Friday, April 27, 2018


by Amarr Prabhu

MUMBAI, APR 27, 2018: St. Joseph's Industrial Training Institute (SJITI) celebrated its 53rd Annual Day at Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL), Kurla showcasing the talent and skills of the trainees.

The evening stated at 4 pm with the display of the projects conceptualised and executed by the trainees. A total of 20 projects were displayed by the students. Innovation and craftsmanship was the hallmark of the projects displayed. They were: Bosco's wonder car, Car parking Arduino, Capacitance meter, Scrolling text display, Railway signal, Voice controlled car, Working model of diesel engine and starting engine, Digital Smart Helmet, Lamp on/off based on PIR sensor, Refrigerator training kit, Trolley for lift, Smart table for draughtsman, Sledge Hammer, Lever Type Coconut Skinning Machine, Sheet Metal Bender, Solar Inverter, Safety Dojo, Metal Roller Bender, Working model of A/C, Wood cutting bend-saw machine, Sandpaper stand, Load Bank, Duel Axis Solar Tracker, Engine Assembly Hanging Bracket, etc.

The Chief Guest, Ashok Shahane, Vice President Corporate Training - Larsen & Toubro, other dignitaries and parents took keen interest in visiting the exhibition halls. Shahane made special mention about the projects and specially the one on safety. He said, it clearly showed that the institution is providing the trainees with the right inputs on safety, as it is most critical in the manufacturing sector.

The cultural programme began at 6 pm with the welcome of the chief guest and members of management, accompanied by the traditional Lezim. This was followed by the lighting of the lamp. Father Colbert da Silva, Rector - Director of DBCL, Kurla welcomed the gathering especially thanking the various industries which have made the institute what it is through its support and collaboration. The audience was then entertained with an array of cultural programmes.

Amarr Prabhu, Principal, SJITI presented the annual report in an audio – visual format showcasing the events and highlights of the institute. Prabhu spoke about the constant endeavour of the institute to provide the best quality education to the students. He thanked the corporates for their generosity. He mentioned that Bharat Petroleum had supported the upgrading of six labs and setting up the new automation lab during 2017-18. This was followed by a symbolic gesture of the CSR team from Bharat Petroleum handing over a cheque of Rs 98,09,544/- to Father da Silva.

The Chief Guest Shahane was introduced by Anthony Kittkal. Shahane in his eloquent address spoke highly about SJITI. He said he was quite sure that SJITI was one of the best in the country, as he has experienced many ITI's first-hand. He gave a three point programme to the student to attain success: the first being safety; second, the need to be job ready as the industry does not have the liberty to train people once again; and the third, never to stop learning.  
The next part of the programme was felicitation of instructors and students. There was special appreciation for Dinesh Mhatre for securing the second place in the Maharashtra State Instructor Skills Completion in Electronic Mechanics and Shekar Karkera who stood second in the Toyota Instructor Skills Competition in Auto Body Repair. 

The students were felicitated with mementos and certificates for their success in academics and for 100 percent attendance. This was followed by a special performance with UV and techno presentation. The vote of thanks was delivered by Anup Lewis. The programme concluded with a grand finale, a recap of all the cultural events of the evening and Father da Silva once again, appreciated and complimented the efforts put in by the staff and the trainees. He also thanked the parents and the benefactors. The programme ended with the singing of the National Anthem.  

Friday, April 20, 2018


by Father Chris Valentino 

MUMBAI, APR 20, 2018: The Mumbai Salesian leaders of communities gathered for a day-long meet at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Mumbai on April 19. The meet was coordinated by Father Savio Silveira, the Mumbai Salesian Vice-Provincial. The purpose of this meeting at which 40 leaders were present, was to review the academic year 2017-2018, and to plan for the next academic year. 

The meeting began with a concelebrated holy Eucharist, following which Father Godfrey D’Souza, Mumbai Salesian Provincial welcomed and addressed the leaders. He invited the leaders to take note of the two big events at the national level, of which the Boscoree - the national gathering of Don Bosco scouts and guides - will be held at Nashik and the Brothers’ Congress scheduled at the same time in Bengaluru. He further added, “All our communities have expressed solidarity with each other. It is good that we continue this practice under the guidance of Father Manuel Murzello, the Provincial Economer. Furthermore, we need to prepare ourselves for the forthcoming Provincial Chapter 2019.”

Father Savio Silveira then coordinated the feedback and evaluation of the team visits, the PASIF, the retreats and invited the leaders to voice their opinions. The leaders then went through the draft province calendar, with suggestions and clarifications. Father Glenford Lowe, the provincial delegate for youth ministry then presented the highlights from the Salesian Family and Youth Ministry International Conference, in which along with Father Anton D’Souza and Father Richard D’Silva, he represented the province. He said, “It was a very good learning experience, especially in the light of the Youth Synod that is coming up and we have tried to invite some of the facilitators for our own Salesian Youth Movement animation beginning June 2018.” 

Post lunch, the leaders gathered together to evaluate the community lines of action within the perspective of the Provincial Chapter 2016. In a moment for group sharing, the leaders shared how the life of the communities has been enhanced, the key changes that these lines of action produced, and the issues that could have been dealt with but were undone. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate whether the objectives have been met through the lines of action, resulting in productive outcomes. The various commission heads then presented a brief report of the implementation of the lines of action expected, as a consequence of the Provincial Chapter 2016. 

The day ended with a hymn to Don Bosco with the leaders expressing their gratitude to Father Goyal Anthony and Father Vinod Mascarenhas for the warm and cordial hospitality. 


by Cleric Bless Rumao 

WALVANDA, APR 20, 2018: The community of Don Bosco Walvanda is busy this summer, aiding nearly 50 tribal students of the Jawhar and Mokhada blocks, who recently appeared for their standard 10 board exams, brush up their language skills through English camps, running from April 16- 28. 

The camp focuses on learning English but also gives the children a variety of experiences which contributes to their all-round development. There has been a positive response and feedback from the participants. They enthusiastically look forward to the different activities which are conducted each day. 

On the intellectual level, there are classes covering the various aspects of English language, knowledge of computers and how to use a tab. When it comes to the spiritual level, they have time for mediation. The day starts and ends with prayer and thanks giving. 

Coming to the human dimension, there is yoga, animated games, trips and hikes, various competitions and some time for work and cleaning of the surroundings. The youth are divided into groups consisting of students from different places. This gives them an opportunity to make new friends and provides time for fellowship. Two more camps are planned in the coming months for younger boys and girls. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018


by Valerian Rozario

WALVANDA, APR 19, 2018: Seventy-nine students pursuing an education programme and four staff members from Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS), Walvanda attended a day-long picnic at the behest of Father Anaclete D’Mello, Director BSVS, at Vasai on April 14.

The education programme has been conducted under the leadership of Father Rixson Nigrel. A luxury bus took the children to Vasai for a day of fun. The picnic started at 7.00 am with a prayer song in the bus and the first stop was at the Jesuit’s mission centre at Manor. The children were served breakfast there and after refreshments they continued  on their journey towards Vasai Fort.

Johnny, from Vasai koliwada, along with his team welcomed the group at Vasai fort and briefed them about their activities. Father Rajesh Dabre, Prasad Dabre (professor) and four students from his college welcomed the students and briefed them about the history of Vasai fort and Vasai.

Residents of Vasai Koliwada had arranged for vada-pav and cold drink for everyone. Children were then taken to a small port from where they could see the Bassien creek and the railway bridge over the Bassien creek. They also visited a memorial of Chimaji Appa, who was instrumental in defeating the Portuguese in Vasai in 16th century. Prasad Dabre briefed the group about Chimaji Appa’s conquer over Vasai. 

In the Dattanni mall, the children were given free access to the games zone. Children took advantage of this opportunity and enjoyed a range of games. The group then headed to Naresh Lobo’s farm for biryani. 

The group proceeded towards Arnala beach, where they enjoyed rides on horse carts and played in the sand. Their final stop was at Jyoti Church, where children were served snacks and refreshments. The group then headed home after a day well spent.


by Father Rixson Nigrel
WALVANDA, APR 19, 2018: Ten women who attended the entrepreneurship development programme conducted by the Bosco Samajik Vikas Santha (BSVS), Walwanda in March put their new skill sets to use by launching a mushroom cultivation business in Walvanda.  

Kausalya Jayram Kirari, Sheela Prakash Sapta, Kamal Santosh Masra, Jaywanti Ganesh Sapta and Sevanti Bhaskar Mule amongst others expressed their desire to start a small-scale business to provide for their families. 
Ravi Bhasra, a staff member from BSVS and Father Anaclete D'Mello helped make their dream come true by preparing a business plan for them. The women were taken for an exposure to a local farmer, Deepak Mahale, who cultivates mushrooms in the village of Dehre. Brother Bless Rumao, scholastic from Divyadaan, coordinating the summer camp at BSVS accompanied the group for the exposure. After understanding the cultivation practices and marketing opportunities, the women decided to start mushroom cultivation in their respective homes.
BSVS helped procure mushroom spawns from Pune for the women. The women gathered raw materials locally, made stands and paddy straws to fill the bags with mushroom spawns. It would now take 21 days for the spawns to sprout and grow as mushrooms. These mushrooms are sold for Rs. 200 per kilogram and the funds will help end the financial woes of those concerned.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


by Brother Royston

VADODARA, APR 18, 2018: 'Child Friendly Vadodara', an initiative aimed at creating awareness among the civil society about the dangers children face, was launched by Don Bosco National Youth at Risk (YaR) forum at O.N.G.C. Auditorium, Makarpura Road, Vadodara on April 16.

Representatives from NGOs, government departments, police, juvenile homes, senior citizen groups, organisations working for differently abled groups, amongst others were present at the meeting.

The Mayor of the city, Bharat Dangar, was the Chief Guest. The District Child Protection Officer- Amit Vasava, the Chief Medical Health Officer - Devesh Patel, the Secretary of District Legal Services Authority - M A Mirza and the Basin Manager of O.N.G.C. - Arun Kumar were the guests of honour.

Father George Miranda, Director of Don Bosco Snehalaya children's home, spoke about the dangers the most vulnerable section of society, the children, face today. The Mayor shared his views too.

During the event, posters and mascots were prepared for the initiative. The Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, Bhatt gave the keynote speech. In his speech, he shared his views on the Child Friendly Vadodara initiative.

It was stressed that children are also respectable citizens of India. They are the future. Their rights such as, right to survival, right to development, right to protection and right to participation need to be upheld.

It was also stated that the systems related to child rights, child rights committee, local fund generation for children and its management were the responsibilities and priorities of the local authorities. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


by BIS Correspondent

PUNE, APRIL 10, 2018: Nearly 200 women participated in International Women’s Day celebrations, organised by the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), Pune at  Anna Bhau Sathe Hall, Yeshwant Nagar (Yerwada) on April 7.

The event was held under the the aegis of ‘Women Empowerment Project’ supported by Manos Unidas, Spain. Celebrations began with eminent guests, Dr. Asha Gurjar, retired professor and social activist, Kalpana Bagul, businesswoman, Uma Dhotre, principal- KMJGV, Pune, Mangal PSI-Vishrantwadi Police Station and Father Vincent Rasquinha, incharge - DBDS, Pune, being present at the lamp lighting ceremony. 

Nagsen Chavan, coordinator – DBDS, welcomed the guests, participants and spoke about the work of DBDS in making a positive impact on the lives of slum women. Mangal  then spoke about the importance of women’s safety and security, and also informed about the measures taken by the police in this regard. She reiterated that police are friends of people and citizens should approach them whenever they are victims of any crime.

Bagul, then spoke about women’s financial independence and financial security. She urged those present to start businesses and to provide support to their family and society. Father Rasquinha spoke about the issue of women leadership and initiative of social reformation. 
Dhotre, spoke about the importance of skill training programmes, small-scale businesses, government schemes and policies, and how women could benefit from these government schemes. Dr. Gurjar, shared her vast knowledge and experience to inspire women to be the change agent to empower oneself and others in their neighbourhood and also stressed on the need for women to come forward to claim their entitlements under various schemes.


by Brother Clarence Martis

AHMEDNAGAR, APRIL 10, 2018: Boscoree 2018, an all India gathering of scouts and guides, is slated to be held in December, and preparations for the mega scouting event are gathering pace. On April 2, 26 Salesians (fathers and brothers) and 30 FMA sisters attended a camp at Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK), Ahmednagar to get hands-on training on what it means to be a scout.  
Two reputed and highly trained scout trainers, Amalraj Narayanaswamy, District Commissioner, Don Bosco District, TN and S Raja Sudamani from Chennai trained the SDBs and FMAs. To assist them, there were four other scout and guide trainers from the Maharashtra region. 
The camp began with the basics of scouting i.e. lashings, various knots and hitches. The Salesians fathers, brothers and sisters learnt new ways of using their scouting skills. They were informed about the new amendments in the scouting world. They were also told about the correct procedure of inspection and various commands. The importance and meaning of whistle signals and hand signals were also taught.

On the second day, they also prepared the camp gates. During the construction of camp gates, one could see the creativity of the participants unleashed.  A good amount of time was spent to acquaint the fathers, brothers and sisters with their responsibilities during Boscoree.

Father Glenford Lowe, Boscoree programme coordinator, ran through the entire schedule of the Boscoree. Many of those present are appointed as sub-camp chiefs and assistant sub-camp chiefs. This training programme empowered them to be prepared to run the sub camps entrusted to their care.

The camp was a learning experience for all. The instructors were highly informed and knowledgeable and at the same time very warm and friendly. The host community of BGVK, Father George D’Abreo and Brother Vincent Nigrel ensured all necessary arrangements were in place to make everyone comfortable.

Father James Tuscano, coordinator for the training programme saw to all the details and requirements for the training. The spiritual part was also given due attention, with the prayers and the holy Eucharist focused on Boscoree. The highlight of the camp was the collaboration of the fathers, brothers and sisters working together for the same mission - preparation for Boscoree 2018.  

Friday, April 6, 2018


by Karen Laurie
MUMBAI, APRIL 4, 2018: Father Leon Cruz, the only Salesian in India to be appointed as a Missionary of Mercy (MoM) by Pope Francis in 2017 with special powers to pardon sins reserved to the Holy See, will join other Missionaries of Mercy from around the world in Rome from April 7 to 11, to concelebrate Holy Mass with the Holy Father and also to attend a series of lectures, discussions and prayer services.
The meetings will start on April 7, with a prayer vigil for Divine Mercy Sunday, with the Missionaries of Mercy serving as confessors. On April 8, the Papal Holy Mass will be concelebrated by the MoMs in St Peter's Square.
The following day will begin with prayer and then the MoM's will attend a lecture on 'Reconciliation: Sacrament of Mercy'. Few MoMs will then share their testimonies. Confession for the MoMs will be heard, which will be followed by a Catechesis: 'Sin and Mercy in the Life of the Priest'. Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass will follow.
On April 10, the MoMs will attend a lecture on 'The Missionary of Mercy According to Pope Francis'. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, will deliver the lecture. At 11.30am, the MoMs will have a special audience with Pope Francis himself.
On the final day, Archbishop Octavio Ruiz Arenas, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, will deliver a lecture on 'Pastoral Indications on the Sacrament of Reconciliation'. This will be followed by Holy Mass and a farewell ceremony.
Invitation to the meeting in Rome extends to all the Missionaries of Mercy who, subsequent to the closure of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, manifested to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, with the agreement of their Local Ordinary, their wish to continue in this ministry.
"For me this ministry is a blessing filled with numerous moments of grace. Personally on a priority basis I have been making myself available for Confessions. On Sunday mornings, I have been sitting at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna for the Sacrament of Confession. The sense of fulfilment I found in this ministry encouraged me to respond positively when the Congregation for New Evangelisation asked me if I wished to continue as a Missionary of Mercy. I was extremely happy when I saw the re-appointment letter," Father Cruz, said. 
MoMs have been sent forth by the Holy See through the world 'to be a living sign of the Father's welcome to all those in search of His forgiveness,' and perform other charitable acts of Mercy. They serve in their own diocese but may be invited by other Bishops to give missions, with a particular attention given to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Holy Father also granted these Missionaries, "authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See," the Pope wrote in Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy), the document officially proclaiming the Holy Year.
"During the Jubilee Year of Mercy the 'Mercy Band' was formed which comprised of a group of engineering students. We have been going around different parishes conducting 'Mercy Evening' which is an evening of singing, reflection and prayer on the theme of mercy, " Father Cruz, said.
"Over the past one year we  have been conducting night youth vigils called 'Stay Awake'. This youth vigil focusses on the themes of the forthcoming Synod on Youth. Inspired by the World of Day of Poor which was introduced by Pope Francis we have been conducting 'Miles for Christ'. In Miles for Christ, the young gather together and walk around the streets or hospitals of Mumbai and give a helping hand to someone needy. We have had beautiful experiences and young people from other faiths too have joined in Miles for Christ."

Thursday, April 5, 2018


by Karen Laurie

MUMBAI, APRIL 5, 2018: The Mission of the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) is to provide hope for those with little hope of a future, and the Salesian-run organisation - working in communities in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh – has successfully lived up to its mission, arming the poor – like Sharmila Thale - with tools and skills to make a livelihood.

Thale, a member of the Shri Ganesh Self-Help Group (SHG), resides with her family at Wadala in Mumbai. Few months ago, she lost everything due to a short circuit accident in her area. The fire destroyed all that she possessed, her home, household items and other belongings. When her family was rendered practically homeless, she approached DBDS and its Executive Director, Father Rolvin D’Mello, for help.

DBDS, true to its calling, came to her aid, when she shared her dream of starting a small sandwich business to provide for her family. DBDS first trained her to manage the small-scale business, and then provided a sandwich maker – through sponsorship from Auxilium India (Seregno, Italy), which is a voluntary organisation that has worked in conjunction with Don Bosco for a decade.  

This helped her start a small stall where she began selling different types of sandwiches. Today, Thale earns around Rs 900 per day. Her story does prove that hard work, mixed with a helping hand from concerned institutions like DBDS, helps dreams come true. 

“I am very grateful to Don Bosco Development Society for training me in this business and helping me become self-reliant,” Thale said. Father D’Mello too expressed his joy adding, “We are glad to see Sharmila standing on her own feet and I am grateful to Auxilium India for their help and support.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


by Father Cleophas Braganza

MUMBAI, APRIL 3, 2018: As part of the Lenten activities organised at St. Dominic Savio Church, Wadala, a Cancer Detection Medical Camp was conducted on March 24, with the initiative of the parish team.

Registrations for the same were open to parishioners and non-parishioners as well. Father Diego Nunes was at the helm of the venture with the help of the members of the Legion of Mary and the Parish Council. Florencio D'Souza, a corporator from Kurla along with some members of the Cancer Awareness Association were also instrumental in conducting the camp.

This team was spearheaded by Anita Peters of the Cancer Survivors Network, accompanied by a group of doctors. The medical team consisted of an oncologist, a gynaecologist, an E.N.T specialist and an eye specialist. 

A total number of 143 people initially registered, of whom 130 people (50 men and 80 women) attended the camp. Members of the Legion of Mary, went door to door to get people to register for the camp for a nominal registration fee of Rs.100.

The camp began at 9:30 am with an invitation speech by the Parish Priest, Father Savio D'Souza. Doctor Joshi then addressed the gathering about the awareness of cancer and precautions to be taken. The camp ended at 2:00 pm. People went home satisfied after a successful diagnosis and a complimentary eye test. 

Monday, April 2, 2018


by Karen Laurie
INDIA, APRIL 2, 2018: At a time when headlines of major news organisations focus on air pollution, the Great Pacific garbage patch, the Pacific trash vortex and the collapsing glaciers, there comes news of hope, and the Salesians of Don Bosco are leading the way in fostering this hope by adding a touch of green to a global picture being sullied by shades of grey.   

An initiative by Salesian India, the “Don Bosco Green Alliance”, is leading the way to teach a generation of young people, from Don Bosco institutions and organisations, throughout the world, to use our God-given natural resources in a responsible manner, in a bid to foster hope for future generations.
The Alliance, on April 1, powered its global web portal in a bid to streamline its effort to push the green agenda and to garner more support for its eco-friendly initiatives not just in India but in foreign shores.  
The user friendly web presence paints a pretty picture of our planet. Users will now have access to a wealth of ‘green’ information at the click of a button. Pictures of youth, the main stakeholders, in the Alliance are clearly apparent on the website, pointing to, and underlining with no uncertain terms, the urgent need to work together for a brighter and a cleaner future.
“Young people take up the challenge,” reads the first-deck header that welcomes web-users. Below is text that encapsulates the mission, “We are working to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet, while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders.”

For those seeking more information, the ‘Who are we’ tab leads you to a picture of Ángel Fernández Artime, the Rector Major walking amongst thousands of youth. The text below sums the main priority of the Alliance.

“Combatting pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastic. In each of these areas, we partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) or other international organisations. We have set specific targets to be achieved for each of the campaigns that we engage in...”

The ‘Priority Area’ link underlines just why three main priority areas have been singled out. “The environmental crisis we are presently facing is easily the biggest threat to the planet – to humans and to every species on this earth,” it reads.

“Green Champs” makes users aware of the clean-up drives, awareness promotion rallies and campaigns, exhibitions and competitions, exposure visits, environmental education programmes and eco clubs being undertaken by the Alliance.  

“Don Bosco Eco Concerns,” it reads, “an initiative by Don Bosco Tiruchy, India has been promoting Green Lifestyles in Don Bosco campuses with a specific 10 Point Green Programme. These Green Programmes are aimed at educating and empowering young people to protect and nurture the planet.”

The 10 Point Green Programme includes increasing green cover, reduction in the use of non-degradable materials, increasing the usage of renewable sources of energy, zero wastage in the campus, promotion of organic farming, home vegetable and herbal gardens, preserve and conserve water, clean and green environment, healthy organic food habits, usage of eco friendly products and environment education for all.
It must be noted that the Alliance is a growing network, with new members constantly joining. The members, besides working on the key priority areas of the Alliance, are also involved in various other environmental initiatives, based on local needs and challenges.

The ‘Join the Alliance’ tab offers web users an opportunity to make a difference. “We warmly invite Don Bosco institutions (schools, colleges, training centres, youth centres, care centres, parishes) and organisations (environmental, social, cultural, pastoral) across the world to become members of the Don Bosco Green Alliance,” a message reads. Filling a web-based form with basic information is all it takes to get started. “At the time of registering, please state at least three such definite commitments that you would wish to make ...” 

Here’s our opportunity to make a difference to our planet. So, join the chorus, lend a hand, share an idea and partner with us to right the wrongs that have already been done to the sphere that we call home, Mother Earth!