by Cl Chris Ferreira
CHHOTAUDEPUR, OCT 4, 2016: The Regional Councillor for the Salesians of Don Bosco in South Asia, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga visited the House of Chhotaudepur as a part of his Extraordinary Visitation to the Salesian Province of Mumbai on October 2.
Beginning the day with the Holy Eucharist, in the presence of 400 youngsters and the faithful of Muktidayini Mata Parish, Father Kanaga expressed great joy on being in the presence of such a vibrant community.
The love and blessings of Don Bosco and Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Angel Artime Fernandez, reverberated in Father Kanaga's words at the Holy Eucharist. Later, he proceeded to inaugurate – Asha Uday : A Career Guidance Cell for the Youth in the rural areas.
During the day, he met a variety of co-workers with the Salesian community at Chhotaudepur. He expressed his joy over the service rendered and hoped that their good work will continue to flourish.
Father Kanaga met the Lok Seva Kendra staff and mentioned that their work - Village Education programmes, Self Help Groups for Women and Men, Agricultural Development Programmes, Animal Husbandry, Income Generation Groups and Rights Based Approach - done with constancy, is much appreciated. Even the tailoring class students who are rural young girls met the Regional in person.
The following day, Father Kanaga also met the inmates at the Chhotaudepur Sub Jail where the Salesians carry out their Youth at Risk ministry. Through the instrumentality of lay collaborators, this ministry - that began this year - seeks to educate the prisoners in basic language skills, vocational trades as well as life enrichment sessions.
The Sarvbhojan, however, was the highlight of the day where the whole family of Don Bosco – the students, boarders, office workers, domestic workers, parishioners, teachers and the Salesians with their Regional Councillor sat to share a common lunch.
Father Kanaga continued to meet people in the afternoon and later in the evening he met the Salesians. After a visit to the Religious Sisters who work in collaboration with the Salesians and a visit to a school started by a Past Pupil of the institution in the vicinity, Father Kanaga spent time with the children of the boarding.
After an entertainment programme that expressed the love of the children to their father and a goodnight that expressed the love of a father for his children, Father Kanaga bid the boys adieu promising prayers and a hope for a better Rathwi Chhotaudepur.
In his address to the Regional Councillor, Ajay Raising, a boarder said, "Chhotaudepur owes to Don Bosco what little fishes owe to the mighty ocean."