Tuesday, January 31, 2017


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, JAN 31, 2017: The Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India in collaboration with St Andrew's College, Bandra was inaugurated by Father Godfrey D'Souza sdb, Provincial of Salesian Province of Mumbai, on January 27.


Organised by Boscom South Asia the two- day festival witnessed the screening of 24 short films by reputable filmmakers under the theme 'Youth and Nation Building'. It was a challenge to take the film festival to different centres; it is now being screened at over 100 venues across India.


Saudamini Bhagwat, professor at St Andrew's College started the inaugural function by introducing the speakers. Dr Marie Fernandes, principal of St. Andrew's College said, "These short films are a medium of expression and it should encourage each one of us to view it and change our lives and to build our nation."

Father Magi Murzello, Rector of St Andrew's College and principal of St. Andrew's School, expressed his joy that the college was playing host to the film festival. "It ignites the minds of youngsters through visual communication and collaboration is good for networking to help youngsters achieve their goals," he said. 

Father D'Souza while addressing the college staff enumerated the theme of the festival,  'Youth and Nation Building' and encouraged the students to be creative and harness the power of youth towards nation building.

The Don Bosco Film Festival awards were announced by Father Fernandes. The first place was awarded to the short film 'Saavat' directed by Jyoti Toradmal, second spot to 'Paywat' directed by Mithunchandra Choudhari and 'Backbone' directed by Karunakaran C secured the third prize.  


There were many category awards and special awards too, which will be given by the Rector Major of the Salesian congregation, Father Ángel Fernández Artime  at Chennai, in March.


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, JAN 31, 2017: The Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India in collaboration with Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Matunga was inaugurated by Father Joaquim Fernandes sdb, Regional Delegate, Boscom South Asia and director of Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications on Monday, January 30 at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Matunga.


Organised by Boscom South Asia, the two- day festival will witness the screening of 24 short films by reputable film makers with the theme 'Youth and Nation Building'.  It was a challenge to take the film festival to different centres; the festival is now being screened at over 100 venues across India.


Dr Allan D'Souza, vice principal of Khalsa College, Matunga addressed the gathering and introduced the speakers on the dais.  "The short films," he said, " Are a medium of expression and it should encourage each one of us to view it and change our lives and to build our nation."


Dr Kiran V Mangaonkar, principal of Khalsa College, Matunga while addressing the college students, encouraged them to be creative and produce their own short films, so that in next year's festival they could put forth their stories.


Father Fernandes while addressing the college students, spoke about the ideation of the concept of this unique film festival, which is intended to touch thousands of youngsters.  He spoke about the United Nation's 'Sustainable Development Goals' and how this festival has integrated the goals. 


Films are a medium of expression. If film-makers observe discretion in the content, there would be no need for a censor board. With digitisation and YouTube and the internet, each one can tell their story of how they can build the nation.

Shahnawaz Baqual , actor and director of the film, 'Who Dies', whose short film had been selected for screening across India, spoke to the students about his upbringing and how peace needs to be attained first internally and then co-existing with peace and respect for life.  After the screening of his movie, he interacted with the students.


The Don Bosco Film Festival awards were announced by Father Fernandes. The first place was awarded to the short film, 'Saavat' directed by Jyoti Toradmal, second place  to 'Paywat' directed by Mithunchandra Choudhari and third place to 'Backbone' directed by Karunakaran. C.  

There were many category awards and special awards too. The awards will be given by the Rector Major of the Salesian congregation, Father Ángel Fernández Artime  at Chennai, in March.

"The short films are of real relevance for the youth and these short films which are shown today in the auditorium, will be screened in all the class rooms too. Our college has a strength of approximately 7,000 students. This has ignited the minds of all our youngsters," Dr D'Souza said.


by BIS Correspondent 


MUMBAI, JAN 30, 2017: Over 350 people from the slums of Antop Hill benefited from a free Hepatitis B vaccination camp organised by Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) in association with AMERICARES on January 28.   


Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director of DBDS, along with Father Savio D'Souza, parish priest and Rector of Antop Hill Church inaugurated the camp.


The camp was organised in the Chapel of Vijay Nagar. Father D'Mello thanked all stake holders, including Docotor Devyesh Devaliya from AMERICARES for their participation.  


Hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which affects the liver. It can cause chronic liver disease and puts people at high risk of death from liver cirrhosis or cancer. It's vaccine is costly but was given free of cost to the poor people from the slums.


According to WHO, an estimated 350 million individuals are infected with Hepatitis B worldwide.

Monday, January 30, 2017


by Shalu Mehrotra


MUMBAI, JAN 30, 2017: Over a thousand students and their parents participated in the third edition of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (KKKG) across three different Don Bosco locations in Mumbai, in January 2017, in an attempt to reach out to larger audiences to develop emotional health.


Prafulta Psycholgical Services, a Don Bosco organisation that has been offering a variety of psychological services to people, especially children and adolescents for the past 18 years organised the event, with the aim to enable individuals to live life to the fullest.

Over 400 students of standard five, six and seven from 21 different schools celebrated the 'Festival of Feelings' at Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla on January 15. They sat in small groups on the open grounds to draw, paint and write about their feelings. A counsellor helped them to choose a difficult emotion like anger, fear, sadness or any other.


After feeling that emotion, they expressed it on paper. Along with one difficult emotion, they also got in touch with the feeling of 'joy' and again expressed it on paper. Students then attended a workshop on 'Handling Difficult Emotions'. While the children were busy enjoying and learning about emotions, their parents had an hour's interaction with psychologists on 'Effective Parenting'.

Dominic Savio High School, Andheri hosted the second event on January 22, with almost 400 students and their parents from over 20 schools participating. The finale was on January 29 at Don Bosco, Matunga where over 400 students and their parents from 30 schools participated in the event. Across three different locations, Prafulta Psycholgical Services reached out to more than 1200 students from around 70 schools in Mumbai and their parents.

One of the important contributors to effective and happy living is mental and emotional health. Over the years, great emphasis has been laid on intellectual development and also on physical fitness. However, emotional health and development has largely been side-lined. Stressors are increasing in life, but coping mechanisms are dwindling. Thus it is important to strengthen the emotional resilience in children. KKKG is a programme that endeavours to build emotional resilience in children in a fun filled manner.  

Prafulta Psycholgical Services believe that in helping children understand how to handle their feelings, they will cope better in difficult situations, especially in the tough times we live today. Anger and jealousy often lead to violence and not knowing how to cope with sadness makes children withdraw. KKKG equipped children with the mechanisms on coping with tough emotions and difficult situations in a healthy manner.


Parents are also at a loss not knowing how to handle their children with the over-stimulation of media and given the competitive environment around. The programme gave parents a platform to voice their confusion and receive assistance from trained psychologists on how to handle issues related to children.

Prafulta Psycholgical Services through KKKG provided a win-win situation for all!


by Veena Sharma


MUMBAI, JAN 30, 2017: A seminar was organised by the Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) on January 24, to share the findings of their recently concluded study on the children of migrant construction workers in Mumbai. The programme was attended by senior representatives from about 30 NGOs actively involved with construction workers and having extensive grass root coverage in education and health sectors. 


The programme started with an introduction and welcome address by Father Ajoy Fernandes, director of DBRC. He emphasised that the purpose of the seminar was to network and disseminate the findings for NGOs to take it forward at two levels-interventions and advocacy. Hemlatha Anil Kumar, consultant at DBRC, elaborated on the study, the tasks involved, study approach and the methodology involved.

Dr Susan Mathew then disseminated the findings of the study. She revealed the extent of vulnerability of children of migrant construction workers in their living conditions and in the areas of education, health, nutrition and security. She also highlighted the high risk and vulnerability of pregnant women and nursing mothers. These findings were corroborated with information gathered through data collected from 254 households, observations on the sites and focus group discussions with key informants. 


Pathetic living conditions, nonexistent sanitation facilities and poor or absent child care services across the sites added to the vulnerability of these children. Issues like gender based disparity in wages, parental addiction to substances and vulnerability of the girl child was highlighted. Despite majority of the workers having ID cards and other documents like Aadhar, Ration and Voter cards,they did not have access to the Public Distribution System (PDS), public health services and free education for their children. Absence of education and health facilities for the children made them more vulnerable. At times toddlers were left in the neighbour's care without any responsible supervision.

The session was followed by a group activity, where the participants - divided into five groups - were encouraged to make suggestions to change the situation of these children. Each was given a theme to brainstorm in terms of advocacy and intervention measures. The five topics were: services, health, living condition, education and policies.

The session was animated by the resource person Dr Vaijayanta Anand, founder- director of Nirman, working for construction workers since 1986; assisted by Veena Sharma, researcher from DBRC. Dr Anand animated the group discussions and added useful insights on already existing provisions and the barriers to implementation. 


Various intervention needs and advocacy measures for services, improved living conditions, access to better health services and access to public distribution systems and public health services were highlighted by the groups. There were suggestions to link children living on the sites to municipal schools, under Right to Education (RTE). Networking with local leaders and municipal services to implement and improve living conditions was another suggestion. 


Advocacy measures included the principal employer's active involvement in the welfare of the workers rather than leaving them to the mercy of contractors. It was important to blacklist and discourage contractors who mistreated and exploited the labourers. Builders also needed to ensure and guarantee registration of all workers. Opportunities for skill enhancement and upgradation were also suggested for the labourers.

Useful interventions like awareness camps and mobile health camps could be facilitated with the local public health system. Involvement of local ANC centres and public health care workers to register and follow up with pregnant and lactating mothers, besides provision of ICDS facilities at the construction sites were some of the other suggestions made.


The session concluded with a vote of thanks by Dakshayani Madangopal, CEO of DBRC; in response to which Anaxi Shah of Smile Foundation thanked the DBRC team for inviting them for a useful and productive seminar and for the information shared therein. 


by Cleric Nevelle Coutinho, sdb 


MUMBAI, JAN 30, 2017: On the occasion of India's Republic Day on January 26, the First Lady of the State of Baden - Wurttemberg, Germany - Gerlinde Kretschmann, along with other dignitaries from her country, visited Shelter Don Bosco.


It was a special visit to learn more about YaR i.e. Young at Risk works in the Mumbai Province. The dignitaries were the delegates of the State of Baden-Wuttenberg, who were the representatives from the field of politics, industry and science. With them, journalists were invited too.


On arrival, the dignitaries were welcomed with traditional aarti and garlands. After which the Shelter boys sang a welcome song and the Anmol girls did a prayer dance. 


Father Gregory Almeida, YaR commission coordinator and director of Shelter Don Bosco and Balprafulta, welcomed the gathering. He appreciated their support to the YaR works around the province, to further the cause of education among the poor and marginalised. 


Dance performances from various YaR houses entertained the guests. There was a Marathi fisher-folk dance by Shelter Don Bosco, followed by dance performances by Bosco Boys Home, Borivli and Bosco Care Centre, Antop Hill based on patriotic sentiments. The programme brought out the vivid aspects of Indian culture.


In her address, Kretschmann, appreciated YaR's mission and the efforts of all the Salesian institutes. A casual interaction with the children followed. There was a brief interaction with the staff and the management, where the dignitaries inquired about the works of Shelter Don Bosco and other YaR activities. As a token of love, Kretschmann gave away gifts to the staff and special footballs to the boys.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


by BIS Correspondent


PUNE, JAN 29, 2017: In keeping with  its Financial Planning Literacy initiatives, the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) conducted a workshop on savings and investment for the low-income groups entitled Jan-Dhan–Nivesh in Chinchwad on January 21.


The workshop focused on educating people about several investment opportunities that could help them get exponential returns.


Forty- one leaders of the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and the staff of Don Bosco, Chinchwad attended the workshop. Mahesh Kumar, a senior programme manager of DBDS was the resource person.

The workshop demonstrated how small disciplined savings every month could turn into a big return using the power of compounding. It was stressed that in a world where inflation is eating away the purchasing power of money, investments were necessary to get better returns.

Kumar stressed that Public Provident Fund was an excellent scheme for long term goals. He made the audience aware of Sukanya Samruddhi Yojana, a scheme for girls up to 10-years-old to fund their higher education and marriage. 


The workshop covered issues like the thumb rules on saving and investment, RBI and Banking, Ponzi Schemes, Time value of Money, interest rates, Compounding and Discounting.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


by Debjani Bhattacharya


NAVI MUMBAI, JAN 26, 2017: The recently laid multipurpose turf ground of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul resembled a meadow of flowers as the school celebrated its 11th Annual Sports Fest based on the theme 'Save Water Save Life' on January 20 and 21.


The two-day programme began with the inauguration ceremony where chief guest, Abhishek Yadav - a former Indian football captain - saluted, as the four houses marched past, along with Father Bonnie Borges and Principal, Father Donald Fernandez.


Yadav then unfurled the sports flag. The sports torch, a symbol of harmony, goodwill, excellence and hope was lit by the contingent of students who have won laurels in national and state level sporting events.


Folk dances, aerobics and mass drills were performed on the fest theme. The school reverberated with the sound of cheers and claps as all the students of pre-primary, primary, secondary and senior secondary competed in a plethora of events. True to the sportsman's prayer the crowd cheered as the winners collected their medals, certificates and trophies.


Yadav, an alumnus of Don Bosco High School, Matunga shared his school memories of the institution and thanked his alma mater and Father Fernandez, his then vice principal for supporting, nurturing and grooming his skills.


On the second day, students displayed a wide array of skills through folk dances, aerobics, yoga and mass drills to conclude the sporting extravaganza. Parent- Teacher- Association members also participated in the games.  The event ended with a prize distribution ceremony for the overall champions.  


Father Borges, the chief guest for the closing ceremony, congratulated the winners and laid emphasis on a balanced and meticulous approach to every activity one performs. Schaleen Fernandes, from standard five, said, "The event motivated me to set my goals higher and forge new records." 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


by Mahesh Kumar


PUNE, JAN 25, 2017: Don Bosco conducted a free 'health camp' and a 'health awareness workshop' for the people of Indira Nagar and Tingre Nagar slums from Koregaon Park, Pune. 


More than 300 men, women and children benefited from the health camp, which is part of a project financed by Manos Unidas, Spain. The camp was organised in association with Aundh District Hospital. 


Addressing the people attending the camp, Father Vincent Rasquinha, incharge- social development, voiced the poor state of facilities in the slums and the need for better health services for all. He congratulated the Don Bosco team for their efforts and thanked the organisation Manos Unidas for financing the project.

Doctor Irfan Khan, then delivered a lecture on the preventive measures and treatment of common diseases like viral fever, Dengue, Chikungunya, Pneumonia and others. Doctors in four specialisations: Dermatology (Skin), Paediatrics, Gynaecology and General Physicians examined the people and gave free medicines too. 

Giving his feedback on the medical examination, Doctor Khan shared that they found few cases of anaemia in the children and women, ladies with calcium deficiency and some women had major gynaecology problems. Doctors referred 10 women to undertake further treatment from the government Aundh District Hospital.  


Ranjana Pandit, co-ordinator of Don Bosco thanked the doctors from Aundh Hospital for their whole-hearted support towards the health camp. She also expressed her gratitude the people for their overwhelming participation in the camp. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


by Levi Joyce Almeida


MUMBAI, JAN 24, 2017: The Catechism ministry of Saint Therese of Child Jesus Church, Kuwait, organised an in-house training programme on January 13 and 20, for 17 catechists. 


It was held largely for the new and budding catechists but even some old-timers took the opportunity to update themselves. The course was held at Don Bosco School by Christopher Pereira, an experienced motivational speaker. 

Pereira has always shown special interest in enhancing and shaping the soft skills of young aspiring speakers. The seminar was conducted with the sole objective of polishing the soft skills of budding catechists and helping them connect and interact with the students while delivering and teaching the Faith. 


On the first day of the training, Pereira began the session by explaining the importance of action songs at the start of every class. He then emphasised the importance of knowing the names of the catechism students through a few activities. He also set the ground rules and expectations for the seminar together with the attendees.


The participants discussed the six fundamental tasks of every Catechism session. Pereira then shared tips on how to prepare for a class. "The model way to take a good catechism session was in three parts namely: the human experience, the faith experience and life application."

He also threw some light on the code of conduct that needs to be set between co-teachers in a given class, with regards to agreeing with the lesson plan or when a difference of opinion arises. A key factor, he often highlighted, was the importance to remain spiritually grounded while delivering the lesson to the students by way of live story examples.


A teacher Fabiola D'Mello, who attended the training said, "The In-house training conducted by Chris was very informative and instructive. He provided essential tips and skills on engaging students through the use of the five senses. These skills can be applied to suit the learning styles of each child. I look forward to using these skills in our catechism classes." 


On the second day of the training, the catechists were grouped together according to the classes they have been assigned to teach. Each group of teachers was then asked to demonstrate the delivery of the lesson plan within a time limit of fifteen minutes. They were invited to add their own creativity and essence to their subject matter.

Caroline Salis, who attended the training said, "Presenting a lesson plan with a partner after a very long time reminded me of the joy of partnership and teamwork. You get to support and mentor someone and at the same time are being supported and mentored." The training session proved to be fruitful and a great learning experience for all new catechists who attended it. 


Ryan Nazareth, a catechist  said, "On the second day of training, I felt very good because of the tips given by the resource person. Our group had selected the topic, 'A Practicing Catholic' and used tips such as brain breaks, rewards and recognitions, etc to deliver the lesson. The demonstration class was a wonderful and enriching experience."  


The in-house training has enthused all the participants, with all feeling sufficiently equipped to teach catechism to the students. 


by Dr Susan Mathew


MUMBAI, JAN 24, 2017: On January 20, Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC), Matunga shared the findings of their recently concluded national study on the children of migrant construction workers. 


The programme which was attended by the Salesians of Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai provinces, started with an introduction by Father Ajoy Fernandes, director of DBRC who emphasised the importance of networking, intervention and advocacy in taking the study forward. 

Dakshayani Madangopal, CEO of DBRC, in her presentation delineated the study approach and the empirical findings of six cities, viz Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kochi that highlighted the extent of vulnerability of children of migrant construction workers in the areas of education, health, nutrition and security. 


The findings corroborated the information gathered through observation and focus group discussions with key informants and unearthed inadequacies in the living conditions, sanitation facilities and child care services across the sites with some measurable variations in places like Kochi, Delhi and Bangalore. 

Gender disparity in wages, parental addiction to substances and vulnerability of the girl children were other unattended issues. Despite majority of workers having possession of identity documents like Aadhar, Ration and Voter cards and the specific legal provisions being in place for these entitlements, access to Public Distribution System (PDS) for basic provisions, health coverage and educational facilities were still remote realities for the workers. Lack of political will to enforce mandatory registration of workers was observed to be a major impediment for exercising their rights.


Post presentation witnessed a thought provoking discussion regarding the interventions and advocacy for this marginalised group, moderated by Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial, Mumbai province. Father Silveira guided the discussion in a methodical manner for the Salesian assembly, to come up with their advocacy plan in a right-based perspective and the practical steps to be initiated. 

Father Thomas Pallithanam, a child rights' campaigner for `Nine-is-Mine' told his counterparts, " Have a collaborative approach with agencies instead of standalone services and join national campaigns for addressing primary educational rights of children under RTE Act, right to development of children through ICDS, National Food Security Act and ICPS. Influencing existing policies to bring workers under their purview is more promising than floating new legislations," Father Pallithanam said. 


Father Francis Bosco from Chennai, who already has a 'migration desk' in place to build a database of migrants coming in from interior parts of Tamil Nadu, has plans for identifying children of migrant workers at source, mobilising contractors for facilitating bridge schools, improving sanitation facilities and introducing SMART Card for financial transactions.  


Father T D John from Hyderabad felt the need for sensitisation of issues of migrant workers within the Salesian community and the Don Bosco Youth Services and Development Forum to take up skill development programmes for migrant youth while maintaining the rural-urban balance. The Don Bosco Home Link for missing children could be put in use for the service of migrant children. 

Father Gregory Almeida, director of Don Bosco Balprafulta, Mumbai felt that networking with Salesian houses and NGOs was essential and also to involve volunteers to obtain data on addiction among migrants. Joining hands with social and print media, educational departments, health professionals, government agencies, regular monitoring by ASHA workers for pre and postnatal care of migrant women workers, were some of the suggestions made by Hemalatha Anilkumar, consultant, DBRC. 


"Conducting health camps on construction sites along with a migration desk would help gather data on migrant workers," said Veena Sharma of DBRC. Father Mayank, Brother Ramesh, Father George D' Abreo and Shailesh of STEP Foundation from Gujarat, contributed to the action plan for the tribal belts of Gujarat and Ahmednagar that included networking with the Department of Women and Child Development, mobile services for education and PDS for ration, certificates for developing traditional skills and implementing NREGA to minimise distress migration. For achieving sustainable development, mandatory registration of workers, unionisation and enforcement of minimum wages were highlighted. 

Father Silveira summarised the content of the discussion under thematic headings such as revisiting RTE for the benefit of children of migrant construction workers, health and sanitation laws, Food Security Act, risks and security issues and financial inclusion. Practical steps included setting up migration desks in rural and urban areas, creation of a data base of migrant construction workers, awareness programmes on entitlements, networking, producing documentaries on case studies of migrant construction workers by Bosco Information Services. The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Father Ajoy  Fernandes.

Monday, January 23, 2017


bCleric Nevelle Coutinho

MUMBAI, JAN 23, 2017: Shelter Don Bosco organised the monthly Mela for street boys on the theme 'Self help is the best help' on January 20 at their premises in Wadala. It is an effort to mend the ways of these boys who have gone astray because of addictions and bad habits. 

Around 60 young men from the age group of 16 to 30 years participated in the mela. Father Cleophas Braganza along with 25 youth from Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) conducted a session on 'human rights' followed by a brief orientation about the various projects of Shelter Don Bosco. Later, the youth were keenly involved with the activities of the street boys. 

Albert Bhandare briefed the gathering about winter care, how to keep themselves warm and about the appropriate diet and precautions to be taken. The street youth were then given a haircut and facilities for a bath with clean clothes to wear. Staff members organised games for entertainment. The day ended with a dance session.

The  event was an  eye opener for the DBYS youth, many having experienced the mela for the first time. They expressed their willingness to continue their voluntary services to Shelter Don Bosco.

Friday, January 20, 2017


by Father Christopher George


MUMBAI, JAN 20, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised a day-long workshop on 'Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through the Rights-Based Approach' for all its partner-implementing agencies from across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra at the Don Bosco Provincial House on January 19. 

Representatives consisting of directors and social co-ordinators from 15 active partner agencies participated in this intense endeavour. The day began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai after which the participants proceeded to the auditorium, for the welcome address. 


Father Rolvin D'Mello, director of DBDS, greeted the gathering and also thanked them for taking time-out and being present for the capacity building workshop. Father D'Souza then gave a motivating inaugural address and welcomed the main facilitator for the workshop Father Thomas Pallithanam, National Convenor of the 'Wada Na Todo Abhiyan', an internationally renowned rights activist for over three decades.


Father Pallithanam thereafter presented the 'Sustainable Development Goals: A Constitutional Perspective' interspersed with experiential nuggets and personal reminiscences. He expounded the 17 goals as promulgated with 169 targets to be achieved by 2030, with a 5-P plan of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The post-break session witnessed a group interaction with participants proposing newer avenues that could be explored for future implementation.

Post-Lunch, each of the partner agencies presented their 'Comprehensive Activity Reports' dwelling on the actual working towards the achieving of the 'Sustainable Development Goals' thus far. The reports showcased the identification of various central government schemes, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, the Atal Pension Yojana, the Targeted Public Distribution System, the Integrated Child Development Service, the National Food Security Act, the Indira Awaas Yojana, the MGNREGA, the National Skill Development Mission, the SWADHAR 2011, the Janani Suraksha Yojana, the NRLM, the NULM, the RTE and the RTI among many others.


The evening's focus was an enlighteningly interactive session dealing with the understanding of the 'Needs Based Approach' and the 'Rights Based Approach'. Father Pallithanam explained, differentiated and clarified queries that arose from the floor drawing from his varied and vast repertoire of grass-root activism. He concluded with encouragement and a promise to help in every possible way, each participant involved in the social upliftment of the marginalised and the societally abandoned.


The post-tea session focused on the 'Restructuring of the Mumbai Province Development Works' according to the variety of works engaged in, wherein the participants sought to clarify and employ better intervention strategies for holistic development of the urban poor and the rural marginalised.


The daylong workshop-cum-seminar culminated post-dusk with each participant determined that 'the show must go on' in a more focused 'rights based' manner to realise the 5-P plan as emphasised by Father Pallithanam.


by Cleric George Kujur


NASHIK, JAN 20, 2017: Over a hundred people attended the Annual Masters in Philosophy (Mph) Symposium on 'Genesis, Exodus and Revelation: a philosophical understanding on family' at Divyadaan Institute of Philosophy, Nashik on January 14.


The programme began at 2 pm with a short prayer service. This was followed by an introduction of the three speakers, Cleric Kitboklang Tyngkan, Cleric Palla Velankanni Joseph and Cleric Antonysamy Leo Nepolian.


Cleric Tyngkan was the first to present his paper in which he spoke about the origin and roots - Genesis, various definitions, beliefs, theories, basic forms and new forms of family.


Cleric Joseph then gave a philosophical outlook of the family from the seven Isms: Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, Behaviorisms, Existentialism, Marxism and Post-Modernism. He summed up his paper with two pertinent questions, namely 'Is there a perfect family?' and 'Can the Exodus of the family end?'


Cleric Nepolian then dwelled on 'Revelation: The revelation of philosophy in the understanding of family'. He highlighted the natural law and the principal of finality, i.e. conjugal union and openness to procreation. 


Finally, the symposium ended with time for the audience to raise questions and clarify doubts on the papers presented. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017


by Avril Baptista

MUMBAI, JAN 19, 2017: An Executive Leadership Training Programme for Small Christian Community (SSC) animators, heads, assistant heads of associations and cells was held at Saint Dominic Savio Church, Wadala on January 14 and 15.

Father Savio D'Souza, the parish priest, organised the programme, which was conducted by Melvin Sequeira and Rubin Srontaro from the Office for Lay Collaboration in Ministry (OLCM). 

The sessions were held over the course of two days, for two hours each day. The attendees were divided into four groups with 15 people in each group.

One day one, a session focused on 'team building – Jesus style'. Leadership techniques and how to deal with issues were illustrated by tasks given to each group. Upon the completion of the task, the trainers shared their feedback based on real life scenarios that take place. 

On day two, the emphasis was on acquiring 'my leadership style'. The programme provided tips on how to handle people sensitively, given that at the core those involved were parishioners that dedicated their time to the church as a way of giving back to God. 

Incorporating some of the suggestions will help build a stronger community bonded by the Church, rooted in Christ.

Monday, January 16, 2017


by Father Rolvin D'Mello

CHINCHWAD, JAN 16, 2017: Don Bosco in collaboration with AXA Business Services conducted a free health camp on January 11, for the women from the slums of Ramnagar in Chinchwad. The health camp was organised in association with Lokmanya Medical College.
The camp was part of the 'women empowerment project' that is presently running at Don Bosco Chichwad; 65 women and children have benefited from it.

Doctor Amruta Bakshi and Doctor Vaishali Nandgirikar examined the women and children who attended the camp. They shared that they found cases of fever, cough, low HB and anaemia. 

The possibility of further treatment for patients in need of dire assistance is being considered by Don Bosco, in collaboration with Lokmanya Hospital. 

Lalita Choudhary, co-ordinator of the project thanked the doctors for their whole-hearted support. She also expressed her gratitude to her team and the participants for their overwhelming response.


by Cleric Nevelle Coutinho


MUMBAI, JAN 16, 2016: The newly ordained priests, Father Ajay Shelke, Father Mylin Noronha, Father Ajay D'Monte, Father Shaun D'Lima and Father Vishal Lopes blessed Shelter Don Bosco with their visit on January 12.


They graced the occasion with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist for the intentions of the house. Father Lopes was the main celebrant. 


Father D'Lima in his homily, shared the experience of his journey towards priesthood. He encouraged all to be on fire with the spirit of the merciful Jesus and work towards building the kingdom of God.


The Rector, Father Gregory D'Almeida, in his thanksgiving address, encouraged the new priests to keep their initial fervour and enthusiasm throughout their life as priests of God. On behalf of all the newly ordained priests, Father D'Monte expressed his gratitude to the community.

Friday, January 13, 2017


by Father Crescens Lemos 


MUMBAI, JAN 13, 2017: The young priests of the Salesian provinces of Mumbai and Panjim gathered together for a two-day seminar at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga on January 9-10 January. The focus of the seminar was on 'evangelisation' and 'catechesis'.


The day began with the Vice Provincial of the Mumbai province, Father Savio Silveira welcoming the young priests. He also introduced the speaker and animator for the seminar, Father Antony Christy, South Asia Coordinator: Evangelisation and Catechesis.  

The seminar touched upon  the relevance of evangelisation and catechesis in todays world. Many of the priests shared the challenges they face during the process of evangelisation and catechesis.

Father Christy considered them and provided the Salesian Educative Pastoral Plan (SEPP) as a tool to handle challenges and to bring about a revival in the field of evangelisation and catechesis.  A group activity enabled all present to draw up an SEPP for their own institution. 


The meeting was unique because the young priests came together and enriched each other with their ideas and experiences and left enthused to be effective evangelisers and catechists in their respective institutions.


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, JAN 13, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) conducted a free health camp early in January, for the women from the slums of Ghatkopar in Mumbai, where more than 550 women benefited. 


The camp was inaugurated by Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director of DBDS and the guest of honour was Misia from Foundation Asha, Switzerland. 

DBDS in association with the Seven Hills Hospital conducted the camp for poor and needy women offering them a wide range of check-ups free of cost. They provided specialised screening and consultation with experts on naturopathy, eyes, gynaecological problems and cardiac problems. Many ladies were referred to the hospital for further treatment. 

"We will extend all the support for Don Bosco in conducting such activities in our area," Sitaram Tiwari, corporator of the area said. The camp saw ladies visiting in huge numbers as the slums in Ghatkopar - Kurla lack proper public health services.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


by Bis Correspondent 

MUMBAI, JAN 11, 2017: The Salesian family which consists of the Salesians, Salesian Sisters, Salesian Co-operators, Past Pupils and ADMA group gathered at the Our Lady of Dolours Parish hall on the January 8 to celebrate Family Day.

The head of the Family, Father Godfrey D'Souza- Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai- celebrated the Holy Eucharist assisted by Father Vivian D'Souza, the provincial delegate. 

In his homily, he dealt with the theme of the day, the Strenna proposed by the Rector Major, Ángel Fernández Artime : 'We are Family – Every  home a school of Life and Love'. 

Following the Eucharistic celebration, Jacinta D'Souza, provincial coordinator welcomed the family members. Father Vivian D'Souza then gave  the keynote address. Father Joe Braganza, delegate of the Cooperators of the Kurla unit, spoke on the reality of the family situation today, in the light of the Strenna 2017. 

The units of ADMA, Matunga group and the Wadala west group of Cooperators put up skits on the Gospel message and the family situation. This was followed by games and entertainment. The event ended with lunch and the Vote of Thanks proposed by Freida D'Souza.


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, JAN 11, 2017: Father Ivan De Souza celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his Religious Profession, Father Joseph Soares and Father Xavier Devadas celebrated the Silver Jubilee of their Ordination and Father Bosco D'Mello, Father Jerome John, Father Cleophas Braganza and Father Matthew Katara celebrated the Silver Jubilee of their Religious Profession at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga on the January 7. 

Father Ivan De Souza celebrated the Holy Eucharist. Father Xavier Devadas preached the homily and thanked God and the Salesian province of Mumbai on behalf of all his Salesian brothers celebrating their jubilee. He said, "God does not look at all at our talents and abilities but looks at our generous heart. God works miracles in our life everyday and we need to trust in Him." His vocation journey gave an insight into the marvellous work God has done in his life. 

At the felicitation programme Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai thanked the priests celebrating their Ordinations and Religious Profession Jubilees. "By your commitment, you are a sign of God's love and compassion. Today we celebrate you, your vocation, your call, your life of service but above all we celebrate God, His call, His faithfulness, His mercy which has been the anchor of your religious and priestly life. God did not see your ability or disability but your availability to fulfil your role for the kingdom of God," he said.

Each one of the jubilarians were felicitated by Father D'Souza and given a citation for their commitment and celebrating the Labourers of the Lord's Harvest. Father D'Mello thanked the gathering - of nearly 70 Salesian priests and their families - and the Salesian province of Mumbai for organising the memorable programme.