24 September, 2016
-Contributions from Ms. Pallavi, Ms. Susan, Ms. Vailena. Collated by Ms. Ashwini
Sept. 20 : A red letter day at Don Bosco, Matunga, as the Regional Superior and Councillor of South East Asia, Rev. Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga graced the morning assembly and met up with the management and staff to share significant and opportune messages.
The boys of Class VII E expressed their sentiments on the theme ‘Don Bosco Lives On …’ illustrating how Don Bosco lived his dream, searching out and helping all those in need. Ms. Pallavi, the class teacher, conducted a reflection, reiterating how no dream is impossible, if one thinks it possible. The boys danced to the song Ashayein, reinforcing their message.
Vidith Shah, a past pupil, now connected with the NGO ‘Die Hard Indian’ addressed the assembly on waste management. He spoke about the D.F.C. initiative to segregate dry and wet garbage, the manner in which aluminium foil can be disposed, dry waste being used for making products and wet waste as compost.
Vidith spoke strongly about ubiquitous issues- problems of littering, bullying and students trying to be cool by rebelling. He pointed out that a cool person is one who is co-operative. He spoke about how participating in assemblies builds confidence, adding that this was his first time at being able to confidently convey what he had to say, and urged the boys to step out of the crowd and speak.
Rev. Fr. Maria Arokiam took the stage to reveal his joy on seeing how Don Bosco institutes are places where the spirit of Don Bosco is alive. His talks were peppered with humorous anecdotes, he applauded Vidith’s candidness in addressing the students. Father gave examples to show how Indians lacked civic sense, adding that callous disrespect towards nature and human beings, especially women, in India were grave social ills.
Father spoke about the boys’ biggest pet peeve- Don Bosco not being a co-ed school. Every boy/man has four relationships with women, Father explained, every woman older than oneself should be looked upon as one’s mother, women or girls around one’s age as sisters, younger girls as one’s own daughters, and lastly is the relationship one shares with one’s wife.
Father shared some thoughts of Swami Vivekananda on why America is a developed nation and India an underdeveloped country; America respects women, while in India women continue to be oppressed. Father emphasized that a society that still believes in the need to have a son in the family would never become a super power. Father went on to point out that it was women who brought laurels in the Olympics and not men. “Respect women and you will become better men,” was his invaluable message.
Father went on to plant a sapling with the management and nature club members in attendance.
Fr. Maria Arokiam continued in the same vein when he addressed the staff. He urged them as educators to recognise how the deeply entrenched roots of the caste system still hold a vice-like grip in our society; how a people divided on grounds of community, language and culture results in ‘thousands’ of nations existing within a single country, and the real purpose of education in this context.
Much food for contemplation Father, and miles to go in the journey towards empowering every citizen of the one real Mother India!