Saturday, August 29, 2009

DBDS #035 RETURNING TO THE VILLAGE, REVIVING THE GRAM SABHA

Gregory Almeida sdb
KAWANT, AUGUST 29, 2009:
August 27, 2009, marked a major event for Don Bosco Kawant, as the students of Standard IX visited Singalda village to witness a Gram Sabha LIVE!

Before visiting the village, the students were briefed about the importance and purpose of Gram Sabhas through two short videos dealing with the benefits of attending Gram Sabhas and the practical problems that people face while participating in them.

The students were welcomed by the Sarpanch and Talati of the village, and were given a place of honour at the very front of the gathering! As the meeting progressed, it was obvious that the officials were making a special effort to conduct the proceedings properly and answer people’s questions, even if it was only an attempt to leave a good impression on the children! The people of the village were also happy to have the students in their midst, and this strengthened their resolve to participate actively in future programmes.
At the meeting, the students were able to put all their classroom knowledge of Panchayat systems into perspective, as they witnessed first-hand the way in which government systems function in the villages. The experience helped them understand that although many factors prevent people from claming their rights, they can move towards empowerment by insisting on participating in Panchayati Raj institutions.

With the Governance Project taking shape in our province through a focus on the NREG and Panchayati Raj, this visit helped the students realize that it is their turn to return to their villages and participate in programmes such as the Gram Sabha. While many students leave the village after completing their studies, today’s experience helped the children understand that proper guidance, organized strength and leadership can also enable people in the rural areas to live a dignified life.
Attending the Gram Sabha reminded these future leaders of their responsibility towards their villages. The entire experience recalled the story of the film ‘Swades’, wherein the educated hero returns to his village to lead his people to a just form of development. And at Don Bosco Kawant, the time has come for our young people to return to the villages to bring about a CHANGE FOR BETTER LIVING.

DBDS #034 EMPOWERMENT BEGINS THROUGH GRAM SABHAS

Gregory Almeida
27th August 2009, Kawant


For the first time in the history of Don Bosco Kawant, development has taken a new shape—empowerment through Gram Sabhas.


A couple of months ago while reading the newspaper, I came across the shocking news that Kawant is the most backward taluka in the state of Gujarat. How could this be possible? We have been working in this area for more than 25 years. Where has the development work gone? Were the facts and figures mentioned in the newspaper correct? These questions pushed me to look at the latest website regarding the Gujarat government’s tribal development programmes. I was once again surprised to find that it had no information about Kawant taluka. Most of the funds allotted for tribal development are being used for security training.


This year, Don Bosco Development Society has initiated a project called the Community Ownership of Governance Initiative. The aim of this project is to enable rural communities to participate fully in local self governance and thereby access the institutions and policies that are meant to serve them. And these policies can be effective only when people participate in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Gram Sabhas. The Gram Sabha is a useful platform for people to voice their concerns and mobilize their resources for the development of their villages.


During the last month, I was happy to witness Gram Sabhas in a few villages in Kawant taluka. The main objective of these Sabhas is People’s Empowerment. They are an opportunity for the poor and the marginalized to rise up economically, socially and politically. It’s a place where they can ask for information on various programmes and schemes, and review the ongoing works in their village.


We are now adopting an approach which enables people to realize that it is their right to get the State support that they need to improve their life. The awareness of different programmes and schemes could be the starting point to bringing a major change in their lives. Youngsters in the villages can be motivated and trained to become capable talatis, sarpanchs and mamlatdars who will implement these programmes and schemes correctly. Right leadership with a proper value system is the key to change in the villages.


I have few suggestions for those interested in such an approach:
1. Acquire total knowledge of the issue or programme in question. This is crucial because the officials in these areas exploit the fact that most people are uneducated; even the talatis and the sarpanchs do not completely understand these programmes and are not interested in implementing them.

2. Encourage educated people to take part in the Gram Sabhas. This includes individuals such as teachers in the village school and rural health workers.

3. Ensure total involvement of the people. Make sure that people are informed about their Gram Sabhas at least 15 days in advance and are prepared through role plays, discussions and other methods.

4. Check the implementation of resolutions. Every ‘tharaav’ passed in the Gram Sabha should be followed up at the village, taluka and district levels.

5. School children should be taught about Gram Sabhas. These children are the future leaders of the village, the ones who can guide the better implementation of village programmes. Prepare them to be talatis and mamlatdars and local leaders.

6. Clarify the role of the organization. The organization’s function should be that of animating and guiding the people, creating awareness about their rights and duties, and enabling them to secure their dues.

7. Teach youngsters in the village to access and disseminate information. Young people can be taught how to use computers and study various schemes that can be implemented in their area.

8. Focus on building unity in the community. This is necessary to get any resolution passed and carried out.

I believe the best is yet to come, wherein all the people begin to realize the importance of Gram Sabhas as a tool for Empowerment and Development.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

DBDS #033 SHG …. ONE STEP TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT

Melvin Pangya
BORIVLI, AUGUST 21, 2009:
Bosco Yuva Sanghatana, Borivli organized a three days training program on Self Help Groups for the poor and marginalized women from Shivaji Nagar. Thirty five women from Gouri Nagar, Shivaji Nagar and Sai Dham slums attended this training programme.

The training began with the lighting of the lamp by Fr. Anaclete D’mello and Fr. Anthony Santarita. Mr. Melvin Pangya introduced brief the organization and its various initiatives in the province. He mentioned that the organization not only works in urban but also to reaches out to the poor and marginalized groups in the tribal areas. Fr. Anaclete, in his address encouraged the women and said that It was indeed commendable that women from Shivaji Nagar came together to learn about Self Help Groups. He added that the organization is ready to expand the support not only women but also wants to reach out to youth and children of the area.
The session began with the introduction of the participants by way of an ice breaker. The women actively participated in the training. Societal analysis, concepts and importance of SHG’s and how to conduct meetings were the areas that were touched upon in the training.
Mrs. Anju Limbachiya one of the participants expressed her gratitude and said that the training served as an eye opener. The participants have assured that they would willingly work under the guidance of the organization. The training helped to clarify their many doubts related to SHG’s. The training ended with the song “Hum Honge Kamyab”.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

DBDS #032 DBDS WORKING TOWARDS WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, AUGUST 19, 2009: The scorching heat of the Mumbai sun and the dusty air did not deter the spirits of the women from the slums of Dharavi who had gathered on the afternoon of August 17, 2009 at the Ekvira Mitra Mandal community centre for the inaugural tailoring class.
“Aaj class ka pehla din hain”, chirped Laxmi, a housewife from Dharavi. She and her friends were visibly enthusiastic about their first day at the class. Other than the sixty women who had gathered at the community centre, Fr. Savio Silveira, Mr. Jairam Chowgule from Ekvira Mitra Mandal, Mr. Vijay Rajput, Mr. Sunil Katkar and Mr. Manish Daliya from Vijay Apparels; Mr. Arun Birade from the Apparel Training and Designing Centre were present for the inauguration ceremony.
Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Mumbai Development office delivered the welcome address after which floral tributes were presented to the guests. The afternoon saw the women students perform an aarti for the machines while the breaking of the coconut to ward off evil followed. In her introductory address Ms. Pednekar mentioned the keen interest of these women to learn tailoring. The women wanted to contribute to their partners earnings so that their children would be able to have a better education.
Fr. Savio, in his address mentioned that only screaming and shouting slogans for women empowerment on Women’s Day is not enough. He added that they needed to move ahead by developing skills. Mr. Chowgule from Ekvira Mitra Mandal gave a simple yet interesting example about a vehicle with two wheels. He compared the vehicle with life and the two wheels to a husband and a wife. In order that the vehicle should function well both the wheels need to be in balance. In the same way, even a husband and wife need to support each other. If the wife develops her skills and contributes to the income of the family, the whole family will benefit. Apart from the tailoring course Don Bosco Development Society also trains for basic computer skills and spoken English at the same community centre at Dharavi which benefits youth and children from the surrounding locality.

After the tailoring course jobs will be provided to these women by Raj Apparels. Visits to factories will also be arranged as the course progresses. These classes will be held regularly for the next two months. It is commendable to see these women balance out their household chores and their regular classes. Don Bosco Development Society is surely heading towards Saksham- women empowerment in all fields.

DBDS #031 TRIBAL RIGHTS RALLY

Subhash Shirsath
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 18, 2009: S. F. School ground, at Chhotaudepur
was abuzz with activity on August 4, 2009, as more than fifteen thousand tribals gathered for the Rally and Jahir Sabha for Tribal Rights of Forest Land and Forest Assets under Forest Act of 2006 organised by the Adhivasi Mahasabha, Gujarat on World tribal Day. Apart from the tribals, 39 NGO partner- members of Adhivasi Mahasabha from Vadodara, Dahod and Panchmahals districts, 69 Van Adhikari Samitee members and tribal farmers from villages of Jambughoda and Halol talukas participated in this rally.

In this rally, the tribal people were seen with banners, posters and shouting slogans. A sharing session at the rally brought out the grievances the young and old faced with the forest department. After which the Adhivasi Mahasabha’s team members made the people aware of their rights.


Fr. Xavier, who has been working for tribal development for the last 20 years, was the resource person for the day. Drawing from his long and rich experience in this movement, he shared several interesting issues with the people. He emphasized the need of coming together and fighting back to tackle common problems. Fr. Xavier finalized 14 issues of forest land farming and land issues of 10,000 tribal farmers which have been submitted to the Regional Collector.The rally ended with the traditional performance of a tribal dance.

DBDS #030 NARUKOT YOUTH LEARN NEW SKILL

Subhash Shirsath
NARUKOT, AUGUST 18, 2009: A workshop on Hand Pump Repairing was organized by Don Bosco Education Society, Narukot in collaboration with Gujarat Jal-seva Talim Kendra, Gandhinagar, from July 28 to July 30, 2009. This workshop was specially designed forthe youth of Jambhughoda Taluka .

Mr. G. K. Chug, Chief Executive Training Officer- GJTI and Fr. Brian Boothello, Vice Rector Narukot Education Society were among others who inaugurated workshop. Mr. G. K. Chug motivated the youth to change their attitude of callousness and take the initiative to protect public property.

The first day of training the participants learnt the basic set up and expansion of their own enterprises using their newly-acquired skills, handpump cleaning and care, tools of handpump repairing and methods of handpump installation. The next day of the training, the participants had indoor practical sessions of installing hand pumps. After which, all trainees were divided into three groups through which they repaired seven hand pumps in Jambughoda, Narukot and Jhaban villages. On the last day of the workshop, three hand pumps were repaired in Narukot village.

In conclusion a valediction programme was organized wherein the participants received certificates and reading material. The participants agree to take their newly acquired skill forward by repairing the hand pumps of their own village. 55 youth from 25 villages have benefitted from this workshop. Considering that hand pumps are a necessity in every village, the course will enable the young people to maintain the assets of their village and build a sustainable livelihood for themselves.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DBDS #029 DB TECH MUMBAI HOLDS MEETING AT DBCL

Anand Raj
MUMBAI, AUGUST 14, 2009: Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL), Kurla, organized the meeting of Principals of the Technical Training Institutes in the Mumbai Province on August 13, 2009. The meeting began with a prayer song, after which Fr. Adolph Furtado, Director of DBCL welcomed all the participants. In the first session of the day Fr. Savio Silveira made a presentation on the emerging trends in the Indian economy and their impact on youth. He spoke about the growth that India is witnessing in the manufacturing and service sectors, the demographic dividend that India enjoys, and the skills gap that the country is facing. He further went on to explain the National Policy on Skills Development and the role that DB Tech India wished to play in the national skills mission.

In the next session Mr. Amar Patinkond, Principal of St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute oriented the participants on the Modular Employable Skills (MES) programme. He explained the salient features of the scheme and emphasized the importance of this programme in the skill development sector today. He presented a few concepts and ideas involved in delivering quality training to the young through these short-term programmes.

During the post-lunch session, Mr. Soman, Principal of Don Bosco Maritime Academy explained the role that DBCL would play in the monitoring and evaluation of the Technical Institutes in the province. Drawing from his experience, he elaborated the responsibility of each institute in the province in promoting quality and need based technical education. In the discussion that followed, all the participants were in consensus to treat the following areas with top priority: attention to improve quality in the training, need for taking up short term courses with government linkages, scaling up the number of students, strategies for sustainability of programmes and better-coordinated placement services. The meeting concluded on an enthusiastic note with the participants expressing their resolve to take the skills development sector in the province to new heights.

Monday, August 17, 2009

DBDS #028 WORKSHOPS AT R&D

Sangmitra Shirodkar

MUMBAI, AUGUST 14, 2009: The Shelter Don Bosco Research Centre (R&D), Matunga conducted workshops between August 10 and 13, 2009. Three major workshops were held on Basic Research Techniques for Co-ordinators/ Social Workers, Critical Field Reflection/ Analysis for Field workers and Advanced Practices of SPSS (Quantitative) and NVivo (Qualitative) Packages. The workshops were excellently executed by Dr. Bipasha Biswas, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, St. Louis, Missouri (USA).


The staff members from Balprafulta, Development Office, Shelter Don Bosco and the R&D participated in these different workshops and had a lot to contribute as well as learn in the interactive sessions. Dr. Biswas gave an insightful orientation to the Micro system that social work is done in. She provided that work done even with individuals has to be referred to in the Meso system, the Exo and the Macro system. The workshops dealt with deisgning and managing small scale immediate field studies. It helped field workers to critically analyze their field interventions, reflect on their cases during report writing and consequently bring more effective inputs to their reports and the organizations’ interventions.


The three workshops were aptly culminated with field visits and meetings with groups from the various community sites of the displaced populations the R&D has been involved with. An enriching experience through which the participants understood that work interventions need to be more effective and focused.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

DBDS #027 WORKSHOP ON NREGA AND PANCHAYATI RAJ INSTITUTIONS

Melvin Pangya WALVANDA, AUGUST 13, 2009: Bosco Yuva Sanghatana organized a three days residential workshop for the Grampanchayat Members on August 7- 9, 2009 at Walvanda centre, Jawhar on the Importance of NREGA and Role of Panchayati Raj Institutions. The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the Gram Panchayat members to implement the NREGA Act at the village level and allow the participants to have a better understanding about the Local Self Government. Forty three participants attended and participated in the workshop.

The inauguration of the workshop began with the traditional lightening of the lamp by the Sarpanch, Mrs. Sunanda Laxman Geval and other Panchayat members. The resource person from SPARSH- Center for participatory learning gave inputs on perspectives of Development and Poverty. The session was focused on explaining the NREGA Act: its main features, different formats, the administrative structures to lodge complaints. It also dealt with the role of GramPanchayat and importance of Gram Sabhas. The session was well executed and the participants visibly had their doubts cleared.

In the end Fr. Anaclete D’mello addressed the panchayat members and spoke about the role of the members in creating awareness. He also perceived that each family should have a Job card. He mentioned that there should be more participation from women to be present at the Gramsabha and demand for the work.

The Panchayat members were encouraged and enlightened about this workshop. Mr Mahadu Khirari, Sarpanch from Aase expressed that the workshop really helped them to understand the role of Gram panchayat in the village development. Participants pledged to take active part in awareness building.

The workshop ended with the lighting of the candle by each participant- a sign of spreading awareness in tune with the song “Hum Honge Kamyab”.

DBDS #026 UNDERSTANDING THE NREGA AT KAWANT

Gregory Almeida sdb
KAWANT, AUGUST 13, 2009: For 145 SHG leaders and community members from the villages of Kawant, August 12, marked one of the first achievements in their efforts to secure their rights under the NREGA. The programme, organized by the DISHA social work team, began with a screening of a film explaining the Act and its implementation. This was followed by a short session in which Fr. Gregory, the director of the DISHA team, introduced the objectives of the day’s programme and encouraged people to participate actively and share their experiences.
The Chief Guest for the day was Mr. Manish Patel, the Deputy Programme Officer for the NREGA from the District Rural Development Agency, Vadodara.The next session comprised a set of case studies, in which people from various villages presented the status of the NREGA in their area and the problems that they face in securing work and wages under this Act. It was encouraging to see that some people had come prepared with their questions and did not hesitate to speak confidently to the Programme Officer.


In the last session, Mr. Patel addressed the questions raised by the people and suggested solutions that they can use to claim their rights. He also made immediate note of two cases and assured the complainants that he would take up the issue with the concerned authorities. He then went on to explain some of the processes involved in the implementation of the Act, such as the appointment of supervisors at the village level, the opening of accounts and the release of funds at the District, State and Block levels.At the end of the programme, the participants came away with a sense that it is possible to make the government machinery function the way it should. The DISHA staff also gained a better understanding of this law and how they can enable people to use it effectively.

DBDS #025 INUAGURATION OF EMPOWERMENT CENTRE

Melvin Pangya

MUMBAI, AUGUST 12, 2009: The afternoon of August 11, 2009, saw the collaboration of Jan Shikshan Sanstha and Babali Pada Rahivashi Seva Sangha with Bosco Yuva Sanghatana with an objective of empowering women from the slum area of Babali Pada. More than fifty enthusiastic women gathered for the inauguration at the Empowerment Centre which will conduct a full fledged practical training in the field of tailoring. Fr. Anaclete D’mello graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The inaugural function commenced with the welcoming of guests by a traditional aarti. The opening address was delivered by Mr. Gajanan Gavade who introduced the chief guest and the other honorable guests. He stated the goals of the organization which focuses on empowering the marginalized women by making them independent. Mr. Melvin Pangya briefed the participants on the merits of the organization and its various initiatives in the filed of social development. He categorically mentioned that the organization intends to work not only with women but also the marginalized youth in our society.

One of the participants Mrs. Manisha Bamane took the opportunity to thank the organization for its dignified work in the field of women empowerment. She also mentioned that the local Mandal has done comendable work by collaborating with Don Bosco.In his address Fr. Anaclete thanked the local mandal for giving the opportunity to work with them. He further elaborated on the spectrum of opportunities that lies not only within the slums of Mumbai but also with the tribal’s of Thane District. One of the programmes in the pipeline is a course for the unemployed youth in spoken English, Computer Education and Life Skills.

Mr. Dayanand Patil, a Development Office staff member reiterated the eagerness of the committee in ensuring success of this programme by mobilizing the local mandals. The programme concluded with the vote of thanks to all its members.

DBDS #024 DESIRES TO DREAMS

Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, AUGUST 11, 2009: It all began when a few teenage girls from the slums of Vadala, Kings Circle and Matungas Labour Camp approached the field workers of Don Bosco Development Society and expressed their desire to learn a basic skill that would help them run their households and benefit them in the long run. The girls, all between the ages of 15- 23 years, most of who were school drop outs or married at an early age showed eager interest in making good use of their free time which was otherwise whiled away at home.

Don Bosco Development Society, therefore, took a step ahead and initiated a basic Beautician and Tailoring course in collaboration with Janshikshan Sanstha from Dharavi, which was inaugurated on August 7, 2009, at the Maschio Centre, Matunga in the presence of Frs. Edwin D’souza and Savio Silveira. A total of 15 girls have enrolled for the Tailoring course while 17 girls have enrolled for the Beautician course. Janshikshan Sanstha has provided two female facilitators for the both the courses.



The inauguration was held in a very traditional way. In true Indian style by the breaking of the coconut all evil was warded off, the ribbon was cut and the aarti conducted by one of the students. The welcome address was delivered by Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Mumbai Development Office in which she spoke about the actual motto of starting off with these courses. Fr. Edwin D’souza in his address was ever welcoming for any sort of help required. He also mentioned that the space provided should be utilized well and efforts put in should show fruits. Fr. Savio Silveira added that this would be a new beginning for the girls and that they should take one step at a time to achieve greater heights.


The inauguration ceremony paved the way for the first class which was held on the same evening. The girls showed keen interest. Surely, this venture which will last for two months will prove beneficial for them in the long run to provide for themselves and their families. A new beginning that sparked off as a desire will eventually lead to fulfillment of their dreams.

DBDS #023 DBVPK WORKING TOWARDS WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

CHINCHWAD, AUGUST 10, 2009: Don Bosco Vyawasaik Prashikshan Kendra (DBVPK), Chinchwad & Central Board Workers Education (CBWE) conducted a workshop on August 1- 2, 2009 for women empowerment. The workshop was based on general information about physical health, Income Generation & Self Help Groups, Banking & Savings, Personal Development and Hygiene through Yoga. Around 40 women aged 22 - 45 participated in the training.
The welcome address was delivered by Fr. Jeffery Fernandez, Principal DBVPK and Mr. Jagtap, Education Officer CBWE. Ms. Bhuvaneshwari, AGM Syndicate Bank who was present for the training praised the efforts of the institution in reaching out to the poor and needy by conducting such workshops. Information regarding Nutrition and TB were given by Mr. Suresh, Asst. Manager D.O.T. Certificates and a sum of Rs. 150/- sponsored by CBWE were given to all the 40 women who participated in the training programme. The Vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Anthony D’cunha of DBVPK.
Prior to the workshop DBVPK’s Community women visited ISHWARI an NGO located at Phulgaon, Pune on July 30, 2009 along with Sr. Rozella and Mrs. Meenani from Mumbai.
The objective was to collaborate with other institutions working towards a similar Goal, to provide education to children in remote /rural area around Pune and to support deserted women & children. The Project targets areas like IIMT Project, Pre Primary Schools; Teacher’s Training, Home for deserted children and ISHWARI Center.
DBVPK is looking forward to work mutually with ISHWARI. More over a week long training programme in the month of August is also on the agenda.

DBDS #022 ANOTHER STEP FORWARD WITH THE NREGA

Lyra Pinto

CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 10, 2009: Listening, learning and planning—August 8, 2009 was a day for all these at Lok Seva Kendra, Chhota Udepur. The atmosphere was festive as 178 SHG leaders from the surrounding villages came to LSK to attend a three-hour session on the provisions of the NREGA and the ways in which to access this Act. The resource persons—Fr. Mayank Parmar and Mr. Nikunj Parmar from DRISTI, Kapadvanj—explained the details of the NREGA and also described how villagers in their work area have benefited from this law.


Their session was followed by a talk from Mr. A. K. Solanki, the Taluka Development Officer (TDO) of Chhota Udepur. He assured the people that they could approach the taluka office for any help or complaints regarding the implementation of the NREGA in their villages. He also went on to describe some of the other government schemes formulated for adivasi areas and extended his support to the people in their efforts to claim their rights.


After this, Fr. James Tuscano concluded the programme by urging the SHG members present to take up leadership roles in their community. He emphasized the importance of speaking boldly and openly to both, government officials as well as fellow villagers. Surely, under the able guidance of Fr. Ranald Lopes and his social work team, the people of Chhota Udepur taluka are on their way to securing their rights under this law and building a more secure future for their communities.

DBDS #021 DBCL, KURLA. IT'S HAPPENING.!!

Royal D’Souza & Chris Valentino
MUMBAI, AUGUST 09, 2009: The Don Bosco Center for Learning (DBCL) Campus at Kurla Mumbai has been agog with varied empowerment, livelihood and outreach activities. Newer programmes for development have been initiated to encourage especially the youth and the women from the lower economic strata to progress socially and economically. Concerted efforts have been initiated in areas of water conservation, environmental sustenance, apart from the courses that train volunteers to be leaders, facilitators for a better self and a better world.
Through its Social Service Wing, DBCL has initiated and executed several projects in these last two months. Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) for women, Basic Computer Courses for basti women, Part-time Automobile Course for Youth, Watershed Development Projects, etc. are but only a few exemplary activities.Drawing inspiration from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who said “you teach a girl, you teach the whole family,” the Entrepreneurship Development Programme was initiated in collaboration with the Brihan-Mumbai Municipal Corporation to help women from the economically disadvantaged strata to develop management skills, personality grooming, marketing, networking, banking and accounting skills, whereby they would be able to actually implement their creative ideas and thus improve their socio-economic status. As of now, eight such batches comprising 240 women from 30 SHGs have been imparted skills for livelihood.
Working on similar lines, Basic Computer Courses have been initiated to encourage people from the economically deprived sections, especially youth and women. Six batches have been successfully completed within a two-month period, with a total of 106 women emerging as computer literates who are now ready to tap at the keyboard and improve their lives.
Having studied the need for industry-capable employees, DBCL has through the auspices of the St. Joseph Industrial Training Institute (SJITI) taken up the MES (Modular Employable Skills) Programme of the Government and commenced a three-month Automobile Course, that includes theory and practical components, wherein youth from the slums and bastis will be trained in the basics of two and three wheeler repairs.
Another major project of DBCL, Kurla is the NSS (National Social Service) outreach activities with the entire concept of “reaching the unreached with technology”. Under this programme, 100 student volunteers of the DBIT (Don Bosco Institute of Technology) are engaged in reaching out to their less advantaged friends. Some of the activities that have been initiated and successfully completed are:· Teaching students and training teachers of the Brihan-Mumbai Municipal Corporation Schools in computers, English and Value Education.· Library Management for the Institute and Maths Classes for the weaker students of the SJITI· Language Academy and Spoken English Classes for the underprivileged women and youth of the neighbourhod slums and bastis.· Website Designing and Maintenance for the BGVK (Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra) Ahmednagar, the BMC Social Work Department and the National Social Service Association.
Another ambitious project that has been launched is the “Jal Academy,” a project which handles sustainable and cost-effective ways of preserving the environment and sustaining people in rural areas. The first stage, which involved a survey-cum-research study, has already been completed. Facilitated by the DBDS (Don Bosco Development Society), the students accompanied by a few of the faculty visited the various watershed-development and environment-conservation activities in the rural hinterlands of Ahmednagar, Narukot, Kawant, and Chota Udepur, gaining immense first-information. This research-study, alongwith the detailed analysis and probable solutions were then presented to Fr. Savio Silveira, Ms. Lyra, Mr. Anand (DBDS), few members of the faculty and management. This is to be followed with an in-depth technological research and designing of working models which when implemented would prove beneficial in environment-conservation and watershed-development.
Slowly but surely the DBCL Campus at Kurla is spearheading a human transformation process with the aid of the latest technology, reaching out to the near and the far… it’s “Technology Aaj Kal” all the way!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

DBDS #020 ANOTHER STEPPING STONE FOR BOSCO PLUS

Natasha Almeida MUMBAI, AUGUST 4, 2009: An enthusiastic air and hopeful eyes filled the A. V hall at the Provincial House, Matunga on the afternoon of August 3, as students from the batch of May 2009 of Bosco Plus gathered for their certificate distribution ceremony. This event marked the closure of the batch of 23 students who had enrolled themselves for the month long training in spoken English, life skills, basic computer skills and retail management. This certificate distribution ceremony was held on behalf of Bosco Plus and Tata Trent Ltd., who collaborated with the former in conducting examinations and interviews with the students.

The event was graced by the Guest of Honour Mr. Harshwardhan Goswami, Senior Manager Trainings, Tata Trent Ltd. Besides the team from the Mumbai Development Office, in attendance for the event were Fr. Savio Silveira, Fr. Elson Baretto, Fr. Edwin D’souza, Fr. Bernard Britto, Mr. Robin Thomas, Program Co-ordinator, Tata Trent Ltd. and Mr. Niranje Amte, Examiner of Retail Management at the Garware Institute. The event commenced with the opening address by Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Development Office which was followed by a prayer song by a student from the current batch. The students of the current batch showed their whole hearted participation by also singing a welcome song ‘Bosco Parivaar’.

Mr. Anand Raj from the Development Office explained briefly the build up of Bosco Plus and how Tata Trent Ltd. got involved with Bosco Plus. Fr. Elson Baretto in his address narrated a motivational story to get the students going. Mr. Goswami, Guest of Honour spoke about his own example. He explained that to move ahead the students will require a healthy balance of hard work and smartness in work. “Show your worth by creating an example”, he added. Mr. Amte provided the students with inputs on developing the habit of reading. Before the certificate distribution could begin Mr. Robin made a mention of ‘Saksham’ i.e ‘Empowerment’: the most important motive of Tata Trent Ltd. for the tie up with Bosco Plus.


The motivational words were followed by the most important part of Distribution of Certificates. The faces of the students had a sense of achievement. Mahesh Sonawane was awarded for his hard work as the outstanding achiever of the batch. For the students it was not any other day of celebration but an opportunity to take the learning ahead. All 23 students fared well in the examinations conducted and 7 of them are already well placed with jobs. Mr. Nabil Ansari proposed the Vote of Thanks. Surely, this is another stepping stone for Bosco Plus and Don Bosco Development Society towards empowering the youth.

Monday, August 3, 2009

DBDS #019 YOUTH LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMME

Subhash Shirsath NARUKOT, JULY 29, 2009: Don Bosco, Narukot organized a Youth Leadership Training Programme at Don Bosco Campus on July 26, 2009. Eighty-Two Youth from different villages participated in this programme. Prof. Dr. Roman Bhatiya, who has been providing training in rural development for the last 22 years, was the resource person for the day. Drawing from his long and rich experience in this field, he shared several interesting ideas with the youth. By doing so he targeted on improving the leadership skills of the trainees.During the training programme, games and group discussions were held which primarily focused on training aims, village issues and how those issues can be sorted out. The participants were motivated to lead actions to solve village problems of drinking water, road development, employment, education, health and electricity among other problems. Dr. Bhatiya also focused on different government schemes, rural acts and their rights for village development. The session was brought to a close by the screening of a film on the Gramsabha and National Rural Employment Guaranty Act. After the session by Dr. Roman Bhatiya, Fr. Stanny Ferreira enlightened the youth on issues connected to the Panchayati Raj. He focused on the role that the youth should play in these organs of local self governance and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.