Friday, November 30, 2018


by Avril Baptista

MUMBAI, NOV 29, 2018: On Sunday, November 24, at the end of the Church’s liturgical year, Saint Dominic Savio parish Wadala east celebrated the Feast of ‘Christ the King’ with a celebratory Eucharist, solemn adoration, and a grand procession of about 1000 people.

Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 with the theme “Pax Christi in regno Christi”, the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ, which signifies that we live in the peace of Christ when we surrender our lives to him every day, accept him as our God, Saviour, and King and allow him to rule our lives. This year’s theme ‘Christ the King of the Universe, King of our Families’ centred on honouring Jesus not just as the universal King, but also as the head of each of our homes and families.

The Holy Eucharist was meaningful as the priests explained the significance of the day. After the morning Holy Masses, adoration was organised in groups, beginning with the Sunday School children and continuing with the various parish communities. At 5 pm, the Blessed Sacrament left the church in a jeep bedecked with flowers, twinkling with fairy lights past a beautifully crafted rangoli.

The procession was led by a cross bearer, followed by children of the Sunday school, women and men of the community, who held banners and flags proclaiming Christ the King. Finally accompanying the jeep were the altar servers and a number of children dressed in white, looking like angels.          

As the procession weaved its way towards the designated stops, the priests of the parish took turns in the jeep holding the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.

In each of the beautifully decorated stops, scriptures were read in English, Konkani, Marathi, and Tamil, hymns were sung by the various choirs and our Lord venerated. The procession concluded with a benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at Saint Anthony’s Chapel.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


by Susan D’Costa

KUWAIT, NOV 28, 2018: Students from standard nine to twelve from the parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Kuwait attended an awareness session, entitled ‘Crossroads’ on November 22, which dealt with issues like peer pressure, choices, problems faced by teenagers.

The session was aimed at making youth aware of the many hurdles they may face as they go out into the world for higher studies either to their homeland or elsewhere, and to ensure that the teens are armed with the knowledge of what difficulties await and how to combat them, in order to feel free, happy and secure. 100 students participated in the programme. 

The event was organised by the Salesian Cooperators of the Kuwait Unit under the guidance of their Rector Father Derrick Misquita, who inaugurated the event by welcoming the students and the speakers.

“Have a nice day, enjoy yourself and don’t forget to thank the Cooperators, the resource persons, and your parents,” Father Misquita said.

Father Lionel Braganza, Principal of the Don Bosco school, addressed the youth, and said,” Run, jump, talk and laugh. If you don’t run, jump, talk and laugh, then you are just like the ordinary human being, just come to occupy space.”

Eminent speakers were invited to address the august gathering. Doctor Navniit Gandhi, enlightened the children on values of true friendship. In her eloquent style, coupled with her long-standing experience as an educator, she brought home the importance of humane experience in every relationship. "You may be having ‘N’ number of friends but only on social media. Befriend people who you trust and have at least one true friend in whom you can confide," Doctor Gandhi said, wishing the children a bright future.

Christopher Pereira, a member of the Salesian Cooperators, introduced creative and innovative methods in choosing one’s career. He put forth the point that nobody can decide for you what you choose to do in life, they may suggest, but at the end of the day, it is up to each one to decide their goal in life.

Joelle Nasr made the teens aware of all the difficulties faced by students moving out to study further in another country. She explained in a very subtle manner the harsh facts that students could face, example food, studies, peer pressure, money issues, and making the right friends who are genuine and care for you.

Father Blany Pinto, the Parish Priest of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church, informed the students how God is important in their lives. “Scripture tells us about how God bonds the communication between us and Him. We sort out our problems by praying to God. Do your best and surrender to God and God will see that you get the best. Give God the first place,” Father Pinto said.

Sam Francis, a member of the Salesian Cooperators brought together a panel of youth who went out of Kuwait for further studies, to share their bad and good experiences. The main points were: make good friends, keep in touch with your family, join youth groups attached to the church, stop eating junk and eat healthy, be in touch with God and Scripture by reading the Holy Bible and attend Sunday mass.

He also put forward very gently the sensitive topic related to ‘Good touch and bad touch’ for both boys and girls.

“This session was very spiritual, encouraging, optimistic and with a depth of knowledge. These sessions really help in various ways and this was the best. Thank you and keep us amazed, ” Sephanie Figueredo, a student of class 11 said.

 “The course helped me to deal with the present problems faced by teens. It has made my ideas on many issues more clear. I will now be able to make better choices at this stage of my life,” Gaynelle Morais from standard 10 said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


by Brother Jittin Mathew and Eustace Fernandes       

MUMBAI, NOV 27, 2018: In a bid to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr.Verghese Kurien, the Father of the Milk Revolution in India, the management and staff of Bosco Boys Home decided to take the boys to the Amul Virar Dairy for an educational-cum-exposure visit on November 24.

Amul Dairy has set up a state of art facility near Virar, which covers 11 acres of lush green land surrounded by mountains and jungles. The Dairy is set up at a total cost of Rupees 180 crore, processing an installed capacity of 1 million litres milk per day, with a provision to expand up to 2 million litres in the near future.

The main work at this plant is to serve the consumers of Mumbai city and its suburbs with fresh milk and milk products. The purpose of this visit was to show the boys the various techniques used in the production and marketing of milk and to make them aware of the importance of milk in daily diet. The resource person for the tour was Sandeep Shah, a representative from the Amul Virar Dairy.

The programme was divided into two parts: the first consisted of animated games conducted by the staff of Amul at the premises of Bosco Boys Home and the second part involved an educational trip to the Virar Dairy of Amul.

“The Amul-Virar Dairy is very unique in its design and its concept. The 50,000 litres per hour integrated milk reception, processing, on-line pasteurization, standardization, and homogenization facility is first of its kind in India. Traffic Management System is used for operations such as conveying of crates, robotic crates, filling of milk pouches from high-speed milk packing machines each packing 160 pouches per minute. There are also on-line check weighers on milk packing lines which are controlled through a centralized computer monitoring system,” Shah said while explaining to the boys the production and working of the Diary plant.

“The automatic pick and place system of milk pouch filling in crates used here is not only the first in India but also in the world. The ice cream plant, one of the largest in India, is fully automated to process 2 lac liters ice cream per day.”

Dorando Camara, the warden for the boys, said, “Educational visits are very important for every student as it provides a clear picture of the product. The objective of this visit was to study and understand the production and operation of Amul Dairy. Amul was formed in the year 1946 and today it goes without saying that Amul is one of the leading food/dairy brands in India. Amul is the pride not only of Gujarat but also of the entire country. It was a great opportunity for the students to visit one of the most renowned dairy industries in India and acquire knowledge about the production line.”

The boys also visited the Dairy museum, which is located on the same campus. The museum has a photo gallery and auditorium. The photo gallery gave glimpses of the genesis of Amul and its growth in a pictorial form. They were also shown a presentation explaining the achievements of Amul and the workings of the pioneers behind brand Amul.

“It was a wonderful and interactive visit, where we understood the production processes, products, and operation of one of the best examples of cooperative achievement in the developing economy. I am so proud to be part of this great family of Amul: The taste of India,” Sujal Kawada, one of the boys, said.


by BIS Correspondent

LONAVALA, NOV 27, 2018: Who is a Salesian? Do we get to play? Will I get to learn any musical instrument? Will I be able to attend Holy Mass every day? Are studies difficult? These are some of the questions that youth face when deciding to join Don Bosco, Lonavla.

On November 24 and 25, the vocation promotion department of the Salesian Province of Mumbai organised a ‘Come and See’ camp at Don Bosco Lonavla for boys from standard seven to ten.

Sixty-one boys participated in the weekend camp, during which they were given an exposure to the Salesian way of life, knowing Don Bosco’s charism and a first-hand experience of staying at Don Bosco Lonavla. The programme helps youth discern their true calling in life.

Seven boys from Don Bosco-Nerul, twenty from Dominic Savio- Andheri, seventeen from Don Bosco-Borivli, two from Don Bosco-Suket, seven from Jyoti Mata church, and youth from other parts of Mumbai attended the camp.

After reaching Don Bosco Lonavla on November 24, Father Valerian Pereira, the Rector welcomed the boys, followed by a house tour. In the afternoon, five aspirants shared their vocation stories and their experience of being in Don Bosco Lonavla. In the evening, the boys joined the aspirants for games.

In his session on vocation discernment, Father McEnroe Lopes shared about responding to God’s call and the process one can follow. Father Ranson D’Souza, the main celebrant at Holy Mass, mentioned in his homily, that nothing happens accidentally and that there is a plan of God in every situation.

The second day began with the Holy Eucharist being celebrated marking the solemnity of Christ the King. In his session, Father Glenford Lowe made the youth share their views on different topics. There were some very inspiring answers especially about miracles experienced and relationship with God.

Father Pereira, in his talk, shared with the youth the inspiring lives of Salesians who remained with Don Bosco and helped him to take the congregation ahead.

The programme was interspersed with inspirational talks, youthful games, cheerful camaraderie, and Salesian priests accompanying the youth with their fatherly love, as they have for generations, in the footsteps of their Founding Father - Don Bosco.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, NOV 23, 2018: Youth from Bosco Boys Home in Borivli participated in Child Rights Week celebration, which was organised by the NGO Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT) which runs the Childline programme in Mumbai on November 22.

The programme was entitled ‘Childline se Dosti’. The boys were first introduced to the staff of Childline by Deacon Romero D’Souza, the Perfect of Studies, who summed up the work of Childline.

Pratibha Yadav, the coordinator from the CCDT, was the resource person for the programme. She took a session for the boys on the issues related to the safety of children and explained in detail the help provided to children through various aid organisations. She also informed the children about Childline.

“Any child in distre
ss or a concerned adult can dial 1098- a toll-free number to access the services of Childline,” Yadav said. Childline staff brought with them few children from the slums of Borivli. Boys from the Home interacted with the other children and shared their stories and experiences. 

Datta Gade from Bosco Boys Home then told the boys about the history of Childline. “Jeroo Billimoria was the one who launched Childline, our country’s first attempt at making street children’s quick access to support, such as police assistance and health care, as easy as dialing a number. Manned by street children themselves, Childline combines 24- hour emergency telephone services with follow-up support to alleviate their distress,” Gade said.

Childline (dial 1098), is a 24-hour toll-free national emergency phone outreach service committed to responding to children in need of care and protection. Childline reaches out to any child who has been deprived of his or her right to a safe childhood.

“This is a good initiative taken by Childline to help children like us from the streets who have no one to care for. May God bless them for their kindness shown towards us,” Karan Wagela, one of the boys from Bosco Boys Home, said.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, NOV 21, 2018: The boys of Bosco Boys Home (BBH) in Borivli celebrated their Diwali vacation this year with an outing to the hill station of Lonavla from November 12 to 20.

The trip was organised by the Salesians keeping in mind the positive change and the therapeutic healing brought by the peaceful and hygienic climate of Lonavla. The boys were accompanied by the staff, on the nine-day trip.

The youth were hosted by the house of Maria Ashiana, Lonavla. During the visit, they participated in outings, activities, sessions, games, and housie. The boys started their trip with an educational tour of Don Bosco School, Lonavla, followed by visits to Tungarli dam and Valvan dam.

They visited a garden where they witnessed the conservation technique of the mighty Mahseer, a breed of fish breeding only in Lonavla. The boys exhibited good sportsmanship during the animated tournaments like Malaysian cricket with the Maria Ashiana boys, rink football with the Aspirants and carrom tournaments with the staff. They went hiking and trekking to Bushi dam soaking in the scenic beauty of Lonavla along the way.

The young lads learnt about the lifestyle of the other orphans like themselves, from their visits to the Kune mission centre and Auxillium Convent orphanage and school for the girls run by the Salesian Sisters. The boys also visited the Lonavla Church and met the parish priest.

The youngsters were hosted by a school run by a past pupil of Don Bosco, Lonavla, where the boys sang songs, played country games, and danced. They were treated with snacks and return gifts. The BBH boys were also taken to a drug de-addiction centre run by the NGO Jeevan Dhara where the boys were educated about the ill-effects of drug use.

Father Xavier Devadas, in-charge of Maria Ashiana, also took a session evaluating their present situation in life, the life they lived before joining Bosco Boys Home and the life which they can have if they utilise the opportunities which they get at the Home to its maximum. The visit concluded with a campfire and prize distribution ceremony.

“The boys are very well behaved and I was happy to keep them here, I had no trouble whatsoever from them. I hope they had learned as well as had fun. They are welcome to come again anytime they want,” Father Devadas, said.

“I enjoyed the camp and the calm and pleasant climate of Lonavla especially the walks which we had in the evenings. I thank the management and staff for arranging this outing for us,” Ganesh Shinde, one of the boys, said.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, NOV 19, 2018: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) celebrated Children’s Day with 450 poor children from the slums of Mumbai on November 17.

The children were sons and daughters of the women from the self-help groups – who are beneficiaries of the DBDS Slum Project. The children were treated to games and fun, attractive prizes, sumptuous meals and dances.

Father Rolvin D’Mello, Executive Director – DBDS, welcomed the gathering and dignitaries, namely Doctor Suhani Mendonca, Jayesh Chandan, Kailash Parekh, and Father Glenford Lowe, Rector of Don Bosco Provincial House.

In his address, Father D’Mello thanked Doctor Mendonca for sponsoring the breakfast and the Past-pupils unit of Matunga for sponsoring the lunch for the children.

“Today we are celebrating Children’s Day and we are committed to giving these children the best – so that they have a wonderful day,” Surekha Pednekar, project officer – DBDS, said.

In the post-lunch session, the youth presented a cultural performance that included dances. The celebrations ended with a gift for every child. “We really had a time of our life today; it was so much fun to be here – we are grateful to DBDS,” Vikas Mishra from standard seve
n, said.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


by Brother Sheldon Dias

THE GAMBIA, NOV 15, 2018: The Salesians of Don Bosco are known for their service to the youth and poorest of the poor around the world. The Congregation on October 28, made its presence felt in yet another country, by setting up base in the African nation of The Gambia, which is now the 136th nation to have a Salesian influence.

Father Peter from Poland, Father Carlos from Peru, Father Peace from Nigeria, and Brother Sheldon from India are based in the Gambia and form an intercontinental community.

The mission is a joint venture between the AFO & AFW provinces. The mission centre is in Kunkujang  Mariama. It has a nursery, lower and upper basic school as well as a senior high school. Besides, it has a parish with 22 outstations.

The modern-day Gambia was part of the Mali and Song High Empires. The first written records of the region come from the records of Arab traders in the 9th and 10th century A.D. The country was rich and blessed with many natural resources.

A  North African scholar and traveler visited the Gambia in 1352, and described the land, saying, “they possess some admiral qualities, there is complete security in the country, and neither traveler nor inhabitant in it has anything to fear from robbers and men of violence.”

In the 16 century, the area began to suffer from continuous looting and invasions. By the end of the century, as the raids continued the empire collapsed and was conquered and claimed by Portugal.

In 1588, English merchants purchased exclusive right to trade between the river of Senegal and Gambia for a period of 10 years. As many as three million slaves may have been taken from the region during the Atlantic Slave trade Operation.

It is not known how many slaves were taken by Arab traders before the slave trade. Most of those taken were sold to European nations by other African nations, some were prisoners of inter-tribal wars, some were sold for unpaid debts, while others were kidnapped. 

The Gambia got independence on February 18, 1965. On April 24, 1970, it became a Republic. At present, it has the highest level of illegal immigration in West Africa.

The Salesians of Don Bosco in the Gambia are assessing the situation of children and youth and are getting familiar with the local culture and people. They want to create a model centre for education – formal and non-formal, a centre of spiritual animation, and a place where the young will feel at home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, NOV 13, 2018: Though Children’s Day falls on November 14, Shelter Don Bosco Wadala, Mumbai celebrated Children’s Day on November 11 with the theme "प्रकाशमय बनो" (Be a light), on a grand scale.

Four hundred participants from varied Youth at Risk (YaR) centres across Mumbai attended the celebration. They
included youth, staff, volunteers, priests, benefactors, and other guests. 

The children were given a scorecard for playing different fete games that were arranged in 14 stalls. Besides the game stalls, hair colouring, face painting, tattoos, and sheet colouring activities were also held.

After the games, the inauguration function began at 11 am. It included a welcome song, dance, a welcome message by Father Gregory D'Almeida, Director of Shelter and an address by the Guest of Honour, Guru Gaurav Sharma, an acclaimed martial arts exponent and also India's first Spiderman, a title he earned after his reputation for climbing skyscrapers.

A drama on the theme "प्रकाशमय बनो" followed. The message urged youth to find their hidden talent, mould and nurture it. After the inauguration programme, the children danced to the tunes of the latest Bollywood songs that were played all day. Lunch was served at 1:15 pm.

After lunch, the children had a talent competition, wherein they displayed their singing and dancing talent in group and solo performances. This was followed by a cultural programme, in which children presented different performances based on different cultures and traditions giving out a social message of unity in diversity.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Deacon Rudolf D’souza, followed by a prize distribution ceremony.

Monday, November 12, 2018


by Father Joaquim Fernandes

MUMBAI, NOV 12, 2018: The Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated the jubilees  of the Ordination and Religious Profession of thirteen priests at the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga, Mumbai on November 10.

Father Boniface D’Souza, who celebrated his Diamond Jubilee of Religious Profession and Golden Jubilee of Ordination celebrated Holy Mass along with Father Godfrey D’Souza, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai and other jubilarians. Also present were their families, friends, and the Salesian fraternity.

The priests celebrating their jubilees were : Father John Samala, Golden Jubilee of Ordination, Father Mario Vaz, Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession, Fathers Allwyn Misquitta, Ashley Miranda, Barnabe D’Souza, Derrick Misquitta, James Nigrel, and Jeffrey Fernandes, Silver Jubilee of Ordination, and Fathers George Miranda, Ranald Lopes, Vinod Mascarenhas, and Wyman Gonsalves, Silver Jubilee of Religious Profession.

“We need to be witnesses to the commitment and fidelity of God’s love for the young. Thank you, dear and loving God, for this life of love I have been given for the past 25, 50 and 60 years living as a priest or as a Salesian of Don Bosco. Today we count the blessing which the Lord has showered on each one of us. The blessing of our Salesian vocation, Salesian communities, family, and friends and our Salesian apostolate to lead us in holiness and to be signs and bearers of God’s love to the marginalised young,” Father Mario Vaz, said in his homily. “The Lord has enabled us to be instruments of His love and the stewards of his mercy. He chose us to bear lasting fruits (Jn 15:16).”

Salesian Provincial Father Godfrey D’Souza during the felicitation programme thanked the jubilarians for their commitment and dedication and answering God’s call to serve the young the Don Bosco way. “We are reminded that jubilees are milestones on the journey of life and our jubilarians serve as reminders of God’s fidelity all through. They have by their very lives tried to spread the fragrance of God’s love, compassion, mercy, joy, and healing to the people in the various places and communities they have ministered."

"Every person has a vocation, a call from God, a call to holiness. The challenge is to identify your call, which is very personal to each one of you. The Holy Father asked priests to contemplate two hearts: the heart of the Good Shepherd who reaches out to us, above all to those who are most distant,” Father Godfrey D’Souza, said. He then presented the citation to each of the jubilarians.

Congratulations to all the jubilarians, who have devotedly served God and His people. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


by Brother Jittin Mathew and Eustace Fernandes

MUMBAI, NOV 6, 2018: Staff and students of Bosco Boys Home, Borivli attended an awareness session on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), which was conducted by Tejashri Shinde and Kshir Sagar, the Police Sub Inspectors (PSI) of MHB Colony, Police Station on November 3. 

Father Corlis Gonsalves, the Director of the Institute, welcomed the speakers and thanked them for their kind initiative and service offered. The session was organised to make the children and staff aware of the help offered to them by the law to ensure the young feel free, happy and secure.

Father Gonsalves, while introducing the resource persons, said, “They have not come to this place to scare us but have come here to share their knowledge on the sensitive topic related to ‘Good touch and bad touch’ and in the coming years they will give their full support towards helping and empowering our boys.”

The session began with PSI Shinde explaining to the children about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). The act was established to protect children against offenses like sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and pornography. It was formed to provide a child-friendly system for trial under which the perpetrators could be punished.

The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age. It also makes provisions for avoiding the re-victimization of the child at the hands of the judicial system. In her talk, she explained to the children about good touch and bad touch and to be open and share their problems without any fear to their friends, staff or the management.
PSI Shinde encouraged children not to hide things but to go for regular counselling to the in-house counsellor. She also spoke to the children about their inner circle, namely their parents, grandparents, guardians, close friends, and teachers and the outer circle which includes strangers.

 “When we go through any problems or bad situation in life, we can share it with our inner circle or you can contact or phone police 100 and 1098 (Childline) who will come to help you in an emergency,” PSI Shinde, said.

She emphasised to the children that the law and the police are always ready to help them from danger but also stressed that if they are caught lying, then they are also liable for punishment. She even mentioned that children under 7 years are not treated as criminal due to their immaturity but children between 7-12 years, if found to commit an offense may be treated as a criminal, if established that they had the maturity to understand the consequences of their action.

PSI Shinde told the children to be good and not to steal, lie, fight or swear. “You children are very important. We love you and care for you. You should not be scared of the police. We are here to protect and guide you. Since you are the future of our society, it is our moral responsibility to help you grow in all aspects of life. As children you should develop good habits and moral values which will enable you to become good responsible citizens of the society,” PSI Shinde, said.

“This session opened my eyes and also made me little scared. Now I will think twice before doing any wrong things. I will be a good boy,” Daniel Rodrigues, a student-participant, said. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018


by Rosy Stephen

LONAVLA, NOV 2, 2018: With social media wrestling with the minds of impressionable youth, coxing them into making decisions, be it professional or personal, there’s a need – more than ever before – to guide the youth into making educated decisions about their future. 

The management of Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Lonavla organised a special programme entitled ‘Education to Love’ for 120 students of standard 12 to help inform them about the very concept of love.

Father Stephen Fernandes and Unita Doulton were the resource persons for the programme that tackled issues like sex, sex reserved for marriage, human sexuality including emotional relations and responsibilities, the age of consent and reproductive rights. The issues it is hoped would build a strong foundation for lifelong sexual health and would help the youth assume responsibility for their own behaviour and to respect the rights of others.

As the sessions got more interactive, students got more involved through purposeful debates and question-answer sessions. The students used the programme to clarify their doubts without any inhibitions.


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, NOV 2, 2018: Don Bosco Kurla’s St Joseph Industrial Training Institute joined forces with Motul - Atlantic Lubricants and Specialties (ALSI) to set up a two-wheeler centre for learning across an 1100 square feet area on October 30. 

The venture will teach youth to be proficient, tactful and develop their finesse in the two-wheeler mechanic industry. The training will take place over a year and will include on-the-job training at two-wheeler authorized service centres across Mumbai and its suburbs.

Jiten Goswami, Chairman ALSI, Pritam Goswami, Head of Marketing ALSI, Sandeep Bhat, Director ALSI, Ashwin Balwally, Country Head India Motul were present at the inauguration ceremony. Rector Director, Father Colbert da Silva welcomed the gathering and expressed his gratitude for the new partnership.

Goswami then congratulated Don Bosco for initiating Motul Centre for Learning. He was impressed with the enthusiasm of the trainees to become skilled technicians and entrepreneurs with their own service stations.

Balwally then spoke about the history of Motul and familiarised the assembly with Motul School of Learning in France. He thanked the Don Bosco management for being zealous and executing Motul’s dream of instituting a similar Centre for Learning in India. He further revealed his desire of certifying the trainees and trainers of Motul Centre for Learning in India by Motul School of Learning in France. 


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, NOV 1, 2018: Two hundred and seventy students from various slums in Mumbai - who participated in skill-based training provided by Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) - attended their Graduation Day on October 3 at the Don Bosco campus in Matunga.

Don Bosco Development Society succeeded in its efforts of empowering students in varied fields like spoken English, basic computers, tally, beauty culture (hair and skin) and tailoring. The courses were conducted from July 2018 to October

2018. Each course was for two to three months in duration and was designed to help students earn a livelihood.

The programme began with a small DBDS video presentation in the Bianchi Hall at the Don Bosco International School. Nishant Kumar, corporate social responsibility manager, Mahanagar Gas Limited was the chief guest. He encouraged the students with his motivational speech where he emphasised on using the skills that they have learned.

Asmita Bhosale, the assistant commissioner of police, expressed her joy in seeing so many women being empowered through these skills. She further added the need for being responsible citizens and how especially the youth ought to be more responsible on social media.

“Thanks to DBDS, I was able to learn to tailor completely free of cost. Today, it had helped me to start a small tailoring shop near my home,” Samiksha Jadhav, a student, said. The programme ended with a short entertainment and cultural show put up by the students. It also included a display of the various traits acquired by them during their training period.