BIS #7023 Inauguration of the Bosco Oratory-Club at DB Kurla

By Fr Charles Anthony for BISMumbai

On the joyful occasion of Don Bosco's 208th birth anniversary, the Salesian community at Don Bosco, Kurla, inaugurated the Bosco Oratory-Club, a meaningful initiative aimed at nurturing the potential of neighbourhood children. Led by Fr Tony Pinto, the Rector, the event saw enthusiastic participation from the Salesian community, National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers, and the proud parents of the oratory children.

The vibrant energy of 90 children from the neighbourhood filled the Mondini Hall during the inauguration ceremony. Around 30 parents were honoured guests at the event, witnessing their children take centre stage in a series of captivating performances. The children wholeheartedly engaged the audience with a prayer dance, soul-stirring patriotic songs, delightful dance routines, an insightful value skit, and captivating solo dance performances. The festivities reached a crescendo as the dedicated volunteers orchestrated a captivating musical performance, leaving everyone in high spirits.

Fr Pinto, in his poignant address, shared the profound purpose behind establishing the Bosco Oratory-Club. He fondly recalled the flourishing Mondini oratory of yesteryear and emphasised that the new generation should have access to a similar enriching experience. Fr Pinto stressed the importance of play and study, assuring parents that the necessary infrastructure would be provided for both. He encouraged children to embrace academic growth and character development as inseparable companions, urging them to embody the hallmark of the Bosco Oratory-Club, namely values.

One of the highlights of the event was a speech by a parent who was once a proud member of the Mondini oratory. The nostalgic reflections of his time spent in the oratory and his joy at witnessing its revival touched the hearts of all present. 

The daily oratory at Kurla began on 17 July 2023. Dr Royal D’Souza and Mr Arvind Samarth, the dedicated coordinators of the NSS activity at DBCL, introduced the concept of oratory to children from municipal schools surrounding Don Bosco, Kurla. The enthusiastic response was overwhelming, with 120 children registering for the programme.

Behind this heartening initiative stands a team of 40 college students from DBCL and six students from St Xavier's College, who selflessly contribute their time and energy as volunteers. Collaborating with the children, they meticulously prepared the various elements that made the inauguration ceremony a resounding success.

The Bosco Oratory-Club provides a well-rounded experience, children have access to outdoor and indoor sports, a library, and a study centre. Operating from Monday to Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the oratory accommodates children from Grades 6 to 12 divided into three groups for better attention and progress: Juniors, Inters, and Seniors. The volunteers engage the children with games for an hour, and that is followed by study activities. Each day concludes with a meaningful value-based message from the Salesians or volunteers.

On his 208th birth anniversary, there could not have been a more appropriate gift to Don Bosco from the Salesian Community at Kurla, with a promise of nurturing young hearts and minds.