Tuesday, July 17, 2012


WALAVANDA JULY 14, 2012  : Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) agriculturists along with community animators conducted series of trainings on system of rice intensification (SRI) to the farmers of Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas.  These trainings helped generate awareness among the farmers about SRI method.  Several farmers are motivated from the area to go for SRI method of cultivating rice.  BSVS procured rice seed called ‘Poonam razzi’ and distributed to the farmers for nursery rising.  Farmers were helped by the agriculturists and community animators of the organization in setting up of nurseries for SRI method of cultivating rice.  In total, 708 kilos of rice was distributed in Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas.  To cultivate one acre of land under SRI method, only two kilos of seed is required.  So, 354 acres/ 142 hectares of land can be cultivated with the seed distributed by the organization.

Since the onset of agricultural season in Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas BSVS team members are busy in giving demonstration on planting rice seedlings in SRI method.   Fr. Anaclete D’Mello and Br. Alex Gonsalves visit the villages and participate in the plantation of the rice seedlings.  Farmers are taught to plant single seedlings, not in clumps, and in a square pattern 25cm X 25 cm apart or wider by the BSVS team.  Ropes with mark on appropriate distances are used to plant the rice in a square pattern. Instructed them not to plant in a row (more root growth potential)

In SRI cultivation, 8-10 days old seedlings are planted. So root system grows well and gives 30-50 tillers. If managed well, then 50-100 tillers are produced and high yields can be realized.   Maximum tilling occurs concurrently with panicle initiation.   More field grain per panicle and no lodging of crops. SRI cultivation requires less water and less expenditure and gives more yields.  SRI method is beneficial for small and marginal farmers for food security.  Even first season yield are usually higher than before and improve increase yield over time.  The lower capital cost of using SRI means that it’s economic and other benefits are not limited by access to capital, nor does it require loans and indebtedness.  Thus contribute rapidly to greater food security for the poor.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


MATUNGA, JULY 14, 2012: Don Bosco Development Society organized a two-day workshop (July 12-13) on the people’s right to food and nutrition and the National Food Security bill, 2011. The workshop was attended by fifty four people including staff, SHG leaders and community leaders.  The workshop focused on creating awareness on the problem of rotting food grains in FCI godowns and hunger prevailing in India.  Though the right to food is covered under the article 21 and article 47 and also by international instruments like UDHR and ICESCR, yet we have the highest number of hungry people in our country.  Almost half of our children are malnourished and as per global hunger index (GHI) 2011, India’s position is the worst not only in south Asia, but also among some of the sub-Saharan countries. It is strange to understand that a country like India which claims to be a growing economic power has one fourth of world’s hungry people.
India has a large food distribution system called Targeted Public Distribution System.  But the sad fact is that about 60% of our wheat and 27% of our rice is pilfered from the system before reaching the ration card holder.  Unfortunately, the Food Security bill, 2011 which has recently been tabled in the Lok Sabha doesn’t specifically target making the system more transparent or efficient as far as the delivery of the food grain is concerned.  It has suggested reforming the PDS but there is no timeline specified.  The definition of food security is too narrow and also the definition of meal has many options including take home ration.  In such circumstances, the government will give food grains and not cooked food.  It is difficult to imagine how the destitute and homeless would get their benefit when a normal household is unable to access it’s entitlements under PDS.

The second day focused on how the PDS works and how people can access various schemes of PDS and make the system responds to their needs.  Practical solutions were suggested to people’s problem related to PDS entitlements and a visit was made to the Matunga Ration Office.  Interaction of participants was held with the ration office staff.

Addressing the audience on first day Fr.Savio Silveira brought attention to the fact that malnutrition is a grave challenge and cited the news story that stated that more than 24000 children died of malnutrition in the year 2011 and more than 10 lacs are still affected by various forms of malnutrition.  Fr. Savio suggested forming an action plan to work on this issue in the project area.  At the end of the workshop an action plan was prepared and people came forward to form a vigilance committee to access their rights under PDS.


Fr. Rolvin D'mello, sdb
AHMEDNAGAR 05, JULY 2012 : The dawn of July 2, 2012 witnessed the launching of the "Project SLS" (Skills for livelihood and Sustenance) at Don Bosco Community College, Ahmednagar. After much preparation and the necessary groundwork the inauguration of this project took place at 10.00am by invoking the name of the almighty during the prayer service. The prayer service began with a multimedia presentation followed by the Word of God and intercessory prayers; seeking His blessing on this entire endeavour.

The project SLS aims at catering to around hundred to hundred and twenty youth from the region; mostly from the villages and from economically poor background. Various skills will be provided to these youth in form of courses like Computer, Spoken English, Electrical, Welding, Tailoring & basics of fashion designing, Typing and Beautician's course – thus preparing them to earn their livelihood so that they can stand on their own feet in the future. These courses are started after studying the need of the hour and the scope for employment in-and-around the region.

The mobilization process for this project was going on in full swing for last one month in different areas and villages of the Nagar district; as a result there is a good response from the students for the same. The duration of all the courses is for three months but those students who are interested in doing advance courses will be encouraged and will have government certification.

Fr. Thomas D'costa the Rector, in his talk after the prayer service motivated the students to give their best for the various courses they have opted for. He also briefed them about the life of Don Bosco and the mission of Don Bosco across the globe. The community college is blessed with a new set of gifted and committed staff; Fr. Rolvin D'mello the director introduced all the staff members and welcomed them to the institute. He explained the nature and the purpose of "Project SLS", he further also encouraged the students to make full use of the various facilities in the institute so that they learn the necessary skills for life and that their future will be bright. The entire ceremony ended with garlanding the photo of "Don Bosco," our father and founder and the prayerful wishes from the priests and the entire staff to all the students.


AHMEDNAGAR, JUNE 26, 2012: On June 26- 27, 2012 the Self Help Groups training workshop was held for the villages of the Ahmednagar at Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra. The Presidents and the secretaries of the various SHG's around sixty in number participated on the first day of the workshop and around eighty of them participated on the second day of the workshop. The training programme started with an opening prayer by Fr. George D'abreo. Br. Ramesh Durairaj, the Director welcomed all the women of the SHG's.  He also gave a beautiful talk to the women on the importance of the SHG's.  He stressed upon the need to go beyond the financial matters and thus contributing for the betterment of the society.

A team of the resource persons consisted of Srs. Manju and Agnes from Gujrat. They very creatively put across to the women the Do's and the Don'ts of the SHG's. The sessions were very lively which enabled them to become aware of various options; they can pursue and thus contribute towards the betterment of the society. The women were very much grateful to the institution for its valuable services and its interest in their welfare. The workshop ended with words of appreciation from the staff and the women.