“Today if we continue to be what we were yesterday, we will continue to be the same even tomorrow”, opined Fr. Jude Anand (Coordinator, BOSCO KIDS, Bangalore), at the first session of the second day of ‘Yuvaspandhana 2010: Young at Risk for Environment at Risk’. The second session consisted of group building activities and games conducted separately in four groups by Fr. K.J Jose, Fr. Jude Anand, Fr. Regi Pulicode and Fr. Michael Konnanikad.

The theme of the third session was “Young at Risk (YaR) for Environment at Risk (EaR)” by Fr. George Kollashany (Founder, BOSCO). The session held in the open air meant to familiarize the children with the nature and environment included a talk on nature and an environmental quiz. The children were asked to stand up for the protection and preservation of the nature and environment. The highlight of the session was the reading out of the resolutions taken by the children in order to protect the nature.

The resolutions taken by the children at the end of the sessions were: Grow trees, maintain a clean environment; stop cutting down trees; stop burning of scraps as it would cause pollution; preserve wild life; use water sparingly; reduce the use of plastic; when one tree is cut down, 4 trees to be planted; grow medicinal plants; keep the drainage clean; stop spilling waste material all over; use bio-fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers; use public mode of transport than private vehicles to control pollution of the atmosphere; make domestic vegetable gardens; and make fence around the trees.

The afternoon sessions animated by Mr. G. Vishwamurthy (Secretary, SEEDS) and Mr. Parasuram (Journalist, Hospet) emphasized the need to inculcate in everyone a love for the environment. This was followed by housie and chance games for the children.

The evening session animated by Fr. Edward (Executive Director, BOSCO, Bangalore), turned out to be an interactive and intense session in which children shared their experiences and aspirations. The gripping testimonies of children who left behind unhealthy life styles and behaviour patterns to pursue their studies with new vigour evidently created positive vibes in the crowd. The day closed with a campfire after supper, during which there were cultural competitions, party songs, and entertainment programmes.

‘Yuvaspandhana 2010’, the Second All Karnataka Convention of the Young at Risk (YaR) began at Don Bosco Hospet at 11.00 am on Saturday. The three day YaR convention held from 23-25 January 2010 has ‘Young at Risk for Environment Restoration’ as its theme. It marks the 150th year of the founding of the Salesian Congregation and the 25th year of the founding of Don Bosco, Hospet. The convention also marks the establishing of several child labour rehabilitation centres in nine districts of Karnataka after the project got initiated in 1994. Four hundred and fifty children and 40 staff members from 13 Don Bosco YaR centres are participating in the programme.

A study tour to Humpi and TB Dam is on the cards for the third day of ‘Yuvaspandhana 2010: Young at Risk for Environment at Risk’. The study tour is designed to increase the knowledge and love of the children for historical monuments and nature.

Fr Joseph Kunnummel (Prasad) SDB