BIS #7042 Raksha Bandhan Celebrations across INB

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The festival of Raksha Bandhan was celebrated across the various institutions of the Salesian Province of Bombay on 30 August 2023. It is one of the great festivals of India, and it highlights the special and sacred bond between brother and sister.

Shelter Don Bosco, Nashik, was aglow with joy as the staff and resident boys celebrated this heartwarming festival. The event was graced by the presence of the Salesian Sisters and Sister Novices of Sacred Heart Training Centre (SHTC), and the girls from Maria Vihar Girls' Hostel, making it a truly special occasion of shared love and affection.

The main highlight of the event was the heart-touching ritual of tying rakhis. The women and girls encircled the wrists of the boys with a rakhi, symbolising a bond of love, care, and protection. The act of tying rakhis is not just a traditional custom, but a symbol of the strong and inseparable bond that exists between siblings, transcending blood relations. Amidst smiles and laughter, the exchange of sweets and chocolates further added sweetness to the celebration, symbolising the sharing of joy and the strengthening of relationships. The boys, beaming with happiness, reciprocated the gesture with heartfelt gratitude, showcasing the mutual respect and love that underline the festival.

Undoubtedly, the most pivotal moment of the day was when six boys from the Shelter had the opportunity to meet their biological sisters, who were residing in other children's homes. The atmosphere was filled with emotion as siblings who had been separated were reunited, embracing each other in tearful yet joyous moments.

Similarly, at Shelter Don Bosco, Wadala, the women staff tied rakhis on the wrists of the boys. The boys, in turn, expressed their gratitude by preparing handmade cards as a token of appreciation. The celebration had begun with a special assembly in the hall, where boys gathered with excitement. A short prayer moment gave a sense of reverence and created a spiritually uplifting atmosphere for the celebration. A staff member explained the festival and screened a couple of videos on the historical and religious significance of Rakshabandhan. Fr Lester Fernandes, the Rector, addressed the gathering and thanked all female staff for taking the initiative in organising the event. 

At Don Bosco, Narukot, after the rituals of Rakshabandhan, Fr Rozario Vaz, the chief guest of the day, addressed the students. He said, "In every family, it is the girl who supports and ready to sacrifice for all other members of the family. Most of the time, this sacrifice goes unnoticed. Sadly, even today, there are hundreds of families where sisters are not respected. Every girl should receive respect, care and love from her brother.”