Tuesday, October 30, 2018

BIS #5685 FLY HIGHER

by Brother Jittin Mathew 
  
MUMBAI, OCT 29, 2018: Twenty-five volunteers of the NGO Fly Higher India visited Bosco Boys Home in Borivli to conduct a series of educational activities on October 28.

After an introductory session, the children were divided into groups, age wise. Youth in the 10 to 14 year age group had a creativity session, where they drew and made a painting of what they aspired to be in their life. The 15 to 18-year-olds, participated in a formal email writing session for job applications; it was followed by a career counselling session.

The NGO Fly Higher India (FHI) is a not-for-profit organisation which began in 2017. The initiative has since spread to various cities and impacted the lives of thousands of children and involved hundreds of volunteers. FHI’s aim is to inculcate life skills, instill values, and imbibe confidence among the underprivileged children and youth across India.

“We strive to make service to the society as accommodative. We have grown and are developing at a galloping pace, spreading joy, hope, and love for the sole, unadulterated purpose of adding value through innovative and interesting techniques to the less fortunate kids. It was a pleasure to do it with the children of Bosco Boys Home. I really felt a great delight and contentment to bring joy and share the love with these children,” Prachi Vora, a volunteer, said.

“Thank you, the team of Fly Higher India, for making our day full of learning; inspiring us to be joyful, hopeful and loving; and to always believe that sky is the limit,” Salim Shaikh from Bosco Boys Home, said.

BIS #5684 TACKLING ADDICTION AND FORMING ALLIANCE OF CHILD CARE INSTITUTES


by Tezasvi Chowdary

MUMBAI, OCT 29, 2018: Sixty-five professionals from twenty-five Child Care Institutions (CCI) attended a seminar on ‘How to Handle Addicted
Children’ and ‘Juvenile Justice Alliance Meet’ organised by Don Bosco Balprafulta at Don Bosco Provincial House on October 24. 

Father Thomas Koshy, Executive Secretary of Don Bosco YaR (Young at Risk) forum and Delhi Juvenile Justice Alliance (JJA), presided over the seminar, which was moderated by Father Gregory Almeida, Director – Shelter Don Bosco, Mumbai.

The seminar began with a video prayer song invoking the presence of the Almighty. Representatives of different Child Care Institutes and NGOs were specially invited to understand and get deeper insights into addiction, its causes, signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, the risks and protective factors involved.

In the first half of the day, Doctor Sunita Shanbaug, professor, Department of Community Medicine G S Medical College and KEM Hospital, took a session on handling children addicted to drugs, alcohol, substance, and marijuana. Doctor Shanbaug gave a medical perspective and explained about the symptoms of addiction, its effects on health and behavioral changes.

Father Devdas, co-founder of Shelter Don Bosco (Wadala) and currently Director of Maria Ashiana, Lonavla, then spoke about the age groups of addicts his institution handles, the services rendered to them, problems in handling them, their technics and methodology.

In the post lunch session, Father Koshy explained to the participants about history of Juvenile Justice Alliance (JJA). He pointed out that the earlier version of JJA which is Juvenile Justice National Desk (JJND) was floated since there was a call from the floor to have such a common platform at a national level consultation on child rights.

The participants who were then divided into four groups, jotted down the problems and issues faced by CCIs. Two members from each group presented the problems identified: lack of proper protocols with respect to children’s documentation, shoddy online procedures, ineffective communication, and the sense of not being heard by the committees.

Doctor K P Asha Mukundan, assistant professor, Centre for Criminology and Justice, Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), summarised that most of the problems identified by the participants can only be solved by working together with each other and the officials, in the best interests of the child.


S Vijay Shankar, national coordinator of India Juvenile Justice Alliance (JJA) and DB YaR Forum, said that the problems identified by the participants were not unique to Maharashtra and pointed that they were somewhat identical to the problems faced by CCIs in other states. He urged them to work under one common platform so that their issues can be voiced louder in the same tone, thus making it easier to lobby with the Maharashtra government. He assured the participants that JJA will help coordinate similar forums in other states so that advocacy can be done at the national level.

At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to work under a common umbrella named ‘Mumbai Fraternity Forum’ (MFF), to meet again in a few months, and to strengthen the forum by bringing in CCIs who were absent, to the next meeting.  

Friday, October 26, 2018

BIS #5683 ANTI -TOBACCO CAMPAIGN


by BIS Correspondent

PUNE, OCT 25, 2018: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) Chinchwad organised a street play and health exhibition under the theme ‘Tobacco Free Society’ in the Ajantha Nagar slum on October 24.

The play and health exhibition was held under the aegis of ‘Health Risk Reduction Project’ supported by AXA Business Services. The focus of the activity was to communicate health risks associated with tobacco consumption.

The programme began with a display of posters in the form of an exhibition. The posters contained visual material and written information on health risks associated with consuming tobacco and its effects on personal health, family, and society. 

The street play was enacted in an open space in the slum. It focused on the damage done by tobacco to the body, which happens slowly. It highlighted the sufferings of a smoker, where one can damage their lungs seriously with this habit and eventually lose their life. It further portrayed the ordeal that a smoker’s family undergoes. 

BIS #5682 ADULT LITERACY PROJECT

by BIS Correspondent

AHMEDNAGAR, OCT 25, 2018: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) through its two implementing partners, Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar (Maharashtra) and Drishti Don Bosco, Kapadvanj (Gujarat) has taken up the cause of tackling illiteracy in rural Maharashtra and Gujarat by implementing the ‘Adult Literacy Project’ in the respective project villages.

The project, which began in July 2018, is supported by Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS). The programme began with the identification of villages with illiterate population and then motivating locals to join literacy classes.

After initial hesitancy, locals came forth to join the course. The facilitators use various creative methods to teach alphabets, words, numbers, and counting. Group activities also employed to teach adults rather than mere conventional classrooms sessions.

“All the classes under this project are run free of cost and in addition books and other stationery are supplied free to adult learners,” Mahesh Kumar, senior programme manager - DBDS, said.

“Over a period of next three years, we are committed to reaching out to more than 12,000 illiterate people through this project,” Father Rolvin D’Mello, Executive Director – DBDS, said.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

BIS #5681 STAYING FIT THE MALLAKHAMB WAY


by Brother Jittin Mathew

MUMBAI, OCT 24, 2018: The boys of Bosco Boys Home, Borivli were introduced to Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian sport, as a way to stay fit and healthy on October 21.

The sport involves gymnasts performing aerial yoga postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or hanging rope. The word Mallakhamb itself refers to the pole used in the sport.

While explaining to the boys the importance of this sport, Moreshwar Ingole, the Mallakhamb instructor, said, “This is the only sport that provides optimum exercise to the entire body in the least possible time. Besides giving perfect shape and form to the body, it also gives remarkable control over the limbs. Due to continuous twisting and turning, the whole body gets massaged and every cell is rejuvenated.”

“External muscles are developed and the efficiency of internal systems is also increased. It also makes use of a number of yogic postures and helps to have control over the breath, the functioning of the brain and other faculties like memory, concentration, and coordination are also well developed. It helps you to have better mental and physical attributes like flexibility, focus, and balance. Through Mallakhamb one can control both the mind and body.”

The two-hour long session exposed the youth to the basics of Mallakhamb. The focus of the initiative was to make the boys healthy and inculcate a habit of exercising daily.

“I really enjoyed the exercises. First I thought it will be difficult to climb on the rope but then after three rounds it was a cake walk for me,” Aryan Yadav, a youth, said. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

BIS #5680 SKILLS TRAINING FOR BUDDING CATECHISTS

by Agnes Ferrao

KUWAIT, OCT 23, 2018: An in-house teaching skills training was organised on October 12 and October 19 by the parish of Saint Thérèse of Child Jesus, Salmiya, Kuwait to enhance the teaching skills of 12 new catechists and to ensure that the faith is taught with integrity and in a manner that caters to the needs, learning styles, cultures, and other special characteristics of those in their care. 


The in-house training was conducted by one of the experienced catechists of the parish, Christopher Pereira, who is an instructor by profession. On the first day, the catechists were introduced to fundamental training skills, preparing for a catechism class, sourcebooks, and resources. 

Skills for questioning, listening, engaging learners, and most of all dealing with children were also addressed as ‘a child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer’.  The interactive approach used by Pereira made the learning enjoyable and all enthusiastically participated in activities, quizzes, and brainstorming sessions where new ideas emerged.

“The session was extremely informative, fun, and above all enriching. I look forward to putting into practice at least some ideas and techniques if not all,” Flavia Cardozo, a participant, said.

On the second day, each catechist was given the opportunity to present a lesson taken from their respective class syllabus, keeping in mind the required format of the lesson plan that includes human experience, faith experience, and life application. 

Each catechist was rated according to their perf
ormance based on preset criteria. The hands-on experience helped the catechists in building their confidence while assessing their strengths and weaknesses. The training concluded with personal development planning.

The techniques and methods used on how to make the class interesting and keep the students engaged were implemented all through the course. “We will adopt these means and techniques for our respective classes which will help build our own faith as we impart it to our future generation, ” Maria Coelho, a catechist, said. 

“The in-house training course was indeed an insightful, informative, enriching and empowering one.”

BIS #5679 BOSCOREE 2018 IN SIGHT

by Brother Ian Pinto 

NASHIK, OCT 22, 2018: The final training programme for the animators of the Boscoree came to an end at Divyadaan, Nashik on October 21. Father Savio Silveira brought the event to a close with as emphatic a message as he delivered at the beginning of the programme. He invited all the participants to keep Boscoree on their mind and to find time to plan, develop, and build on all that they had learnt over the last two days.

The programme aimed at brushing up the skills acquired at previous training sessions as well as clarifying doubts, roles, and responsibilities of all those in charge of various aspects of the camp. The participants were grateful since it offered them an opportunity to become familiar with the members of their group and also gave them time to plan things together.

The second day began like the first with a flag break ceremony immediately followed by a run through of various procedures that would form part of the camp and which were not practiced on the previous day. The fathers, sisters, and brothers performed BP 6 exercises, whistle and hand signals, pitching and dismantling tents, and marching. For many, it was quite a challenge but all tried their best to apply themselves to the task so as to produce good results.

A good part of the morning was spent going over the Boscoree schedule in groups, planning and delegating responsibilities. After lunch, the caterer arrived to demonstrate exactly how food will be served and how the students ought to be guided once they had finished eating. A number of suggestions were made and the caterer took note of it all.

The final session before departure was an open forum where the participants were given time to raise doubts and make suggestions to the various committee heads who were present and who would then help them in whatever way they could. After sharing a hot cup of tea and some snacks, the group dispersed to their respective locations fired with enthusiasm to carry forward the critical task of planning and preparing for the Boscoree. 

BIS #5678 THE HOMESTRETCH OF THE BOSCOREE

by Brother Ian Pinto

NASHIK, OCT 2, 2018: The last round of preparatory sessions in view of the Boscoree - to be held from December 30, 2018, to January 3, 2019 - commenced at  Divyadaan, Nashik on October 20. About 100 sisters, fathers, and brothers attended the programme, which had been scheduled over two days. The primary aim of the programme was to make known to the animators the exact plan of how the Boscoree is expected to proceed, to clarify their roles and responsibilities, and ensure that they are competent to handle the task of executing all that has been planned.

The first of the two-day programme kicked off in true scouting fashion with a flag break conducted by FMA sisters. The flag break served as the inaugural event of the programme and Father James Tuscano, provincial councillor of the Mumbai province, welcomed all who had gathered and wished them a fruitful experience.

The flag break was followed by a series of sessions that served as indicators for the path that Boscoree is intended to take. Father Savio Silveira, vice provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai, delivered an emphatic session bringing before all the participants the significance of the Boscoree and its importance in the life of the province. He urged the participants to prepare well and to ensure that they involved themselves completely in the planning and execution of the Boscoree programme.

Father Robert Simon, the South-Asia coordinator for Groups and Movements was present and addressed the gathering. He stressed the importance of the event in the life of Salesian India and how it plays a crucial role in acting as an advertisement for the work carried out by Salesians in the country. He also highlighted the cooperation the Salesians enjoy from the Bharat Scouts and Guides office. He lauded the province for the manner in which it has undertaken to prepare for the event and wished the organisers a fruitful experience.

These preliminary talks were immediately followed by a turn to the brass tacks. Father Glenford Lowe, provincial councillor of the Mumbai province, instructed the participants on the daily schedule of the camp and allotted time for discussion in groups and delegation of responsibilities. The charge of animation and leadership was put into the hands of the sub camp chiefs. This allowed them a first-hand experience of what planning and working together would be like.

Post-lunch, the sessions were more of a practical nature and dealt with aspects that the participants will directly be in charge of during the Boscoree. First, they were briefed about the content of the sessions that they would be required to take and were also given the know-how about conducting the sessions. They had some time to discuss in groups, clarify their difficulties and express opinions with regard to the model sessions that were prepared and displayed.

In addition to the sessions, the liturgical and other prayer services that would be conducted during the camp were also displayed and explained. Father Gregory Almeida, the in-charge of the catering department made known the plans and arrangements regarding the service and distribution of food.

The participants were then ushered on the ground for a trial of whistle and hand signals. They were taught and asked to practice the signals in their groups. Immediately after tea, the practice of arranging the scouts and guides for the various programmes, flag procedures, and other important aspects of the camp routine was practiced and revised.

In the final session of the day, the participants’ knowledge and practice of knots and lashings were refreshed. They were instructed in the art of pioneering and gadget making. They were further given opportunities for practice and assessment of one another. 

It was heartening to see the enthusiasm of all the participants trying to put their best foot forward in preparation for the mega event. Father Silveira, in his morning talk, made it amply clear that for nearly every scout and guide attending, this would be their first, last and only Boscoree and it is up to each one to make it a memorable occasion for them. The participants and in a special way the sub camp chiefs were kept on their toes throughout the day, as a foretaste of things to come. They are presented with a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow together and they seem to be making the best of it.  

Monday, October 22, 2018

BIS #5677 PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, OCT 22, 2018: Jannat Media Production in collaboration with Bosco Boys Home, Borivli organised a workshop on Personality Development for 20 children of the orphanage on October 14.

Pratima Karmarkar was the resource person for the workshop, and she stressed the importance of developing one's personality as it would help individuals make a mark on their employers or on society in general.

During the session that stretched for two hours, the boys were introduced to some soft skills with the help of creative and animated games. The session was well planned and divided into three parts, namely individual activities, partner activities, and group activities.

For the individual activities, the boys were given common tasks to perform and were evaluated on the basis of accuracy and spontaneity. For the other two activities, the boys were asked to prepare mimes and skits.

“Personality development goes a long way in reducing stress, conflicts and helps you develop a positive attitude in life. It helps an individual to inculcate positive qualities like punctuality, flexible attitude, willingness to learn, friendly nature, eagerness to help others,” Karmarkar said.

Deacon Romero D’Souza, the prefect of the boys, thanked Karmarkar and Director of the Media House, Nizamuddin Shah for their generous gesture towards the orphanage.

“Many of these activities were conducted and performed to help the boys develop their confidence and help them to express themselves more freely and explore their talents. I would like to thank the management and staff of Bosco Boys Home and Technical Institute for the support and co-operation offered towards us and for the good work they are doing and continue to do. God bless them,” Shah said.

“I really enjoyed the workshop and training they gave. I now feel confident to speak in front of the crowd, with the techniques shared in the workshop,”  Naval Mane, a youth, said. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

BIS #5676 BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE

by Ashish Rajkumar Sanglikar

MUMBAI, OCT 19, 2018: Students of Don Bosco Junior College, Pune participated in an awareness rally on Janajagruti Abhiyan relating to the environment, health, education, cleanliness, and road safety as a part of their co-curricular activity and Green Alliance on October 17.

Rajesh Yedlellu, the coordinator for Green Alliance, organised the rally, which began with students cleaning the area outside the college campus. They then marched from the school campus through the interior areas of Yerwada. The students held banners and posters to stress on their message.

The students also raised slogans such as Beti Bachao – Beti Padao (save the girl child -educate her), Jal Hi Jeevan Hain (water is life), Helmet Lagao - Jaan Bachao (wear a helmet- save life), Na Karo Cigarette Ka Sevan (do not consume cigarettes), Plastic Bandh (Stop using plastic), Prayavaran Ki Raksha Deshi Ki Suraksha (Protect the environment, protect the nation), Mobile off - Seatbelt on (Switch off your mobile, put on your seat belt).

The students interacted with commuters during the rally, making them aware of the importance of a clean and safe environment. They also performed a nukkad natak or street play to draw the attention of the local residents to environmental and social issues.

“Environment protection needs priority and such rallies draw the attention of many who are so engaged in their work ignoring the environment and social issues,” Julekha Myageri, a teacher who accompanied the students, said.

“During the rally, I stressed more on girl’s safety and spoke to the local residents about it and urged them to value and respect a woman, and support girls’ education,” Sapna Vishwakrama from standard 11, said.

BIS #5675 THE INCREDIBLE JOSEPHITE FESTIVAL

by Sunita D’Souza

MUMBAI, OCT 19, 2018: Over 3,600 students from 97 Mumbai-based schools participated in a one of a kind Josephite Festival, which included 70 competitions, hosted by St. Joseph's High School, Wadala, as part of its centenary year celebrations from October 5 to 7.

The competitions included students exhibiting their talents, promoting arts and culture, through classical music and dance, mono-acting, storytelling, clay modelling, folk dances, drawing, craft, mimicry among others.

“Let not your lamp be hidden under the bushel. God has given us lots of talents. The Josephite Festival helps to bring out the hidden talents of


our children. Let our children shine in the world,” Father Diego Nunes, the Principal said.

The past-pupils of the institution also used the festival to create awareness about organ donation with ‘A Million Pledges’ stall. They were joined by a team from Greenline, a Salesian Go-green initiative.

At the grand finale, the Chief Guest, the Provincial Secretary of the Mumbai Province, Father Vinod Mascarenhas
congratulated everyone. “Each one of you goes home a winner having won a friend, goodwill and respect,” Father Mascarenhas said. 

“It is a pleasure to see so many students right from KG (kindergarten) to standard 10 coming to St. Joseph’s, mingling with each other in a healthy, competitive spirit. The talent they showcased was a veritable treat,” Sangita Bhattacharya, the headmistress, said.

Youth used the platform to exhibit talents in a competitive environment. “I got a chance to display my talent, had a lot of fun and I will cherish this memory all my life,” Ria Livlyn Thomas from St. Anthony Girls’ High School, Chembur said.

“St. Joseph’s has created a platform for students to portray their talents and compete at the same time,” Ranveer from Victoria School, Mahim, said.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BIS #5674 DON BOSCO BEST BOYS SCHOOL IN SPORTS

by Barrington Serrao

MUMBAI, OCT 16, 2018: For the second consecutive year, the Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai (SJAM) handed Don Bosco High School, Matunga top honours on October 11, for being the best city-based boys school in sports, for a consistent display at the Mumbai School Sports Association, district and other events held in the academic year.


The awards ceremony was held at the CK Nayudu hall, Cricket Club of India, with noted sportspersons MM Somaya, Padmakar Shivalkar, Adille Sumariwalla and Yasin Merchant distributing the prizes.

Being a powerhouse of sports, there are numerous sportspersons and coaches at Don Bosco Matunga who have achieved collectively or individually and brought laurels to the school. However, given the restrictions, only a few could represent the school at the award ceremony. The school contingent included Principal Father Bernard Fernandes, Vice Principal Father Roy Noronha, Barrington Serrao, sports coordinator, and coaches Mohan Pillay and Javed Sayed.

Several prominent student sports achievers were also present: Yohaan Panjuani (football), Hriday Sangoi (chess), Sahil Jadhav (cricket), Kris Benson (football, hockey, athletics), and Ayush Hindlekar (tennis).

There were different categories of awards ranging from the best sportspersons among the current generation to those who shone earlier. Cricketers Prithvi Shaw and Jemimah Rodrigues, and Shooter Tejaswini Sawant were notable winners from the current generation, and SS Narayan, football/basketball, Mary D’Souza, athletics, Murlikant Petkar, Paralympics, and Ramakant Achrekaraa, the coach of Sachin Tendulkar, were awarded the SJAM Lifetime Achievement Awards.  

BIS #5673 HEALTHY MIND CAMP

By Ratandeep Chawla


MUMBAI, OCT 16, 2018: Over 70 people participated in a free Healthy Mind Camp, which was organised at Prafulta, Andheri to mark World Mental Health Care on October 14.

Psychiatrists associated with Prafulta, Doctor Ruksheda Syeda and Doctor Wilona Braganza, along with the Director of Prafulta, Father Godfrey D’Sa, and Ratandeep Chawla and her team of volunteers conducted the camp. It was aimed at those who could not afford treatment for mental health conditions.

The task ahead seemed difficult because many did not even know that psychological help existed at Prafulta. There was quite a bit of planning involved in the process to ensure a smooth flow of events and Doctor Braganza coordinated the various requirements. "It felt good to give back to community psychiatry,"  Doctor Syeda said.

As the camp began, the doctors were present at OPD for four hours without a break, as patients from across the city attended the screening. A few who could not make it called and took further appointments with the doctors.

A patient who traveled all the way from Badlapur requested the organisers to conduct a similar camp in his area. “It is very good and humble work that the organisation is doing,” another patient said, requesting to be informed about future events.

“If they reach out to us, we are here, to ensure we provide mental health care for everyone,” Doctor Braganza said. 

BIS #5672 SESSION ON RIGHTS OF CHILDREN


by Jessica Augustine


MUMBAI, OCT 15, 2018: One hundred and twenty-five students from Bosco Boys Home and Technical Institute, Borivli participated in a session on Rights of Children with reference to POCSO Act, 2012 and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which was conducted by Doctor Chhaya Shah, Advocate Aarti Shah and Doctor Sabeena Gonsalves on October 12.

Deacon Romero D’Souza, the vice principal of the Institute, welcomed the guest speakers and thanked them for the initiative and service offered to the Institute. The session was organised as part of the many initiatives and awareness programmes conducted for the students to help them mature into good human beings.

The session began with Doctor Shah explaining how children are the future of our nation and hence it is our responsibility to ensure their welfare and protection of their interests. She discussed the Constitutional provisions relating to children and elaborated on the burning issue of Juvenile delinquency through cases and important provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. She concluded the discussion by emphasising on the reformative theory of punishment and that it is the moral duty of each stakeholder to protect the interests of children.

Advocate Shah then made the students aware about the help offered under the POCSO Act 2012 (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) to punish the abusers (saaja), and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 to mend their ways (sudhar).

“Being an Advocate is a noble profession. Law is a system of rules that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state and help in the progress and development of the society,” Advocate Shah, said.

“This session made me contemplate about how society has become so insensitive towards another life. The crux of the matter was not to be a victim or fall into the category of a juvenile delinquent but as a responsible young citizen we too should empathize and be vigilant and safe. It was indeed an enriching and effective session,” Chiraj Shah, a student, said.


“I would like to thank the management and staff of Bosco Boys Home and Technical Institute for the support and co-operation offered towards us. I was impressed with the maturity of the students and the positive responses, which we received from them. I hope that the message given to them may spread to many more youngsters and together through their lived example and deeds we may be able to do something good for the society,” Gonsalves, the coordinator of the event, said.

BIS #5671 DON BOSCO YUVA ON A CLEANUP MISSION

By Sanjay Ninama

MUMBAI, OCT 15, 2018: Over 200 students and staff from Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha in Karjat participated in ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a cleanliness initiative on October 2.

The staff and students assembled at the Karjat Railway Station by 10.30 am with banners and posters. The station master, Harishchandra Verma and RPF V L Singh welcomed the group.

The students chanted slogans to promote a clean environment. The students from Abhinav School performed a small skit on cleanliness. Several school leaders shared their views with students on the issue.

The cleanliness rally then continued as all walked through the platforms shouting slogans and cleaning up the place. Verma expressed his gratitude to the students and the staff of Don Bosco Karjat for being part of the initiative.


BIS #5670 ROSARY FOR OUR MISSIONARIES



by Molly D’Souza

KUWAIT, OCT 15, 2018: The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. On October 6, the Liturgical Ministry Commission (LMC) conducted the Holy Rosary for missions and the missionaries.

The Rosary which commenced at 5.40 pm was well attended. The congregation joined with fervent prayers in lifting up the intentions of missions and the missionaries across the world.

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen said that praying the Rosary would “aid the Holy Father and his society for the Propagation of Faith by supplying him with practical support, as well as prayers, for the poor mission territories of the world. When the Rosary is completed, one has embraced all continents, all people in prayer.”

Pamela Veigas, the assistant coordinator of the LMC, knitted a beautiful World Missions Rosary in five colours, each representing one of the five continents and was pinned on
a board, near the altar.

During the Holy Rosary, the laity meditated on the five Scriptural "Mission Mysteries" beginning with a short introduction by Annette Furtado, the LMC coordinator.  Anne Francis, one of the unit heads of the LMC, led the congregation with the First Mystery on the yellow beads for the prayer intentions of the people of Asia.

The Second Mystery was led by Angel on the red beads for the prayer intentions of the people of America. This was followed by the Third Mystery prayed on the white beads led by Binitha Abraham for the intentions of the people of Europe.


Dorothy D’Souza led the congregation through the Fourth Mystery on the green beads for the intentions of the people of Africa. And finally, the Fifth Mystery on the blue beads was led by Elizabeth D’souza for the people of Oceania and those residing in the Island nations of the world. The laity also prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions. Gail Timmins led the Litany and Molly D’ouza, the LMC secretary the concluding prayers.

The World Mission Rosary honours the work of missions and is a tool that reminds us of our responsibilities to share the Good News with all the nations of the world. Spiritual Director, Father Francisco Pereira, who is presently on a mission journey himself, was supported by the LMC members with their prayers. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

BIS #5669 WORLD DYSLEXIA AWARENESS WEEK

by Ratandeep Chawla

MUMBAI, OCT 9, 2018: Prafulta Psychological Services, Andheri, celebrated World Dyslexia Awareness Week to create awareness and
reach out to children having academic difficulties from October 1 to 7.

The week began with a programme for parents, special educators, and counselors on increasing awareness about learning disabilities among children. The programme was conducted by the Maharashtra Dyslexia Association (MDA) in collaboration with Prafulta.

Masarrat Khan, the CEO of MDA, briefly explained Learning Disability (LD), the kinds of intervention required to help children at different levels and the obligation the schools have in lending adequate support to children with disabilities. Khan, who is one of the primary investigators for preparing the DALI assessment tool, also explained the use of this tool in assessing children.

On October 6, Mimansa Popat and Doctor Payal Ubale, both senior consultants at Prafulta, had a full day programme for counselors, special educators, and teachers. This learning programme focused on early identification of children at risk for LD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorder.

The programme included a lot of practical activities to enhance the sensory-motor development of children at different development stages, a pre-requisite skill for learning. On October 7, the Special Needs department of Prafulta organised a screening camp for children.

Occupational Therapists and Remedial Educators from Prafulta screened children aged four to fourteen facing deteriorating academic grades and assessed learning issues faced by them. The students were accompanied by their parents who were unaware of such diagnostics.

The parents realised that there must be a reason for poor performance. The assessment was a big revelation to the parents who were concerned about the issues faced by their children such as low motivation for academics, poor handwriting, the difficulty of expressions, low tolerance, high aggression often leading to frustration. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

BIS #5668 MUMBAI SALESIANS GET STARTED WITH PC 2019


by Father Christopher George

MUMBAI, OCT 12, 2018: The Salesians of the Mumbai Province met on October 11, 2018, at the Don Bosco Provincial House Matunga, Mumbai for the first session of the Provincial Chapter 2019. The large gathering of the capitulars, including the ex-officio members, the moderator, the rectors, the elected local delegates, the province delegates, and three representatives added up to a grand total of 69.

Commencing with the Holy Eucharist in the relic crypt of the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, the capitulars implored the grace and good counsel of the Holy Spirit. The principal celebrant Father Godfrey D’Souza, Salesian Provincial Mumbai, was assisted by Father Wyman Gonsalves, the Chapter Moderator, Father Charles Anthony who celebrated his birth and Deacon Rudolf D’Souza.

The capitulars then gathered in the auditorium of the Don Bosco Provincial House, beginning the session aided by visual prayer ‘You’ll never walk alone,’ animated by Father Vinod Mascarenhas. The immediate formalities of the roll call and the presidential address by Father D’Souza set the ball rolling.

Interspersing his address with pertinent quotes from St. Pope John XXIII, the convocation letter of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Ángel Fernández Artime and referring to the key topics to be discussed, Father D’Souza invited the capitulars to reflect deeply on the theme ‘What kind of Salesians for the youth of today?’ and prayed that the capitulars may be guided by the Spirit of God, before declaring the Provincial Chapter 2019 officially open.

The Chapter Moderator, Father Wyman Gonsalves presented the evaluation of the previous Provincial Chapter Lines of Action, beginning with the song ‘Why can’t I change’ which inspired him no end during the process of the evaluation collation.

The Guest Speaker for the day, Father Clive Telles, the Chapter Moderator for the PC 2019 of the Salesian Province of Panjim made a reflective presentation inviting the capitulars to “not only work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, rather to be filled with the Holy Spirit, giving up mixed feelings, becoming personally accountable.”

Elaborating with youth feedback visuals gathered from around the Mumbai Province settings, Father Telles dwelt on the element of understanding, the contrasts and the clarion call from the voices across the province. He beseeched the capitulars to “not just begin and work to prepare another document, but instead creatively engage with each other to produce a model of futuristic Salesian work in South Asia.

Thereafter, the capitulars met together in their respective commissions to draw up a timeline of the scheduled programme of work, reflection, and collation following the listening, interpretation and choice model.

Finalising the way ahead, the capitulars vowed to listen, interpret and accompany the youth and lay who say ‘Sir give me this water’, hoping and praying that this PC 2019 may be a revolutionary road to a better Salesian ethos in the western region of India.



Friday, October 12, 2018

BIS #5667 HEALTHY INDIA PROJECT

by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, OCT 11, 2018: Over 150 patients from Ganesh Nagar slum were examined at a free health camp organised by the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), on October 9.

One hundred and three women, thirteen men and fifty children were examined and given medicines free of cost at the camp held under the aegis of a project supported by Urs Schwiete (Switzerland).


Father Rolvin D’Mello, Executive Director – DBDS, visited the medical camp and personally supervised the various activities. Surekha Pednekar, project officer - DBDS, welcomed the doctors and their para-medical staff. Doctor Abhishek Jandade and team examined the patients.

Patients were diagnosed to be suffering from increased sugar levels, high blood pressure, joints pain, fungal infection, common cold, menstrual irregularities, calcium deficiency, gastric problems, skin infections, vision problems etc.

The DBDS staff and volunteers from the slum provided logistical support by providing chairs, tables, and drinking water. They also publicised the camp and managed the crowd.

The doctors suggested that people in the slum need awareness of the management of sugar and blood pressure levels as many patients were observed to be suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.

“Free health camp with free medicines is a great help for poor people like us, we are very grateful to Don Bosco for this service,” Rekha Yadav, a beneficiary of the health camp, said.

Sunil Pandhar, a staff member from DBDS, mobilised people for the health camp and also proposed the vote of thanks.

BIS #5666 MENTAL HEALTH DAY

by Ratandeep Chawla

Mumbai, OCT 11, 2018: Staff from Prafulta Psychological services conducted two interactive, fun-filled sessions on mental health at Tolani College of Commerce, Andheri on Mental Health Day- October 10.

The counselors - Malni, Deepal, Kalyani, Asha headed by Shalu addressed 150 first year Bachelor of Commerce students in the first session, 120 junior college students in the second session. The facilitators first established the importance of mental health and explained its significance as similar to physical health.

During an activity, the students came up with songs and dialogues to distinguish what mental health is and what is not. They came up with ‘Hum Honge Kamyaab’ as a song for mental health and a dialogue like ‘mein tera khoon pee jaoonga’ as against mental health. This activity got them more engaged in the issue, the symptoms of depression and stress. They also spoke about issues like sleep disorders, worrying too much.

The counselors spoke about the five ways to boost mental health, and they explained it as to connect, be active, keep learning, to take notice and to give. When the point of ‘take notice’ was discussed, the facilitator asked them if they had noticed the trees outside the college, to which the students said they had never observed the trees. 

A student said that they are often lost in their own world to connect with people and the world. The session ended with the counselors validating the need that everyone requires help at some point or the other and it is ok to ask for it. They added that it is important for youth to reach out to friends, family, teachers and the college counsellor for further help.

BIS #5665 HEALTH IS WEALTH

by Brother Jittin Mathew and Meena Kini

MUMBAI, OCT 11, 2018: Thirty-eight boys from Bosco Boys Home participated in an educative programme centered around mental health on World Mental Health Day on October 10.

The theme of the programme was ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’. It was organised to spread awareness about the importance of maintaining mental and physical fitness.

Meena Kini, psychologist and counsellor for the boys conducted the session with the help of creative videos on mental health. She first explained what mental health entails, and how it is reflected in one’s daily life. She also highlighted the symptoms, treatment, and interventions in connection with the issue.

Eustace Fernandes, the educational in-charge for the boys, shared with them the example of actress Deepika Padukone, who has spoken about her mental health issues and the depression she faced, on various social media platforms. He emphasised that mental illness can affect any person irrespective of age, gender, economic, and social status.

Kini then conducted a meditative relaxation exercise for the boys. After the relaxation exercise, the boys were asked to draw or write about their experience during the session. Several boys stated they felt very relaxed.

“I felt like I was in a garden, and so I later drew one. I felt like the bright flowers grazing the sun and absorbing sun rays. I felt like some kind of positive energy flowing through me,” Nizam Sheik, one of the participants, said.

 “Holding such sessions frequently would be beneficial to the emotional stability of the boys. It will definitely help the boys to maintain their health and hygiene because we all know health is wealth and only when we take care of our self will we be able to take care of others,” Eula D’sa, a volunteer, said.