Monday, March 10, 2014


by Fr. Gregory D'cunha

BARODA-GUJARAT, MARCH 10, 2014: The Campus of Don Bosco Baroda was abuzz with activity and enthusiasm on March 1, 2014, as 525 children from 18 Basti classes were transported from their respective localities towards DB-Baroda. The children were given a light breakfast on their arrival to the venue. Thereafter, the preparations for the Cultural programme commenced. The Basin Manager of ONGC, Mr. G C Katiyar, was the Chief Guest. A few other guests and well-wishers were also present.

Each Basti class put up a programme, presenting the theme: Fraternity and Solidarity through Love.  The programme was well appreciated by all. Mr. Katiyar said that, he was impressed with the good work that was being done, and he also assured that, he would speak in favour of the Roshni Project.  Fr. Anthony Pinto, the Rector of DB Baroda, in his speech, encouraged the children to excel in life and become better citizens. Fr. Gregory D’cunha proposed the Vote of Thanks, after which, the whole crowd got engrossed in Garba revelry. The dance followed a sumptuous meal.

Post lunch, with the help of the Youth group of DB-Baroda and the youngsters from Snehalaya, 20 stalls were organized. The children enjoyed themselves at the game stalls. Attractive prizes were handed over to those, who won maximum number of prize coupons. All the Children left  the campus with joy on their faces as each of them received a parting gift. The efforts of Ms. Jagruti and her staff bore fruit as the function drew to a successful end.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Kapadvanj, 25 February 2014
It was indeed a fantastic sight to see groups of women come singing, dancing and laughing into the campus of Don Bosco, Kapadvanj. Along the way, as many of them came walking from the main road to the house, they were stopped by people who asked what was going on. They were coming to celebrate their special day. Yes they were celebrating Women’s Day. They wanted to show that cooperation among women is the source of their strength, which was the theme chosen for this year’s Women’s Day. The celebration of Women’s Day was brought forward to 25 February 2014 since we were not sure when the code of conduct would be enforced because of the upcoming elections.

The Chief Guest, Ms Ritaben Patel, TDO Kapadvanj and the Guest of Honour, Ms Sejalben Brahmbhatt, Corporator, Kapadvanj Municipality arrived on time so we began the programme as per schedule even though all the women had not yet arrived. In fact women from the different villages carried on trickling in long after the commencement of the programme. Seven hundred and fifty women registered themselves at the registration desk but some women arrived after registration ceased.

The high points of the programme were the distribution of cash credit certificates to nine self help groups to the tune of 5 lakhs. The Annual Report was also released with great fanfare. One of the women also presented an appeal to the TDO for a gutter line in their village. Ms Patel was both surprised and delighted that for the first time a woman handed over an application to her. She promised speedy action

After the usual introduction, garlanding, lighting of the lamp and so on, the women themselves took control and put up a meaningful programme. They put up plays challenging the present culture of child marriage and foeticide especially of the girl child. One group put up a play in which the roles of husband and wife were reversed. The woman was the breadwinner and the husband the home-maker. This is something that would have been unthinkable a few years back. Still another group forcefully insisted on young people being tested for AIDS before agreeing to marriage. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Gujarat, January 2014: DEEP Don Bosco organized a one day seminar on 16th January’2014 for Sarpanchs (village leaders) in collaboration with the Thasra Taluka Panchayat. The purpose of this programme was to carry out a systematic development plan for all the villages of Thasra Taluka through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). This seminar was attended by all the Sarpanchs of Thasra Taluka, Talatis including the staff of Mission Mangalam and leaders of the Self Help Groups.

The programme also benefitted from the presence of Mr. Bipin Sadhu Taluka Development Officer (TDO) and other dignitaries like Fr. Mayank Parmar, Director of DRISTI, Sr. Rita, Director of Pushpanjali, Sr. Vandana, Sr. Ann Rose, Superior of St. Ann of Luzern and Mr. Melvin Pangya, Development Coordinator, Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha, Walvanda. The programme was inaugurated with the lighting of the lamp by guest of the honour and the dignitaries. Fr. Issac Arackaparambil, Rector and Director of Don Bosco Dakor heartily welcomed the guest and the participants.  He also thanked everyone for their precious time and encouraged the participants to take forward the initiatives of DEEP Don Bosco.

Fr. Mayank spoke about the Model Village (Adarsh Gaam) and concluded his speech by motivating the participants to contribute to the development of their own village. After that Sarpanch of Vajewal and Shimlaj shared their experiences of the exposure visit organized by DEEP Don Bosco in the villages of Ahmedanagar, Maharashtra especially the visit to the model villages Hivre Bazar and Ralegaon Siddi. The chief guest Mr. Bipin Sadhu addressed the participants and appreciated the initiative taken by DEEP Don Bosco to conduct PRA and help the Sarpanchs to do the best for the development of their own village.  He said that he and his staff would be there to support this initiative.

To work towards creating model villages, Mr. Melvin Pangya gave an introduction about PRA as an important method, tool and technique which helps to assess condition, various aspects of the village. He also shared his experience of the PRA undertaken in the Walvanda village and how it has helped the villagers to know about various resources available and the problems of the village. The programme concluded with the vote of thanks by DEEP Coordinator, Vijay Parmar and the National Anthem.