Monday, March 22, 2010

BGVK BAL MELAVA

Rosario Vaz sdb, Bento D’Souza sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, MARCH 22, 2010: “India lives in its villages,” these words of Nehru proved to be truly prophetic on Sunday, March 21, 2010. 254 children from 13 villages around BGVK performed beyond all expectations and came up with an energy packed Dances and Radio Arts (songs, skits, plays, drama, speeches, jokes, mimicry and talks).

“This did not happen by chance but by dint of a year of hard regular, singleminded, persistent team work,” said Fr. Rosario Vaz, the man behind the scene. “In the beginning, there were a lot of difficulties to hold evening studies in the villages, the girl-children were not allowed to come as they had to attend to household work, funds were not available, distances were too much for children to walk for the evening classes and return late at night. Educating the village child is difficult because of their mindset. Why do girls need to study if they are to be given in marriage? This is a question most often in parents’ minds. Looking at the melava it was encouraging for the organizers and for the children themselves to realize that the sky is the limit. It brought out the best in them in terms of hidden talent and skills. Their performances made them see themselves as productive members of society. Gratitude goes to the Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of the Shrine, Matunga for sponsoring the event.”

The whole program began with a prayer recited by a child and a speech by Fr. Alex Gonsalves. The Director of CSRD, Dr. Suresh Pathare was the Chief Guest. An entire galaxy of dances was performed with gusto and verve. On stage, they were transformed into dancing queens, princesses and ballerinas. In all, 89 participants performed on stage in a total of 25 items. At the start of the music as if touched by magic, decked in beautiful ornamented costumes they danced with josh, pomp and timing making it an event difficult to forget. The children needed no supervision during the event and the discipline was praiseworthy.
After lunch, a few dances still carried on. The children prepared the dances and performed without any adult help. All received prizes. Each one left with a T- shirt and token prizes. With the BGVK idols shining, the future of India is bright. BGVK, the premier institution that takes care of the grassroots has arrived at a point of focus, caring for the education of the future generation. Truly, the villages are lovely, dark and deep and there are promises to keep, and miles to walk before we sleep, but for now it is, “Bravo BGVKan Idols!!!”

MELA FOR VILLAGE CHILDREN AT NARUKOT

Kamlesh Dodia
NARUKOT, MARCH 22, 2010: The campus of Don Bosco, Narukot was vibrant and vivacious from dawn to dusk on March 14, 2010, when nearly five hundred children from 28 villages had a march past of sorts with their tutors. The Balmela organized by Narukot Education Society under Village Education Project managed by Fr. Brian and Coordinator Ms. Bharti saw these children enjoying themselves singing songs, dancing ‘timli’ and having scrumptious food generously served by the students of the technical institute. Innovative and children friendly games put up in well organized stalls by the boarders trapped the attention of the children where they had a chance to win a variety of prizes.

A splendid cultural show prepared by the little children and students of both school and technical followed. It was marked by the esteemed presence of the chief guests Rev. Frs. Richard and Byron sdb, sarpanchs of nearby villages and other invited guests. Fr. Byron in his speech stressed on three important things: positive thoughts, hard work and honesty.
Fr. Brian in his thanks giving speech took a note of meticulous efforts of Frs. Stanny, Bros. Damodar, Ajay, Ruban, Justus, Romero and other staff members for organizing this magnificent ‘mela’.

BOSCO SAMAJIK VIKAS SANSTHA CELEBRATE WOMEN’S DAY

WALVANDA, MARCH 17, 2010: World women’s day was celebrated with much pomp at the Walvanda Centre, Jawhar block on March 10, 2010. The theme of the programme was to give “equality of right, equal opportunity to every one”. The purpose of organizing such a program was to encourage women to come forward and bring togetherness for the sustainable development of women through mobilization of women. Around 500 women participated in the event with enthusiasm.

The programme started with the welcoming of women and the chief guest Mr. M.D.Gangurde the Tahsildar of Jawhar and offering garlands to Savitribai Phule by Fr. Anaclate with other guest. The introductory address was delivered by Mr. Sanjay Shinde wherein he shared the history of celebrating women’s day and the background of the organization.
M. D. Gangurde addressed the women on women development schemes. He mainly focused on schemes and their benefits which women should avail at the village level. An action song followed in which the women took part whole heartedly. Dr. Kshirsagar focused on poverty and its linkages to women’s underdevelopment. He spoke about general problems faced by women and how it affects the development process through various live examples. He also talked about importance of self help groups. Dr. Aruna Patil talked about Women’s health and their problems.

Fr. Anaclete addressed the women and mentioned that he was happy to see a large gathering. He added that the organization is ready to support and enhance the skills of women through various training programmes.

A memorable cultural programme followed. The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. Melvin Pangya.

ALIRAJPUR CELEBRATES WOMEN'S DAY

Dominic Martis sdb

ALIRAJPUR, MARCH 20, 2010:
March 13, 2010 was an important day for the adivasi women of Alirajpur, who came together for their very first Women’s Day celebration at Alirajpur Shaikshanik Samajik Kendra (ASSK). About 130 women from the villages around Alirajpur attended the celebration.

The festivities began with the women welcoming the special guest, Ms. Shobna Omkar (President of the Women’s Congress, Alirajpur), as well as the oldest and youngest members in the gathering. After this, the entire crowd proceeded to the hall for the lighting of the lamp and the Chief Guest’s address. The programme continued with groups from various villages performing songs in their traditional style. Later in the day, the SDM of Alirajpur District, Ms. Jamuna Bhinde, also joined the celebration.

The highlight of the programme was the inspiring speech given by Kavliben from Bhedwa village, who spoke about the power of collective action by women, the strength and capabilities of rural people and her own pride in being an adivasi woman.

The programme concluded with dancing, singing and gifts for all the participants. For the women of Alirajpur as well as the staff of ASSK, the event underlined the importance of building the strength of the community, and especially of the women.

Monday, March 15, 2010

WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATION AT DHARAVI

Surekha Pednekar
MUMBAI, MARCH 15, 2010: It was an afternoon packed with great energy and good cheer as Women’s Day was celebrated in Dharavi on Saturday, March 13, 2010. This event, organized by Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), witnessed the turnout of over 1200 women from different slum communities in Mumbai. Besides the women from the Self Help Groups promoted by DBDS in Dharavi, there were women from Matunga, Mahim, Wadala, Sewri, Kurla, Santacruz, Andheri and Jogeswhari.

The programme got underway with a prayer song and dance, after which the lamp was lit by the dignitaries on the stage. These guests of honour included Ms. Jamila Begum from Yuva; Ms. Varsha Parchure from Apnalaya; Mr. Robin Thomas from Tata Trent; Mr. Savrimuthu, General Manager of Indian Bank; Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of Provincial House; and Fr. Elson Barretto, Director of DBDS. Other senior officials from the Mumbai Municipal Corporation were also present on the dais.

The afternoon saw a good mix of speeches by the dignitaries and cultural items by the women. While Ms. Jamila Begum and Ms. Varsha Parchure spoke on the theme of water, Mr. Robin Thomas focused on the issue of plastic bags and the environmental problems they caused. Mr. Savrimuthu enlightened the audience on the micro-credit schemes being promoted by the Indian Bank and also distributed loan cheques to 18 different SHGs amounting to a total of Rupees Forty Five lacs, to be used for launching small business enterprises. Fr. Elson Barretto described the various initiatives undertaken by DBDS in the city, especially the women’s development programmes. The highlight of the evening was a Fashion Show Contest in which 25 women participated. These contestants, decked up as ‘new brides’, walked the ramp to the enthusiastic applause of the audience. The programme concluded with the distribution of certificates to 175 women who had successfully completed a variety of skills training courses organized by DBDS in different slum areas in the city during the past few months.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BEAUTY ON WOMENS DAY

Ranald Lopes sdb

CHHOTAUDEPUR, MARCH 8, 2010: The 45 day Beautician course drew to a close on March 7, 2010 as 27 girls from the tribal area culminated their course in Beauty, sponsored by the NABARD bank. Though the World Fashion Centre is at Paris, LSK vouches that Chhota too will someday make its place on the Fashion Map. It was heart warming to see young girls now prepared in a new way of income generation activity. LSK organized this 45 day workshop with the help of Laura Abreo a well know beautician from Mumbai who directed the girls on beauty tips and make up. This was not all, to venture into this business one needs finance, hence called the SBI director of Chhota was called to speak to the girls and show them how to secure a bank loan with 50% deduction for their new venture. The girls are now empowered to begin their own enterprise and earn a handsome living. Certificates were also distributed and each one also got a basic make up kit to begin this needful and fashionable business.





Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ACCENTURE-TAJ VALEDICTORY FUNCTION AT BOSCO BOYS

Manish Parmar
BORIVLI, MARCH 9, 2010: The first batch of 52 students who successfully completed the ‘Accenture-Taj Skills Development Course’ were awarded their certificates during a simple yet solemn valedictory function held at Bosco Boys, Borivli on Saturday, March 6, 2010. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Vasant Ayyappan, Director Corporate Sustainability, Taj Group of Hotels. Also present on the dais were Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial, Fr. Savio Silveira, Fr. Anaclete D’Mello and Fr. Anthony Santarita.

This three months training programme promoted by DB Tech India and funded by the Accenture Company, had the Taj Group of Hotels as the knowledge partner. The four domains in which training was offered included Hospitality Service, Restaurant Service, Indian Cookery, and Bakery and Confectionery. Besides this, the students also received training in Conversational English, Computer Basics and Life Skills. The good blend of theory and practice that the training offered enabled the students to gain a fair amount of competence over the different domains. Further, besides the classroom sessions, the students received hands-on experience in different hotels, and were taken for exposure visits to the Taj President Hotel at Cuffe Parade and to the Taj Sats Air Catering Centre.

Speaking during the function, Mr. Ayyappan complimented the students for the keen interest they had displayed throughout the training period. He encouraged them to keep working hard and assured them that Taj would assist them in building their careers. Some of the students came forward to share their experience of the past months and to express their gratitude to the institution. They were full of praise for the excellent training that they had received and for the personal interest taken in them by the management and staff. After the certificates were awarded to the successful students, the programme came to a close with the vote of thanks proposed by one of the students.