numerous talents. 


Due to unwarranted and excessive criticism in life, people go on accumulating black spots which makes them think that they are worthless. This eventually deters them from using their talents for the glory of God. "Everyone has a weakness and black spots which can be overcome by keeping God as our guide and mediator," Georgina D'Souza, a Cooperator, said. 

 

Tele matches and dances kept the youth thoroughly entertained. The day ended with Holy Mass con-celebrated by Father Franco Pereira and Father Blany Pinto. Father Pereira, emphasised that we can get rid of our black spots through Holy Scripture, Holy Mass and the Sacraments. In his homily, Father Pinto spoke about the black spots in his life and how he overcame them. 

 

The culmination of all the sessions was the Holy Mass. The youngsters witnessed the removal of the black spots from Punchinello (skit character) after the reception of Holy Communion, thus symbolising the cleansing through Holy Communion.

"It was a wonderful and great experience especially witnessing the Liturgy where I felt that my black spots were fading away as the Lord was inviting me along with the youth to surrender our black spots as each one is precious in his arms," Vincent Rego, a Cooperator, said. Daniel Gomes, a youth said, "I liked every bit of this day and wish we could have this again."

Monday, November 21, 2016

BIS #4987 YEAR OF MERCY PILGRIMAGE

by Thomas Kuruvilla

 

KUWAIT, NOV 21, 2016: In conclusion to the yearlong celebration of the 'Jubilee Year of Mercy,' the Malayalam committee of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus parish in Kuwait organised a pilgrimage on November 20, to the Church of Our Lady of Arabia, Ahmadi- declared by the Bishop as the Holy Door of Mercy – to make reparation for sins and receive blessings. 

][

The 700 pilgrims were guided by Father Johnson Nedumpurath. They prepared themselves with the Sacrament of Reconciliation the day before. The following day the devotees - in 20 buses - began their journey and recited the Holy Rosary along the way. 


At the venue, the Sacrament of Reconciliation was made available for those who could not avail of it before. Father Johnson Arasseril, assistant parish priest of Our Lady of Arabia Parish, led the Holy Adoration followed by the Divine Mercy chaplet.  


The rite of the closing of the Holy Door of Mercy concluded with the profession of faith by praying the Creed and prayers for the intention of  the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The pilgrimage concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Father Nedumpurath.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

BIS #4986 THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

by Karen Laurie 

 

MUMBAI, NOV 19, 2016: Spanish born Ernest Roig Campi (28), left for Germany to become a nurse; little did he know, he was embarking on a journey of a lifetime. There – at university - he befriended, Jacob Steinkuhl (25), a German whose adventurous streak rubbed off and together they decided to 'pedal for humanity.' 

 

On completing their degree, they worked double shift as nurses, to gather money for their expedition. Then the two men, armed with their bikes, took the road less travelled. Cycling from Cologne in Germany, then heading south and entering Austria through the Alps, they covered Slovenia, Croatia -the road along the coast, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey – along the Black sea, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, all the way to Turkmenistan on their bicycles, till they were stopped in their tracks. A visa rejection meant abandoning their plans to head towards China and rerouting to Mumbai, in a bid to reach their destination in Vietnam. 

 

From braving dangerous terrains to enjoying scenic views, confronting minus temperatures to the assaults of the scorching heat, from camping in the wild to receiving wild pigs as visitors, for Campi and Steinkuhl, the trip is more than just adventure. "When we decided to do the trip, we decided to combine it with a good purpose," Campi said, who felt inspired by Steinkuhl's experiences in East Timor as a Volunteer with the Salesians, helping less-fortunate children.

 

"I saw that to send young people for one year to places without internet, to be in another place where you have time to think what to do further, and you look at his (Steinkuhl) case where he wanted to become a pilot and now wants to become a doctor. I thought that it was very interesting and I wanted to know more about this organisation, about Don Bosco," Campi said.

 

So the duo got in touch with Don Bosco Bonn, an organisation supporting disadvantaged children internationally. They offered to make charity videos of the Salesian projects along the paths they would cross. Visits were arranged so they could witness first-hand the help that Salesians render to the poor.

 

"We said we want to do this adventure, we want to get to know ourselves better, see where our borders are, get to know our friendship, get to know other cultures, other people, showing the world that there are lot of good humans in the world and to combine this with raising money for Don Bosco," Steinkuhl said. 

 

The cycling enthusiasts have zeroed in on three Don Bosco projects for their documentary. In Turkey, they interviewed Iraqi refugees staying at the Istanbul project. In Kathmandu, they will profile the work of the Salesians with the people still struggling to cope with the year-old devastation of the Nepal earthquake. Here, they will also help as volunteers. Their final pit stop will be Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, to document the Salesian-run school for underprivileged children and youth.


They will then publicize it through interviews with the world media and regular updates on their website and social media accounts. "We always have a camera with us, documenting and video shooting and my brother is a professional editor and he will put the movies together. All the money that people donate goes to Don Bosco Bonn directly and they are going to divide it to who is in need of the money," Steinkuhl said.

 

Impressed with the work of the Salesians in India, the travellers have decided to feature their work too. From Mumbai, they will make their way to Nepal via Indore and Agra. After their Nepal sojourn, they will pedal back to India exploring the north-east, entering at Darjeeling and exiting to Myanmar. Cycling through Thailand and Cambodia, they will reach their destination at Vietnam.

 

Their journey spanning nearly 15000 kilometres and 19 countries began in April 2016 and is expected to culminate by May 2017. Meanwhile they are lapping up the adventure coming their way, "I've had a lot of problems with my bike, with broken pedals, gear, flat tire, the light, the spokes, we repair what we can and rest get help from mechanics around the world. We know a lot more about bikes now," Campi laughs. 

 

"The mountainous terrains have been a difficult part of journey, challenging for us psychologically and physically as well, very bad weather and front wind where we couldn't cycle further. But if you keep strong in your head, your body is going to push. Specially Armenia and a little part of Turkey where it was very hot and very challenging with 80% of the time climbing up and 20% of the time climbing down," Campi said.


"For me the hardest part of the trip is all this visa stuff.  What I didn't expect from the trip is that we would get so many visa rejections. I am a European and with our visas we have no problem normally and now suddenly we had to wait for two weeks in Tehran for our Indian visa," Steinkuhl said.

 

The best part of their trip though was the warmth with which they were received wherever they went. People invited them to their homes to stay the night, offered their gardens to pitch their tents, shared food and drink, love and laughter. 

 

"We had a lot of prejudices before the trip that this country will be like this and this people will be like this, landscape will be like this and we were always surprised. It was totally different! And we see our relatives and friends, they thought like us. This trip will help us change people's minds about these things as well and show how countries like Albania, Turkey and Iran are so open minded and human people," Steinkuhl said.

 

Their 'craziness' as they call it continues, as they head out each morning looking for adventure, binging on cheap street food for lunch, cooking on their portable cooker for dinner, looking for a safe campsite as the night falls, trying not to make too much noise and use light, in order avoid wild beasts and intrusive visitors. All along, pressing at their goal to make Don Bosco known throughout the world. 

 

So what next after this trip? Campi intends to return to Germany and do an ICU specialization in nursing and Steinkuhl wants to become a doctor. Their journey of discovery continues…

Friday, November 18, 2016

BIS #4985 CHILDREN'S DAY FOR THE UNDERPRIVILEGED

by Mahesh Kumar

 

CHINCHWAD, NOV 18, 2016: Children for the slums of Ramnagar, Vidyanagaar and Indiranagar in Chinchwad celebrated Children's day for the first time on November 14, owing to the efforts of Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS).

 

The programme, which witnessed a gathering of 150 children was held at a slum community hall. It was filled with fun and learning.

 

Project co-ordinator, Lalita Chaudhary educated the kids about the history and purpose of Children's Day. 

 

Children then participated in various competitions like debates, drawing, essay writing, math tables, dance, rhymes among others. 

 

The programme ended with snacks and gifts for all. The children went back with cherished memories. This project is supported by AXA Business services. 

BIS #4984 PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN AT DON BOSCO MATUNGA

by Ashwini Gupte

 

MUMBAI, NOV 17, 2016: Don Bosco High School, Matunga - one of India's premier institutions - completes 75 years. The Platinum Jubilee celebrations began with much fanfare on November 16.


The Chief Guest, Father Godfrey D'Souza,  Provincial of the Mumbai province – also an alumnus of the school – quoted the great founder of the Salesians- Don Bosco, reiterating that "Education is a matter of the heart" and that the loving bond between the teacher and the pupil promotes an atmosphere most conducive to learning.

 

An entertainment programme comprising songs, dances and skits followed. They were aimed at portraying the pedagogy of Don Bosco's 'Preventive System of Education' to empower youngsters to become good citizens and great Boscoites. A special souvenir was also released to to mark the jubilee celebrations.


The foundation stone of the school building at Matunga was blessed and laid by Archbishop Thomas Roberts on March 19, 1941. Don Bosco High School, was to be the magnum opus, of the great visionary, Father Aurelius Maschio.

 

Father Salvador D'Souza, who has been closely associated with the school since 1942, celebrated his 89th birthday, coinciding with the school jubilee celebrations.


The Principal, Father Bernard Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks, expressing his gratitude to the Almighty for his abundant blessings and miracles, and commended the staff, students and parents for making the day a memorable one. 

 

The curtain raiser marks the beginning of an array of programmes and activities lined up to commemorate the red letter event in the history of the institution; when the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Angel Fernandez Artime - the 10th successor of Don Bosco - visits in November  2017.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

BIS #4983 CHILDREN'S DAY WITH A DIFFERENCE

by Swati Patil  

 

PUNE, NOV 17, 2016: Don Bosco High School and Junior College Yerwada, Pune celebrated Children's Day cum Pet day on November 15.

                                 

The students came dressed in their best to witness the special surprise programme prepared for them by their teachers. It began with a prayer service. The Rector, Father Anton D'Souza, addressed and blessed the students.

 

A variety of entertainment programmes were put up by the teachers like fusion dances, fashion show, songs and a skit. The students appreciated the teachers performances. A student from class eight said, "We were very surprised to see our teachers, not with chalk, not with books or pens but dancing and enjoying onstage."  

 

To develop a sense of love and care for animals, a Pet Day was also organised. The students brought their pets to school. They walked the ramp with their pets and introduced them to all present. The activity encouraged the youngsters to learn to care for animals and many were inspired to adopt pets.  
     
Thelma Samson, headmistress of the primary section, said, "I was amazed to  see the young and energetic teachers don the 1970's retro look and to add to the excitement, the pet ramp walk was a hit where we got to see so many different breeds of pets."


The programme ended with the vote of thanks proposed by the Principal, Father Bosco D'Mello. After the programme, the children enjoyed a meal organised by the management.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BIS #4982 FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

by Father Roshan Gonsalves

 

MUMBAI, NOV 16, 2016: Jet Airways, India's premier domestic airline carrier, joined forces with various NGOs and corporate partners to organise "Flights of Fantasy" for 31 underprivileged children from Shelter Don Bosco on November 12.

 

Through the initiative, children from underprivileged sections of society are initiated into the world of aviation through a special dream flight around Mumbai. 

 

To make this event more fun, cartoon characters like Oggy and Shiva were brought in to entertain them. 

Children danced wholeheartedly to Bollywood music with Jet Airways staff. Bollywood personalities Athiya Shetty and Aditi Rao Hydari made a guest appearance at the event. 


At the end, the children were taken on an hour-long flight. "I couldn't believe my eyes as I was boarding the flight," a child said. 

 

"The experience left me mesmerised," another child added. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

BIS #4981 VALUING CHILD RIGHTS ON CHILDREN'SDAY

by Mahesh Kumar

 

MUMBAI, NOV 15, 2016: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) educated children on Child Rights, while they celebrated Children's Day with over 300 children - of women from self-help groups - from slum communities in Mumbai. The day-long event, themed on 'Celebrating Childhood' was held at the Don Bosco campus in Matunga on November 13. 

 

Celebrations began with a prayer lead by a child. This was followed by a speech by Father Crispino D'Souza, Rector and Principal of St. Dominic Savio, Andheri, who was the Chief Guest. Through his own testimony Father D'Souza urged the children to enjoy their childhood, value life and never get depressed and commit suicide. 

 

Jayesh Chandan and Kailash Parekh - president and treasurer respectively of Don Bosco Alumni, Matunga Unit- were the Guests of Honour. In his address, Chandan expressed his heart felt gratitude to his alma mater, Don Bosco High School and encouraged children to dream big and move ahead in life. 

 

The Staff of the NGO, Childline conducted a session on Child rights and later interacted with the children too. It was a fun-filled day for the kids. Various groups sang songs, danced and acted on stage to make Children's Day a memorable event. 

 

The programme ended with the vote of thanks by the DBDS staff. Children returned home with cherished memories and gifts. The food was sponsored by Don Bosco Alumni, Matunga Unit.

BIS #4980 COOKING THEIR WAY TO SUCCESS

by Father Dinesh Vasava

 

GUJARAT, NOV 15, 2016: In a bid to provide sustainable livelihood to the poor women, the Kapadvanj Don Bosco Society (KDBS) in partnership with the Kapadvanj Kelavani Mandal set up a canteen, at the Arts and Commerce College in September 2016, run by poor women from the locality.  

 

The canteen project seeks to empower a group of women by enabling them to manage an enterprise; eventually enabling them to attain financial, social and emotional independence. 

 

It is an opportunity for them to use their cooking skills, to create a platform to market their items and earn a living in the process. 

 

This initiative helps the women discover their potential, overcoming their inhibitions. These women are members of the 127 Self Help Groups (SHGs) from 50 villages in the Kapadvanj Block of the Kheda District in Gujarat.


"The Canteen Project with the objective to provide alternative income generation is intended to develop the Kapadvanj Rural Women Cluster as a collective of women-in-need, to manage a canteen cooperatively and solve individual issues related to their daily lives as part of the long-term strategy adopted by the KDBS for the development of people's capabilities in these communities," Father Mayank Parmar, Director of KDBS-DRISTI, said. 


The outcomes proposed for this project include, the establishment of  a Women's Federation in the project area. Further nearly 90 women will find financial support by directly benefiting from the profits earned. Ten women will be employed for sale in the schools and fifteen women will be engaged in cooking. 


The Federation also plans to avail various interest subsidies for group enhancement. It intends to start an educational scheme for the girls of the project area.

 

Anand Shah, Trustee of the Kapadvanj Kelavani Mandal and Gopal Sharma, Principal of the Arts and Commerce College both stated that their prayers had been answered as the institution required a canteen. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

BIS #4979 EMPOWERING WOMEN

by Father Rolvin D'Mello

 

CHINCHWAD, NOV 14, 2016: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), in partnership with AXA Business Services Private Limited (AXA BS) launched the women empowerment project in the slums of Pimpri – Chinchwad on November 11.

 

The project will directly benefit 2500 women and children and is aimed at promoting gender equality and empowerment of women through income generation, skill development, health education, free health camps and free educational support classes for the children from marginalised families.

 

As part of the initiative 10 self-help groups will be formed to improve education and health levels of 250 children from the slums. Dheeraj Khurana, Senior Vice-President of AXA BS and Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Don Bosco, Mumbai province, were present at the inauguration ceremony. A number of beneficiaries were also present, along with the children from the slums and their teachers.

 

Affirming AXA's commitment, Khurana said, "Underprivileged communities typically face issues of unemployment, alcoholism, drug usage. Women and girl children are the victims of such conditions and are deprived of education, dignity and economic independence. At AXA, our mission is to empower people to lead better lives and this is also a guiding principle for our corporate responsibility initiatives. We are very happy to support this initiative (by DBDS) and believe this will bring about sustainable change in the lives of women in the Pimpri - Chinchwad slums."

 

Father D'Souza added, "We are glad to collaborate with AXA on such a wonderful initiative for the poor and marginalised from the slums." The programme ended with an interactive activity between the beneficiaries present and the AXA staff.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

BIS #4978 WOMEN ARE THE TALK OF THE TOWN IN CHHOTAUDEPUR

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, NOV 12, 2016: Sixteen teams participated in the Under-19 state level football tournament for women that took place – for the sixth time in the academic year - at the House of Don Bosco, Chhotaudepur on November 9.

 

The tournament was organised by the Gujarat Sports Association, Gandhinagar and saw teams from Chhotaudepur, Baroda City, Amdavad Rural, Rajkot City and Amreli among others lock horns for top honours.

 

Amdavad Rural and Rajkot City made the final, with the former – thanks to a hatrick from Mansi Vakharia and a goal from Hetanshi - lifted the coveted title. 


Vakharia helped her side dominate from the first half itself by showing off her speed, strength and accuracy. She found the net in the 18th, 24th, 27th minute, while Hetanshi added the finishing touches to help her side take an unassailable lead.

 

A word of thanks was extended to the District Sports Officer – Chhotaudepur, Laxmansingh Chauhan who has been consistent in giving approval for hosting tournaments in the Chhotaudepur region.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

BIS #4977 CONCLUSION OF EXTRAORDINARY VISITATION

by Father Christopher Valentino 

MUMBAI, NOV 10, 2016: Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Councillor for South Asia concluded the Extraordinary Visitation to the Salesian province of Mumbai with a concluding conference and the Holy Eucharist at the Don Bosco, Matunga on November 9.  

Several leaders of communities and 67 Salesians were present and Father Kanaga began the conference thanking the confreres of the Mumbai Salesian province for their hospitality and sharing. Terming the conference as an 'overall assessment and recommendations', he presented his general impressions. 

"The province and the confreres live in an atmosphere of Salesianity, fidelity, fraternity, openness and creativity through a mix of established communities, exploring new mission areas through hardwork, responsibility, mature inner freedom and sincerity," Father Kanaga said.

He commended the rigorous commitment, fidelity to religious discipline, the increased levels of budgeting transparency and the simple lives of the confreres in conformity to the rural and urban work areas. He appreciated the meta-institutions like Prafulta, Amrut Dhara, Youth Services and Tej Prasarini for their innovative consistency evidently visible in the results.

Father Kanaga offered a few recommendations in the light of the '10 areas of concern for the congregation' inviting the Mumbai Salesians to "return to time tested practices of the Salesian culture challenging the world's corporate and managerial value-system, venturing out to promote higher education by revitalising the youth-at-risk works through a 'rights based approach' and encourage confreres to opt generously for the missio ad gentes." 

Presiding over the Holy Eucharist soon after, Father Kanaga reflected on the day's readings noting that "a religious community is a holy, yet a sinful reality that exists as a prophecy of fraternity, even while being creative misfits challenging and questioning established paradigms while proposing alternatives based on foundational values and existing as a provocative symbol of efficient and effective service." 

The Extraordinary Visitation that takes place once in six years thus concluded officially with Father Kanaga having visited 40 presences across the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and meeting with 280 confreres and numerous laity associated with Salesian work. His trip spanned 65 days. 

The Salesians of the Mumbai province thank God for these days of grace and renewal even as they seriously implement the recommendations made by the extraordinary visitor; strengthening their consecration and mission, nourishing community lives and journeying impact fully with and for the young.

BIS #4976 SALESIAN COOPERATORS MAKE ANNUAL RETREAT

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI, NOV 10, 2016: The Salesian Cooperators made their annual two-day retreat at the Animation Centre, at Panvel, run by the Syro Malabar Fathers, as Salesian houses were not available, on October 30 and 31. 

 

The Animator of the retreat, Aubry Menezes, a diocesan animator and a Salesian Co-operator himself at the Matunga Unit dwelt on the theme of Mercy on the first day.Through a power point presentation, he explained the different ways in which participants could be merciful to others, in the way Christ wants us to be. 

 

On the second day, he dwelt on the Document "Amoris Laetitia" brought out by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, at the end of the Synod on the Family. He highlighted several recommendations of the Holy Father and dwelt on the different difficult situations in Married and Family Life.  He also spoke on how we can enrich our family living.

 

Father Vivian D'Souza, the Delegate of the Salesian Family, animated the Holy Adoration on the first evening and celebrated the Holy Eucharist for the group the next morning. Jacinta Gracias, the Provincial Coordinator, said, "The place chosen was apt for the retreat with comfortable rooms and plenty of space for reflection."

BIS #4975 SALESIANS FORGE NEW PARTNERSHIPS

by Amarr Prabhu

 

MUMBAI, NOV 9, 2016: Saint Joseph's Industrial Training Institute (SJITI) joined forces with Carborundum Universal Ltd (CUMI) on October 26 to launch a Module on Grinding Abrasives that would enhance the skills of the trainees and make them more job ready.

 

CUMI is part of the Murugappa Group, one of the largest and oldest conglomerates in India. It is a leading manufacturer and developer of abrasives, ceramics, refractories, aluminium oxide grains, machine tools, polymers, adhesives and electro minerals in India. It has a worldwide presence in seven countries with twenty five factories, over 3,000 employees and nearly 20,000 varieties of products. Forbes also named the group as one of Asia's best 200 companies recently. 

 

The Module on Grinding Abrasives would enhance the skills of the trainees and make them more job ready as it would help them work in manufacturing establishments, with dealers and in sales, where job opportunities would be available. In the year-long industry designed training program, SJITI would benefit immensely due to the technical education that the company trainers would provide. Besides CUMI would provide the consumables that they manufacture, for training purposes.

 

The programme began with the welcome of the Guest of Honour, Kallol Das Gupta, the Regional Manager Sales and Marketing at CUMI (Mumbai Region), M Barnabas – Technical trainer, Father Colbert da Silva, Rector and Amarr G Prabhu, Principal, SJITI.

 

Barnabas then elaborated on the programme and the opportunities that the Machinist and Fitter trainees have in the latest technology of Abrasives and Grinding.

 

Father da Silva then thanked CUMI for choosing SJITI as the second institute in Asia to run the course and offer a joint certification. He exhorted the trainees not to waste this opportunity which was a hand of God that CUMI was extending in partnering with SJITI.