BOSCO, the NGO working for the Rescue and Rehabilitation of Street Children for the last 30 years, organized a mega cultural fest for the street and working children of Bangalore on the occasion of its Founder’s Day on January 31st, at Chamrajapet, Bosco mane. Truly faithful to the founder’s aim and objectives, “Providing an opportunity is greater than feeling pity towards deprived” was concretized through the various activities of the day.

The cultural fest began at 10:00 am by a prayer dance. Rev. Fr. Edward Thomas, the Executive Director of BOSCO, graced the occasion by welcoming all chief guest and all the participants. He said it is not enough to love the young but they must feel that they are loved. Mr. Ramesh Chandra, Asst. Commissioner of police, Jayanagar Sub – Division inaugurated the program by lighting the lamp together with representatives of participating children and Forum convener. Mr. Ramesh Chandra in his inaugural speech said that these children are not street children, but the future citizens of our country. Available opportunities are few in life, but we have to use those to the maximum. He reminded the children that to come up in life they have to work hard, study well, and give shape to their life.

The NGO Forum convener, Mr. Bheema said that it is an opportunity for the underprivileged children to exhibit their hidden talents and build self-confidence and come up in the life. He wished that 150th year celebration of Salesian Society and the 17th Don Bosco inter agency cultural fest bring happiness and enthusiasm to the children and let it continue in their life. After the inauguration, cultural competitions took place systematically and all the participants actively participated. Fourteen NGOs participated in this cultural fest and contributed in their own way.

The event witnessed Children from 14 NGO’s of Bangalore Forum for Street and Working Children coming well in advance in their colorful attire, making the event a memorable and spectacular one. The whole programme stood unique from every perspective for the children of the less privileged to display their hidden talents in competitions like Group Dance, Patriotic Group Song, Skit, Single Dance, Fancy Dress, etc.
The culmination of the whole day’s event was the valedictory function. Dignitaries like Mr. H.B. Ravindranath (Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore City), Mr. Alok Kumar (IPS Joint Commissioner of Police – Crime – Bangalore City), Mr. Preveen Pandey (IRTS Sr. DCM south Western Railway) were present. While addressing the children all the dignitaries echoed in the same tone to the hundreds of street and working children gathered for the function, that “the service that is rendered to the needy children will bear much fruit only when they make use maximum use of the opportunities.”

The whole event left behind lots of positive lessons for the participants. It was a great and sweet memorable day for them to mingle with one another from different organization. It was a healthy competition to exhibit their talents. The event also created a sense of belongingness and brotherhood. The events similar to BOSCO Inter Agency Cultural Fest make children know their worth and encourage them to advance toward a good carrier. Finally Mr. P.N. Basavaraju gave the vote of thanks. At the end of the programme all saluted the nation by singing the National Anthem.

Fr Jose P, SDB

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