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BALMELA 2013 in Goa

By Ralin De Souza sdb
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Panjim, Dec. 19. 19th December is much more than  just a liberation day in Goa. The Balmela 2013 always adds a special tinge in the lives of the less privileged in Goa. YaR (Youth at Risk) commission of the Salesian Province of Panjim organised the 7th Annual Balmela with about 1200 children from different centres of social work run by Don Bosco and other NGOs.
The inaugural ceremony tokk place at 10am in the Presence of Fr Ian Figueiredo, Provincial and Fr. Paul D'Souza, Vice Provincial, and Fr. KImrold D'Mello, Event Coordinator.

After a common prayer and pledge the event was declared open when the children had two hours or merry time playing games and learning art at the creativity stalls.

Over 170 volunteers, a bulk of them from Don Bosco Higher secondary, and Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Porvorim, efficiently entertained the children.

A cultural prorgramme was held after lunch, which displayed the skill and talent of the children. As an added feature were the performances by the African Acrobatic Performers and the Snayden Shawn Dance Academy performers who enthralled the little children.

The Salesian Panjim Province organises various non formal activities for the marginalised and children in need of care and protection through the Konkan Development Services (KDS). These activities are prominent in the poorer sections of society and focus on education, counselling, social work, etc. BALMELA is an event invite all those in this sector in the age group of 8-15 years who are gathered together to give them a sense of identity and self-right.

The main organisers of the program were Fr. Kimrold D'Mello (Coordinator), Fr Arvind Severes, and Fr Mattias D'Cunha. The event was coordinated along with Don Bosco Oratory.
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