DBNJ Mela 2014 stresses on Child rights

Hyderabad, Nov. 24.Don Bosco Nava Jeevan (DBNJ) MELA 2014 was celebrated on 23 November at Don Bosco Navajeevan Home, Bhoiguda, Hyderabad. Mr Elvis Stevenson, Honourable MLA representing Ango-Indian Community of Telangana State was the Chief Guest and Mrs Savitri Mahesh, Corporator of New Bhoiguda, was the guest of honour. Many donors and benefactors of Don Bosco Navajeevan family too joined in commemorating three major events of this year, namely the bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco, Crystal Anniversary of the Don Bosco Navajeevan Homes in Hyderabad and the awareness on the YaR theme for 2014: `I have a Right to be heard`.

All the children from DBNJ home Nampally and Don Bosco Rehabilitation Centre Ramanthapur took part in the Mela along with DBNJ Past Pupils and people of Bhoiguda. About 500 people participated in the programme which took place at the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) ground, New Bhoiguda.

Right at the outset of the programme tribute was paid to Don Bosco, the inspiration behind the DBNJ Homes, through a band piece `We Thank you O Lord Don Bosco` and the Navajeevan theme song, played by the DBNJ boys.

In his address, Fr Bellamkonda Sudhakar, Director of Don Bosco Navajeevan homes in the Twin Cities spoke about the three major events of the year, stressing on the YaR theme for 2014: `I have a right to be Heard`. He called on people present for the programme to spend time for the children especially hearing what they want to say, which can make a vast difference in the lives of the children and society at large. He made a request asking all to spend at least five minutes exclusively for a child. He pointed out that ``160 years ago Don Bosco could win over children and youngsters precisely because he was listening to them and guided them for their life.``

The Honourable MLA congratulated the Salesians for their valuable service on behalf of the children, and promised that he would support and recommend to the government all that is required for the children. ``These children were like shapeless stones; but today either they are getting shaped or some of them have become beautifully carved statues with the help of the facilities and opportunities provided,`` she said.

The guest of honor Mrs Mahesh assured her total support for the children. The children and staff felicitated the guests and local benefactors, while the Director presented mementos to them. A special word of thanks was reserved for Mr Radhakrishan and all the employees of GENPACT, Hyderabad for the funds they raised through CSR programme in support of DBNJ for the upgradation of the technical school.

The guest appreciated and applauded the Children from the three centres for the programme they presented. The Skit put up by the boys was the highlight of the programme. Mr Michael, an employee of Amazon also spoke about his past and motivated the boys.

A very touching moment was the sharing of DBNJ achiever Mr Venkatesh Niak, presently working as traffic police. He asked his younger brothers to make use of the opportunities provided to them. He reaffirmed, ``Without Don Bosco, I am nothing, but with Don Bosco I have everything.``