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.