BIS #7025 ‘A Quest for Peace’ at DBHS Matunga

By Mrs Bindu Keny for BISMumbai

Don Bosco High School, Matunga, Mumbai, organised a Peace Education session on 17 August 2023. The guest speaker for the session was Fr Peter Gonsalves, a versatile academician and author. 

This session was attended by teachers teaching Value Education from the nearby Salesian schools: Don Bosco International School - Matunga, St Joseph School - Wadala, and Dominic Savio School - Andheri. Fr Gonsalves encouraged the participants to be active emissaries of peacemaking, peace-building and peacekeeping in society.

Further, the concept of peace was elucidated in the words of Norwegian socialist, Johan Galtung, principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies, whose thoughts are highly impacted by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Resonating the power of non-violence as the path leading to peace, Galtung states that the test of the validity of a culture of peace lies in how it affects behaviour in conflict.

Fr Gonsalves then elaborated on how the emotion of peace that originates within each individual mind extends to social, political and ecological levels with due emphasis on morality over and above spirituality. Illustrating our nation's diversity as an opportunity to be at peace with one another, he described various religious notions of this much-needed virtue as interpreted in various religions.

Educators are entrusted with the responsibility of promoting peace in their institutions by preventing acts of bullying, sensitising students about abstaining from such acts, ensuring equity and equality, nurturing the innate spark to lead them to conquer their feelings of being inadequate and consequently internalising peace. Fr Gonsalves acknowledged Don Bosco's firm yet amicable approach to his difficult pupils as an inspiration for elders trying to resolve conflicts among young people in the current scenario.

Fr Gonsalves facilitated ample reflections from the participants during the session with interactions and songs. In the post-lunch session the content of the Peace Education Manual in classroom situations was expounded. A representative from the staff thanked Fr Gonsalves for his lucid elaboration of the virtue of peace as a subtle, intriguing and elusive yet the most natural experience stemming from love and concern for living beings and nature.