BIS #6268 Don Bosco Lonavla January 2021 outreach activities

by Father Blany Pinto for BISMumbai

The COVID-19 hampered educational services drastically, forcing a significant shift to the online mode of delivery. Although this has proved beneficial to many, for most of the economically disadvantaged this has only magnified their woes. Don Bosco Lonavla (DBL) has been trying to facilitate possibilities for the poor children in 03 of its adopted villages – Vaksai, Karanduli and Mudhavare, thanks to generous benefactors [especially Malaika Shivalkar of ‘Project Pahunch'], who stepped up to sponsor mobiles for a few of these students, to pursue online classes. On 22 December 2020, 05 mobile-phones were distributed to 03 girls and 02 boys of the higher secondary or college ,furthering access to online education. Likewise Vikram Shivalkar, has agreed to financially support the education of Ganga Gaikwad, pursuing FY in Fine Arts.

Other educational initiatives were also facilitated for children from the 03 villages, who were taught basic in English and Mathematics through educational toys sponsored by Andrea Vaz from Mumbai. To motivate the children, an centive of delicious khichdi was provided daily, the ration for which was sponsored by Sunil Dutt from Mumbai. Sessions in good manners, hygiene and mind concentration were organised through 02 resource animators from ManShakti, a mind training Institute.

On 28 December 2020, 350 blankets were distributed in 06 villages by Arham Yuva Seva Group from Navi Mumbai, to help cope with the onslaught of the sever winter. Christmas was celebrated in the 03 adopted villages with a fellowship meal on Christmas day sponsored by Andrea Vaz. The social outreach staff of DBL introduced, conducted awareness sessions and encourages women to join stitching/tailoring classes in order to generate income for their families. The basics of tailoring and preparations for a practical test are on to acquire a government-recognized certificate, that will enable each of them to receive a sewing machine from the Gram Panchayat.

The focus for February 2021 is, 'education of students who have missed out on school.' In the meanwhile, the tailoring classes for women is to continue with a determined eye to qualify for the government certificate.