HOWRAH (C.M. Paul) – Thirty six children of Don Bosco Ashalayam, were felicitated at a colourful programme graced by Shri. Jugal Joshi (Senior Commandant Railway Protection Force, Howrah), on 23rd July at DBA Headquarters on Belilious Road Howrah. Besides handing over prizes to successful candidates he also released the DBA annual publication.
Among those students who appeared for Class X examinations, 26 were awarded, while 10 students were awarded for clearing class XII examination. Of these, 13 were girls. 30 children (24 boys and 6 girls) of DBA appeared for Madhyamik (Secondary) Examination in the month of February, 2011 while 14 children (8 girls and 6 boys) appeared for Higher Secondary Examination. Schools that collaborated in educating DBA children in Kolkata are: St Peter’s High School, Carey High School, St Sebastian’s School, and Miloni Girls School. Some children studied in the following schools in Howrah: Bantra MSPC, Chapala Devi Girls HS, Kula Kamini Vidya Mandir (Liluah), and South Bantra RK Institution. In Nadia district DBA children studied at Mary Immaculate School Ranaghat and Chapra.
“DBA is a project with street and destitute children irrespective of caste, creed or gender,” says Ashalayam director Fr George Myppan. “In our effort to restore hope and dignity for street children we give them the means to build their own future, by providing access to education or to vocational training,” adds Fr Myppan.
“It is a movement, which has been founded to protect children from the evils of today’s society by eradicating child labour, beggary, trafficking and other forms of child abuse,” adds former Ashalayam director Fr Mathew Parakonath who is working with street children for over 20 years now.
Started in 1985 at Pilkhana Howrah, it has helped thousands of children towards restoration and rehabilitation. Currently DBA takes care of 600 (six hundred) children in 26 centres in three districts surrounding Calcutta with hubs in Howrah, Bhattanagar, Kolkata and Kalyani.
Besides Kolkata, the DBA outreach progamme covers some 5,000 (five thousand) street children in the neighbouring Midnapore, Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly and Burdwan districts.
While Salesians of Don Bosco take care of boys, three women’s religious congregations namely Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, Sisters Adorers and Holy Family Sisters take care of girls.