BIS #7018 Celebrating the 77th Independence Day across INB

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The 77th Independence Day celebration throughout the Salesian Province of Bombay (INB) was commemorated with a patriotic spirit through a variety of patriotic songs, speeches, and dances. 

At Don Bosco High School and College, Naigaon, the flag was unfurled, by Mr Anil Bohir, a senior staff member, and all joined together to sing the National Anthem. Fr Dominic Martis, the Rector, urged the students to uphold the values of great liberation fighters, and he enlightened them on the need of truth and unity in daily life as well as the need to be model citizens of the nation.

At Don Bosco, Borivli, apart from the Independence Day celebrations,, the students celebrated the occasion for a week. The primary section had a singing competition and a dance competition based on patriotic songs. The students and teachers put in a lot of effort and it truly showed in their performances. 

At Don Bosco, Lonavla,  the flag was raised by the chief guest, Br Royston Colaco. Guided by Br Alfred Menezes, the Bosco Band played the National Anthem. Two students delivered captivating speeches: one highlighting India's achievements and areas needing progress while, another praising freedom fighters and their contributions.

At St Joseph’s High School, Wadala, Fr James Nigrel addressed the august gathering calling upon the students to remember the sacrifices of the freedom fighters. Apart from the wonderful programme, the key attraction was the valedictory function for students to reward them for their excellence in academics the year 2022-2023.

At Don Bosco, Kapadvanj, the event was graced by the presence of Mr Babubhai Parmar, an ex Army Officer. He delivered an enlightening address, sharing anecdotes from India's struggle for independence and underscoring the importance of upholding the principles that our nation's forefathers fought for.

At Divyadaan, Nashik, the staff and students with a sense of patriotism sang the national anthem which was accompanied by the Bosco Brass Band, as Fr Robert Pen, the Rector hoisted the Tricolor. Thereafter, the gathering was addressed by Fr Pen, He encouraged all to recognize their freedom and responsibilities towards promoting social justice. He highlighted the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity as guiding principles for achieving this goal.

Don Bosco Vyawasaik Prashikshan Kendra, Chichwad, the Chief Guest, Mr Gaurav Chaudari, challenged the young students to use their time creatively and constructively. He pointed out that though the country has gained its freedom, its citizens continue to be shackled by the chains of the present challenges, namely, social media. He invited the students to observe how much time they spend on their phones, and urged them to take up the task of making good use of the time given to them. 

The Don Bosco Past Pupils Association of Savedi, Ahmednagar, organised a Blood Donation Camp in view of the celebration of Independence Day. Jeevanraj Charitable Foundation helped in the process of collection. 

Shelter Don Bosco Nashik was abuzz with enthusiasm and patriotism as it celebrated Independence Day. The young boys of Shelter Don Bosco truly shone, putting up dances, songs, and speeches that resonated with the spirit of the day. The highlight of the day was the investiture ceremony of the newly elected ministers of the Bal Sansad, a student council dedicated to providing a platform for young voices to be heard and fostering leadership skills. At Don Bosco School and Junior College, Nashik, Fr Felix Fernandes urged the students to emulate the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, embracing his values of truth and non-violence. Expressing concern for the current state of Manipur, he implored the students to become messengers of love, peace, justice, and liberty.

Don Bosco, Nerul, had the opportunity to present an Independence Day programme at Nexus Grand Central Mall, Navi Mumbai. Each performance ended with a thunderous round of applause which boosted the confidence of the participants. This was indeed a great exposure for the students as they were able showcase their talents outside the school premises. At the oratory Independence Day celebrations, Fr Barnabe D'Souza emphasised on the profound impact of community-driven initiatives in shaping a brighter tomorrow. Through his wisdom, he reaffirmed that the true essence of freedom lies in unity and collective progress.

At St Dominic Savio High School, Andheri, Fr Francisco Pereira reiterated Rabindranath Tagore’s prayer ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’, to illustrate the importance of justice, peace and order in society. At Don Bosco, Kawant, the atmosphere was charged with patriotism as students, teachers, and staff gathered to commemorate the nation's freedom struggle. The event showcased a perfect blend of cultural performances and informative speeches.

Independence Day is not just a celebration of the past; it is a collective pledge to uphold the principles of liberty and uphold the spirit of oneness for generations to come.