Thursday, December 29, 2016

BIS #5025 FIRST CHRISTMAS FOR SLUM CHILDREN

by Father Rolvin D'Mello

 

CHINCHWAD, DEC 29, 2016: Many slum children and their parents celebrated their first Christmas at the Don Bosco campus in Chinchwad on December 25. 


The Christmas tree party was organised for over 150  children from eight slums of Pune, who attend the regular tuition and support classes run by Don Bosco in collaboration with AXA Business Services.

 

The children came dressed in their party attire and were given Santa Claus hats. The party began with a short prayer service,  followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp, action songs, group dances -Christmas and cultural-  and games. 

 

The surprise entry of Santa towards the end, sent the kids in a tizzy. Santa distributed gifts, cake and snacks to all. Amidst the fun and frolic, the children were also given the Christmas message: To share and to care for all. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

BIS #5024 DON BOSCO HELPS FAMILIES TO GET RATION CARDS

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 27, 2016: As an ongoing movement on fighting for food rights of people from marginalised sections of the society, Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) helped 30 poor families from the slums of city of Mumbai procure ration cards.

 

A core activity of the DBDS has been to ensure that adequate food is made available to every family. To meet this goal, the organisation has worked on the food security act of India, particularly Article 21 and 47, which guarantees the fundamental right to life to all persons and contains within it the right to live with human dignity, which includes the right to adequate food and nutrition.

 

The official distribution of the ration cards was held at the Don Bosco Provincial House building in Matunga. Belote, a ration officer and Sonewane, the assistant ration officer from 31-E ration office were the chief guests for the programme.

 

Addressing the gathering, Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director- DBDS, stressed on building partnerships between the public and ration office. He said that food being the basic need should be accessible to everyone in adequate quantity.

 

All the families which had received their ration card were present. Belote and Sonewane praised the work done by DBDS and extended their full co-operation in fighting for the cause of food security.

 

This powerful success story marks a paradigm shift in the approach adopted by Don Bosco organisations that have expanded their scope of work from a charity model to right's based approach.

BIS #5023 CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

by Lisa Dominic

 

NAVI MUMBAI, DEC 27, 2016 : The beautiful Christmas season of joy, love, hope and peace is here. Everyone at Don Bosco, Nerul was joyous with the warmth of the Christmas spirit which was evident on the faces of the students and staff members of the secondary and senior secondary section during the entire Christmas Panorama held on December 22.

 

The school quadrangle looked beautiful with the giant Christmas tree in the centre and danglers like stars, stockings, wreaths and candy canes made by every class. The traditional crib and star made by the junior and senior section Salesian Youth Movement students helped all remember that God's own son was born in a manger.

 

The day began with a special prayer service for the Non-Catholics and the Holy Eucharistic celebration for the Catholics. The main celebrant was the Rector, Father Wilfred D'Souza. During his homily Father D'Souza narrated a story to explain that if Jesus is in our hearts, we can overcome any obstacle.

 

The Panorama comprised of a number of group events, which students from standard six to ten participated in, namely headgear competition, carol singing competition and dance competition. The Christmas message at the end of the programme helped the students understand that Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making it is to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ is the real reason for Christmas.

 

Both the manager, Father Bonnie Borges and the principal, Father Donald Fernandez during their special Christmas message to the students and staff, pointed out that Christmas comes with the message to love, serve, forgive and care for each other always. 

 

It was wonderful to see the awe and surprise on the faces of the students when they realised that the Santa who had brought gifts and goodies for them was actually their very own principal, Father Fernandez.

 

The true meaning of Christmas that is selfless sharing was also understood by the students as they contributed love gifts which will be distributed during the Christmas week to various institutions for the needy such as the ones in Alirajpur, Chhotaudepur and the oratory, balwadi and home for the aged at Nerul.

 

As the celebrations came to an end, the students wished their teachers and each other a Merry Christmas. "We had a rocking Christmas celebration this year and amidst all the festivities we also learnt that Christmas is about Christ," a student said, as all returned home with gifts, goodies and fond memories.

BIS #5022 SPORTING GLORY

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, DEC 27, 2016: Amidst a myriad of bright colours and lit up hearts, the staff and students of Don Bosco, Chhotaudepur began their 27th Annual Sports Day on December 18. 

 

The year 2016 had many reasons for the school to celebrate. It won prestigious laurels at the state level in the field of sports. Besides, the school also boasts of its students competing at the national level in the field of hockey, football, athletics and target ball. 

 

The meritorious sportsmen came in procession for a a distance of three kilometres from the town of Chhotaudepur to the school campus. The chief guests for the day, senior coach for the sports department of Chhotaudepur district, Vijay Rathwa and the district sports officer of Chhotaudepur, Laxman Chauhan were welcomed with a Guard of Honour. 

 

In his speech, Vijay Rathwa spoke about the various scholarships that gifted sportsmen who play for the state can avail of. He promised the granting of a District Level Sports School (DLSS) status to the school in the near future, to which the audience roared jubilantly.

 

The finals of the track events were conducted after the march past, hoisting of flags and the mass drills. The best sprinters received their medals of honour and certificates. 

 

This was followed by entertaining games for the teachers, students as well as the parents present. The Valedictory Ceremony  at the end of the programme felicitated the best sportsmen of the school.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

BIS #5021 TOGETHER LET US STUDY AND PLAY

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, DEC 24, 2016: Eight hundred and fifty children, from 33 villages, all part of the Village Education Project (VEP) attended the festive oratory day at Don Bosco Chhotaudepur on December 18.

 

Brother Ramesh Durairaj, Director and the staff of Lok Seva Kendra, the Development Works office for Don Bosco Chhotaudepur organised the special celebration along the lines of the celebrations at Valdocco Oratory during the times of Don Bosco.


The youth witnessed a show of strength from a group of strong men who did a tug-of-war with vehicles and used their bodies to break stones. Boys from the boarding then leaped through rings of fire and proved their strength and endurance by forming a human pyramid. Youth participated in games. A felicitation programme was also organised.


The Chief Guests, Sevla G Rathwa, a respected coach in the discipline of football and a college professor in Baroda and Father Pravin Makwana, Rector of Don Bosco, Narukot were present to mark the special celebration. 

 

An emotional, Rathwa, in his speech expressed that the touch of Don Bosco bought a bright future to his life and would continue to do so for the whole of Chhotaudepur. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

BIS #5020 CHRISTMAS PANORAMA:Π'75 MEMORABLE IMPRINTS OF CHEERFUL GIVING'

by Ashwini Gupte

 

MUMBAI, DEC 21, 2016: Christmas is around the corner, a time to celebrate, pray and to remember our less privileged brethren. Don Bosco High School, Matunga organised their philanthropic enterprise-cum-entertainment bonanza, the annual 'Care n Share' Christmas Panorama on December 18 and 19, keeping in mind the real meaning of Christmas, that of selfless sharing.

 

Through the panorama, the school raised funds to aid 'Jeevan Dhara' in their vocational training, balwadi schools, study classes and de-addiction programmes.

 

This edition of the Panorama comprised of a number of group events, which saw students ranging from standard five to ten participating through their respective Houses. 


The Christmas spirit was ushered in with the singing of carols, a Christmas skit and the performance of the school brass band, followed by a number of colourful and vibrant competitions, like the Christmas theme parade, the hat parade, Dancerize, Kaleidoscope, rap dance, stylish student of the year and the highly anticipated 'Bosco King'.

 

In commemoration of the jubilee festivities, a special inter-school event, 'Glam 75' added to the celebratory fervour. This year, the otherwise boys-only stage, was shared with girls from Salesian schools and institutions in the vicinity. 

For youngsters and those interested in off-stage entertainment, the social service students of standard nine organised games in the special stalls set up in the school quadrangle.

 

Father Wilfred D'Souza, the Rector, reminded the students that the Lord is at the centre of all the merry making and festivities, that the Christmas season must touch our hearts, pointing out that, "If it does not happen in your heart, it is not Christmas at all."

 

The Christmas Panorama serves as a valuable outreach activity for Boscoites, a bonding platform for the participating students, as well as for past pupils who congregate in large numbers and for the general public to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BIS #5019 STATE OF GUJARAT HONOURS DON BOSCO

by Cl Chris Ferreira 

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, DEC 20, 2016: The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani and the Deputy Chief Minister, Nitin Patel, felicitated Don Bosco school, Chhotaudepur for their contribution in the field of sports in the state of Gujarat, on December 9.

 

The felicitation ceremony took place on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother and a vibrant crowd - consisting of professional and budding athletes - gathered at the Gujarat Sports Complex in Godhra city for the ceremony.

 

The programme was to mark the end of the state sporting event: Khelmahakumbh, which is held annually in Gujarat. Representatives from Don Bosco, Chhotaudepur were invited to the event for promoting sports in its district to its utmost potential.

 

Team's from Don Bosco, Chhotaudepur won a gold medal in hockey, a gold medal in athletics, a football bronze and numerous students from the institution shone in table tennis, badminton, basketball and swimming at the government-organised sports extravaganza.

 

Brother Ramesh Durairaj and the Principal Ishwar Dabhi, received the Certificate of Honour and a scholarship of 1.5 lakh rupees from the Chief Minister, Rupani. Key players from Don Bosco's hockey team proudly represented Don Bosco at the nationals.

 

After a meeting with the wizard of Indian hockey, Dhanraj Pillai, the troop of Don Bosco returned, promising a better tomorrow in the arena of sports and a certain win in the year to come too. Long Live Don Bosco!

BIS #5018 BATTLE HARD-FOUGHT

by Cl Chris Ferreira 

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, DEC 20, 2016: The Under-14 boys football team from Don Bosco failed in its bid to make the semi-final of the football Khelmahakumbh tournament by falling against Baroda Rural team, 2-1 in their encounter at Don Bosco campus, Chhotaudepur on December 9.

 

Fifty two teams representing the districts of Gujarat participated in the football event. The team from Chhotaudepur did well in its preliminary matches and entered the league zone with ease.

 

Baroda Rural struck a brace early in their league match against the team from Chhotaudepur. The home team managed to find the net once as Sardar Rathwa struck, but they failed to add to their tally.

 

The next day, in their fight for the third place they ensured a narrow win against Rosary School, Baroda, 1-0. The bronze medal shone on their chests' as they secured the third place in the state tournament.

 

On the occasion, the District Collector expressed grief as well as joy that Chhotaudepur had come a long way but failed to strike gold at the event.

BIS #5017 CHHOTAUDEPUR ENTHRONED AS STATE CHAMPIONS

by Cl Chris Ferreira

 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, DEC 20, 2016: The boy's under-14 team from Don Bosco, Chhotaudepur lifted top honours at the State Hockey Championship of Gujarat, by trumping Aravalli 6-0 in the final at Gandhinagar on November 30.

 

Nitin Rathwa, Jigar Mahesh Rathwa and Ganesh Nilesh sounded the boards to help their side lift the coveted title. Their impressive showing in the tournament earned Nitin, Mahesh and Ashwin Rathwa berths in a national Camp.

 

The Khelmahakumbh tournament lasted for a week and teams first competed at the district level before making the cut for the Super league. Don Bosco en route to the final crushed several teams, winning eight out of nine matches they played. Some winning margins included 13 goals.

 

Only a team from Navsari beat Don Bosco, 6-3, but they were later disqualified for fielding over-age players. The winning team took home a trophy, a handsome cash prize as well as individual medals and track suits as symbols of their determination and sporting spirit.

 

The chief guest, the District Officer of Gandhinagar, was amazed at the skill sets on display in the final. 

BIS #5016 CHRISTMAS OUTREACH BY SALESIAN YOUTH

by Father Cleophas Braganza

 

MUMBAI, DEC 20, 2016: Youth from Salesian parishes - accompanied by four priests and a sister – conducted a Christmas outreach programme for a Children's Home at Dongri, Mumbai on December 17. 

 

The group of 25 youth visited the closed children's home that houses 280 boys and 45 girls - sent there either by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or the Juvenile Court. Of these, some are in conflict with the law and others have been separated from their parents for various reasons.

 

In preparation for the programme, the youth participated in two prior meetings organised by Don Bosco Youth Services. Accordingly, they split into two groups – girls and boys – who went to the respective female and male sections at the children's home. 

 

They organised a brief prayer service during which they helped the children understand the reason for the celebration of Christmas, taught them a few Christmas carols and danced with them. 

 

Later, they divided the children into smaller groups and each youngster conducted an activity - drawing, painting, origami, clay modelling, singing and dancing- for the assigned group. The children moved to a new activity every 10-15 minutes. The programme concluded after two hours with snacks being served.


Later, while sharing their experiences, many youth expressed sadness at the plight of the children they met. They were glad they could bring them a little joy through their outreach activity. Some even mentioned that they would like to regularly visit the children and do more for them. 

 

For the youth, it was a novel and a meaningful way to begin their Christmas celebrations.

Monday, December 19, 2016

BIS #5015 HANDS ANOINTED FOR PRIESTHOOD

by Father Kiran Salve

 

AHMEDNAGAR, DEC 19, 2016: Deacon Ajay Shelke was ordained a priest by the Bishop Lourdes Daniel of Nashik,  at Saint John Bosco Church, Savedi - Ahmednagar on December 18. 

 

Father  Savio Silveira, the vice provincial of the Mumbai province and 40 other priests concelebrated the Holy Mass.

 

" To do your will is my delight," Psalm 40:8 - is the motto of the newly ordained priest. The Holy service began with a brief introduction of the candidate's life. The entrance dance depicted the joyful event of the day. 


Bishop Daniel in his homily emphasised that the call to priesthood is a call to service and it is the ministry of service. He also added that prayer is the strength on which we depend for our daily needs. He also urged the faithful to pray for Deacon Shelke and for the Bishop himself.


The rite of Ordination proceeded solemnly. After the celebration of the Holy Mass, Bishop Daniel, Father Silveira, the newly ordained priest Father Ajay Shelke and his parents were felicitated in the hall. 


The ceremony was meticulous planned and executed by Father Vishwas Pereira, the Rector of Saint John Bosco church and the community of Savedi. 

 

The parish council members shouldered the responsibility of mass animation and the singing was conducted by Grace Choir. The hall was decorated by the parish youth and the sanctuary set up by the FMA sisters.

 

This year the province of Mumbai is gifted with five new priests.

BIS #5014 TWO PRIESTS ORDAINED AT DON BOSCO MATUNGA

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 19, 2016: The Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, witnessed two Priestly Ordinations of Deacon Shaun D'Lima and Deacon Mylin Noronha on December 17, by Cardinal Oswald Gracias. 

 

In a solemn Holy Eucharistic celebration, the candidates entered in procession with their parents and other priests, where a packed congregation waited to pray and celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Priesthood with them.  

 

The order of Holy Mass was interspersed by the rites of the ordination. The deacons took their Vows and invoked the prayers of the holy men and women through the Litany of Saints. 


This was followed by the Laying of Hands and Consecration of the candidates. Their hands were then Anointed and the Cardinal offered the Kiss of Peace to the two new priests of the Catholic church.

 

Cardinal Gracias in his homily quoted Pope Francis saying, "The shepherd has to have the smell of his sheep and be available to his flock at all times." Cardinal further added in Pope Francis's words, "Be a missionary disciple. This could be something that you should try and work on through your priesthood to be missionary disciples."

 

"Pope Francis spoke to Priests in the first year that he came to office. He invited Priests to be immensely close to God and to have a personal experience with the Lord," he said, adding, "You must be a disciple who knows the Lord, loves the Lord, enjoys being with the Lord and goes out to give the good news to others. Priests should be in continuous contact with their people who they are sent out to serve."  

 

The Salesian Provincial of Mumbai, Father Godfrey D'Souza thanked the Cardinal for gracing the occasion and the parents of the new priests for generously gifting their sons to God. "My dear parents of the newly ordained, God gave the gift of sons to you and you thought it fit to give back to God. God will take care of you for having given back your sons to God," Father D'Souza said.

 

"God blessed the province with five new priests. Let us accompany them as they are in the infancy of priesthood and they need our prayers."

 

Father Shaun D'Lima and Father Mylin Noronha, in a joint Vote of Thanks, expressed their gratitude to their superiors and formators, for helping them in their spiritual journey leading to this day. They also thanked their family for their unflinching support. 

BIS #5013 ORDINATION OF FOUR RELIGIOUS PRIESTS AT JYOTI MATA, VIRAR

by Father Cleophas Braganza

 

VIRAR, DEC 19, 2016: Four young men belonging to three religious congregations - Father Ajay D'Monte SDB, Father Vishal Lopes SDB, Father Oswald Gonsalves OFMCAP and Father Robin D'Souza SJ - were ordained priests by Archbishop Felix Machado at Jyoti Mata church, Virar (west) on December 16. 

 

The church grounds were packed with relatives, friends, colleagues and people from the various places where the four deacons had been working. Nearly a hundred priests came in procession to the altar together with the candidates for ordination, accompanied by their parents.

 

At Holy Mass which began at 5 pm, Archbishop Machado reminded those present that in these last few days before Christmas the Church prepares more zealously for the coming of the Lord, and the ordination of new priests was a sign that Christ is alive and present in the Church. 


At the homily, he recalled the message of Pope Francis to priests, inviting the new priests to devote their life entirely to Christ and the service of the people. He said that every priest is called to be a living witness of the Gospel and like Jesus be a compassionate shepherd in the midst of his flock.


The ceremony was well animated by the choir which helped the people to participate prayerfully in the Holy Eucharist. The Provincials of the three congregations thanked the Lord and the formators for having accompanied the candidates and prepared them for ordination. They were grateful to Archbishop Machado, Father Royal Dabre, the people and the youth of Jyoti Mata church who had put in a lot of effort to prepare well for the occasion.

 

The attendees at the ordination mass were impressed by the large number of priests and religious present, most of whom were from the  diocese of Vasai itself. The fact that three congregations worked together to prepare for this occasion was a good witness to unity and collaboration within the Church. 

 

May the Lord inspire many young persons to generously offer themselves to work in his vineyard.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

BIS #5012 INB CELEBRATES MEGA YOUTH EXPERIENCE WITH SYMBIOS


by Father Glenford Lowe

 

MUMBAI, DEC 18, 2016: The Youth Ministry Department of the Province of Saint Francis Xavier, Mumbai gave a big boost to the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) during its five-day mega youth event 'SYMBIOS 2016' which was held at the Don Bosco International School (DBIS), Matunga from Dec 7-11.

 

SYMBIOS was first conceived as early as April 2016 during a Youth Ministry Commission meeting. An urgent need was felt to give the SYM greater visibility and momentum in the Province of Mumbai. 

 

Eight months of planning with six sub-commissions put in place to oversee the entire mega youth event, SYMBIOS was slowly but steadily growing to be a reality. Taking a cue from the Strenna 2017, 'We are Family: a Home of Life and Love', the focus was on these three words HOME-LIFE-LOVE. 

 

The entire programme of SYMBIOS centred around HOME as a place to CONNECT through relationships with the Divine and one another, around LIFE as a moment to CELEBRATE our giftedness, culture, faith and talents, and finally around LOVE as a time to COMMIT oneself to creating a better home and world at large. The youth ministry found their theme easily -  SYMBIOS: CONNECT, CELEBRATE, COMMIT.
 

Over 700 Youth from 22 Salesian institutions representing the Indian states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, together with over 30 young Salesians, 20 lay animators, 30 resource personnel and a team of dedicated Salesians, volunteers and ancillary staff joined together in a never-seen-before event. 

 

Youth from different institutions were given opportunities to mingle with one another, to share their experiences and pick up the best practices from other institutions. The celebrative moments came in the form of 'Art Expressions – rangoli, clay modelling, best of waste, painting, collage, gadget making' and during the cultural performances. The entire event was non-competitive in nature. The simple tele-games, organised by Father Shanker - and the youth from Dominic Savio parish Antop Hill - on the turf ground added much laughter.


The youth were grouped into four main categories according to their area of interests, namely, Family, Neighbourhood, Civil Society and Environment. The resource personnel animated their various group sessions and challenged the participants to commit themselves to creating a better home, neighbourhood, society and eco-friendly world.

 

Father Godfrey D'Sa, Father Mayank Parmar, Father Anaclete D'Mello, Saby Francis, Father Prashant sj and his team, Father Isaac Arackaparambil, Father Suren Abreu and his team, Ashok Rathod and his OSCAR team, Marina D'Costa and Tejal, the Pomegranate Group and GreenLine gave the youth a larger than life perspective and values for making a significant contribution as members of the SYM.

 

The elements of the SYM were presented in a youthful style through skits, dance, mime and song. The cultural moments were lively, professional and colourful. One could sense the love for culture and art forms. The Holy Eucharist in the Shrine was presided over by Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial, and an interfaith service organised by Father Mayank Parmar provided the spiritual tone much needed by the youth.


The theme song was composed by Hayden Dias and choreography was by the young Salesians from Divyadaan, Nashik. Since the youth came from different religious, cultural and language backgrounds, provisions were made to ensure that the programme was all inclusive and bilingual. Youth from outstation were housed at Don Bosco Youth Services, the Shrine building and the DBIS premises and had the opportunity to visit Mumbai's famous landmarks.

 

Father Ajoy Fernandes, headed the planning committee and was assisted by Father Cleophas Braganza, Father Vinod Mascarenhas, Father Leon Cruz, Father Leon Rodrigues and Royal Dsouza. Father Glenford Lowe, Father McEnroe Lopes and Francis D'Souza, together with Sony Sports, designed the flags, T-Shirts and SYMBIOS souvenirs.

 

The Office of the Economer, Father Elson Barretto, the Development Office and many sponsors provided the financial support. 

 

SYMBIOS is here to stay. The movement has begun. The Connection-Celebration-Commitments will also bind the participants to make the Salesian Youth Movement more visible and vibrant in the province.

Friday, December 16, 2016

BIS #5011 INTER SCHOOL ATHLETIC MEET 2016-17

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 16, 2016: Eight Mumbai-based schools participated in St. Joseph High Schools Inter School Athletic Meet that was held at St. Xavier's Sports Ground, Parel on December 3.

 

The event was a celebration of sports and culture as students took part in aerobics, drill displays, yoga displays, gymnastics, various track and field events, before enacting a Tableau on the history of various sports.

 

The Chief Guest for the Inter School Sports event was Dr Rajendra Rangnath Dhakne, Vice-Principal and Professor of  BPCA's  College of Physical Education.  

 

He was welcomed along with the other guests for the day, Rector and Principal Father Godfrey D'sa, Vice Principal and Pre-Primary Co-ordinator Father Vivian D'Souza, Administrator Father Rosario Vaz, Headmistress Sangita Bhattacharya, Secondary Supervisor Prabha Rao and Primary Head teacher Matilda Fernandes.

 

The event began with a prayer invoking God's blessings. The Chief Guest then hoisted the school flag signifying the rising values of sportsmanship and leadership.

 

Father D'Sa then introduced the Chief Guest and thanked him for gracing the event. A team of Festival torchbearers then carried the flame symbolising the true spirit of sportsmanship. They included Aadesh Ramraje, State Level Handball Champion, Twain Fernandes , National Level Football Champion, Yash Pardeshi, National Level Gymnast and Faiz Mohammed National Level Basketball Champion.

 

The Sportsman's Oath and the Sportsman's Prayer were recited, which stated that, "A true sportsman is one who is fair on the sports field and competes healthily without grudge or despair."  

 

Four house teams from St. Joseph's then exhibited an impressive March Past display, after which the Chief Guest declared the meet open and young athletes then locked horns in a bid for glory.

BIS #5010 EXPLORING THE TALENT OF SLUM CHILDRE

by Father Rolvin D'Mello

 

CHINCHWAD, DEC : Seventy five children from the slums of Ramnagar and Vidyanagar in Chinchwad, Pune participated in a day long Don Bosco-AXA project to explore their talents on December 12.

 

The children studying in standard one to five attend the free support classes run in their neighbourhood. The aim of these free support classes is to help children cope with their academics.

The event was inaugurated at 11am in the slums, and it explored the various talents of children in skills like debating, drawing, maths table reciting, dancing and craft making.

 

The youth were excited to be part of the project and strived to perform well. They then enjoyed the snacks and went back home refreshed. "We are waiting for another event like this to come soon," Rohini Gaikwad, a student, said.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

BIS #5009 TRAINING RURAL STUDENTS FOR COMPETITIVE EXAMS

BBIS Correspondent

 

KAPADVANJ, DEC 15, 2016: The Kapadvanj Don Bosco Society (KDBS) has commenced weekend training of 30 children from standard five, hailing from poor rural backgrounds, in a bid to train them for the Navodaya Vidyalaya entrance examinations.

 

The children being trained are from Kapadvanj block of the Kheda District in Gujarat.  The Navodaya Vidyalaya System is a unique experiment unparalleled in the annals of school education in India and elsewhere, as envisaged by The National Policy on Education-1986 by setting up residential schools, called Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas that would enable students from rural areas to compete with their urban counterparts on an equal footing.   

 

Its significance lies in the selection of talented rural children as the target group with the attempt to provide them with quality education comparable to the best in a residential school system.

 

The KDBS has decided to commence the project with specific targets, catering to the most neglected, identifying children with special talent or aptitude, providing them opportunities to access quality education, irrespective of their capacity to pay for it.

 

Father Mayank Parmar, Director KDBS-DRISTI said, "Our aim is to prepare poor rural catholic children of the Umreth Deanery including students from various villages where we are working, to pass the entrance test of the Navodaya Vidyalaya. We have launched an ambitious 24-weekend training programme for 30 children in three subjects - language, arithmetic and mental ability."


The training programme was launched in August 2016 and has been functioning smoothly thus far, thanks to well qualified teachers and parental support. Besides, the youth of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the Umreth Deanery volunteer their services on weekends to help with the coaching and assistance of children.

 

Father Dinesh Vasava said, "This is a two-way approach where we cater to the poor neglected children and also involve the youth to volunteer their time, energy and ability in helping the poor." 

 

The children and the youth volunteers hope that this will enable change of the local situation in the long run.

Monday, December 12, 2016

BIS #5008 FINANCIAL LITERACY PROGRAMME

by BIS Correspondent

 

AHMEDNAGAR, DEC 12, 2016: Forty two staff members from Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK) and self help groups - from Beed and Nagar Taluka - attended a special workshop focused on financial literacy planning in Ahmednagar on December 8.

 

Mahesh Kumar, from the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), was the resource person for the seminar and he explained to the participants the value of financial literacy planning in their day- to-day life.

 

Urmilla Kumari, the Branch Manager, Bank of Maharashtra gave a short talk to the participants on benefits of savings and cashless transactions. Financial Planning Literacy is an initiative by DBDS and BGVK to work with people at the bottom of pyramid to impart knowledge on planning financial goals and investments in right instruments according to their risk taking capacity.

 

The organisation believes that in the present economic environment in which inflation is eating into the saving and investment returns, it is very important that people be sensitised and informed. Saving and investing money in the right place according to the need and goal of the person is the key to happiness.

 

The seminar focused on the thumb rules of saving and investment, RBI and Banking, Ponzi Schemes, Time value of Money, interest rates, Compounding, Discounting.

 

Investing in Small saving schemes to meet financial goals was also stressed upon. Participants were also informed about life insurance and investment options available in today's financial landscape.

BIS #5007 FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI'S "JESUS OF NAZARETH" IN MARATHI ON YOUTUBE FOR A MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS

by Father Peter Gonsalves

 

MUMBAI, DEC 12, 2016: As Christmas draws near, Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, is happy to present to the Marathi-speaking world the 'Birth of Jesus' as interpreted by Franco Zeffirelli's film Jesus of Nazareth.

 

To view the film, go to YouTube and type the name of the channel: Tej-Prasarini–Marathi, or click: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSlpFZnRZTNmUTO1Kdp_Shw

 

This channel contains 2 parts of the Birth of Jesus and 4 parts of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus along with hymns and inspirational songs – all in the Marathi language.

 

Zeffirelli's interpretation of the entire life of Christ still remains one of the best films ever made. Created as a mini-television serial in 1977, it presents the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus in 374 minutes. It features an all-star cast of famous American and European actors, including seven Academy Award winners.

 

The dubbing into Marathi of only two sections of the whole film, namely, the Birth and Passion of Christ, was undertaken by Tej-Prasarini in 1992 and completed in 2000. It was created and executed under the able direction of Professor Jayantkumar Tribhuvan (1942-2006) author and director of the popular radio-drama 'Katyancha Mukut' and author of numerous Marathi hymns, one of them being 'Mi kotehi kasa hi aso'. 

 

Tribhuvan's phenomenal dedication, hard work and patience included translating the text, choosing the right words to fit lip movements, and selecting the right actors for the film characters at a time when digital technology was not yet available in India. Unfortunately, the parts dealing with the ministry of Christ have not yet been dubbed, mainly due to lack of time and resources. 

 

Today, this high definition film on YouTube makes the life of Jesus of Nazareth available to Marathi culture like never before. It is a jewel to be treasured not only by Christians but also by all men and women who appreciate the art of making films with a message of peace, love and forgiveness for our broken world.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

BIS #5006 SKILLING TRIBAL WOMEN

by Father Kiran Salve

 

WALVANDA, DEC 10, 2016: In a move that would empower local tribal women in Walvanda, Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) in collaboration with a private firm, Shruti Apparels, inaugurated the tailoring department at the premises on December 6 to teach locals the skill of tailoring to provide self-employment.

 

The institute is equipped with 35 Japanese made industrial sewing machines. In the future, the possibility of locals procuring loans, via MUDRA, would be possible, so they could purchase their own sewing machines to produce garments at home. 

 

The Collector of Palghar, Abhijit Bangar along with the CEO of Shruti Apparels, Nair and the Tahasildar of Jawhar, Palavi Temkarand were present at the inauguration ceremony.

 

The Collector in his talk emphasised that the institute would provide self-employment to the tribal women to earn their livelihood. He added, that the manufacturing of garments would open up a worldwide market.

 

Nair added that due to family responsibilities local women are not able to leave their homes. The institute would bring the industry of production at their doorstep. They would also be helped in taking a loan via MUDRA.

 

There was more good news in store for Don Bosco institutes in the province, Don Bosco ITI – with the inspection of the Government Skill Development Officer, Mukesh Sanke - is one step closer to the institute being a Government recognised institute.

 

Sanke inspected the facility and gave the nod for joining the technical to the government body. This would help the institute issue a government certificate to the forth-coming batches, which is expected to boost employment levels of youth from Jawhar and Mokhada. The institute hopes to start this present batch as a government recognised batch.

BIS #5005 SYMBIOS 2016: CONNECT, CELEBRATE AND COMMIT

by Brother Jeswin and Brother Sheldon

 

MUMBAI, DEC 9, 2016: Five Salesian schools from Mumbai – with 50 participants each - took part in SYMBIOS, a youth event, held for the first in the Mumbai Province at the Don Bosco campus in Matunga on December 7 and 8.

 

Students from Don Bosco Borivli, St. Joseph's Wadala, Don Bosco Nerul, Dominic Savio Andheri and Don Bosco Naigaon participated in the junior youth event. The theme for SYMBIOS 2016 was 'connect, celebrate and commit'. The event helped youth to connect with the Divine, to celebrate the uniqueness of the people around and to commit for a good cause.

 

It gave them an opportunity to express their views and to make them aware of different issues. Several professionals from various fields were present and discussed topics like environmental issues, social causes, cultural diversity and physical upbuilding.

 

Ashok Rathod, of the Oscar foundation, conducted the sports workshop. Greenline under the guidance of Father Savio Silveira facilitated the eco club to create greener youth. The Pomegranate organisation helped the culturally inclined to express their talent and the youth were also made socially sensitive through awareness created on different social issues challenging our present times.  

 

All activities at the event followed the theme. The youth expressed themselves through rangoli, gadget making, best out of waste, painting and clay moulding. It helped students interact with each other and to make friends.

 

Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai, was present at the event. Father Silveira, the Vice Provincial, gave the concluding message, of keeping the Salesian Youth Movement going and growing. The event concluded with cultural presentations.

SYMBIOS 2016 was a first-time experience for the youth, not only in bringing them together, but also creating awareness and an enriching personal experience.