Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: July 22, 2021

INDIA: Don Bosco Orphanage receives donor funding support from Salesian Missions

207 boys are receiving an education and a safe place to live at the orphanage.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 22, 2021) Don Bosco Orphanage, in Gandhinagar, a planned city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, received donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The orphanage, part of the Salesian Vellore Diocese, provides a home to poor orphan and semi-orphan Catholic boys to give them an education and a safe place to live. Today, 207 boys live at the Don Bosco Orphanage.

“Don Bosco Orphanage is an iconic boarding school in our diocese and has made a number of young people realize their strength and has helped them to chase their dreams,” said Father Edwin Vasanthan, who is in charge of the orphanage. “We provide holistic formation in all the fields. We give the best of everything to help these young boys become men of obedience, God-fearing, loving and honest citizens to the nation at large.”

Fr. Vasanthan added, “The boys are indeed grateful to the Salesians. It is noteworthy to state that several stalwarts in the society have emerged from this great institution. There are several priests of this diocese and other dioceses and congregations, and in particular, several Salesians are past pupils of this magnificent institution.”

Salesians with the Vellore Diocese also provide scholarships, night schools, and computer and tailoring centers. There are also motivational classes and job guidance for those students who are ready to join the workforce. In addition, Salesians have reached out to poor families to meet basic needs like groceries and clothing during the pandemic.

“Many families were not even having a square meal per day. Today, a good number of families are grateful for this little help,” said Fr. Vasanthan.

The number of poor in India is projected to have reached 134 million, more than double the 59 million expected prior to the recession, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center. The poverty rate in India likely rose to 9.7 percent in 2020, up sharply from the January 2020 forecast of 4.3 percent. The middle class is shrinking and nearly 60 percent of India’s nearly 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, the World Bank’s median poverty line. Just more than 21 percent, or more than 250 million people, survive on less than $2 a day.

About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

Salesian missionaries living and working in India place special emphasis on rescuing and rehabilitating children engaged in child labor. There are Salesian-run programs throughout the country that have helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth through the years, and this work continues today.


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