Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Patrick Corda
BORIVLI, NOVEMBER 30, 2011: The batch-4 students ofMoRD (Ministry of Rural Development) from Bosco Boys Home, Borivli were all delighted as they received their trade certificate on November 29, 2011. Ninety one students coming from different areas of Nashik, Jawhar, Whada, Talasari, Amravati and Shahapur, walked into the institute of Bosco Boys Home on August 29, 2011 to learn a trade in Welding, Hotel Management or Automobile.

Twenty four of these students discontinued the course with a valid reason, leaving behind sixty seven of them who spent ninety days in their respective domain. On completing their practical, theory, and on the job training eighty percent of these students were also placed in different organisation as per the requirement. The students were really happy on receiving the certificates and thanked the Director of BBH, Fr. Anthony Santarita and the trainers of different domains for giving them this beautiful opportunity to be recognised with the certificate of DB Tech.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Mahesh Kumar
MATUNGA, NOVEMBER 25, 2011:  Don Bosco Development Society organized a one day workshop on November 24, 2011, on the importance of good governance in, inclusive development. About twenty five Salesians and senior staff members participated in the workshop. The focus of the sessions was on Right to Information, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Right to Water.Mr. Nikhil Dey, Founder member of MKSS and Co-convener of NCPRI spoke on MKSS’s journey in the enactment of RTI, NREGA, and presently, the Lokpal Bill. He stressed the fact that civil society participation is critical in enacting good development laws and ensuring their proper implementation. He shared his views on the working of RTI and NREGA in different parts of India. He was of the opinion that although RTI and NREGA may not be functioning at their best, they have certainly bridged the gap between the rulers (government) and ruled (citizens). The RTI has given the people the tools to make systems and functionaries accountable. Because of the NREGA, minimum wages have been raised all over the country. Mr. Dey said he was convinced that these laws were definitely contributing to the development of poor and backward groups.    
The speaker for the afternoon session was the ‘Waterman of India’, Mr. Rajendra Singh, who received the  Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2001 for community leadership in water conservation and management. Presenting his experiences, he stressed the need to respect the traditional knowledge and wisdom on water among local of people, and criticized the corporatization of water and natural resources. He also stressed the need to engage youth and women in development issues, as this is the section of society that takes their commitment to social issues seriously. Further, he briefed the participants on the Water Parliament which he has established, encompassing the over 1000 villages he had worked in during the past thirty years. Finally, taking questions from the audience, he touched upon various issues including the linking of rivers project, big damns, mining on river beds and pollution of water bodies.
All the participants were highly appreciative of the sessions, and said that besides the new ideas that they had picked up during the day, they weregreatly impressed by the lives and commitment of the speakers. Concluding the programme, Fr. Savio Silveira said that through this workshop, the Development Office wanted to begin the process of drawing up the roadmap for the next five years, for the development work carried out in the Mumbai province. This next phase of our work would be characterized by the Rights Based Approach, and would focus on people’s participation and ownership of the development process. The workshop ended with vote of thanks to the speakers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Cl. Evangelo D’Souza
The family budget program for the leaders of the self-help groups of Kapadvanj block was held at Don Bosco Kapadvanj, Gujarat. The program was organized by Don Bosco Action India with the Dristi Staff of Kapadvanj.
The focus of the event was to enable the participants to organize and plan their monthly budget to ensure a safe and secure living. Ms. Surekha and Mr. Mahesh of Don Bosco Action India graced this occasion with their presence. Ms. Ramila Gohil of World Vision, Ahmedabad and Mrs. Rinky of ICECD (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development) were the main facilitators for this training. They dealt basically on the income sources of the family, the ways of expenses and guided the participants in preparing a monthly budget for their own family. Group work and presentation methods were used in this training. The sixty five participants truly felt that the program helped them to organize and plan their life.
The program was an eye-opener to the candidates. It enabled them to foresee and plan their life.

Friday, August 26, 2011


MATUNGA, AUGUST 26, 2011: This year, the Ganesh Festival will take on special meaning for four hundred and fifty children from seven schools across the city, who participated in workshops on ‘Green Ganesh’ over the last two days. The sessions were part of the Green Schools Campaign that these schools are involved in, conducted by GreenLine, the environment education-action project of Don Bosco Development Society.
The programme began on August 25, with Dominic Savio High School (Andheri) playing host to two other schools—Holy Family High School (Andheri) and Don Bosco High School (Borivli)—at a two-hour workshop. With more than two hundred children of all ages in attendance, the resource team from the Young Environmentalists Programme Trust demonstrated the process of moulding Ganesh idols from clay, and the importance of using natural, degradable decorations. The children seized the opportunity to show off their artistic skills, crafting well-made idols using only clay, flowers, leaves, and coloured grains and pulses.
The next session on August 26, saw an even larger number of students—two hundred and forty in all—attending the workshop. The participating schools were St. Joseph’s High School (Wadala), Auxilium Convent (Wadala), Our Lady of Good Counsel High School (Sion), and the hosts Don Bosco High School (Matunga). The GreenLine team opened the session with Fr. Savio Silveira explaining how a return to traditional, eco-friendly practices would make for a more enjoyable and environmentally safe celebration.
 After crafting their clay idols, the children couldn’t wait to share their learnings with family and friends. As Vedangi Chintawa, a ninth standard student from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School stated, ‘I’ve enjoyed my first experience making eco-friendly Ganpatis, and will share this idea with my friends’. Another participant, Karan Parmar from St. Joseph’s High School, said that ‘although all my friends and neighbours may not agree to go green, I will keep trying till I convince them’. The message of Green Celebrations was aptly summed up by the teachers from Auxilium Convent, Ms. Rukmini and Sr. Fidelis, who said, ‘The children present today are only fifty out of the total strength of our school. But we will make sure that they teach the other students and spread the message of environmental responsibility to as many people as possible’.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


PUNE, AUGUST 22, 2011:August 6, 2011 was a memorable day for the fifth batch of the Hospitality and Catering students of Don Bosco V.P.K. Chinchwad, Pune as they were facilitated on the completion of their course. Mr. H.N. Sriniwas Sr. Vice President of Taj Hotels and Resorts was the Chief Guest for the evening. He was accompanied by Mr. Vasant Ayyapan Director Sustainability, Mr. Surinder Singh - General Manager of Taj Blue Diamond, Ms. Foram Nagori Manager C.S.R. and Ms. Sunaina Checkker H.R. Taj Blue Diamond who graced the occasion.
The programme started with the traditional lighting of the lamp. The comparer for the evening was Mr. Alfred Rodrigues. Students of the senior batch welcomed the guests with a bouquet of flowers as a token of appreciation for their support. The Director Fr. Corlis Gonsalves introduced the guests and through a PowerPoint presentation explained the work done at the institute. This was followed by a welcome song sung by the Don Bosco choir. A meaningful skit enacted by the students who highlighted the aspect of Hope. Three of the students from the outgoing batch spoke about their experiences after joining the institute. They thanked the fathers and faculty members for all the support and encouragement they received, as they are now ready to accept and face the challenges in life more confidently.
The students from North East India entertained the gathering with a bamboo dance and a hip hop dance which was applauded by both the guests and the audience.
The Chief Guest Mr. Sriniwas addressed the students and spoke about the importance of values and commitment, disciplined behaviour at work and in life to remain happy with self and others.
The programme concluded with the choir singing “We shall overcome”. Mr. Sriniwas, Mr. Ayyapen and Mr. Singh gave away certificates to the students of the outgoing batch. Fr. Gonsalves thanked Mrs. Fatima Sebastian for organizing this programme. This was indeed a day of joy and achievement for the institute.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Pavita Fernandes
WADALA, AUGUST 18, 2011: On August 9, 2011, Fr. Savio Silveira and his team visited our school to brief our leaders and the concerned students on the ‘Zero Garbage’ campaign initiated by the Green Line this year.

A thought-provoking power-point presentation highlighting the dangers and ill-effects caused to our Mother Earth due to the ruthless and selfish acts of human beings was projected on the screen for the participants.  The focus was yet again on the three R’s of the environment, ‘Reduce, Recycle and Re-use.’

To further this campaign, a detailed planning – by students and teachers - was necessary.  Hence the significance of certain procedures and action plans.  Fr. Silveira, together with his assistant, Miss Lyra, explained the manner of conducting a ‘Waste Audit’ in the school which would form the basis for further action.

These effective insights coupled with the accomplishment of receiving the ‘Best Initiative award’ last year, were enough motivation for our students and staff to initiate a plan for the year ahead.  The leaders are all set to carry the ‘Green line’ torch to illumine the path leading to a waste-free and clean environment.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Surekha Pednekar
In 2010, the Government of India declared that every citizen will be issued a Unique Identification Number (UID) to help them access schemes and to serve as an identity document. Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) has partnered with Indian Bank to ensure the issue of UID cards to all its SHG members and to the residents from project areas.

The UID drive began on April 11, and concluded on April 16. The registrations were done at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga. A total of 1038 people were covered under this initiative. The staff of DBDS and Indian Bank ensured that the documents were prepared without any mistakes and that people were able to fill out their forms properly.

This drive was part of DBDS on going program to ensure that citizens are able to access government services in the city. DBDS is presently working on issues concerning the public distribution system, water and sanitation.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Mumbai, March 18, 2011: 18th March 2011 marked the conclusion of the first year of the GreenLine Project, as the winners of the Green Schools Campaign were announced. Twelve schools from across Mumbai participated in this campaign, which was launched in October 2010.
The programme began with an overview of the Green Schools campaign, followed by a session on waste management by Dr. Amiya Kumar Sahu (President, National Solid Waste Association of India). The winning schools were then announced and received the ‘Maschio Foundation Awards’ from Fr. Edwin D’Souza (Chairman, Maschio Foundation). They are: Greenest School: Sacred Heart High School, Vashi; Runner up: St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri; Best New Initiative: St. Joseph’s High School, Wadala. Each of the winners then made a presentation on the green projects they are implementing in their schools.
Prof. Jürgen Kleinwächter, a renowned international solar energy expert from Germany, was also present for the programme. He explained that creative thinking is the basis for developing new technology, and encouraged the students to work towards sustainable development with both ‘heart’ and ‘intellect’. Another important event of the day was the release of the short film ‘Beautiful Earth ‘, produced by GreenLine.
The GreenLine project is an initiative of Don Bosco Development Society Mumbai, and was started in October 2010. The aim of GreenLine is to enable people in the city of Mumbai to adopt more environment-friendly lifestyles and to make ‘green’ choices. We have realized that there are many people who would like to make sustainable choices, but don’t know how to begin. That is where we come in—at GreenLine, we aim to help individuals and institutions to implement practical and cost-effective solutions to green their way of life.


Karjat, March 12, 2011: A group of 17 persons (12 women and 5 men) from a tribal community in Dayasadan, Zankhvav, Surat, Gujarat attended a training program from 9th to 12th March 2011 at DBYS Karjat. The group was introduced and trained in the various environment friendly projects developed here.
The aim of the camp was to create an awareness of our responsibility to protect and care for nature, especially for the tribals - whose life is so connected with the environment. Besides this awareness, the camp also aimed at training the participants to use the environment in an eco-friendly way for social and financial empowerment. The basic mantra to achieve this would be Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle; with the punch line "Kachre Mein Paisa Hai"
In keeping with these fundamentals, the participants were introduced to the various eco-friendly projects such as the bio gas plant, bio compost, bio fertilizers, grey water recycling, kitchen waste recycling, paper recycling, plastic recycling, charcoal making, tapping solar energy, use of innovative 'chulas' to reduce pollution and eliminate cutting of large trees for cooking. All these projects have been developed at the centre. They were also introduced to innovative farming, like bottle garden, growing vegetables in sacs etc. An important aspect of the training programme was that the participants were not only given theory, but also ‘practicals’ so that they would be able to easily replicate these ideas in their villages.


Kawant, March 7, 2011: Women’s Day at Disha Don Bosco, Kawant, was celebrated on 7th March 2011. Members from almost all the Disha SHGs participated in the event—a total of more than 500 women. The day began with registration of the participants, followed by fete games organized by the Scouts and Guides of Don Bosco School, Kawant.

The games proved to be very exciting for these hard-working women, who enjoyed themselves thoroughly. It was interesting to note that those who were least ambitious ended up winning more games than anyone else!
In addition to the games, the staff of Disha Don Bosco also organized a Sickle Cell Awareness Programme, in which 380 women participated. This programme was conducted by Mrs. Sunita P. head of the Sickle Cell Awareness Programme for Kawant Taluka.
This was followed by a cultural programme and the announcement of the prizes for the Best Self Help Group and the Best Adivasi Group Dress. The winners of prizes for the Best SHG prize were Gayatri SHG from Jamli and Ramdevpir SHG from Limdi. The award for the Best Adivasi Group Dress went to Geeta SHG from Nanichickli.
The chief guest for the occasion, Mr. Milind Gupte (Regional Director of NABARD, Vadodara district), encouraged the women to take advantage of the various vocational training courses conducted by Disha Don Bosco and NABARD. Quoting the example of many Indian women who have achieved great success, he encouraged the women of Kawant to take up leadership positions and make use of the opportunities open to them.
This Women’s Day celebration was also an important event for the staff of Disha Don Bosco, as they have become the first NGO to register 50 SHG’s in the ‘Mangalam Project’ introduced as part of the Vibrant Gujarat 2011 programme. Women can make a difference in the life of the community, and Disha’s aim is to women to be the change we want to see in this beautiful world.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Greg Almeida sdb
KAWANT, DECEMBER 31, 2010: Disha Don Bosco organized a one day training programme on December 30, 2010, for the Vigilance and Monitoring Committee (VMC) members of the different villages in the Kawant Taluka, at Don Bosco Kawant from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as part of the ongoing Governance Project. Of the hundred and ten VMC members who were invited for the workshop, eighty five persons were present. This relatively large turnout was a good indication that the village leaders are interested in knowing about the NREGS. The resource persons for the day were Mr. Shailesh Parmar and Mr. Sanjay Parmar from DRISTI. The topics that they covered were the roles and responsibilities of the committee members, functioning of the NREGS, Social Audits and problems related to Social Audits.

The training programme began with a video film on a Social Audit that was held at Varnagaam, Dholka Taluka. This was followed by a presentation on the roles and responsibilities of the VMC members vis-à-vis the NREGS. It was surprising to note that some of the participants were not even aware that they were members of the VMC in their respective villages and had no idea regarding their role in this scheme. Mr. Shailesh explained in detail the functioning and responsibilities of the VMC members and how they should conduct a Social Audit. He gave examples of Sabarkanta Taluka, where people took the initiative of following up the social audits with the help of NGOs and this resulted in much benefit for the villages. Problems and difficulties related to payment, muster roles, work order and job cards were expressed by the VMC members. The resource persons answered their questions and also presented them with strategies to tackle these problems. Mr. Sanjay Parmar concluded the workshop with a film on Social Audits that was held in Sabarkanta Taluka by Unnati. The participants expressed their gratitude to DISHA Don Bosco for organizing this awareness programme.