Fr Pravin Makwana, SDB, delivered the keynote address inviting the gathered tribal youth to learn from their elders and to emerge as game-changers in a society that is fast developing. He said, “Don Bosco sent his very first missionaries to work among the tribal people and following in his footsteps, the pioneering Salesians in Gujarat embarked on the adventure of education and social uplift among the tribal people of this region. We have come a long way since then, and now we have to come together to carry forward this zeal of Don Bosco.”
Fr Stanny Fereira, SDB, a Salesian pioneer in the Rath Vistar region, challenged the youth to live up to their identity. He said, “It is now your task to live up to the great tribal ideals of self-worth, valour and commitment to a cause. You have to acknowledge, accept and own up your tribal identity which is getting lost in modern-day development. You are the future of your community, the future of our society and the future of India. You must rally together in unity so that you will be at the forefront of leading the change in mindsets and act with commitment.”
Fathers Evangelo D’Souza and Ajit Munis along with Salesian Coadjutor Anthony Manickam animated the youth during the group discussions, inviting them to a more responsible participation in the change-making process.
Fr Ajit Munis, Rector at Don Bosco Narukot, celebrated the Holy Eucharist and invited the young to make determined choices and witness the values of the Good News in their lives.
Along with serious discussions, group interaction and action-plan commitments, the youngsters also had a jolly time in preparing rangoli, collages, painting, etc. The day was interspersed with action songs, applause, shouts and plenty of festive euphoria in true Salesian style, alongside traditional tribal gusto and vigour.
Fr Shaun D’Lima, who coordinated the entire event, remarked, “This was a very challenging task, with so many difficulties, but we pulled it off. I hope this gathering will enable greater future initiatives for, with and of the tribal youth aspiring to holiness with our listening and accompaniment.”
initiatives for, with and of the tribal youth aspiring to holiness with our listening and accompaniment.”