Friday, October 13, 2017


by Mukesh Garasiya


MUMBAI, OCT 13, 2017: Twenty-six social workers from various NGOs working with children attended a seminar entitled, 'Residential Issues and Challenges Faced by NGOs while dealing with Children from Destitute Backgrounds' on October 11 at Bosco Boys Home (BBH), Borivli.


The seminar was focused not just on residential issues and challenges of NGO's, but also on bringing together like-minded NGOs on one platform for experience-sharing, to build up a strong 'network web' for support and collaboration in the future.


Father Solomon Rapol, Rector of BBH, led the group in prayer at the onset. He then introduced the work done at BBH and also introduced the staff. Datta Gade, assistant coordinator at BBH initiated the introduction of the participants.


Mayuri Raj, coordinator at BBH, underlined the purpose of the seminar. Eustace Fernandes then did a presentation, highlighting the vision, mission and the various activities and courses conducted at BBH. Pramod Nigudkar, Chief Executive Ofiicer, MELJOL addressed the gathering about the 'Issues and challenges faced by residential institutions while dealing with children from destitute backgrounds'. In the session, he highlighted on a few questions like: "Why do we do what we do?", "How we do what we do?" and, "what are the issues and challenges of institutions at the macro level?"


One of the statements he stressed upon was, "Children are the main stakeholders and so we need to give their opinion importance in policy making." In a discussion that followed, it emerged that government interference led to institutions closing down.


Father Rapol took charge and spoke about the 'Concerns and Challenges in YaR (Young at Risk) work today'. He based his talk on three main elements, namely, compliance, care plus and professionalism in light of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act). He highlighted the need to respond to the needs of the present day YaR and stated, "…we need to respond to the needs of today not rely on old methods".  


In the post-lunch session, Mayuri Raj presented the findings of the pilot study conducted on the perception of residential children towards service providers. Father Rapol then introduced Shriram Ghodke, PCI, MHB police station who spoke about the work load of the police force and how NGO's could assist in issues like tracing missing children.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


 by Joyce D'mello Fernandes


NAVI MUMBAI, OCT 11, 2017: Don Bosco School, Nerul trumped Ryan International School, Sanpada, 5-3 on penalties to clinch the DSO Under-17 football title in a closely-contested final at Delhi Public School grounds in Nerul on September 29.


Vincent Crispin, Nikhil Bangal, Sohel Tanaji, Bryan Pereira and Umesh Yadav converted their penalties after both teams ended regulation time at 1-1. The crowd gathered witnessed contrasting tactics throughout the match, as both teams played an attacking brand of soccer in the first half. The second half saw both teams defend and push for penalties. 


The Don Bosco side shone throughout the tournament, under the guidance of their coaches Rehan Shaikh and Nikhil Aher. They beat North Point, Nerul, in the quarterfinals and SBOA in the semifinals.


"The only thing going on in my mind was that, 'if I fail, the whole team fails and I cannot let that happen'," Nikhil Bangal, the Captain, who saved two penalty shots in the final, said. "Principal Father Donald Fernandez as well as our coaches were confident in our abilities. It is their support and our teamwork that made us win!" Shantanu Vanire, added.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


by Velda Ruth


KUWAIT, OCT 5, 2017: Thirty youth from St. Therese of Child Jesus parish in Kuwait participated in a Salmiya Talent Hunt at the Indian English Academy School to mark the parish feast on September 29.   


A team of the Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) backed by their Spiritual Director, Father Lionel Braganza organised the event which presented youth with an opportunity to showcase their talent in dance and song. Maegan D'souza won top honours, followed by Trevor Furtardo in second and Theresa Franklin in third place. Glen Vas, Mercy Joseph and Shanice D'mello judged the singing competition.


The dancing contestants then took to the stage with pomp as the judges, Vrinda Lewis and Aarti Rohtagi kept tapping their feet to the enthusiasm, rhythm and energy of the dancers. 'The Next Episode Crew' claimed first place, while Fiona Vaz bagged second place, followed by Ramona Crasto in third place.

"Talent requires a platform to be brought forth and in the modern day of social media, there are various ways of discovering and nurturing talent," Joseph, a judge, said.


Crasto, who finished third in the dance competition, added, "This gave me the opportunity to be noticed out there and kick started me in the right direction as I'm passionate about dance. I am thankful to SPY for giving me this platform!"


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, OCT 5, 2017: On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised a rally for 350 girls – from Mumbai slums - on 'Meri Suraksha, Mera Adhikar' which is 'My safety is my right' on October 2.


Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director – DBDS, in his inaugural address asked participants to respect women as human beings and to ensure their dignity, safety and security is maintained. 


DBDS has been active in the sector of women empowerment for several years and organised the rally primarily with the aim of creating awareness on the issue of women safety in the society at large and also to communicate to the police and other government sectors to put 'Girl Safety' as their top priority.


The rally began from the campus of Don Bosco (Matunga), towards King Circle, Sion Hospital and ended at the Don Bosco campus again. Throughout the course of rally, the participants shouted slogans on safety and security and expressed their solidarity and commitment towards making a secure environment for girls in their homes and outside. 


"I hope that my country one day becomes a safe place for all of the girls to live and that the government and administration takes our safety as the top-priority," Shubhangi Manchar, a participant, said. 


by Linson Miranda and Jeffi Ann Thomas


MUMBAI, OCT 5, 2017: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society(GRSS), in collaboration with Don Bosco Institute of Technology (DBIT), Kurla conducted a two-day workshop entitled 'Remote sensing and GIS in rural agricultural system' at DBIT, aimed at educating the participants about the different applications of GIS and Remote sensing in the agricultural sector on September 22 and 23.

Students and faculty from colleges across Maharashtra, industrialists, water and agricultural sector, research scholars from IIT-Bombay participated in the event.


The event began with Dr Amiya Kumar Tripathy, Dean R&D, DBIT, the coordinator and in-charge of the event  felicitating and welcoming the dignitaries, Meeta Rajivlochan, IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, the Principal Secretary and Director, Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan, Department of Higher and Technical Education in the Government; Father Colbert Da'Silva, Director, DBCL, D Avik Bhattacharya, a senior member, IEEE GRSS-Mumbai Chapter and Dr Prasanna Nambiar, Principal, DBIT. This was followed by a prayer and lighting of the lamp.


Father Da'Silva addressed the participants and stressed on the need for educating the masses for life and livelihood and explained how DBIT, in collaboration with IEEE, wishes to make such data available to the masses. Dr Nambiar, in her address, spoke about how GIS as a technology can be used to mitigate problems and encouraged students to take active interest in using such technologies to solve social problems.


Anthony Lobo, Section Chair, IEEE-Mumbai Chapter, who could not be a part of the event, sent a message which was read by Dr Tripathy, in which he thanked the participants and the speakers for their presence and spoke about the importance of such workshops. Dr Avik Bhattacharya informed participants of the history of IEEE GRSS and the various applications of remote sensing in GIS. 


Meeta Rajivlochan gave the keynote address in which she spoke about the importance of GIS technology in the agricultural sector. She stressed on the importance of knowledge and productivity and the integration of geoinformatics and research in current education programmes which would help India transition into a knowledge economy. She also thanked DBIT for hosting the event.


Various topics like Principles of Remote Sensing, GRSS activities, Research issues in Geospatial Analysis, Smart Agriculture, GIS in climate resilient agriculture, Transit in the times of GTS, the Urban and Rural divide were covered by the research scholars.

The two-day event ended with a promise to have hands-on workshops on various topics at the earliest convenient time. The session also introduced various research and career options related to the field, to the students present there. It provided an opportunity for IT, computer and electronics engineering faculties to join hands with Remote Sensing and GIS for solving real world problems.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


by Susan D'costa


KUWAIT, OCT 4, 2017: Over one thousand youth participated in a Biblical Quiz competition, on selected parables from the Gospels, organised by a group of parishioners under the patronage of Hindi Bhashi Samudday (HBS), affiliated to the parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Kuwait at the Indian English Academy School, Kuwait on September 29.  


The students from standards four to ten spent part of their three-month summer break studying selected parables of Jesus, which was the mandated portion by the organisers. The elimination round, a written test was held on September 15, and 1200 youth participated. Twenty eight toppers were then selected and grouped into four teams, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each team had seven participants.


In the mega quiz held on September 29, the four teams competed. Father Blany Pinto, Father Francisco Pereira, Father Johnson Nedumpurath, and Father Lionel Braganza were present during the finale.


Father Pinto in his opening message to the participants said, "By knowing the Bible we gain knowledge and this must lead to wisdom". He stressed that in participating in the quiz, one should never be over competitive but take part and make use of the knowledge we get, in our daily lives." Father Nedumpurath added, "Each parable of Jesus has a lesson for each one of us. If we reflect on the words deeply we get more insight and it becomes more meaningful."


The quiz consisted of seven rounds of questioning, namely, Ice breaker, Seek and you shall find, Knock and you shall receive, Audio-visuals, Parable quotes, Reflections and Rapid fire. The questions put forth to the teams were intriguing, exciting and made the audience go 'Aah!' and clap when the teams answered correctly. The audience actively participated in the various audience rounds. Maryann Soares, coordinator of team Matthew said, "The quiz was a huge success. Very well organised thanks to the hard efforts of the organisers".


Father Pereira advised the participants that like the neighbour in the parable, "Friend in need" (Luke 11), we should know when to pray and knock on the right door, do not delay to ask God for something you need. He also explained the symbol of the three breads in the parable, which refers to the Holy Trinity. He mentioned "How much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"(Luke 11:19). He said that in this verse we have the Holy Trinity: Father, Holy Spirit and Jesus, who is narrating it to us.


The results were then declared. Team John stood first, and all members were awarded gold trophies along with the Championship Rolling Trophy, second position went to team Luke, and all members were awarded silver trophies, third position was bagged by team Matthew, all members were awarded silver medals, and team Mark in the fourth position were awarded with bronze medals. All the participants received certificates. Valence Fernandes, from the winning team, said, "It was a nerve-wracking experience. But all-in-all I had a great time."


Father Braganza interacted with the participants on parables, asked what their understanding was and explained the essence of parables. He also informed the participants of the very essence of the number '3' which appears many times in the Bible. The number 3 always refers to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


The six months of relentless hard work by the organising team, along with the support of Father Pereira, Father Rodrigues, resulted in the event panning out as a success. "The parable quiz was well organised from start to finish. We appreciate all the efforts of the organisers and look to many more Bible quizzes," Violet D'Souza, a parent of one of the participants, said.

Monday, October 2, 2017


by Wilfred Vaz


KUWAIT, OCT 2, 2017: To fortify the spiritual growth of parishioners who are actively involved in the various ministries of the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Kuwait, Father Francisco Pereira conducted a recollection – which was attended by 93 parishioners - on September 23.


Several issues were touched up on during the recollection. They included strategies for personal prayer, overcoming personal and family problems through the power of prayer, experiencing improved and renewed relationship with loved ones, interceding for family members and others, and praying for the situations that the Holy Spirit reveals when we are in prayer. 


The recollection commenced with the screening of the movie - The War Room. It gave a startling revelation that 'prayer room' is actually a 'war room' where each one has to battle their worldly desires, spiritual frailties and sinfulness with prayer as the weapon complemented with holy Scripture. The movie helped the participants identify themselves with the characters and resolved to implement a change in their personal lives. "The Recollection explicitly brought out the power of prayer as a weapon, defence and energiser," Virgilio Rangel of the Choirs Ministry, said.


The participants were then put into groups to discuss the questions that were based on the movie. The members shared the wealth of learning that was received. After the group-discussion, the recollection venue was converted into a 'war room' where the participants deeply introspected, meditated and prayed in silence. The participants were also instructed that petitions and intercessions could be written on post-it slips and pasted on the board that was kept for the purpose. Prayers and intercessions were then offered up to God at the Offertory during holy Mass. "My learning from the recollection is that we need to intercede for others and spend more time in reading the Bible," Basil Lobo of the Eucharistic Minsters, said.


Father Pereira then explained how to read the Scripture meaningfully. He mentioned that when one reads the Holy Bible, there has to be a 'revelation'; the Word of God should reveal a unique message to the reader. The revealed message should trigger a 'revolution' in the reader, that is a thirst and desire to change one's life in tune with the will of God. Lastly, a firm 'resolution' should be made to stay committed to the change despite circumstances that may compel one to return to their former way of life.


The culmination of the recollection was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; during the homily, Father Pereira spoke on the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Prayer. Prayer Cards were given to all the participants as a personal gift from Father Pereira. "It was truly a beautiful and enriching experience, I am blessed to be a part of this parish," Pamela Viegas from the Liturgical Ministry, said.


by BIS Correspondent


NAVI MUMBAI, OCT 2, 2017: Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul claimed handball top honours in two separate categories at the District Sports Office (DSO) championships that took place on September 20 and 21.


The under-19 boys and girls did the institution proud by putting on a quality display. The girls' team consisting of Jhanvi, Lakshita, Shelly, Gauri, Arya, and Khushi, under coach Tej Bohra and Manu Thomas, lifted their first handball title. In the semi-finals, they outplayed D Y Patil, Nerul 4-0 and then posted an impressive win 4-2 win over Ryan, Sanpada in the final.


"Winning the finals was beyond our expectations. We are grateful to our school and our Principal, Father Donald Fernandez for giving us an opportunity to prove ourselves," Shelly Singh, said.


The under-19 boys' team, consisting of Nikhil, Yash, Osama, and Chintan put up an aggressive show and beat D Y Patil 11-0 in the semi-finals. They then wrapped up the final by defeating Ryan, Sanpada at 12-1.  


"This was the first time that our under-19 girls' team won a title in handball along with the boys. Both the teams played wonderfully and have made us proud," Father Fernandez, said. 


by Cleric Felix Almeida


NASHIK, OCT 2, 2017: The Salesian Institute of Philosophy Divyadaan, Nashik began its annual seminar on the September 28. It focused on the theme 'The Ecological Crisis: Anthropological Roots and Solutions' which was held for two consecutive days. The seminar commenced with a prayer service that helped the participants appreciate God's creation by looking back at the role of the human being in the saga of creation. 


The first session was taken by Father Savio Silveira, the vice provincial of the Mumbai province who also heads Greenline - a movement dedicated to protect and preserve the environment. In his presentation he focused on the encyclical 'Laudato Si' with special emphasis on major concerns and commitments mentioned in it. The presentation helped the participants to understand the need to cultivate the right spirit of dialogue with issues that concern the environment. He pointed that we are a part of creation and not the sole authority over it. 


The second session taken by Father Ajoy Fernandes, a psychologist and currently the director of Prafulta, took the participants on a journey revealing how the shifts in the development of human consciousness have contributed to the ecological crisis today. Through the presentation he shed light on how we need to look at the root problem in the issue of environmental crisis and not just get carried away by the symptoms if we are to bring about actual change. 


The next session was taken by Father Wyman Gonsalves who has done a philosophical research on an environmental topic with the views of Vandana Shiva as a guide to understand ecology. The session was a presentation on Eco-Feminism and other green movements and philosophies. It gave an overview of how industrial farming and other technology have led to an environmental crisis and how different movements - like the Narmada Bachao Andolan- over a long period of time have resisted unsustainable developmental projects that could lead to destruction. 


The last presentation of the day was done by Father Silveira. The presentation proved to be an eye opener as it stated facts and statistics which many years ago seemed like science fiction. It described a haunting reality of the present and even prediction about the future if adequate measures are not taken. 

Day two of the seminar began with a prayer and felicitation of Bishop Lourdes Daniel of the Diocese of Nashik. In his message he spoke about the responsibility that every person has in taking care of the environment.  

The first session was taken by Father Rolvin D'Mello who oversees the development works of the Mumbai Province. He shed light on how development if not holistic and comprehensive in nature can lead to disastrous effects both on the environment and people, citing the Aarey Milk Colony Metro Shed as an example. 


The concluding session taken by Father Fernandes focused on the way ahead. Each group was given a question to discuss and insights were shared at the end. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks to the principal, management and students who made the venture a success and a prayer to care for Mother Earth.

Friday, September 29, 2017


by Annie Cardoz


MUMBAI, SEP 29, 2017: A one-day meeting in Hindi to help lay coordinators of the Social and Youth at Risk (YaR) ministry understand the Salesian spirit and the style of functioning with youth, in-line with the vision of Don Bosco, the Salesian founding Saint, was held at the Provincial House, Matunga on September 27. Nearly 50 delegates from various parts of the Mumbai province including  Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh attended the meeting. 


Father Isaac Arackaparambil, the resource person, explained the 'holistic perspective of the ministry of Saint John Bosco'. In addition, he also described the Salesian pedagogy, Salesian spirituality, education and culture, education to faith, vocational guidance and social experience. He amalgamated spirituality with usual works to teach the practicality of application of the values of Saint John Bosco in daily duties.

The next resource person was Father McEnroe Lopes who focused on 'Saint John Bosco and his companions'. He explained the importance of lay persons in the Salesian ministry by emphasising on the first people who helped Don Bosco like his mother, Mr Pinardi among others. Through thought provoking questions he then encapsulated the essence of the audience's own vision for their work and made them ponder on the probable obstacles they might face and how to overcome it.


The third resource person was Father Mayank Parmar from Gujarat. The topic of discussion was 'Lay coordinators responsibility to carry on the works of Saint John Bosco'. He initiated the session with puzzles, pointing out to participants that they often forget there are simple ways of carrying out activities but rather get stuck in complexity. The question, "Do you feel responsible to do your bit?" resonated throughout his talk. He spoke about numerous ways in which YaR centres could collaborate with development centres to further bring about success in their work and help a wider spectrum of the community. 

The last speaker of the day was Father Christopher George who spoke about 'Relooking at Saint Don Bosco'. He made the audience brainstorm on how they could merge the values of Don Bosco with their own life and work parallelly. The participants shared many heartwarming stories of how the great Salesian Saint and lay people working together in various Salesian institutions changed their life, which further enabled them to dedicate their own life to the young at risk. Father Gregory D'Almeida and Father Rolvin D'Mello collaborated to organise the event.


by BIS Correspondent


PUNE, SEP 29, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised diya painting, akashkandil or lantern making, Diwali greeting card making and drawing activities for children on September 22 at Chinchwad in Pune to prepare them for the Diwali festival.


More than 100 slum children studying daily in the support classes conducted by DBDS participated in the activity. The event was held under the aegis of 'Women Empowerment Project' supported by AXA Business Services Pvt Ltd. 


The main objective was for children to learn and enjoy creative craft activities. Vaishali Palande and Manoj Kumar were the resource persons. 

The children were very excited. Akash Gaikwad, a student of the daily support class, said, "It's for the first time that we had such a lovely experience in life; we have celebrated so many Diwali festivals but never had such a nice preparation for the same."

"It was a wonderful moment for all of us to witness. The children from the slums – whom we cater to daily through the support classes are benefited a lot," Lalita Choudary, DBDS – coordinator said.  Snacks were distributed to all the children at the end at the end of the event.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, SEP 28, 2017: A Bible Quiz and Bible Fashion show was conducted by the Archdiocese of Bombay for school students on September 14 at Our Lady's home in the city. Over 50 schools participated in the event that was graced by the presence of Bishop John Rodrigues, in-charge of the Biblical Ministry in the diocese.


The day began by invoking the presence of the Lord, after which Walter D'Souza- promoter, Biblical committee welcomed all present. Bishop Rodrigues with his words of encouragement prepped up the children and also lauded the efforts of the organisers, and the innovative ways of bringing the holy Bible alive to the present generation. 


An intense elimination round for the Bible Quiz was conducted, testing the knowledge of the 51 schools, of which six schools were shortlisted for the final round. The well-planned quiz had various rounds like true/false, MCQ, AV and a rapid fire round. The teams were not left alone but could rely on help through life-line options such as flip, audience poll etc. 


The Biblical Fashion show gave a peak into the talents of the children showcasing various Biblical characters through a two-minute presentation each. The painstaking effort in the detailing of each character was evident. 


The winners of the Bible Quiz and Biblical Fashion show were given trophies, medals and gifts. The Bible Quiz was won by St. Joseph's High School- Wadala followed by Carmel of St. Joseph- Malad, with Divine Child School- Andheri securing the third place. The Biblical Fashion show was won by Canossa Primary School- Mahim, followed  by St. Stanislaus School- Bandra and Sacred Heart-Vashi, who won the third prize.


The boys of St. Joseph's High School who put in a lot of effort under the direction of Father Nelson Falcao and Cleo Farro, were delighted to secure the first place. It has not only helped to increase their love and knowledge of the Gospels, but has also created an interest among the group to learn more about the Word of God.


by Libby Sequeira



KUWAIT, SEP 28, 2017: With a generous attitude of gratitude, the Salesian co-operators of Kuwait organised an 'Appreciation Evening' for nearly 100 altar servers of the St. Therese of Child Jesus Parish in Kuwait on the September 22.


Invitation to Appreciation Day is based on a points system, whereby points are awarded to altar servers for participating/serving at the holy Mass, attending monthly meetings and taking part in the weekly oratory programme organised in the parish. The senior and junior boys have to earn a minimum of 200 and 100 points respectively in a year, to qualify for an invitation. This year 89 altar servers out of 146 received the prestigious invitation. 


The altar servers were commended for their dedicated service to the parish and were awarded certificates, medals and plaques. The Best Altar Boy award went to Ruzario Richard Sequeira who said, "I am very happy to receive the Best Altar Boy award but this was only possible because of the support of all the priests, my co-ordinators and my family members.  I also ask for God's grace to help me to continue to serve Him wherever I may be." 


Leon Fernandes, another altar boy said, "I felt overwhelmed on receiving the medal and certificate. It was a sign of their appreciation for me. I thank them for organising the event for us. I want to continue to serve God."


The children enjoyed the games organised for them and worked hard to gain points for their respective teams. This was followed by a dance session to the music played by DJ Marcus Fernandes. Salesian priests – Fathers Derrick Misquitta, Lionel Braganza, Blany Pinto, Francisco Pereira and Edison Fernandes graced the occasion with their presence. The co-ordinators of the altar servers were also felicitated for their dedication and commitment to training the boys. 

Oswald Aranha, a co-ordinator said, "Being with the youngsters was an enjoyable and a refreshing experience." He was happy to receive a memento in appreciation of his service to the altar servers ministry and thanked the Salesian Co-operators, Kuwait.


The event ended with a vote of thanks and a final blessing by the Parish Priest, Father Blany Pinto- the Spiritual Director of the altar boys.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, SEP 26, 2017: Fifty five youth from Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, participated in a day-long workshop that aimed at sensitisising them about the dangers that exist in slums due a high population density, garbage and presence of domestic small scale industries on September 16.

The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised workshop which was conducted by Sachin Khedekar, Director- Chetana Foundation. Khedekar first spoke about a range of issues like types of disaster, man-made vs natural disasters, emergency services, rescue and relief.


He then moved to techniques and methods like 'bandage method', which should be used to treat injuries from disasters. He told the youth about triangular bandages, simple bandages, cuff and collar bandage, head bandages, jaw bandage and palm bandages. 

Vivek Jaiswar, a class 10 participant said," The session was very good, full of informal and practical demonstrations on immediate action to be taken to manage disasters." 

"Slums are overpopulated, congested places prone to flooding. People need to be trained on relief and rescue measures for effective management of disasters. This youth group from slums is a perfect target group for such a training," Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director, DBDS said. 


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, SEP 26, 2017: Tej-Prasarini – Don Bosco Communications – the publishing arm of the Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated its Silver Jubilee with grandeur and enthusiasm with an event that included a series of dances, songs and a touch of Biblical magic at St. Andrew's Auditorium in Bandra on September 22.

The presence of Cardinal Oswald Gracias – as the Chief Guest – reflected the importance of the event, as the Cardinal, alongside Bishop Dominic Savio and Father Savio Silveira – the Guests of Honour – lauded the team of Tej-Prasarini – under the able guidance of Father Joaquim Fernandes, the Director - for their contribution to the field of communication, not just at a Salesian level but in the Diocese of Bombay too.


Tej took root in 1992 - under guidance of Father Peter Gonsalves – as an audio-cassette production centre, producing five recordings with Christian songs and drama to meet the spiritual needs of the poor people of Maharashtra.  As they say 'the rest is history'.


The audience, on Friday included bishops, religious and well-wishers, who took their seats in the auditorium at 7pm for an extravaganza that lasted over two hours. Youth from the Mazzarello Youth Centre, Wadala set the tone for the evening with a welcome prayer dance entitled 'Gata Rahe Mera Dil'. The boarders from St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri then inspired the audience with a song entitled 'Let your light shine'.

Father Fernandes, the brain behind the functioning of 'Tej' since he took the reins in 2006, addressed the gathering. He stressed on the importance of media in society today, reflecting upon how Saint Don Bosco himself set the tone of spreading the light through the written word, through his various publications.  


"It's never too late to refurbish old dreams, to dust them off and dare to dream again," Father Fernandes said, while looking to the future of 'Tej' as it's affectionately called. "All it requires is a new vision and renewed enthusiasm to bring the original version to fulfilment. 


In a specially published jubilee souvenir, Father Fernandes summed up his success mantra for Tej in the future. 'Nothing is more valuable than our integrity, for in doing so we might lose out on the immediate situation by refusing to compromise, but the long-term benefits of being known for honesty far outweigh the losses," he wrote.


Following his address, Father Fernandes ushered the Cardinal and the other guests to the dais for a felicitation ceremony that recognised 'team Tej' for their contribution to the organisation's continued success. Father Silveira, the Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province, first lauded Tej and Father Fernandes for their efforts in spreading the light through a host of communication mediums.  

Cardinal Gracias echoed a similar sentiment in his address, thanking Father Fernandes and his team for their contribution to not just Salesians but the Diocese over the years. "It's an importance milestone that offers an opportunity to look back on the distance travelled and to look forward to the journey that lies ahead," Cardinal Gracias, said, adding, "I am confident that they will face the challenges of the future with courage, confidence, commitment and competence. I pray for them and invoke God's blessings on all associated with Tej-Prasarini."  


The special souvenir entitled, 'Celebrating the Legacy of Radiating Light' was then released by the Cardinal, before the staff of Tej were felicitated. D P Mahesha, the founder of Mastermind International in association with Tej, then distributed certificates to those who had successfully completed the course. 

Throughout the evening special mention was made to Late Nicholas Peris, the marketing Manager of Tej for the last 25 years, who passed away in July 2017. He was part of the core planning team for the jubilee celebrations and was present in the initial planning meeting for the same. His daughter, Cecilia Vaz, a professional pianist, with varied experience around the world, took the stage to honour her late father with a piano recital. 


A medley of Tej-Prasarini music productions- since its inception- in Marathi and English was conducted by Amon Daniels. Father Ivan Madtha then left the audience spell bound with his Bible-themed magic show. He used a mix of music, humour and colourful props to grip the audience with a series of magic tricks that reflected on Biblical messages. Father Madtha, a survivor of a train accident in 2012, when he lost his left arm and injured his leg, inspired the audience with his life testimony.  


The Faith and Harmony choir conducted by Bosco Rodrigues brought the curtain down on the event, with a series of hymns, which included 'God Still Loves the World', penned by Father Peter Gonsalves, the Founder of Tej.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


by Perpetual Nazareth


MUMBAI, SEP 19, 2017: Don Bosco High School, Matunga has this year already lifted to honours for their sporting conquests, particularly on the football field – but 'Glorious 75', their school band proved that the institution excels in more than just sport.    

At 'Band-it Festival 2017', an inter-school  band competition organised by Furtado School of Music on September 15, Don Bosco's school band comprising of vocalist, Ethan Mathew, Benson Nazareth and Varghese Chiramel on the saxophone, Jermin Jose, the bass guitarist, Chezian Vaiz and Jash Kasare on the trumpet, and Nigel Fernandes the drummer – made the top ten from over 50 schools that qualified following a gruelling elimination round.


'Glorious 75' emerged as the "Audience Favourite", while lead singer Mathew won "Best Vocalist" award.  The 'Band-it Festival' is the biggest inter-school competition in the city of Mumbai with more than 500 schools being invited to audition. Don Bosco's young musicians called themselves 'Glorious 75' in view of the Platinum Jubilee of the school. As a reward for being one of the finalist bands, the players were entitled to a 90 minutes mentoring session on September 11 with Chintu Bhosale, the grandson of Asha Bhosale, who is also a musician and music educator in Mumbai.  


"I felt like a professional player playing in big shows," Benson Nazareth, the saxophonist, said. Lolita Mendonca, a parent added, "Our school band stood out as being the only brass band. They belted out some foot tapping numbers."


Hadyn Dias, an active volunteer who helps out with study and music class for the boarders at Dominic Savio High School, Andheri paid a glorious tribute to the school band. "The boys synchronised very well together and performed songs that were not conventionally popular. However they still managed to keep the audience thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout their performance." 


Father Bernard Fernandes, principal of Don Bosco High School, summed up the experience by saying, "I was happy that our students got an exposure on the big stage before a knowledgeable and appreciative audience. The band master Sir Saby has a way with the children and the brilliant performance was there for all to see."

BIS #5219 OOPS!

by Susan D'Costa


KUWAIT, SEP 19, 2017: Oops! (Openness, Obligation, Praise, Support) a two-day seminar on bonding parent-teenager relationships was recently organised by the Salesian Cooperators of Kuwait. The seminar included simple exercises and a splash of humour as Father Edison Fernandes, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology focused on parents-teen relationship.


Parents received guidance on developing their teens in family decision making, family activities, reliability, respect, consideration and healthy living. Through interactive sessions, Father Fernandes highlighted the importance of choices and consequences, assertiveness and the need to communicate in a language their teens understood. "Mentor your teens into successful adulthood," was Father Fernandes' guiding principle for the parents.


Teens were encouraged to trust, love and understand their parents and their problems. Those who attended the seminar lauded Father Fernandes for his efforts in helping them to better understand each other. "Oops was an interesting, useful, innovative session by a well-informed priest with a great sense of humour. We need more programmes like this to guide our teenagers," Nandita Sequeira said.


Another parent, Desmond D'Souza added, "It was informative, an eye opener for us as a family, to understand our basic core personalities and deal with our day to day issues." While Justin Mascarenhas, a teenager said, "The workshop was very informative. I got to learn more about myself."


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, SEP 19, 2017: French poet, Victor Hugo once said, "No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come." His words rang true in 1992, when Father Peter Gonsalves dreamed the dream and sowed the seed of Tej Prasarni, an English translation of 'spread the light', a media house which today - 25-year's on – under the leadership of Father Joaqium Fernandes has mushroomed into a state-of-the-art media entity which provides the good news via a host of publications, productions, a news agency and life-skill workshops.


As India awakened to a new dawn in 1991, with the liberalisation of the economy, Father Gonsalves and his superiors laid the groundwork for 'Tej' as it's fondly referred to today. It was his dealing with the locals in the drought-stricken Ahmednagar in Maharashtra that inspired Father Gonsalves to start Tej.


"I was working actually at the missions, where the villagers practice their faith through devotional songs or bhajans.  We recorded these bhajans in the form of audio-cassettes. The idea was to create an audio cassette ministry where these cassettes would be sold to them at a very cheap rate, affordable for them, I'm talking of something like 10 rupees per tape. We world bear the main cost. And that was how it started. And we started in Pune with a small little studio that was set up there in 1992," Father Gonsalves said. 

The success of the initiative prompted more audio productions. Tej collaborated with the late pioneering Marathi lyricist and radio evangelist from Pune - Jayantkumar Tribhuvan to produce high quality Marathi productions. Tej then moved base to Mumbai in 1993 and that further boosted music recordings in English and Hindi.


In 1995, Tej was approved as the official multimedia production centre of the Salesian Province of Mumbai. It expanded to producing books and audiovisual material in English, Marathi and Hindi. Its productions were based on a variety of themes, such as catechetics, youth development, media education and peace initiatives. It catered to the needs of different audiences like parents, youth-leaders and teachers of various educational institutions. 


In 1997, Tej began focusing on training youth to expand their skills in creative arts and media education. Tej's initiative of skilling youth creatively, continues to this day, with new additions like a brain-training programme. In 1998, the Tej Prasarini book store was set up, which still provides the faithful with publications, audio-video productions and manuals for life skills. In the same year,, the web portal for Tej Prasarini went live.

The demand for youth-related audio-video material led to the setting up of a recording studio, Tej-Kiran (Ray of Light) in 2000. The number of audio productions grew. Most of them dealt with educational programmes. A video recording suite was also set up. 

Father Gonsalves was Director of Tej till 2001. He obtained a doctoral degree in the Faculty of the Sciences of Communication at the Salesian University, Rome in 2007, where he has been Dean since September 2015.  In early 2017, Pope Francis appointed Father Gonsalves to be a Consultant to the Vatican Secretariat for Communications.

Father Darryl D'Souza, an expert in developing and implementing communication strategies for corporate, non-profit and education sectors, then took charge of Tej. In 2001, with the support of MISSIO, Tej-Prasarini Don Bosco Communications, initiated a Communication Campaign for Peace with a clear focus on youth and training of trainers. In the same year, the first audio- cassette and CD with Peace songs was released.


In 2001, Tej also collaborated with UNICEF for the promotion of 'AIDS awareness' among school children. Several other documentaries on social issues like 'Streets Alive', 'In Dialogue with the Rathwas', 'Youth for Life' and 'Salesians at the Service of the Young' were also produced. In 2003, the first 'Don Bosco Film Festival on Peace' was held. Thirteen short films on peace were made by students and the best film was aired on Doordarshan, the national television network.

Bosco Information Service (BIS), which is Don Bosco Mumbai Province's social communication wing, was inaugurated in October 2003. BIS still circulates news about the Mumbai Province via its website:

Father D'Souza was succeeded by Father Joaquim Fernandes, who was also the Vice Principal of Don Bosco, Matunga in 2006. In the same year, under the leadership of Father Fernandes, 'Pray Sing', a hymn production, was conceptualised. The audio-production brought together nearly 300 singers from seventeen parishes across Mumbai.

Tej spearheaded the media co-ordination of major events like the visit of the Rector Major Father Pascual Chavez, in 2007.  In 2008, a workshop training 18 bishops in pastoral communication skills, new trends in media, internet, email, computer applications, powerpoint and video conferencing was held. Media and communication strategies for the first-ever Indian Mission Congress in 2009 and the visit of Don Bosco's relic to Mumbai in 2011, was managed by Tej. A book and media fair in 2012, commemorating its 20th anniversary was also organised. 


Tej collaborated with other bodies like the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) Commission for Social Communications in 2011 to produce three volumes of 'Communication for Pastoral Leadership'. The books were inaugurated by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, now President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


Father Fernandes took the initiative of book publishing to another level with publications like 'Jesus, the Prince of Peace', Exploring Salesian Life today', 'Don Bosco in Mangalore – before the arrival of the Salesians', 'Preventing substance abuse among school children', among others. 

"Today we are into audio-video productions, book publications, social media, creative and media training programmes, and we also do the media management for major events. It has been busy but fruitful," says Father Fernandes who busies himself for Tej Prasarini's Silver Jubilee celebrations on September 22 in Mumbai, where Cardinal Oswald Gracias will be the Chief Guest. 


Tej Prasarini has been spreading the light far and wide for 25 years, and it wants to continue lighting the world for many more years to come with the good news!