Saturday, December 15, 2012

FORMATION OF CLUSTERS AT KAPADVANJ



KAPADVANJ-AHMEDABAD, DECEMBER 15, 2012 :   DRISTI Don Bosco has been working in Kapadvanj for the last six years for the empowerment of women. Ninety Self Help Groups have been formed in the area.  This year DRISTI takes these self help groups to the second stage of its formation i.e. Clusters. Looking at the possibilities and the area we have been working in, we have formed eight clusters of these ninety groups.

The main objectives of these clusters are:
a. To strengthen the weak SHGs.
b. To monitor the SHGs of its clusters.
c. To help women to avail of bigger loans.
d. To help SHGs to start income generation activities.

Initially the idea was floated in the villages for last six months. At first the women couldn’t understand the importance of clusters but all the same they were ready to form the clusters. Thus, this year DRISTI made it one of their organizational objectives is to form eight clusters according to the area or the number of SHGs. The cluster is represented by two representatives from each cluster. The financial part is being seen by the SHGs. In order to be part of Cluster, membership fees of Rupees twenty have been collected. This money will be put in the name of the cluster.

Five cluster meetings were held in the month of November 2012. November 24, 2012 the Ratnagar cluster meeting was held. The Ratnagar cluster consists of eight SHGs, having sixteen members out of which fourteen members were present for the meeting. On November 26,  2012 the Chaptiya cluster met. There are seven SHGs with fourteen representatives in the cluster. On November 27, 2012  Bapuji na muvada consisting of seven SHGs with fourteen cluster members and seven other enthusiastic members were present for the meeting. On November 28, 2012 Gadiyara which consists of ten SHGs with twenty representative met and another fifteen women were present for the meeting. On November 29, 2012 Kasarij cluster consisting of five SHGs eight representatives gathered for the meeting.

These meetings in the villages had very positive impact on women as well as villagers themselves. They were enthused with new ideas in the SHGs. They were happy with SHGs being monitored by these clusters and have no problem with cluster intervention. The women were of the opinion that this will also unite the village and certain Income generation activities could be run by the clusters. Next we plan to have a common meeting at the DRISTI centre of all the Clusters.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

EXPOSURE VISIT TO “CREATIVE HANDICRAFTS”


Surekha Pednekar


MATUNGA-MUMBAI, DECEMBER 10, 2012 :  Don Bosco Development Society organized an exposure visit to “Creative Handicrafts” for the SHG leaders from the slum communities of Dharavi, Antop hill and Kurla. The visit was a great learning for these women as many of these were aspiring entrepreneurs looking for guidance in setting up of micro businesses.The visit was attended by twenty women and the staff of DBDS.

Creative Handicrafts is a social enterprise established in 1984 to empower disadvantaged women of the slum communities of Mumbai. Creative Handicrafts imparts training to the women to produce textile based handicrafts, soft toys and other utility items and market them in India and abroad. Over the years hundreds of women have benefited from the skill training provided by Creative Handicrafts.

Many of those who were trained are running their small businesses. There are others also who work for Creative Handicraft through their cooperatives and are paid for their work. Creative Handicraft is also a fair-trade organization and share its profits with it’s worker. There are about four hundred women workers who come from neighouring slum communities.

There is a Crèche for the children of ladies who work for Creative Handicraft.  After their visit to the centre the group was taken to their MIDC office where they pack, store and dispatch the finished goods. Creative Handicrafts earns 80% of its income from exports of its products to fair trade organizations in Spain, France, Italy, United States, etc. These organizations possess all the necessary status for imports. Today it exports both apparels and textile based handicrafts.

The SHG leaders interacted with the staff and workers and asked lot of questions on the raw material, production, quality control, packaging, marketing, selling etc. It was a good experience for them to see the entire chain of the business process. They learn the business discipline that is required for running such a business.

The visit ended with a meeting with Ms.Isabel Martin who is the founder and advisor of the organization. The SHG leaders took her blessing for running a successful business in future. Some of the SHG leaders were so inspired by their Crèche management that they started planning for establishing a Crèche. The visit created a tempo of thought process in the direction of becoming an micro entrepreneur.

WORKSHOP ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT


Mahesh Kumar

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, DECEMBER 10, 2012 :  Don Bosco Development Society organized a half day workshop on Business Development for the staff and SHG leaders from the slum Communities. The workshop was attended by thirty women. The workshop was conducted by Mr. Pradip Walavalkar, a freelance business consultant. The workshop focused on small scale business, investment, market and characteristics of entrepreneurs.

The trainer started with the definition of small scale business, explained the scope with an example of Agarbatti business of the small scale. He informed that there are eight hundred and seventy two small scale industries that are supported by the MSSIDC (Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation) and women in the communities can approach them and take advantage of their schemes. He also informed about the registration process to get registered with MSSIDC.

Speaking on the Market for the small scale industries the trainer cautioned on the crucial pitfalls in the production, promotion and marketing of the products. He stressed on the seven steps in setting up the business: Human resource, Capital, Raw Material, Market, Process, Machinery and Management. Each of these components plays a vital role in the overall business process and running a sustainable business.

The trainer then explained the benefits for the SCs and STs in the MSSIDC schemes and how to avail them. The trainer then gave valuable tips on the promotion, placement and marketing of the product and services. He stressed on the making participant understand the gap between the demand and supply in the market and understand the behaviour of the consumer. In the end Ms. Surekha Pednekar, summarized the session and planned for the way forward from the session.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

FOCUSING ON CHILDREN'S RIGHTS


Johnson Kshirsagar, Sdb and Jason Pinto, Sdb

PUNE-MAHARASHTRA, NOVEMBER 20, 2012 :   As part of Children’s Day celebration and  with the aim of making the children aware of their rights, Don Bosco Youth Centre, Pune in collaboration with Cinemax Pvt. Ltd., India screened ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ at Cinemax, Pune for a group of more than two hundred children followed by a two day box cricket tournament on 17 and 19 November 2012.
 
Welcoming the kids Fr. Barnabe D’Souza, Sdb the director of Balprafulta, Mumbai said, “Just like any other human group we too, as children have our own rights, which we need to be aware of.” The Salesian community of Don Bosco Youth Centre, Pune under the able guidance of Br. Leon Rodrigues, Br. Ajay Shelke and Br. Shekar Maria Das coordinated this venture. After the movie the manager of Cinemax – Pune, Mr. Amar Rizwi personally addressed the children. He appreciated the Salesians for such a venture and promised his wholehearted cooperation for such initiatives in the future.

The Don Bosco Young at Risk National Forum along with Cinemax Pvt. Ltd. has planned a similar venture across ten cities all over India on November 26, 2012 on the occasion of International Children’s Day. “This is an excellent and innovative way of making the children aware of their rights”, said Br. Austin the brother in-charge of Solapur Bazaar Parish.  The children too, enjoyed the story line and the songs in the movie. “It evoked a feeling of patriotism and self-sacrifice” was the comment made by Salim, one of the beneficiaries of this event.

The next highlight was the Box Cricket Tournament on the Don Bosco Youth Centre grounds for boys under the age of fifteen. About nine teams from Kalyani Nagar, Koregaon Park and Yerwada participated. The team ‘Chanchal Eleven’ from Koregaon Park won the Tounament.  Rev. Fr. Nelson Carvalho, the Rector of DBYC, Pune was the Chief Guest.

The other nine cities where the movie is planned are Mumbai, Nashik, Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Cochin.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ECOLOGICAL CENTRE LAUNCHED AT KARJAT


DBYS- KARJAT, NOVEMBER 6, 2012:   It was the golden letter day for Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, Karjat. With immense pleasure and joy, the opening of our prestigious Eco Centre: Don Bosco Nisarg Dhara was announced at Karjat.

This Ecological project  was blessed and inaugurated by the provincial Rev. Fr. Michael Fernandes, sdb on November 6, 2012. Among those present were the staff and the students of Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, Karjat, the benefactors and sponsors of the project and other well wishers.

The various eco friendly  models like bio gas plant, bio compost grey water recycling, paper making, charcoal and briquette making, tapping solar energy, use of innovative chulas, bottle garden, growing vegetables in sacks, garbage garden are displayed in this innovative eco garden.

The praise goes to the team of Fr. Xavier Devadas for the excellent work they have done within such a short span of time. The layout and the landscape of the eco garden left those present spell bound. The eco garden is now open and ready to receive regular visitors.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CAMPAIGN TO STOP CHILD MARRIAGE IN KAPADVANJ BLOCK


KAPADVANJ, NOVEMBER 01, 2012 :An awareness campaign is being organized in three villages of the Kapadvanj block to stop  child marriage. The youth themselves are involved in this campaign in their own villages with the help of DRISTI Don Bosco, Kapadvanj.

DRISTI took the initiative to train few youth. Accordingly four youth together with DRISTI staff were sent to Delhi to equip themselves with the knowledge and methodology to abolish this social evil which in turn leads to other major problems for society and the young couples themselves.

After receiving the training in Delhi, these four youth have decided to organize signature campaign in their own villages. Thus on 13 October 2012 in Navamuvada, 14 October 2012 in Hadmatya and 20 October 2012 in Bapujinamuvada, youth of the village came together under the leadership of Ms. Sangeeta in Navamuvada, Master Kishan in Hadmatiya and Master Vijay in Bapujinamuvada.

In all these villages around Sixty five youth were gathered.  After imparting information and enumerating the evils of child marriage, the youth of these villages were convinced and asked them to be part of the movement.

Mr. Sanjay Parmar DRISTI Staff and Fr. Mayank Parmar told the group of youth leaders about DRISTI activities and offered them our backing with all the expertise of DRISTI to help the youth of the villages in choosing the career for their future. The youth were enthused and agreed to join the signature campaign and promise under oath that they will not marry until they attain the legal age of marriage and also convince others to do the same.

At the next meeting that is to be held at Don Bosco Kapadvanj, the youth leaders have on their agenda  the drawing up of a concrete plan to abolish child marriage in the coming year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

DON BOSCO – GROHE JAL ACADEMY TRAINS FOR GODREJ CONSTRUCTION DIVISION


Mr. Amarr Prabhu
KURLA-MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 17, 2012 :  DBCL Kurla constantly keeps pushing the boundaries of its training possibilities. The first batch of  trainees for Godrej Construction Division proudly celebrated the successful completion of the Skilled Plumbers Course and welcomed the second batch of trainees. In a joint certification by Don Bosco and Godrej, twenty two trainees completed one hundred hours of skill training in the latest practices followed in plumbing technology at the St. Joseph’s ITI Plumbing Lab.

The function was held on the 31st of August 2012 at the Santino Mondini Hall, Kurla. Besides Rev. Fr. Colbert da Silva, (Exec. Dir. of SJITI ) as well as its Principal  Mr. Amarr Prabhu several important dignitaries from Godrej also graced the occasion. Chief Guest: Mr. Maneck Engineer (Executive Vice President, Godrej Construction) Mr. Purvez Gandhi (COO, Godrej Construction) Mr. Anil Gupte DGM-HR Godrej Construction; Mr. Ramesh Bhandarkar  (DGM Property development) and Mr.Kaezab Karanjawala (Senior General Manager Property development.) After the formal introductions a short film on the program and the sentiments of some of the participants was screened.

Mr. Manek Engineer, stressed how plumbing was an important aspect in ‘civil engineering’, where efforts were being made to save water and help drought affected areas in India.  He also spoke about the changes and advancement in water technology and how techniques have to be implemented and the knowledge of maintenance of these techniques was crucial. Mr. Ramesh, pointed out that this program was initiated to make more people employable, produce better quality service and eventually encourage entrepreneurship.

Fr Colbert further motivated the trainees stating that the world today had a shortage of such technicians, especially since water was now becoming a scarce commodity and it is for these trainees to fight the war of saving water and indirectly, the world.

Mr Shyam Sunder Gawade, President Godrej Shramik Sangh from the Godrej Union, was very appreciative of such a program that helped people from the weaker sections to become skilled technicians and he was very thankful to Don Bosco for their support in this regard. On yet another note, a trainee of the first batch Mr Ganesh Giri, applauded the efforts of the Plumbing Instructors Mr. Walter D’mello and Mr..S.Khan and the instructors Ms. Ambika Nair, Ms. Elenka Rebello and Ms. Annabelle Rodrigues of the Hospitality Department of Don Bosco College who taught communication/soft skills that was so very much appreciated by the trainees.

Certificates and gifts for various achievements were awarded to the successful trainees and twenty five new trainees were inducted into the second batch to begin their Skilled Plumbers Course.

The function was brought to a close with a heart-warming video presentation representing the activities of this joint venture from its inauguration to the day’s valedictory function stressing that much can be achieved when industry and DBCL, Kurla partner together.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

CENTRE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE AT DBCL ORGANIZES NGO LEADERSHIP PROGRAM


Dr. Sarika Kulkarni

MATUNGA, SEPTEMBER 08, 2012 : At Don Bosco Centre for Learning, the Social dimension is a key element in the educative process of life on this campus. So it came as no surprise when the Centre for Social Change of the MBA department announced a leadership program for NGO and SHG leaders. This was held on August 13 and 14, 2012. There was a good mix of participants from several organizations. Sankalpsiddhi Samaj Vikas Sansth 9, Swati Samaj Vikas Sansth 6; Muktai Samaj Vikas Sansth 11; One each from Creative Handicraft, Sanskar Trust; Aurobindo Trust and Shelter Don Bosco.

Some of the best speakers from the industry made themselves available. Using a multi lingual approach the resource persons kept the thirty participants actively engaged from 9am till 5pm on both days.

While Shri Noshir Dadrawala made them aware of the Legal Challenges and walked them through the steps of Fund Raising, Shri Prashant Pandit of Nasscom Foundation, enlightened them concerning the Effective Use of IT in their work. Mr. Madhukar Kumar, from iVolunteer took up Volunteer Management and Mr. Shrinivas Sawant, a development management professional elaborated on Good Governance.

The presentations, group exercises and other approaches used by the speakers helped drive home the points. The problems that these organizations face came to the fore and the discussions were intense. The vibrant participation and enthusiasm in this program led to a lot of shared experiences that benefitted all those present.

Centre for Social Change looks ahead to engage in several other programs to assist, empower and strengthen NGOs and SHGs in their efforts to build a more humane and just society. It has a strong capacity to develop and offer end to end support for this category so expect to hear more about its programs in the future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

KURLA BOY TO COMPETE IN JAPAN


Amar G Prabhu
MUMBAI, AUGUST 31, 2012 :  The Eleventh National Customer Championship held by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd.  At Bengalur was a competition that tested skills of the participants in three different categories, General Technician, Service Advisor and Service Parts.

Among the fourteen contestants drawn from the Toyota dealerships all over India, Mr. Kurt Lopez was judged the winner in the ‘General Technician’ category and Mr.  Siddesh Salvi was declared in the second position in the ’Service Advisor’ category.

The Management and staff of the Motor Vehicle Mechanic trade of St Joseph’s ITI are proud of the achievement of our students.There are sixty three students presently studying the Motor Vehicle Mechanic Trade in the  ITI and seventy three students doing the Don Bosco Certification Programme in Motor Mechanics at St. Joseph’s  ITI.

Since 2006 Toyota has collaborated as a knowledge partner with St Joseph’s  ITI, Kurla.  Our trainees are exposed to the Toyota-Technical Education Programme (T-TEP) with on the job training at their authorized dealers .

On completion of the ITI course and T-TEP, the students are offered employment in Toyota dealerships. Candidates who take employment are reimbursed a year’s fees. This collaboration is a win-win situation for Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd and St Joseph’s ITI.

As Mr. Kurt Lopez prepares himself to compete with the champions of one hundred countries from around the world at the ‘International Skills Championship’ in Nagoya, Japan.  We Congratulate him and wish him the very best as he gets ready to take off with his parents to the Land of the Rising Sun.

HEALTH CAMP FOR CHILDREN


Ms. Surekha Pednekar (DBDS)
MATUNGA, AUGUST 31,2012:  Don Bosco Development Society had organized one day health camp at Darukhana, Dargah Galli slum area in Reay Road on August 18, 2012. This camp was organized in association with Shrusti foundation. Dr. Wagh and his medical team examined the children and prescribed medicines to the needy ones. The objective of the camp was to assess general health and well- being of the children.

One hundred and thirty eight children were medically examined and of that four severely malnourished children and fifty suffering from various diseases were detected in this health camp.

This camp was enough to prove that malnourishment exists in the slum communities of Mumbai and there is an urgent need to make the ICDS  Anganwadis respond to the nutritional needs of children.

The camp was preceded by group meetings in Darukhana with the SHG women. The SHG women communicated the date, time and venue of health camp to all the women in the area. The health camp began at 11 am and ended at 5pm. The children in the community welcomed the doctor and staff, and were happy to experience such a camp being organized in their community.

There is an urgent need on creating awareness on the health and hygiene issues in this slum community. The children identified as suffering from malnutrition were referred to government hospital and ICDS Anganwadi for their recovery to good health.

By this health camp DBDS has launched its campaign to identify malnourished children in slum communities of Mumbai.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

HEALTH CAMP AT AHMEDNAGAR


AHMEDNAGAR, AUGUST 7, 2012 :   On July 30 and 31, 2012 Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra organized a Health Camp in two villages named Hanga and Valvane in Ahmednagar district. It was organized in collaboration with Operation Blessing of India and Booth Evangical Hospital.  Around six hundred sixty people benefited from this health camp.

The Health Camp began at 9.30 a.m.  At the very outset, the sarpanch of the village welcomed the social workers and the management staff of BGVK and the doctors and appreciated the organization for its wonderful work for the upliftment of the downtrodden ones in the villages.

There was a team of 8 doctors and 4 nurses present for this health camp. Br. Ramesh Durairaj, the director of BGVK welcomed all the doctors and the villagers and explained to them the purpose of having this health camp. Young and old and the school children benefited from this programme.  People did appreciate BGVK’s interest in their welfare. The health camp ended at 5.30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WORKSHOP ON PATIENT’S RIGHTS


Mahesh Kumar
MATUNGA, AUGUST 01, 2012:  Don Bosco Development Society organized a one day workshop on July 31, 2012, at Don Bosco Provincial House, on the rights of an individual as a patient.  The workshop was attended by 25 participants including staff, SHG leaders and community leaders. The sessions focused on rights that can be utilized when a patient seeks medical treatment in a hospital.  Often the patient is at the mercy of the doctors and is charged heavily for the treatment which could have been avoided or reduced by utilizing the rights.  Patients can demand financial help from hospitals whether government or private from the following mandatory funds: Poor Box Charity Fund in Government Hospitals and Indigent Patients Fund in Private Hospitals which are registered as trusts.

The resource persons explained to the participants that every hospital is required to allocate two percent of its annual income to these funds for the benefit of poor patients.  The poor and lower middle class people can avail of the following benefits from the hospitals:

For BPL patients (annual income below Rs 25,000): 10% beds are to be reserved free of charge for such patients and they can also avail of free medicines and treatment

Financially weaker patients (annual income between Rs.25,000 to Rs. 50,000): 10% beds are to be reserved at concessional rates for such patients and they can avail of medicines and treatment at 50% discount.

Any patient can avail of these facilities by filling up the appropriate form and contacting the doctor or the medical social worker along with proof of income (income certificate or ration card).  Further, financial assistance is also available from various funds, such as PM fund, CM fund, Mayor’s fund etc. The speakers also pointed out that a patient, who is in a critical condition, has every right to get emergency treatment, irrespective of any legal or financial consideration, till his condition stabilizes.  In case the patients face problems, they should use the grievance redressal cell and approach the concerned doctor, medical social worker or Dean of the hospital. Addressing the participants at the close of the workshop, Fr. Savio Silveira stressed the need of creating awareness regarding patient’s rights, among people in the slum communities where DBDS works.  He also asked the staff and leaders present to take appropriate steps to ensure that the poor people, who cannot afford medical treatment, can avail of their entitlements whenever necessary.  DBDS is currently working on several governance issues in various slum communities in Mumbai.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SRI INTRODUCED IN WALVANDA


WALAVANDA JULY 14, 2012  : Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) agriculturists along with community animators conducted series of trainings on system of rice intensification (SRI) to the farmers of Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas.  These trainings helped generate awareness among the farmers about SRI method.  Several farmers are motivated from the area to go for SRI method of cultivating rice.  BSVS procured rice seed called ‘Poonam razzi’ and distributed to the farmers for nursery rising.  Farmers were helped by the agriculturists and community animators of the organization in setting up of nurseries for SRI method of cultivating rice.  In total, 708 kilos of rice was distributed in Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas.  To cultivate one acre of land under SRI method, only two kilos of seed is required.  So, 354 acres/ 142 hectares of land can be cultivated with the seed distributed by the organization.

Since the onset of agricultural season in Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas BSVS team members are busy in giving demonstration on planting rice seedlings in SRI method.   Fr. Anaclete D’Mello and Br. Alex Gonsalves visit the villages and participate in the plantation of the rice seedlings.  Farmers are taught to plant single seedlings, not in clumps, and in a square pattern 25cm X 25 cm apart or wider by the BSVS team.  Ropes with mark on appropriate distances are used to plant the rice in a square pattern. Instructed them not to plant in a row (more root growth potential)

In SRI cultivation, 8-10 days old seedlings are planted. So root system grows well and gives 30-50 tillers. If managed well, then 50-100 tillers are produced and high yields can be realized.   Maximum tilling occurs concurrently with panicle initiation.   More field grain per panicle and no lodging of crops. SRI cultivation requires less water and less expenditure and gives more yields.  SRI method is beneficial for small and marginal farmers for food security.  Even first season yield are usually higher than before and improve increase yield over time.  The lower capital cost of using SRI means that it’s economic and other benefits are not limited by access to capital, nor does it require loans and indebtedness.  Thus contribute rapidly to greater food security for the poor.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

WORKSHOP ON RIGHT TO FOOD


MATUNGA, JULY 14, 2012: Don Bosco Development Society organized a two-day workshop (July 12-13) on the people’s right to food and nutrition and the National Food Security bill, 2011. The workshop was attended by fifty four people including staff, SHG leaders and community leaders.  The workshop focused on creating awareness on the problem of rotting food grains in FCI godowns and hunger prevailing in India.  Though the right to food is covered under the article 21 and article 47 and also by international instruments like UDHR and ICESCR, yet we have the highest number of hungry people in our country.  Almost half of our children are malnourished and as per global hunger index (GHI) 2011, India’s position is the worst not only in south Asia, but also among some of the sub-Saharan countries. It is strange to understand that a country like India which claims to be a growing economic power has one fourth of world’s hungry people.
India has a large food distribution system called Targeted Public Distribution System.  But the sad fact is that about 60% of our wheat and 27% of our rice is pilfered from the system before reaching the ration card holder.  Unfortunately, the Food Security bill, 2011 which has recently been tabled in the Lok Sabha doesn’t specifically target making the system more transparent or efficient as far as the delivery of the food grain is concerned.  It has suggested reforming the PDS but there is no timeline specified.  The definition of food security is too narrow and also the definition of meal has many options including take home ration.  In such circumstances, the government will give food grains and not cooked food.  It is difficult to imagine how the destitute and homeless would get their benefit when a normal household is unable to access it’s entitlements under PDS.

The second day focused on how the PDS works and how people can access various schemes of PDS and make the system responds to their needs.  Practical solutions were suggested to people’s problem related to PDS entitlements and a visit was made to the Matunga Ration Office.  Interaction of participants was held with the ration office staff.

Addressing the audience on first day Fr.Savio Silveira brought attention to the fact that malnutrition is a grave challenge and cited the news story that stated that more than 24000 children died of malnutrition in the year 2011 and more than 10 lacs are still affected by various forms of malnutrition.  Fr. Savio suggested forming an action plan to work on this issue in the project area.  At the end of the workshop an action plan was prepared and people came forward to form a vigilance committee to access their rights under PDS.

SKILLS FOR LIVELIHOOD AND SUSTENANCE


Fr. Rolvin D'mello, sdb
AHMEDNAGAR 05, JULY 2012 : The dawn of July 2, 2012 witnessed the launching of the "Project SLS" (Skills for livelihood and Sustenance) at Don Bosco Community College, Ahmednagar. After much preparation and the necessary groundwork the inauguration of this project took place at 10.00am by invoking the name of the almighty during the prayer service. The prayer service began with a multimedia presentation followed by the Word of God and intercessory prayers; seeking His blessing on this entire endeavour.

The project SLS aims at catering to around hundred to hundred and twenty youth from the region; mostly from the villages and from economically poor background. Various skills will be provided to these youth in form of courses like Computer, Spoken English, Electrical, Welding, Tailoring & basics of fashion designing, Typing and Beautician's course – thus preparing them to earn their livelihood so that they can stand on their own feet in the future. These courses are started after studying the need of the hour and the scope for employment in-and-around the region.

The mobilization process for this project was going on in full swing for last one month in different areas and villages of the Nagar district; as a result there is a good response from the students for the same. The duration of all the courses is for three months but those students who are interested in doing advance courses will be encouraged and will have government certification.

Fr. Thomas D'costa the Rector, in his talk after the prayer service motivated the students to give their best for the various courses they have opted for. He also briefed them about the life of Don Bosco and the mission of Don Bosco across the globe. The community college is blessed with a new set of gifted and committed staff; Fr. Rolvin D'mello the director introduced all the staff members and welcomed them to the institute. He explained the nature and the purpose of "Project SLS", he further also encouraged the students to make full use of the various facilities in the institute so that they learn the necessary skills for life and that their future will be bright. The entire ceremony ended with garlanding the photo of "Don Bosco," our father and founder and the prayerful wishes from the priests and the entire staff to all the students.

EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AT BGVK


AHMEDNAGAR, JUNE 26, 2012: On June 26- 27, 2012 the Self Help Groups training workshop was held for the villages of the Ahmednagar at Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra. The Presidents and the secretaries of the various SHG's around sixty in number participated on the first day of the workshop and around eighty of them participated on the second day of the workshop. The training programme started with an opening prayer by Fr. George D'abreo. Br. Ramesh Durairaj, the Director welcomed all the women of the SHG's.  He also gave a beautiful talk to the women on the importance of the SHG's.  He stressed upon the need to go beyond the financial matters and thus contributing for the betterment of the society.

A team of the resource persons consisted of Srs. Manju and Agnes from Gujrat. They very creatively put across to the women the Do's and the Don'ts of the SHG's. The sessions were very lively which enabled them to become aware of various options; they can pursue and thus contribute towards the betterment of the society. The women were very much grateful to the institution for its valuable services and its interest in their welfare. The workshop ended with words of appreciation from the staff and the women.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Training Panchayat Leaders


Cl. Evangelo D’Souza
KAPADVANJ, FEBRUARY 23, 2012: On February 20, 2012 Don Bosco Dristi Kapadvanj organized a dawn to dusk seminar for eighteen representatives of the Panchayats of Meerapur, Motipura, Alampura, Gadiyara, Tanthdi and Sonada villages of the Kapadvanj bloc.  The aim of the seminar was to give the participants a basic understanding of a Panchayat institution.

Mr. Shailesh, the coordinator of Dristi, Kapadvanj was the resource person for the seminar. The seminar was sub-divided into five sessions. The opening session focused on the history and development of a Panchayati Raj. The characteristics of the seventy third amendment of the Constitution pertaining the Panchayati Raj were then dealt in the following session. The rights and duties of a Panchayat President, Secretary and its members were then explained in the third session. In the fourth session, Mr. Shailesh described in detail the procedure of a grampanchayat meeting. Fr. Mayank Parmar, in charge of development work of the Kapadvanj bloc, then concluded the seminar by inviting the participants themselves to share their own experiences and give their feedback on the seminar conducted.

The participants were very grateful to the organizers as they were now aware of the administrative methods of running a Panchayat. One of the striking features of this event was that two women were also present for the seminar.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WOMEN'S DAY AT CHHOTA UDEPUR


Ranald Lopes
CHHOTA UDEPUR, FEBRUARY 07, 2012: Connecting Women, Changing our World- This was the theme for our women's day celebration at Don Bosco Chhota Udepur, Gujarat. Four hundred and twenty one women from thirty two different villages converged for a day of fun, entertainment and learning. Though Women's Day is celebrated on March 08, Lok Seva Kendra decided to hold it early. The day began with fete games, which our simple tribal women played for the first time.

We then had the main programme, with the Taluka Panchayat Head Mrs. Vanuben as the Chief Guest, who shared her experience on bringing a change in our society. We also had Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Development Office who came all the way from Mumbai, to encourage the women and begin the process of forming a Women's Federation. The Rajpipla Theatre Group performed a skit on women's issues, which was much appreciated by the women. To add to the fun and enjoyment Fr. Roger Jones, our magician par excellence, kept the women awestruck with his tricks.

As the day came to an end the women took back a lot of memories to share with their fellow-women back at home.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

ROSHNI ANNUAL DAY IN BARODA


Kenneth Pereira sdb
BARODA, FEBRUARY 04, 2012: The Roshni Education project has been going on since the past nine years, and it  currently covers twelve bastis where about three hundred and fifty slum children assemble for classes in basic literacy. The more promising children are eventually inducted into Don Bosco School, Baroda.

Well, January 29, 2012 was celebrated as Roshni Annual Day. Already at 9 am the children from the various bastis arrived at Don Bosco in open tempos and were treated to a filling breakfast. At 10:30 am, a cultural program was held in the DBS hall, at which the children of each basti put up a skit with a message on caring for the environment. The guests of honour for the occasion were six officials from ONGC Baroda, headed by Mr. R.K. Sharma (HR in-charge, ONGC).

After a sumptuous lunch that was sponsored by Shri Vipin Shah, the children were afforded an opportunity to participate in various fete games. It was amusing to watch the children queued up to try their luck, their skill or their strength at a dozen or so fete games that they could play. Prizes for these games were sponsored by the Lions Club of Baroda.

The children finally bade farewell to Don Bosco Baroda at around 5:30 pm, as they made their way to the tempos that would carry them home. The contentment on their faces and the gift packets in their hands sent a clear message to all: “We’ve had an enjoyable day!”

Mrs. Jagruti Khare and Mrs. Kiran Lohani as well as the other basti teachers on the Roshni staff, under the guidance of Fr. Gregory D’Cunha, did a commendable job of organizing the entire event, and even finding sponsors for the major expenses.