India – Giving light for the education of children in Khoupum Valley

16 May 2019

(ANS - Khoupum Valley) - In the North-East of India, in the State of Manipur, there is a small valley surrounded by green hills that give rise to spectacular waterfalls. It is the Khoupum Valley, which encompasses all the contrasts of India: it is surrounded by pristine forests and is at the same time the destination of choice for the holiday trips of city dwellers; it is rich in natural resources, but most of the population of tribal origin lives below the poverty line. The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco arrived in this remote area of ​​India in the 1940s, but the official inauguration of their mission dates to 1981.

Initially, the Salesians who had been assigned to it were all Italian; then, thanks to their commitment and their testimony, over time the vocations among the youth of these remote areas  flourished, so now all four Salesians who live and work there originate from the very same regions.

Faithful to their charism, in addition to animating the public church for Christians in the area, they dedicate themselves, above all, to education via a school that goes from elementary to high school. And they do so, as often happens, together with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). In total, they deal with 1,100 students: 500 males and 600 females, of which 100 boys and 100 girls from two different hostels, for boys and girls.

Salesians and FMA fight in unison so that the highest possible number of children and young people can learn to read and write and develop their talents, and they are particularly attentive to the situation of the deprivation of rights in which girls live.

In that area, in fact, there is generally little attention with respect to the education of children, but girls are especially discriminated against; they often work as domestic workers and their salary is used to allow their male siblings to study.

Among the various difficulties that afflict these isolated lands is the supply, or lack, of electricity, which is highly erratic: for this reason the local Salesian Family has recently requested the support and generosity of Salesians across the globe, so that they may replace the electricity generator currently in use, old and noisy, with a new one.

Without electricity, of course, it is impossible to provide and take computer lessons and, alas, the kids who live in the hostels have no light by which to study in the evening. A new generator would solve these two problems.

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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