BIS #6865 Bal Mela at DB Waluj
By Fr Jesu Robinson for BISMumbai
On 1 January 2023, Don Bosco, Waluj, Aurangabad, celebrated the Bal Mela with the children frequenting the Village Education Program (VEP). This Mela was organised by the institute along with the VEP teachers and Social Workers. The children came from 14 villages of Gangapur and Paithan Taluka; around 270 children participated in this Bal Mela.
The Bal Mela program started with a prayer song and lighting of the lamp by the Chief Guest and other dignataries. Br Alex Gonsalves, the social work delegate of the community, welcomed the dignitaries, children and all those who were present for the program. He spoke about the work of Don Bosco and the special care of children under Don Bosco’s roof. All the guests were felicitated on the stage. Later, Fr Jesu Robinson, the in-charge of Don Bosco Waluj Institute highlighted the Don Bosco System of Education and encouraged children to enjoy the facilities of the institution and stay away from wrong using Don Bosco's maxim ‘Run, Jump, Play but do not Sin’. Mr Rajendra Dushing, the principal of St Meera’s High School, Aurangabad, emphasised on creative learning. He said, “Mobiles are not meant to be your world, so do not get stuck to it. Rather, look outside the screen where there is a lot more to learn.” The Chief Guest for the Mela, Mr S.R. Dilwale, PSI of Waluj Police Station, Aurangabad, enlightened the children with his talk on ‘Ishwar hamare sath hai’ (God is with us) and in his melodious voice he sang meaningful songs for the children. The children were thrilled to hear a police officer singing songs for them. Mr Dilwale said, “Music is very important in the education system – it can be in any form but gives real calmness for life.”
Soon after the felicitation and motivational talks, the children were all geared up for their well-prepared cultural program. The children performed dances on Bollywood songs, which brought great joy in every child. Mayur Shinde said, “I was very happy to get this stage to dance and show my talents to my friends.” In the afternoon after a delicious lunch, the children were given an opportunity to take part in sports and games. They all enjoyed and encouraged each other in their teams. Many children received prizes for winning in sports and games.
The Bal Mela came to culminated with a vote of thanks by Br Gonsalves. He thanked all the benefactors for their generosity and support for this event. The Zilla Parishad School teachers thanked the Don Bosco Institute for organising this grand Bal Mela for the VEP children. Mr Roha Patil said, “The children really enjoyed a lot in this open space, and it’s all because of the Salesian fathers and brothers”. The children received stationery as gifts and were also served snacks, as they left the place with smiling faces. They carried back fond memories with each other and were grateful to God for this wonderful exposure outside the village. Neha Gavaskar commented, “We’d love to come again (to Don Bosco Waluj). Jai Don Bosco!”