He gave us the diocese's background and the reason for inviting the Salesians, namely to establish a Technical Training Center with a Hostel in the Diocese of Hyderabad. This is to respond to the challenge of unemployment and the lack of youth with a deep Christian formation. The Diocese itself covers 16 parishes,8 of which cater to tribal communities. The Spiritans (CSSp), Franciscans Friar Minor (OFM), Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM) and the Society of St Columban (SSC) also serve in the diocese.
In Hyderabad, there are many tribal communities that are so poor that the only way to get out of poverty is to provide them with skills so they can earn a decent income. Without specific technical skills, they work like slaves deprived of human rights with little compensation. The young people in the villages need to grow and deepen their Christian faith. Bishop Samson has thus asked the Salesians to open a Technical School with a Hostel for the purpose of accepting more students from far-flung villages.
Educational Institutions in Hyderabad (Sindh)
20 private High Schools, 35 private Colleges, 26 public Government Colleges and 9 Government Institutes and Universities.
Peaceful social situation
For the past ten years, there have been no incidents of attacks or bombings in Hyderabad. The people are normally peaceful and simple. There have been no incidents involving church or mosque attacks.
The majority of the people in Hyderabad followed Islam as their religion which accounts for 94.0%, followed by Hindus, who are the largest minority group forming 5% of the total population, while other religions count for 1%.
The Sindhi youth are afflicted with pervasive poverty, chronic unemployment, drug addiction and limited recreational venues. Due to this problem, the youth have become susceptible to anger, disillusionment and suicide. Lahore’s Salesian group further note that the province's youth, due to the surging youth population, are facing daunting challenges from physical to psychological insecurities and frustration.
Visit to possible TVET sites
The group visited first the town of Latifabad (a large number of Christians reside on the river banks), then Kohsar (3 ha area, near the city, close to a poor community). Then they went to Mirphur Khas (60 km from the city), passing Tando Alla Yar (40 km from the city). Along the road, there are vast open agricultural areas, another possible location.
The Salesian community met with the Bishop and discussed some concrete concerns: the land ownership and the contribution of the diocese to financial matters; administration and position of the future TVET (city or near the city).
Bishop Samson listened to them and invited them to visit first the areas of his diocese so they could gain a better understanding. After the visit to the diocese, the Salesian community really felt the need of the diocese for the Technical Skills for both Hindu and Christian communities. These communities are victimized and compelled to remain in their slavery, generation after generation. Through Education and Skill Training the youth can be freed from forced labour and poverty, as indicated by Bishop Samson Shukardin. The Salesians agree with the Bishop's vision and will continue the discernment.
“An empty lot within the city with a minimum of 5 hectares is not available. We continue the search for land with an acceptable price and possibly close to a Christian community. We entrust this possible third Pakistan Salesian presence dreamed to Mary Help of Christians and request prayers for good discernment and available Salesians and Lay mission partners for the Hyderabad mission,” Bro. Abelgas concludes.