Friday, October 18, 2013


by Manish Parmar

BARODA-GUJARAT, OCTOBER 17, 2013: The Don Bosco Development Centres of Gujarat came together on 11th and 12th October, 2013 at Narukot to review the development work going on in the region.  Fr George Miranda, Development Office In-charge for Gujarat, inaugurated the programme and thanked everyone for their participation. The review was held for the period from January 2013 to June2013.

The objective of this program was to share and learn from each other’s experiences, as well as to refresh knowledge and bring in new approaches in the development work. On the first day of the meeting, all the centres presented a report of the activities held in their respective areas and their achievements till the end of June 2013. There were questions and discussions on various methodologies and techniques used in the field to tackle issues and problems.

The second day was dedicated to training on Governance and was facilitated by Mr Vikram Thakor and Mr Satish Macwan from the Foundation for Ecological Security, Anand. Mr Thakor started the session by explaining the role and responsibility of a citizen within the system of democracy in India. He then went on to explain various governance models and their pros and cons, as well as approaches to deal with various governance issues at the village level.

The programme concluded with a vote of thanks to all the centres for their participation and to the Narukot centre for hosting the meeting

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


by BIS correspondent

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, JULY 22, 2013: Don Bosco Development Society organized a two day workshop on Entrepreneurship Development for the SHG leaders from the slum Communities on 10th and 11th July 2013. 43 women attended the workshop. The aim of the workshop was to introduce the women in SHGs to the concept of micro entrepreneurship.
The workshop was addressed by 5 speakers who spoke on 5 different topics. In her opening speech Ms.Surekha Pednekar, Co-coordinator of DBDS said that Economic empowerment of women is one of the main objectives in development intervention and that DBDS regularly organizes such workshops for women to help them improve their economic status. There are many women who want to start a small business or who are running a small business and want to expand it. This programme is basically designed to help them.
Mr.Pradeep Moon, Dy.Director, Central Board for Workers Education, took up the topic "qualities of entrepreneurs". His session focused on motivating women and in analysing the role played by women. He gave various examples how women look down upon themselves and accept themselves as powerless and useless and that is why they are ill-treated. He gave examples of women and their businesses and explained how they became successful in their lives.
Mr.Royal, Co-ordinator, Don Bosco Kurla, spoke about "knowledge and attitude for business" His session focused on the importance of knowledge, attitude and skill in business. He took the example of the wise woodcutter, who would sharpen his axe before cutting a tree and thereby taking less time and cutting more trees. This is one of the ways of increasing the efficiency. He also emphasized on the importance of positive attitude in running a business.  
Mr.Mahesh Kumar, Programme Manager, DBDS shared "case studies in micro businesses". His session focused on various case studies of micro entrepreneurs from Pune. He started with the availability of huge opportunity at the bottom of pyramid for sustainability of micro businesses. He presented the stories of various SHG micro entrepreneurs who started as a novice and then how they eventually built their businesses.
Ms.Ranjana Jahav Trainer-Project Mainstream took a session on the business of paper bags and envelops. She taught those present, how to make paper bags and envelops. She also taught how this can be developed into a business which can be easily run from home.
Ms.Chetana Rasam, Freelance Trainer, taught the skill in making jewellery items. She also presented various designs which are in great demand in the market. The participants were divided into 6 groups and she practically taught the participants how to make a pearl bangle. Jewellery making is an evergreen industry and well suited for women. A housewife can also take up this as an income generation activity along with their household responsibilities and earn a good income every month. 
The 2 day training programme focused not only on imparting income generation skills in paper bag, envelope making and jewellery making but also on imparting business management skills to women. The programme was very much liked by women and many of them got idea of starting a small business and promised to start one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


By: BIS Correspondent
ANDHERI-MUMBAI, APRIL 29, 2013:  April 20, 2013 was a special day in Don Bosco Balprafulta as it was ‘ Annual Thanksgiving day’.  Several NGO’s represented by their staff and a few stake holders, who assist Don Bosco Balprafulta whilst working on Child Rights participated.

The Annual Day began with the welcome address given by the Rector of Dominic Savio. Rev. Father. Godfrey D’souza, who welcomed the gathering and appreciated the efforts put in by the team members. The day’s Programme was well synchronized with a mix of children’s dance and skit performances based on the theme of Street children which gave much food for thought.

The program next in line was the annual report presentation which traced the various activities taken up by the organization; next was a short movie presentation made by the staff of Don Bosco Balprafulta, on the Theme of the Annual Day “ Street Child whose responsibility?”   This was followed by The Chief Guest Sir. D. Tripathi, Secretary of Maharashtra State commission for protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) a Gandhian who spoke elaborately on the growing phenomenon of slum   children on streets and a Gandhian philosophical approach for addressing the problem.

To highlight the annual Day; was a public debate on the current trends and challenges and way ahead of street children.  This was preceded by Don Bosco Research Centre presenting the major findings of the Rapid Assessment Study (RAS) in Mumbai, study on home placement and study on drug addiction in collaboration with National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

Important trends such as slum spill over to the streets, prevalence patterns and measures recommendations in each of these studies were highlighted. The program continued with a panel discussion; the panellists comprised of –
Mrs Mrinalini Kher Hon. Secretary and Trustee of Kherwadi Social Welfare Association and co-founder of Yuva Parivartan spoke about Changing Face of Street Children in Mumbai.
Ms. Sunita Mhaiskar Assistant Labour Commissioner – Mumbai and Head of Child Labour Cell spoke on Prevalence of Child Labour among street children.
Dr. Sunita Shanbag Head of PSM Department – KEM Hospital spoke about the Health and Psycho-social Trauma of Street Children.
Dr. Deepa Bhanushali Administrative Officer Education Department - M-Ward spoke about Street children and their educational challenges.

The debate had an interesting insights and presentation. The audience was well animated and raised many important questions which were well ably handled by the panelists. In conclusion the Chairperson of the debate Rev. Fr. Barnabe D’Souza in his conclusion remarked mentioned that the responsibility to advocate for Child rights with regard to street child lies in the hands of each individual rather than the Govt. or society   The programme was concluded with the Vote of Thanks given by Sr. Jacinta the Asst. Director of Don Bosco Balprafulta. The programme came to a close with a sumptuous tea and snacks.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


By: BIS Correspondent

 AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, APRIL 27, 2013: Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar ventures out into new avenues. This time the focus group is children below the age of eighteen years. The staff and community are working on setting up Children’s parliament in about thirty villages.

Children’s Parliament gives a chance to speak for the children, by the children and of the children.  It serves as a platform for the children to develop leadership skills, confidence, team spirit, analytical skills and maturity.

This is none other than an organisation/movement for children. Children’s Parliament work towards establishing a casteless, secular, egalitarian and non-violent society at the neighbourhood to global levels.

The initial process required choosing a village and in that village electing their ministers by following Sociocracy election method.  According to the needs of that village, the different ministers are elected starting with Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister, Education Minister, Sports Minister, Speaker and Health Minister.

They function at different levels. Representatives from different levels federate to form a network. Thus, a Structure is formed to operate from below for the children to participate meaningfully and adequately in issues that affect them.

They collectively analyse local problems with a global perspective and evolve solutions. They execute their actions with the help and guidance of adult members of their communities. They also continuously involve in monitoring and evaluation of their own activities. In this way, children continue to involve in addressing their problems and the problems of their village.

In order to help children function better, a two day training camp on various leadership skills, capacity building and personal growth is being held in BGVK itself. The children come together for the parliament session.  There they discuss the problems and issues that affect them as well as their village. The children are made conscious of their rights and responsibilities as children.  Their ambition is to grow to become good citizens of India and to fight against Violation of Children’s Right.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


By Mahesh Kumar

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, MARCH 12, 2013: International Women’s Day was celebrated by Don Bosco Development Society on March 7, 2013 at Matunga, Mumbai. The theme chosen for the occasion was ‘Women’s Security’. It was an apt theme, given the fact that women’s security has indeed become a critical concern in our country.  The United Nations too has proposed a similar theme for Women’s Day this year: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”

The programme, which began at 3.30 pm, witnessed the participation of over five hundred women from the various slum communities where DBDS works. The Guests of Honour for the afternoon were Ms. Roswitha Maus, Projects Manager, Don Bosco Mondo; Advocate Pooja Kute, Legal Consultant, Majlis; Ms. Khatoon Shaikh, Convener, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan; and Ms Poonam Sinha, Sr. Manager, Bank of India. The programme began with these guests lighting the lamp, after which there was a prayer dance by a group of SHG women.

Addressing the gathering, Ms. Khatoon Shaikh highlighted the shortcomings in our police and judicial systems, which negatively impact women’s security. She shared her own experience of how women are mistreated at police stations, as well as how police refuse to register a FIR when the women go to lodge a complaint. She complemented DBDS for educating women in slum communities on the various provisions of the law.

Adv. Pooja Kute focused on the discriminatory attitudes and practices in Indian families, and the widespread phenomenon of domestic violence.  She touched upon several provisions of the ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act’ and encouraged the women present to familiarize themselves with this law. Ms. Poonam Sinha spoke on the economic empowerment of women and how economic independence enhances women’s security.

Besides the speeches, various cultural items were also staged. A group of students from Rizvi College performed a skit on female foeticide, dowry, domestic violence and gender discrimination in Indian society. Different SHGs presented dances and folk songs, which added a festive mood to the occasion. The programme concluded at 6.30 p.m. with a vote of thanks by a DBDS staff member.

Monday, March 11, 2013


PUNE-MAHARASHTRA, MARCH 11, 2013: On March 09, 2013 the Director of Bosco Samajik Sanstha, Fr. George Miranda received the ‘Ramabai Ranade Samaj Bhushan’ award for the group’s continual contributions towards women’s empowerment.

This award was presented by the ‘Jeevan Bachao Aandolan Sanghatan’ in Pune on the occasion of International Women’s day. The Bosco Samajik Sanstha has been empowering women through Self-help groups, entrepreneurship training and legal cells.

The Bosco Samajik Sanstha also organised a full day programme for around two hundred twenty five women which included sessions on various topics like Spirituality, health, legal issues and self-help group management.

The programme concluded with a rich cultural programme put up by the members of the self-help groups.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Anthony Patole
DAKOR-GUJARAT, MARCH 09, 2013: The Social Department of Dakor Salesian Society under the name “DEEP” (Don Bosco Empowerment for Emancipation of Peoples) was launched in Thasra taluka in the month of August 2012, and in the last seven months the staff has been able to establish thirty three Self Help Groups in sixteen villages.

In the light of surmounting atrocities against woman, DEEP decided to highlight the issue of Women’s Security as its theme for this year’s International Women’s Day organized for the women of Thasra taluka on March 08, 2013. The event took place in two parts.

In the first part, the four hundred ninety strong gathering of women took part in a rally around Dakor town holding placards and shouting slogans on Women’s Security and Rights issues. Simultaneously twenty women from among these, accompanied by Frs. Mayank and Isaac went to the Mamlathdhar’s Office in Thasra and handed a memorandum stating their concerns and expectations from the said office.

In the memorandum, the following points were highlighted:

1. In keeping with the 2005 law against Domestic Violence, to nominate a Protection Officer at the Taluka Level and also to setup an Institution providing Social Security.

2. Awareness programmes highlighting issues of violence against women and their Security Rights to be conducted by Police and Government Officials as suggested in the 2005 law against Domestic Violence.

3. To institute a Helpline for Women’s Security.

4. Criminal cases related to violence against woman to be handled at the earliest.

Attached to this memorandum was a police record sheet of the registered cases of violence against women at the Dakor Police Station; news reports of Violence against women that appeared in the newspapers from November 2012 to February 2013; and the signatures of all four hundred ninety members of the SHGs that come under DEEP.

The rally in Dakor town climaxed with an official function in the Don Bosco Campus. This function was graced with the presence of Mrs. S.V. Shimpi Police Inspector (Kheda District, Nadiad Branch Police Station), Advocate Sr. Manjula and other members of the management.

The peak point of the Dakor Rally was the reading and handing over of the memorandum by one of the SHG Women to Mrs. S.V. Shimpi PI. After receiving the memorandum, Mrs. Shimpi addressed the gathering and assured the women of giving an adequate response to their issues. She said, “Though Indian society has always been dictated on the terms of men, we women can still fight against it and achieve our rights through legal processes.” Following this, she inaugurated the first souvenir of the DEEP organization. The first part of the Women’s Day Celebrations concluded with the reading of the annual report by Mr. Vijay Parmar Centre-Co-ordinator for Social Works in which he mentioned that the savings of all groups put together has already grossed Rs. 1 lakh.

The second part of the day post lunch consisted of the Resource Input delivered by Advocate Sr. Manjula who made the women aware of their rights. She also showed how they could take necessary steps to achieve their rights. Following this, the SHG’s from various villages gave a cultural programme consisting of garba, folk songs and dramatics.  At the end, the social service staff of DEEP thanked all the dignitaries, women and all those who made the day a success. The hard work of the staff is highly commendable. “May the light of DEEP shine on.”

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


BIS Correspondent 

KAWANT-GUJARAT, MARCH 06, 2013:  Disha Don Bosco Kawant organized Women’s day on March 05, 2013 from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The theme chosen for the day was Disha Don Bosco, Moving towards Unity and Empowerment.

Around four hundred women were present for the day. The day began with Fete games organized by the scouts and guides of Std. Eight and Ninth from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. For the first time the women enjoyed some new creative fete games animated by Cl. Evangelo D’Souza.

Later on in the day, three resource persons from Kawant taluka were invited to give a talk on Health, Schemes related to tribal welfare and Bank schemes and loans for SHG groups. Each of them explained in detail the benefits related to the tribal community and how unity and empowerment among SHG groups can bring a change in their lives.

Cultural programme was organized from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. For the first time the four SHG groups from different villages came forward to put up skits on Gram Sabha, Role of Women Sarpanch and Issues related to sickle cell.

The most fascinating part of the women’s day was a gift of utensil by the women to the Don Bosco Boarding. It was received by the administrator, Br. Jerome Mendonca. The chief guest for the occasion was Mr Jigar Rathwa, deputy Mamlatdar of Kawant Taluka and past pupil of Don Bosco Kawant.

He spoke on the role and importance of women in today’s world. He gave the example of Mary Kom, Olympic bronze medalist in boxing category, of how she had to struggle to come up in life and being a mother of two children she was sorry about not winning the gold medal for the country.

He said that women have grace, power and strength to conquer the impossible. He encouraged the women to give their best in spite of all the odds. The guest of honour for the occasion were the newly elected Sarpanch, Mr Sundar from Gordha and Revthiben from Rumadiya, both past pupils of Don Bosco Kawant. The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Fr. Gregory Almeida.