Friday, March 27, 2009

DBDS #004 WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATIONS AT YERWADA

Sandeep Kadam PUNE, MARCH 27, 2009: Bosco Samajik Sanstha, Yerwad organized the Women’s Day Celebration on March 19, 2009 at the Don Bosco Campus. About 170 women were present for the event. The programme commenced at 11.00 am with words of welcome and introduction by Mr. Melvin Pangya, Development Office staff, Mumbai. The dignitaries present for the occasion were Fr. Francis Kharjia, Parish Priest; Fr. John Gonsalves, BSS Director; Fr. Prakash Bhalerao, Editor of Niropiya; Advocates Mr. Bajirao Dalvi and Mr. Vijay Bhaskaran; Mr. Melvin Pangya, Programme Coordinator; and Mr. Anirudh Patil, Regional Coordinator, Save the Children, India.
After the lightning of the lamp by the dignitaries and a prayer by Fr. Francis Kharjia, Fr. John Gonsalves spoke in details about the work being done by BSS for the development and empowerment of women in the city of Pune. Next, Advocate Dalvi and Advocate Bhaskaran made a presentation on the different laws in our country that favour women and support their development. Following this presentation, Fr. Prakash spoke on the theme of equality between men and women, especially in our present day society. Speaking next, Mr. Anirudh Patil touched on a variety of topics including unity, cooperation and communication skills. Finally, the vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. Santosh Kale, Development staff from Don Bosco Youth Centre.

Friday, March 13, 2009

DBDS #003 RANG – A FILM FESTIVAL ON CHILD RIGHTS

Leon Ratinam sdb ANDHERI, MARCH 13, 2009: A film festival entitled ‘Rang: Colours of Childhood’, was organized by Balprafulta on March 7 and 8, at its Andheri campus. The festival aimed at creating awareness on the rights of children by highlighting those situations which are barriers to the attainment of these rights. It also sought to sensitize the various stakeholders about the concerns of children and their issues. Millions of children in India are deprived of their childhood and struggle to exist as human beings. The festival tried to educate society about the need of creating child friendly environments which are necessary for the healthy growth and development of every child. The guests of honour for the inaugural function were Advocate Meenakshi Jaiswal, Chairperson of State Commission for Children of Maharashtra; Marathi Poetess Ms. Anagha Dighe and Social Activist Ms. Meena Naik. Balprafulta staff Ms. Nitha Philip and Ms. Mansi Chandorikar introduced the event after which Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Rector, felicitated the guests of honour. Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, Director of Balprafulta welcomed the guests and further explained the rationale behind the festival. The film festival was then formally inaugurated by playing the song ‘Mera Bhi Toh Adhikaar Hai’.The films screened during the festival were ‘Raju and I’, an English film that highlights the issue of Child Rights, Child Labour and Child Abuse; ‘Ye Benakaab Chehare’, a Hindi film that focuses on Child Trafficking; 'Mulichya Jatila He Shobhat Nahi’, a Marathi film that analyzes the discrimination against the Girl Child in almost every household; ‘Lachchi’, a Hindi documentary that showcases the hardships faced by a domestic child worker; ‘Maanja’, a Marathi film that depicts the brutal sexual abuse that child labourers often face; ‘Ek Tha Bachpan’, a Hindi film that looks at the physical, mental and emotional trauma abused children face and how this impacts their entire life.In the discussion that followed the films several critical topics like child labour, abuse of children, discrimination against the girl child, role of education and flaws in the judicial system were highlighted. Those present for the various sessions were highly appreciative of the awareness the films and the discussions created. This is the first time that such a film festival has been organized by Balprafulta. We hope to make this a regular feature in our annual programme since it definitely is an excellent means of furthering the cause of child rights.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

DBDS #002 EMPOWERING RURAL WOMEN IN KAPADVANJ

Isaac Arackaparambil sdbKAPADVANJ, MARCH 10, 2009: Don Bosco Rural Integral Social Training Institute (DRISTI) Kapadvanj had a memorable second annual Woman’s Empowerment Day on March 8, 2009. 650 women from the SHGs established through DRISTI attended this event. Mr. Prakashchandra Christian (Deputy Secretary & Monitoring Officer: Govt. of Gujarat) was the chief guest. He spoke on Woman Power and brought to light facts of gender discrimination against women, with the rider that in actual fact women are the real enemies of woman, not just because of their inactivity in ushering the change needed towards transforming mindsets for upholding the rights of women, but for their proactive role in maintaining the status quo. He encouraged them to take the examples of Pratibha Patil, Sonia Gandhi, Kalpana Chawla, and Mother Theresa in using Women’s Power for change. He informed the women about the Gujarat Governments initiatives for Women’s empowerment and encouraged them to make the best of the opportunities created by Don Bosco in Kapadvanj. It was wonderful to witness the selfless commitment of the Staff, the Vocation centre boys, and the Confreres in executing this day efficiently and successfully.DRISTI had an eventful year under the able experience of its director Fr. Ivan D’Souza who took charge of the development works at Kapadvanj in June 2008 after the legacy was handed to him by the founder and former director Fr. Gregory Almeida. Just two years into its institution, DRISTI currently runs a total of 72 Self Help Groups for women in 36 villages with a total of 1250 members and this shows that the work has picked up with momentum thanks to the types of programmes held this year. These programmes for women empowerment include: Book-writers training, Animal husbandry, Monthly PMIC meetings conducted by NABARD to evaluate the groups, Training for the DRISTI staff, and a SHG picnic to Ambaji and Shamlaji. The efforts of DRISTI towards women’s empowerment have earned the delight of the Indian Bank Manager Mr. Saradva and the Nabard DDM Mr. Gurram at the healthy state of the groups and the competence of the women. Kudos!

Monday, March 9, 2009

DBDS #001 PROMOTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Royal D’Souza KURLA, MARCH 8, 2009: On the occasion of ‘Women’s Day’ the NSS unit of DBIT Kurla organized a Handicraft Exhibition cum Sale on March 6, 2009 at the Don Bosco Campus. Three NGOs and 14 Women’s Self Help Groups participated in this event. The NGOs were National Association for the Blind, Asha Handicrafts and Sanskar Trust, while the Self Help Groups were from the Ghatkopar, Kurla, Vidyavihar and Santacruz area. These SHGs have been formed by the BMC under the SJSRY scheme.The exhibition was inaugurated at 10.30 am in the presence of DBTI Director Fr. Mario Vaz, Principal Dr. Joag and R&D Director Dr. Krishnamurti. Speaking during the inaugural function, Fr. Mario congratulated all the participants and wished them success in their business endeavors. He further said that the entire Don Bosco Educational Campus at Kurla is keen on supporting the SHGs, especially in the field of training. In this regard, he pointed out that so far 87 SHG members have successfully completed the Basic Computer Course, while 96 women have attended the Entrepreneurship Development Programme which was conducted by Don Bosco, Kurla. The exhibition was later patronized by the students of the college. The students visited all the stalls and enthusiastically purchased many of the exhibited items. This gave a great boost to the women who were all smiles at the overwhelming response they received. The exhibition concluded at 5.30 pm, after which the students went home carrying several handicraft items while the women went back carrying plenty of happy memories. The exhibition certainly achieved its aim of enabling the women gain an experience in marketing their products and thereby enhancing their entrepreneurial skills. Building self-reliance is ultimately the best strategy for development.