Sunday, January 31, 2010


Anand Raj
Don Bosco Action India, the national network of the Don Bosco Development Offices, held a two day meeting cum training workshop, on January 28-29, 2010 at the Provincial House, Hyderabad to discuss strategies for strengthening the network and plan for a national level project. Two staff members from each of the 10 Development Offices attended this meet.

During the inaugural session, Fr. Sudhakar, Executive Director of Bosco Seva Kendra, Hyderabad, welcomed the gathering and pointed out that this was the first time ever that staff members from all the partner organizations that constitute the network had come together for such a programme. Fr. Noel Maddichetty, the Provincial of Hyderabad, addressing the participants, said that our development work should empower marginalized communities to change unjust social structures. He further stressed that the focus should not only be economic development but rather all issues faced by underprivileged communities.

Getting down to work, the pre-lunch sessions were conducted by Fr. Savio Silveira, National Convener of DB Action India. In his presentation, he enlightened the gathering on the vision, mission, objectives and structure of the network. He also outlined the national priority area for the next three years, i.e., empowering Self Help Groups to access government and other programmes to enhance their livelihoods. Finally, he discussed with the team the Action Plan for 2010, and the roles and responsibilities of all the members in realizing this plan. In the afternoon session, all the Development Offices were given the opportunity to make a short presentation on the programmes being implemented by them. The final session of the day was dedicated to planning the national level project to be taken up in 2011.

The second day was facilitated by Ms. P Madhavi from ACCESS Development Services. The theme for this training workshop was: State of Microfinance Sector in India - Present Status, Future Challenges and Critical Gaps. The sessions focused on several important areas such as Microfinance Models, Microfinance Institutions, Ideological Issues, Financial Products etc. The workshop gave the participants a realistic idea of the present state of the microfinance sector in India, the hype that envelopes it and the fact that barely five percent of poor people in India actually benefit from microfinance services. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Cecil from Kolkata.

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