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.