Don Bosco Hospet, a beacon of service and a flame of light to thousands of young people in the District of Bellary, celebrated Silver Jubilee on June 2 & 3, 2010. In the public gathering on June 2nd evening more than 1500 people who are directly or indirectly associated with the institution participated. Rev. Fr. Thomas Anchukandam, the Salesian Provincial of Bangalore, presided over the function. The Chief Guest was Mr. Anand Singh, the MLA of Hospet. In his keynote address the MLA stated that Don Bosco, Hospet is really a gift to his constituency; he appreciated the great service that the institution is doing on behalf of the downtrodden of the society, especially by means of the vocational training for the young people who are dropouts, the education of the child labourers through various child labour schools and the empowerment of women through various programmes. In the presidential address Rev. Fr Provincial congratulated and thanked all the Salesians, the staff collaborators and volunteers who have rendered their service in the institution. The presence of many priests, religious and govt. officials added colour to the whole celebration.
On June 03, the thanksgiving Eucharist was presided over by Rt Rev. Dr. Henry D’souza, Bishop of Bellary. Forty priests concelebrated and more than eight hundred people were present. After the Holy Eucharist, Rev. Fr. Provincial blessed the foundation stone of the new technical school building. Salesians and the staff who have worked for the growth of this institution were felicitated before the fellowship meal at 1 O’clock. The presence of Fr Antony Valluran, pioneer of the institute, deserves mention.
Don Bosco, Hospet serves the Hyderabad Karnataka region, ecclesiastically the Bellary Diocese, consisting of the Districts of Bellary, Raichur, Gulbarga and Koppal. The Project reaches out especially to the youth who are dropouts, child labourers, young earners and other socially disadvantaged youngsters. Though Salesians had started working at Tunga Badra Dam as early as 1982, Don Bosco Tech. Hospet started functioning in 1985. The non-formal technical school was inaugurated in 1989. Simultaneously, the neighbourhood involvement and a Centre for Social Action were initiated. During 1992-94 a Youth Centre was opened, the ministry in Hansen’s disease colony was strengthened, and the participation in the Saksharatha mission of Bellary District was activated. In 1994, Don Bosco Child Labour mission was launched. Simultaneously, Don Bosco, Hospet served also as the Coordinating Centre for several activities. Prominent among them are Government-initiated Research Survey on the problem of Child Labour, Karnataka Salesian Vocational Promotion Interventions, Two Year Action Research involving fourteen NGOs in three South Indian states, being executed as part of an international effort initiated by Amsterdam University and the Research ‘Qualifying the Unqualified’ coordinated by Fr. George Kollashany. In 1996 Kannada Open School was launched and in 1998, the accredited vocational programme, all path-breaking educational and qualification programmes exclusively for the illiterate and the dropouts.
The recent additions to the project are the programmes for women, Self Help Groups, the special residential school for the working children, and self-employment and entrepreneurial development. From 2002 Don Bosco, Hospet manages the Government Rural Girls Hostel. Two Missionary Sisters of Mary immaculate collaborate in managing the Girls Hostel, CFCA (Christian foundation for Children and Aging) and Women Self Help Groups. In the year 2005 Tharuni Mahila Abhirudhi Society was registered as another wing of Don Bosco, Hospet for the Empowerment of Women. In the year 2007 Don Bosco Snehalaya, another center for the rehabilitation of child labourers came up. In the same year a unit of the Association of Salesians Co-operators was inaugurated in order to spread the Salesian charism and expand the mission of Don Bosco. In 2007 another initiative of Don Bosco, Hospet was to work with Home-Link which is a National Network for Missing Children. In the year 2010 a unit of the Association of Don Bosco Alumni was organized to enable former pupils to come together and share their views and reminiscences and to become part of Don Bosco’s mission. In the same year Don Bosco, Hospet started to involve with Missing Child Bureau in Bellary District which was initiated by BOSCO, Bangalore, assisted by the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. May God who has initiated the Salesian Project at Don Bosco, Hospet continue to bless and guide.
Fr KD Varghese SDB