The Provincial was scheduled to make his official visit to the community of St. Dominic Savio on the 18th October 2011. He however came in the previous evening at 6.00 pm and began with an introductory conference to the Salesians at 7.15 pm.

The confreres gathered together at prayer at 6.10 am and had some sharing to do. At 6.45 am we have the celebration of the Eucharist by Fr. Provincial. It is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist and Fr. Provincial spoke of us being missionaries and being bearers of the ‘Good News’ to others.

After breakfast he started meeting the Salesians. At 10.45 am after the students had finished their papers, we had an assembly of the students, staff and the Salesians where he shared his thoughts on not to give up but rather strive to always try and succeed.

After the school assembly he met with the school staff at 11.15 am and shared with them some qualities of being a good and effective teacher.

In the afternoon at 2.15 pm Fr. Provincial met with some of the staff of Prafulta and Fr. Godfrey D’Sa the Director of Prafulta welcomed and introduced Fr. Provincial to his staff. There was quite some sharing of information on all that is happening in the various sectors of Prafulta. Fr. Provincial proposed a new opening in Nasik for the services of Prafulta and asked if they could look into the possibility of starting something in Nashik.

At 3.00 pm Fr. Provincial met the Don Bosco Balprafulta staff and interacted with them. Fr. Barnabe the Director of DB Balprafulta introduced Fr. Provincial to his staff and some of the staff narrated what was happening in the different areas and some of the new ideas that was being implemented.

In the evening Fr. Provincial met with the Cooperators at 6.00 pm. About 30 were present. The Cooperators presented Fr. Provincial with a bouquet of flowers and gave him an idea of the works that were done in the past year. Fr. Provincial encouraged the Cooperators for their enthusiasm and zeal and asked them to get a younger crowd into the group so that the unit flourishes. He thanked the Cooperators for all that they have been doing for the Unit and for their active participation.

At 6.30 pm the Past Pupils met as a group. As it was a working day there were not too many but a decent group came for the meeting. Mr. Ketan Gala welcomed Fr. Provincial and asked Fr. Edwin Colaco the Delegate to say a few words and officially welcome Fr. Provincial. Fr. Provincial thanked the past pupils for their help and support in the various programmes and activities and especially for reaching out to the marginalized and deserving youngsters.

At. 7.00 pm the children of the Evening Study Classes were assembled together in the school hall and were waiting to welcome and greet Fr. Provincial. They welcomed him in song and dance and read out an address in English and in Hindi. They thanked the provincial for all that is happening for them at the ESC and were all praise for the work that Fr. Edwin is doing for them in helping them to do better in their studies as well as in their computer classes.

At. 7.30 pm Fr. Provincial met with the confreres of the house to conclude his conference and his Visitation. He ended with a prayer and then shared his thoughts with the community about his visitation.
He thanked the community for all that they are doing for the young and the marginalized in the various activities and programmes that are conducted in the campus and commended the community for its spirit of unity and collaboration with each other.

Fr. Provincial would rest the night with us and leave for Borivali the next morning to continue his rounds of the various houses in the province.

Thank you Fr. Provincial for your visit to us and the various sectors at St. Dominic Savio Educational Complex – Andheri, Mumbai.

Don Bosco Balprafulta Meets Parents

Domnic Savio (Andheri) and Don Bosco Balprafulta organizes Parents Meeting
By Tejal Rajyagor

Over a decade of working with children in community and on Railway Stations for their rights, Domnic Savio and Don Bosco Balprafulta recognized a need to work at a family level with Parents.

Effective Parenting has become one of the major concerns, it could serve as one of the best strategies to reduce incidents of exploitation of children in all forms and to prevent the child from stepping out of home and on to the streets.

As a part of our ‘Effective Parenting’ program, Don Bosco Balprafulta along with Domnisc Savio organized a Parents meeting on Sunday, October 16, 2011.

Parents of children who have been repatriated back to their families from child labour situations, from the streets/railway stations - directly home placed or repatriated from the Juvenile homes (Dongri, Mankurd), as also parents of children with whom we work as a part of our Community Intervention to prevent drop outs were invited for this meeting.

A total of 51 parents from different parts of Mumbai’s urban slum (Govandi, Mankurd, Mahim, Sion, Dharavi and Andheri) came for this meeting.

The primary objective for organizing the meeting was to understand the problems of parents while bringing up the children and to make parents aware of children’s issues.

Parents were divided into groups to discuss various parenting issues with a help of case studies. Some of the issues discussed were on building a foundation for the children. Insisting on them going to school and not to earn. Parents taking more trouble to ensure they spend more time with their children, listening to them, relating with love, having the neighbours care for them when away at work. In short, the Parents realized that the furutre generation is in their hands, if they give them a firm foundation become effective parents they will be able to break the cycle of deprivation their past generations have been going through, with their children.
The Director in concluding focused on making parents realize that they have the responsibility as well as the capability to give their children a bright future. He also stressed on breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy with the help of education, skill building and awareness.

Fr.Edwin Colaco welcomed the parents with his usual charm and charisma which set the tone for the entire meeting. Thanks to the community of Domnic Savio (Andheri) for its co-rodinated support and enthusiasm for ensuring that the parents went with greater zest to be more effective mentors of their children