Friday, August 31, 2018

BIS #5620 FROM GERMANY WITH LOVE...

by Leurelle Godinho

MUMBAI, AUGUST 30, 2018: India and Germany are two nations at different ends of the global economic spectrum. One is a world economic superpower, the other still grappling with efforts to pull millions out of poverty, despite sustained economic growth. This reality is what Lisa Rattei and Nadine Schüttler – two German students - have encountered on their maiden visit to the subcontinent.    
The duo are pursuing a Bachelor's in Social Work degree from the Salesian-run University of Katholische Stiftungshochschule Benediktbeuern, located nearly 61.3 kms from Munich. Their curriculum requires them to gain hands-on internship experience in foreign lands. So, when it was time to complete their internship, they were India-bound, and headed to the sprawling Don Bosco Campus in Matunga, Mumbai, their home away from home for six months. 
"My desire was to work in the social sector of a poorer country and a different social system as compared to Germany," Schüttler, said. "In my head, I thought of South Africa as I have family there too. But India chose me, as my University offered me the internship over here ." 
Rattei would have opted to leave Europe for her internship to witness first-hand the differences in social system. Her dream was realised, as she headed to India. "I never had India on my mind," she said. "I thought about Africa or Asia more as options, but by accident was offered India." 
For Rattei, her life amongst the poorest of the poor in India's commercial capital is far removed from what she has grown accustomed to in her hometown Pfaffenberg, five hours away from Berlin. At home, she has a horse named 'Ikarus', and she lives a life strikingly different from the youth she works with at Wadala-based Shelter Don Bosco. 
"I was really touched by a little boy who didn't celebrate his birthday because his parents were no more with him. There was another boy who was lost at a train station and he knew nothing of where he came from or even where his family was," Rattei, said. 
Father Gregory D'Almeida, in-charge of the Shelter, described Rattei as a wonderful person. "From day one, she has spent more than the time that has been given to her. She is so flexible to work with, she sits with the boys, talks to them and is always ready to do any assignment. She is happy to be with the boys and is very much at home with the staff too," Father D'Almeida, said. 
Schüttler works with the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), an NGO that works in the slums of Dharavi, Kurla, Ghatkopar and Antop Hill, seeking to empower the poorest of the poor through self-help courses.    
She recalls visiting the homes in the slums and drinking chai with them, and holding sessions at the summer camp for children. A lady in the slums once told her, "Tell them in Germany that we are not only poor, we are so much more," and that touched Schüttler's heart.
 "I also realised that in India being fair is being beautiful, just the opposite of Germany where being dusky is true beauty," Schüttler, said. 
Father Rolvin D'Mello, Director of DBDS, lauds Schüttler for her professionalism. "It is a wonderful experience working with her, she adapted very well. It is phenomenal to see how she walked through the slush of water and muck with garbage around, like she was just at home," he said, adding, "Two of her colleagues Kavita and Basanti also commented saying 'she was like one of us, she dressed like us and we will miss her when she leaves'." 
Images of wealth, Bollywood, sprawling luxury, often find their way to the promotional videos of Mumbai selling the city to the world, but the reality - for a majority of poverty-stricken Mumbaikars - is different. It is this reality that has become clearly apparent for Rattei and Schüttler as their internships end, but their time in the city has helped them to make friends and to truly appreciate those working towards empowering the poor. 
"It was a very positive experience, we were treated like family and not like guests," they said, with Schüttler adding, "The fathers were always caring, even when I got malaria, Father Anthony Goyal took me to the hospital."   
The duo lived their 'Indian Journey' through their internship. They visited Nasik, Gujarat, Lonavla, Delhi, Ahmednagar and Agra. Now, as their time in India ends, along with important credits to complete their degree - they will take home vivid images of the good work being done by the Salesians of Don Bosco in empowering the poorest of the poor in a land of over a billion.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

BIS #5619 BONDS THAT LAST FOREVER

by Sayali Patare 
PUNE, AUGUST 29, 2018: Don Bosco Primary School, Pune, organised best out of waste- rakhi making activity, to enhance the creativity of students of standard three and four on August 24, and standard one and two on August 27. 

The concept of the activity was not only for students to know the importance of the festivity and strengthen cohesiveness, but also to understand the importance of conserving mother-nature. Teacher's Alphonsa Ohol, Swati Patil and Aarti Katore led the whole activity, making it a success. 
The primary school is also looking forward to adhere to the promises made when collaborating with the Green Alliance mission. The students of standard four will be planting a sapling; and signing a promise chart to care for the sapling and protect it throughout their schooling years, just like a responsible brother would care for his loving sister. 
"I never thought boys could make wonderful rakhis too," Om Sable, a student of standard four, said.  Siona Gaikwad, from standard three, added, "I am happy I could make best rakhi for my little brother."

BIS #5619 TASTE OF MAHARASHTRIAN CUISINE

by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, AUGUST 29, 2018: The Hotel Management department of Bosco Boys Home and Technical Institute, Borivli organised a Maharashtrian theme lunch for the staff on August 28.

In all 28 students from batch number 32, joined forces in preparing the theme lunch under the guidance of cookery teacher, Sonali and food and beverages service lecturer, Deepak. The lunch was divided into three courses namely starters, main course and desert.

The theme lunch is a tradition wherein every batch of the Hotel Management department, applies all the theoretical and practical knowledge which they acquired during the course, into use.

"Through this, the batch is also evaluated before they complete their course and go for their industrial training. For the students, this is the time where they are really put to test in all the various departments such as cookery, restaurant service," Deepak, said.

The planning for the theme lunch began well in advance and the students were taught to cook the dishes during the cookery class; and were prepared for service, during the food and beverage service lectures. Out of the 28 students, 10 helped out in cooking department, 15 in restaurant service and two students were hostess' and one bartender.

The staff were welcomed with mocktail and starters which included kothimbir vadi and chicken vada. For the main course, there was kala vatana usal with vada, chicken sagotti with vada, dal and steam rice, and solkadi; pineapple halwa was for dessert.

Father Corlis Gonsalves, the Rector, congratulated the team, the staff and the students for their successful training and thanked them for the delicious meal they prepared for all.  As a treat, the students were offered a free picnic to Boscowadi the following day.

"The love and support I received here through my teachers and fellow companions is what I cherish the most. I am proud to say that today I am chef who is offering her taste of love to her gurus and am so happy to see the joy in their eyes," Anita, a student, said.

Deacon Romero, the vice principal ended with a short evaluation on the theme lunch, along with his critical appreciation and comments, and explained to them about the rules and regulations to be observed at the TAJ, Santacruz and Colaba, for their month-long on the job training. He later assured them his prayers, and the blessings of Don Bosco. "Give your best, be at your best and you will also receive the best," Deacon Romero, said.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

BIS #5617 QUICK-THINKING 10-YEAR-OLD SAVES LIVES IN PAREL BLAZE

by Leurelle Godinho and Karen Laurie 
MUMBAI, AUGUST 25, 2018: Smoke - intoxicating smoke – a panic-stricken family, frantic screams, prayers, and cries of chaos greeted ten-year-old Zen Sadavarte, as she was abruptly rushed out of bed at 7.45 am on August 22. Thick soot-filled smoke had entered her bedroom, her parents ushered the family to the kitchen, where they opened the window for clean air, but what they found was smoke, more smoke. 
The fire - that had broken out on the 12th floor of their building - had already killed four of their neighbours. Frantic calls were made for fire services, within minutes the sound of fire brigade sirens joined with the wales of anguish coming forth from the 16-storey building. As the minutes passed by, it grew clear that the fire services alone could not rescue those stranded.    
Who would help? How? When? 
Cries for help were answered from unexpected quarters! 10-year-old Sadavarte – a student of Don Bosco International School in Mumbai, came to the fore. She first shared her fire-safety knowledge with her parents and then with the other three neighbouring families present. 

She then tore clothes into smaller pieces, soaking them with water to make an air purifier of sorts to be placed over their noses and faces to keep carbon away. She then urged them to place wet cloth over their bodies to keep cool. Her instructions worked and bought those present time to stay safe, while the fire brigade carried out the rescue.
 
 

"That morning, I wasn't woken up by my parents, I was woken up because of the smoke which entered my room and because of so much suffocation I had to get up, and it was about 7:45 in the morning." 
"Actually first, what we did was we ran into the kitchen, but in the kitchen, it was more suffocating than anywhere else in the house, but we thought it would be much safer but it was not. We opened the window in the kitchen and a big cloud of smoke entered inside and so we had to go outside at our neighbours house. In their house, there was a little bit less smoke and fewer things that could be inflamed by fire," Sadavarte, said. 
Whilst in school, two years earlier, she had conducted a research project on disaster management. Through her research, she had learned about the anatomy of fire and methods of dealing with a fire situation. Her hard work had paid dividends. 
"Basically, what happened is in grade three at school, as I studied in PYP (Primary years programme), there were subjects that were given to us, which we had to research and learn. There here was a teacher called Miss Snehal Gujjar, I had asked her about disasters, since there were a a lot of disasters in the world at that time; in Japan, the great tsunami, and in America there was Hurricane Katrina in 2012." 
"So, I went to my teacher and asked her - I was really little at that time – 'What can we do about these disasters? How can we match them?' So she told me, 'Why don't you go and research, and tell us what you think or what can we do'." 
So the first thing, I took a lot of assistance from my teachers and researched on what you are supposed to do about casualties, there's a lot of smoke when the fire goes on, even floods, everything. That's why the credit goes to my teachers. So the whole idea of the mask came from my research," she said.     
Sadavarte's composure and ability to keep calm helped save her family and neighbours from disaster. It bought them precious time, till the fire brigade personnel could reach them and usher them to safety. While her parents are proud of their ten-year-old, for saving the day, her school - where she learned the life-saving techniques – is proud as well.
"Now, this is a case of a child who has actually adhered to what we have spoken about in school and used it. That is what I feel, that whatever skill is taught in school is going to help you somewhere in your life, but only if you take it seriously," Meena Saldanha, the Principal, said. 
Father Crispino D'Souza, Rector of the school, reflected on the teaching methodology adopted by the institution, which helps students deal with real-life situations. "It is a very proud feeling, it validates all that you do in the school. So when things like this happen you feel consoled that there is some fruit achieved with all that you do in the school and the hard work that is put in by the staff. Normally you get publicity for the wrong things that happen. We use International Baccalaureate (IB) methodology and PYP programmes, where we make the children research on different topics, it's very different from the rote method," Father D'Souza, said. 
While the blazing inferno in Parel destroyed homes, livelihoods and took lives, what the fire could not accomplish was dent the composure of a ten-year-old with nerves of steel.

BIS #5616 PRAYING FOR KERALA

by Brother Jittin Mathew and Eustace Fernandes 
MUMBAI, AUGUST 25, 2018: Over 300 lives lost, infrastructure worth crores destroyed, livelihoods destroyed. The Kerala floods have made global headlines and have united the country in prayer for the wellbeing of those affected by the floods.  
On August 24, a special prayer service was conducted at Bosco Boys Home (BBH), Borivli – with 120 boys attending - for those who have lost their lives in the rains and floods, and those who continue to suffer in the natural calamities in Kerala, the southern Indian state.
Boys from hotel management, RAC, four - wheeler, two-wheeler and Yamaha sector, along with the staff, took part in the prayer service. The service began with a small video depicting the sufferings of the people in Kerala. The students then spent time in silent meditation, reflecting upon the pain and loss of the people in Kerala. A prayer of the faithful was also recited by the students. 
At the end, the students were asked to help out in whatever way they could, in the rescue operations in Kerala by means of money, stationery, clothes, and food grains. There was a similar prayer service conducted for the boys of the orphanage in the evening, where they were made aware of the devastating happenings in Kerala. 
After the prayer service, Father Corlis Gonsalves, Rector of BBH, made an appeal to all the boys and staff to show their solidarity towards the flood victims of Kerala. He spoke in depth about the plight of Kerala and requested all to support them in this hour of crises.  He extended his prayers and condolences to the families of those who died in the heavy rains and floods. He gave an extraordinary example of the Indian army, who has helped in the rescue operations.  
"The Don Bosco Community of India are planning to support the flood victims. We as a Don Bosco Institute invite you to contribute to the relief funds for the people of Kerala. I assure you that God will bless you for your generosity," Father Gonsalves, said.

BIS #5615 BEATING STRESS

by Brother Jittin Mathew and Meena Kini
MUMBAI, AUGUST 25, 2018:  Eighty students from standard seven to ten from various city-based NGO's including Bosco Boys' Home (BBH) Borivli, attended a stress-management workshop organised by NGO Prerana on August 23, in Mumbai. 
Twelve boys from BBH were present along with staff member, Meena Kini, counsellor for the boys and a clinical psychologist. The sessions was divided into three parts namely: gender roles, meditation and relaxation, and study techniques.

The first segment on gender roles was conducted by Jyoti. She discussed the roles that males and females occupied in society. The students participated actively with their ideas and opinions. She talked about the need to change misconceptions regarding women's roles, and that both genders needed to share and take joint responsibility for their families and children.

The next segment on meditation and relaxation was conducted by Rehan. He discussed the need for reducing tension; and included meditation and visual imagery to enable students to manage their stress.

Sandeep conducted the afternoon session. He discussed various aspects of studies and how they could lead to stress, anxiety and fear. He utilised many examples to highlight the difficulties faced while studying. He stressed on the need for time management and a daily timetable to avoid stress.

Stress produces numerous physical and mental symptoms which vary according to each individual's situational factors. These can include physical health decline as well as depression. The process of stress management is named as one of the keys to a happy and successful life in modern society. 


Stress is particularly found in boys of class 10 during board exams, while making career choices, and dealing with responsibility. Out of the 12 boys who attended the sessions, ten were from standard 10 and two from standard 9.

Students found the sessions helpful in understanding how they could score marks and perform well in their exams. They also learned what mistakes to avoid while writing exam papers. They were taught how to cope with exam pressure, using various tactics and simple measures.

"When I am stressed, I will take some time out and try to relax myself by meditating," Raja, a youth attending the programme, said. "These sessions really helped the boys to know that to have stress is normal and there is a way to manage stress. I thank the staff of NGO Prerana who organised this programme so beautifully and meticulously with the help of well qualified professionals, " Meena Kini, the counsellor, said.

BIS #5614 EDUCATION ON THE USE OF A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

by Cleric Jittin Mathew and Mathew George 
MUMBAI, AUGUST 25, 2018: The management and staff of Bosco Boys Home (BBH) and Technical Institute in Borivli, invited the government licensed agency, Ronak Fire Industries, to conduct an awareness programme for the students and boys on August 24.



Fire safety is not given its share of importance in Mumbai, so the Institute of Bosco Boys focused on empowering children and youth in vulnerable situations. As part of the academic study, a subject and practical session on safety and prevention of fire has been added to the curriculum

Bruno D'Mello, a resource person, gave an orientation with a live demonstration and trained the students and boys on the use of a fire extinguisher. The sessions were divided into six demo programmes each, for the mechanical section , two-wheeler, four-wheeler, electricians, air condition department, hotel management and social sector for children. For the training, the students and boys were accompanied by the staff.

The orientation was focused on the prevention methods taken during a fire, types of fire extinguishers and their function, the technique of how to operate a fire extinguisher,  and places where one should have the fire exits. "I feel that this session and demonstration will help us in the case of a fire hazard to come out safely," Surya, one of the boys, said.

Friday, August 24, 2018

BIS #5613 YAMAHA AND DON BOSCO, TOGETHER HELP YOUTH

by Brother Jittin Mathew
MUMBAI, AUGUST 24, 2018: Representatives from the Yamaha Training School (YTA) in collaboration with Bosco Boys Home (BBH) and Technical Institute in Borivli, jointly awarded graduation certificates to 20 students of the Yamaha and two-wheeler department of the Institute on August 21. 
To ensure that only the highest level of professional technicians work on Yamaha vehicles, India Yamaha Motor introduced Yamaha Technical Academy in India, in the year 2002. YTA, based on Japan's technical education system, is part of Yamaha Motor Corporation, which is in force in all countries where Yamaha is present.
In this joint collaboration of BBH and Yamaha, a course was specifically designed for the poor, needy and the school dropouts of the community. The training was instituted, by the Institute, with the help of the Yamaha team, over a six-month period. It included theory sessions, taught by qualified staff of the Institute, and also practical sessions that provided hands-on training with equipment provided by the Yamaha service team.
The courses combine comprehensive technical information from the Yamaha factory with real world diagnostic and troubleshooting skills developed over many years of actual field experience. They offer training programmes for mechanics starting from a Beginner's course, then climbing through Bronze, Silver Engine, Silver Body and Silver Electrical. The YTA joined hands with BBH in the year 2015. 
At the graduation ceremony, Yamaha's Regional Service Manager, Tarun Thakur - the official representing Yamaha, guided the students on the scope of growth in the technical field and how to map out a successful career for oneself. 
"Technical training is essential to acquire knowledge and enhancement of skills at all levels and also to ensure that the quality standards don't get diluted during after sales service. Through this programme, the students are trained to develop highly skilled technical workforce, with greater career prospects," Thakur said. 
The others officials present were Vinod Patwa, manager of the Yamaha Technical Academy, Chandrkant Mane, deputy manager, and Mukesh Randhir, assistant manager. 
"By imparting focused training, YTA together with Bosco Boys Home and Technical Institute creates professional technicians who become trained technicians, who consistently provide best service to valued Yamaha customers," Samuel Figer, a student, said. 
Deacon Romero D' Souza, vice principal of the Institute, proposed the vote of thanks and then congratulated the students, motivating them with the advice to do well and make both Yamaha and Don Bosco proud through their work.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

BIS #5612 MARY, MODEL OF HEALTH, HARMONY AND HOLINESS



by Deacon Justus Mendis
 DAKOR, AUGUST 22, 2018: On August 15, Don Bosco Dakor boarding, brought to a close the Marian month with a solemn Eucharistic celebration. The Pushpanjali community of Salesian sisters, the boarding girls, teaching and non-teaching staff of the campus, and the parishioners were present in deep faith for the feast. 
The Marian month - began on July 16 - comprised of a number of activities, to help children have a better experience of Mary, as a Mother. It inaugurated by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Salesian Mumbai Province; accompanied by Father Manuel Murzello, the Provincial Economer. Father D'Souza said," Looking at the grand preparations, the children look very delighted to celebrate the festive month of Mary." 
Each day a child would give a talk on one of the apparitions of our Lady, with the aim that Mary still gives her 'darshan' to all who seek her in purity of heart. This was accompanied by a novena prayer, animated rosary, and special intercessory prayer of three Hail Mary's, prayed by the children. 
There were various activities held like singing with Mary, garba devotional dance for Mary, sketching Mary, letters to Mary, skit competition, essays on Mary, Marian quiz, testimonies on Mary and grotto competition. A Marian pilgrimage to Khambolaj and the Marian Nite were the most popular. 
The pilgrimage began with praying the rosary at various grottos of parishes and it culminated at the Shrine of our Lady at Khambolaj. Jaswant Zala, from class 11 said, "Getting a chance to come to a Shrine of our Lady in our neighbourhood is really a spiritual experience."
Around 275 children divided in 12 teams comprising of boys and girls, participated at the Marian Nite. The children learned much about Mary through various games. They also enacted some of the Gospel narratives on Mary through their game of charades. Jagruti Damor from class eight said, "I believe in the maternal care of our Lady. I believe the rosary is a powerful tool. It always works when I am in need." 
On August 15, along with the hoisting of the national flag and celebrating the holy Eucharist, Father Lorenzo explained to the children that Mary is the perfect example of this year's school and National Boscoree theme, 'Health, Harmony and Holiness'. He said, "Through her life, Mary maintained her emotional health during her difficult times; harmoniously built up relationships through her Visitation to the needy and remained Holy by being a true witness to what she believed was right." 
As the Marian month drew to a close, the children and staff were filled with enthusiasm to grow in the graces received from Mary, and live in 'Health, Harmony and Holiness'.

BIS #5611 TRAINING TEACHERS FOR VILLAGE EDUCATION PROGRAMME

by Father Richard Burkhao
AURANGABAD, AUGUST 22, 2018: A half-day seminar was organised at Don Bosco Waluj, on August 21, for the Village Education Programme (VEP) teachers in order to train them to run the VEP more effectively. 
Village Education Programme (VEP) is run by Don Bosco institutions, where teachers are appointed to conduct free tuition classes for academically weaker students from classes one to five.   

At present, 17 teachers have been appointed from Gangapur Taluka in Aurangabad district, to conduct VEP in 20 different villages. The seminar began with a prayer by Father Richard Burkhao, administrator of Don Bosco, Waluj. 
To make all the teachers feel at ease, Father Burkhao held an ice-breaker. The first session was conducted by Father Pratap Damor, Director of Don Bosco, Waluj. Father Damor explained the meaning of VEP and its functions. He also made suggestions about dealing with children, especially those weak in studies. It was followed by a Hindi action song by Fathers Damor and Burkhao. 
The second session was conducted by Father Burkhao in which he explained the importance and effectiveness of education through VEP and the role of a teacher. He also threw light on the different types of punishments inflicted on children which should be avoided completely. 
Father Burkhao concluded with Don Bosco's Preventive System of Education, its effectiveness and implementation. This was followed by a group discussion, in which four groups were given different case studies to discuss and present to the whole assembly. 
Finally, four teachers who were part of the Village Education Programme in 2015 shared their experiences. All raved about the enriching time they had. They were sad, like the students, when the VEP was discontinued shortly. "I am so happy to know that the VEP is resuming because it gives me great joy and satisfaction to teach the weaker students of my village," Sangeeta Pandit, a 2015 VEP teacher, said. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

BIS #5610 CELEBRATING DON BOSCO WITH LOVE

by Jittin Mathew 
MUMBAI, AUGUST 20, 2018: The boys of Bosco Boys' Home (BBH) in Borivli celebrated Don Bosco's birthday on August 16, with the love enshrined in the spirit of Don Bosco himself. Don Bosco was a father, teacher and friend to the poor and abandoned boys, and BBH began the day to the tune of, 'All hail to Don Bosco', followed by a solemn Eucharistic celebration. 

In the afternoon, the Hotel Management batch prepared four varieties of cakes: chocolate, tuti-fruti, pineapple and banana flavours, for all the students and staff, to show their love and appreciation for the Institute, as well as all Salesians, who represent Don Bosco. The students expressed this gesture, as an act of gratitude for the Salesians, for their constant presence of joy and optimism, their availability, their example of hard work and temperance, and above all their life of prayer. 

Then the boys went to school. When they returned, they were welcomed with music and masala tea, along with deep fried nallies to munch. 'Run, jump, play but do not sin' was the motto for the evening, which was joyously celebrated with supper and ice-cream. This was followed by relays and tournaments, after which the floor was open for the children to dance. 

The day concluded with the Rector, Father Corlis Gonsalves, giving the boys a good night talk of how Don Bosco lived his life only for the poor and abandoned children, and made them good and honest human beings.

BIS #5609 NOT IN MY OCEAN

by Rosy Stephen

LONAVLA, AUGUST 20, 2018: The first session of Greenline - a Salesian movement to create greener people for a greener world - for the academic year 2018, was held on August 18 at Don Bosco School, Lonavla. 

Carol Pereira and Sandra from Mumbai were the resource persons.'Help save marine life', was the clarion call. A short video based on the aquatic ecosystem was shown to the students, followed by a small quiz on the same. Then, the theme for the year was introduced – 'No in my ocean!'

Students were enlightened with the thought that 'Ocean health is our health. Pollution – not in my ocean! Plastic – not in my ocean!' This message was vividly brought to life by the resource persons, through videos aids based on Mumbai's coastline, plant and animal life in the oceans, among others.

The programme animators stressed on the aquatic ecosystem, biodiversity, rivers of Mumbai and plastics that are dumped in the ocean. They kept the session interactive and the students actively participated.

Towards the end of the session, a task was given for the month of July – Talk by the Dock, which included interviewing a local fisherman on different kinds of fishes found, fishes in and out of season, reasons for their increase and decrease.

The month of August has the exciting task of – Journey to the Sea, in which students are required to study a waterbody, find if it is polluted, look for sources and come up with solutions.
  
The session was an eye-opener for all the students with a valuable lesson taught,  'what goes in the ocean, goes in you!'

Monday, August 20, 2018

BIS #5608 GO GREEN: PAPER BAG MAKING FOR SLUM WOMEN

by BIS Correpsondent 

MUMBAI, AUGUST 20, 2018: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), Mumbai organised a two-day training workshop on 'Paper Bag Making and techniques' for 28 women from the slums of Sakinaka in Mumbai. The training programme was held under the aegis of a project supported by Auxilium India, Seregno – Italy.

Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director – DBDS said, "This training workshop was not meant merely to teach women how to learn skills and earn some money; but it was all about our commitment to the environment and saving our planet from the biggest menace- plastic." Surekha Pednekar, project officer – DBDS, welcomed the resource person and the participants, and explained the objectives of the training. 

 Manjula Bhagwat was the resource person for the workshop. During the training, the participants learnt to make five different kinds of paper bags. Since paper bags cannot be used for carrying meat and fish, the women  also learnt how to make nylon taffeta fabric, to make alternative bags. 

Apart from teaching the women how to make the bags, the resource person also taught them marketing, costing, budgeting, pricing and branding of products. The participants dedicatedly learnt the skills and also discussed the possibilities of starting a small scale 'bag making' business. 

Zarina Khan, DBDS – staff, mobilised the women to attend the training programme and also proposed the vote of thanks.

BIS #5607 SALUTING INDIAN HEROES ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

by Janet D'Souza 
MUMBAI, August 20, 2018: 'The flag does not fly because the wind moves it, it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.' 
Class 9B of Don Bosco High School, Matunga animated the school assembly on India's Independence Day, August 15, on the theme 'We salute the Real Heroes', paying respects to the soldiers who fight for their country. 
It began with the hoisting of the national flag by the chief guests for the day, Ramakrishnan's, parents of Karthik Ramakrishnan; and Nair's, parents of Aakash Nair who were the school SSC toppers for the year 2017-18. 
The three school troops, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Road Safety Patrol (RSP), scouts, as well as the junior cubs, escorted the chief guests and the SSC merit holders to the gym area, as the school band played. 
The assembly began with the chief guests being felicitated. Krish Fernandes, Hussain and Laxmiraj sang to the tune of 'Aae Watan', creating a somber ambience. Hussain gave the speech on the 72nd Independence Day. 
A skit, based on the life of Captain Vikram Batra, the courageous soldier whose actions on the battlefield transcended heroism, was enacted. Batra as a child was inspired by the stories of great leaders, his father would tell him. He gave up a lucrative job in the merchant navy to join the Indian Army. 
As a lieutenant in the 13 Jammu and Kashmir rifles battalion, he played a pivotal role in the capture of point 5140, an important mountain peak in Dras sector. He was then promoted to the rank of a captain. As a captain, he was in charge of recapturing point 4875, the most difficult warfare campaign undertaken during the Kargil War, where he fought like a hero until his last breath. 
His father Girdhari Lal Batra received the Param Veer Chakra for his deceased son by the President of India, K R Narayanan on January 26, 2000- India's Republic Day. The skit was followed by a dance to a mash up of patriotic songs. 
Father Crispino D'Souza, Rector of the school, congratulated the class and as a reflection questioned the audience, "Was it necessary that we had to lose such a young talented man like him? Was it necessary for him to die? No, if only we can live in brotherhood and peace! We do not do enough to foster peace because of vested interests and false precedence, precious lives are lost," Father D'Souza, said. 
 "Vikram did not follow the flow. With the amount of information on social media, our mind is swayed. We need to have a mind of our own. Vikram had the courage to tell his father that he won't join the merchant navy, but follow his dream of serving his country. We need more people like Vikram Batra who are passionate in what they like, " Father D'Souza added. 
Boys who represented the school at the dance competition held at St. Mary's Immaculata, performed for the audience. The SSC toppers for the year 2017-18 were then felicitated. 
The chief guests addressed the gathering by thanking the school management and teachers for their hard work and dedication. Nair advised students to take part in all activities for holistic growth. Ramakrishnan said, "Don't get swayed away with what you see in the world. There are a lot of vocations available. Follow your heart. Follow your passions, and you will succeed in life."   
Father Bernard Fernandes, the Principal, thanked the class of 9B for conducting the assembly, the troops for the guard of honour along with their teachers in-charge. He thanked the chief guests for sharing their thoughts, which were pearls of wisdom, which each student should imbibe. He appreciated the efforts of the school toppers, who worked responsibly. He also commended the efforts of the people who worked behind the scenes including the boys who put up the backdrop for the programme.

BIS #5606 MARY, MODEL OF HEALTH, HARMONY AND HOLINESS

by Deacon  Justus Mendis

 

DAKOR, AUGUST 20, 2018: On August 15, Don Bosco Dakor boarding, brought to a close the Marian month with a solemn Eucharistic celebration. The Pushpanjali community of Salesian sisters, the boarding girls, teaching and non-teaching staff of the campus, and the parishioners were present in deep faith for the feast. 

The Marian month comprised of a number of activities to help children to have a better experience of Mary, as our Mother. The Marian month began on July 16, inaugurated by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Salesian Mumbai Province; accompanied by Father Manuel Murzello, the Provincial Economer. Father D'Souza said, " Looking at the grand preparations, the children look very delighted to celebrate the festive month of Mary." 

Each day a child would give a talk on one of the apparitions of our Lady, with the aim that Mary still gives her 'darshan' to all who seek her in purity of heart. This was accompanied by a novena prayer, animated rosary, and special intercessory prayer of three Hail Mary's, prayed by the children. 

There were various activities held like singing with Mary, garba devotional dance for Mary, sketching Mary, letters to Mary, skit competition, essays on Mary, Marian quiz, testimonies on Mary and grotto competition. A Marian pilgrimage to Khambolaj and Marian Nite were the most popular. 

The pilgrimage began with praying the rosary at various grottos of parishes and it culminated at the Shrine of our Lady at Khambolaj. Jaswant Zala, from class 11 said, "Getting a chance to come to a Shrine of our Lady in our neighbourhood is really an spiritual experience."

Around 275 children divided in 12 teams comprising of boys and girls, participated at the Marian Nite. The children learned much about Mary through various games. They also enacted some of the Gospel narratives on Mary through their game of charades. Jagruti Damor from class eight said, "I believe in the maternal care of our Lady. I believe the rosary is a powerful tool. It always works when I am in need." 

On August 15, along with the hoisting of the national flag and celebrating the holy Eucharist, Father Lorenzo explained to the children that Mary is the perfect example of this year's school and National Boscoree's theme, 'Health, Harmony and Holiness'. He said, "Through her life, Mary maintained her emotional health during her difficult times; harmoniously built up relationships through her Visitation to the needy and remained Holy by being a true witness to what she believed was right." 

As the Marian month drew to a close, the children and staff were filled with enthusiasm to grow in the graces received from Mary, and live in 'Health, Harmony and Holiness'.