BIS #6876 Help Save a Life!

By Ms Mona More and Cl. Jittin Mathew for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Suraksha (DBS), Migrant Services, Pune, in collaboration with ‘Connecting’, a leading non-governmental organisation in India that is working to bring about large-scale systemic changes in the field of mental health, organised a half-day awareness cum guidance session for the Migrant Youth of the Pune region at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park, on 22 January 2023.

According to a survey done by Ms Mona More, Project Manager at DBS, many young migrants had landed in the neighbourhoods of Pune - Gondvasti, Birajdarvasti, Limbuvasti, and Hadapsar - and were having a difficult time adjusting. Since they were engaged in work in order to make ends meet, there was little time for themselves, for education, to think about their career and future, thereby making them vulnerable to all kinds of mental and emotional problems, one of them being suicidal tendencies. Realizing the dire need of professional help for these youngsters, DBS joined hands with Connecting NGO to help them be better prepared to counter these serious issues. The team of ‘Connecting’ - Ms Shilpa Tambe, Ms Farida Panjiwar and Ms Jaya Pillai - conducted an educative, informative and inspirational session, in which the participants were given access to real-time solutions for overcoming mental and emotional problems, as well as contact information to use in an emergency.

Unemployment is another serious issue that troubles migrants. In order to avoid this pitfall, it is imperative that the youth equip themselves with skills that can help them make a living. The Salesian priests organised sessions addressing this issue. Fr Ian Doulton, the Rector of the institution, emphasized the need to treat oneself with dignity and to get educated for the future. In connection with this, Fr Osborn Furtado made the youth aware of the various job possibilities available to them by showing them a documentary about the various technical courses offered by Don Bosco Institutes.

Mr Sagar Sharad Nikalje, a participant from Hadapsar said: “These are real issues faced by us and I will do my best to spread awareness about it in my community. Thank you Don Bosco Suraksha and Connecting for conducting such programs and for thinking about us.”