by DBO Correspondent for BISMumbai

The Don Bosco Provincial House Community Oratory, that functions from MumbaiSalesians' headquarters at Matunga-Mumbai, celebrated the Oratory Day commemorating the feast of Don Bosco on 25 January 2020. Fathers Glenford Lowe-Provincial Councillor and Youth Ministry Delegate; McEnroe Lopes-Director DBYS (Don Bosco Youth Services); and Leon Rodrigues-Incharge Province Social Experience Dimension coordinated the event, in which 130 boys and girls from the neighbouring slum settlement participated.

The Chief Guest for the event was the high-profile Dinesh Nair-Director AIFC (Association of Indian Football Coaches), Trustee Mumbai Football Arena, Honorary CEO Sporting Lions Foundation, Head Development Mumbai City FC, and former India International Footballer. Nair, a staunch believer in encouraging and supporting grassroots initiatives while mentoring aspiring young footballers, animated the young people gathered at DBPH Matunga with personal life experiences passing on requisite tips to succeed not only in sports, but more importantly in life. Projecting a true video story about Paynee FC, Nair said, " I want to share with you how even with zero talent, when you give 100 percent; if your focus - being on time, work ethic, body language, positive energy, right attitude, passion, being coachable, doing extra, being prepared, and decision-making - is correct you will definitely make it big, no matter what your circumstance." He further added, "if you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together, is my favourite quote, and if you are able to do this, you will overcome most difficulties." Engrossed in rapt attention, interacting with Nair, the boys and girls had a remarkably inspirational evening of celebration and joy. The regular daily oratory-comers were also felicitated with prizes. Incidentally, Nair is a great benefactor of DBO, ever-ready to lend a helping hand, whenever requested, all for the uplift of the marginalised young.

Father Lowe said, "the DBO-Don Bosco Oratory is a place to be, become and belong, where we believe in grow, glow, give. The main theme is 'nurturing lives significantly' as Don Bosco did in his times, by reaching out to welcome the poorest young people in our neighbourhood, providing them a home that cares for them and helps them realise their true potential through all-round development." The young people coming to DBO are provided coaching in cricket, football and hockey -through professional coaches and by senior oratory youth volunteers. The boys and girls are also provided an opportunity to hone their music skills, learning the guitar and the keyboard.

"Plans are afoot to begin a library, equipped with study materials, to help our boys and girls prepare for their various exams, but we hope generous sponsors will step forward to help us," says Father Lowe. Father Lopes exclaims, "whatever we do, as Salesians of Don Bosco, personally at the end of the day, I feel at home in the oratory, among the young, and I can fall asleep content that I have done something worthwhile."

A delightful evening at DBO came to a close with photo-moments followed by mouth-watering biryani amidst laughs, and jubilation.

The oratory was re-conceptualised and propagated by Don Bosco in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, at Valdocco, in Turin as a sheltered place where the abandoned disadvantaged young will be helped to play, pray and pursue their life aspirations in a preventive environment where they would be helped not to fall prey to vices. MumbaiSalesians' have taken this as a crucial area of revival in all their settings, as they gear up for the Golden Jubilee in 2022.