BIS #7062 INB Migrant Ministry Meets at DBPH

By Fr Rudolf D’Souza for BISMumbai

The Migrant Ministry of the Salesian Province of Bombay held its meeting on 15 September 2023 at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga, Mumbai. This meeting was attended by 45 persons, which included Salesians of the Bombay Province working for the migrants, Diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Bombay, Sisters of different congregations, students, and lay people from various NGOs.

The workshop began at 10:00 a.m. with a universal prayer followed by a welcome talk by the Provincial Economer, Fr Gregory D'Almeida who briefed the gathering on the inspiration behind Salesian work for migrants drawing a parallel with Don Bosco's work with the migrant youth of his time. 

Following the welcome address, a brief presentation was made by Fr Rudolf  D’Souza on the migrant work in the Salesian Province of Bombay. The main facilitator of the workshop, Fr Francis Bosco, the in-charge of migrant work in Salesian India and also a member of the Inter-State Migrants Advisory Committee, Tamil Nadu, made an elaborate presentation identifying issues and discussing problems faced by migrants while simultaneously prodding the audience to develop solutions and suggesting interventions even at the legislative level. He also mentioned explicitly that proper documentation is key to solving most issues.

Fr Glasten Gonsalves, Coordinator of the Migrant and Prison Ministry in the Archdiocese of Mumbai, in his turn, spoke of the collaboration that exists between the religious and diocese and gave concrete examples of how this collaboration was able to bring about successful interventions in the lives of migrant workers in Mumbai.

Towards the end of the workshop, all the participants were given the opportunity to share their particular experiences, express difficulties and challenges faced while working with migrant issues, and also offer their particular expertise for the benefit of others in a similar field. With the resolution of forming a WhatsApp group to share contacts and resources and meeting up again on another public platform to cater to migrants, the workshop concluded with lunch.

The workshop not only inspired but also served as a springboard for all the attendees to carry out effective work for migrant workers in their respective contexts.