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Itanagar gives a rousing welcome to Don Bosco

By Fr. Tarcisius Toppo
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Dimapur, May. 15. Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, the land of variegated tribes and colours, a land known for its natural beauty, a land which recently was in the news headlines because of the tragic copter crash in the Tawang hills, which claimed the life of its leader and chief minister, Mr. Dorji Khandu, gave a rousing welcome to the casket of Don Bosco.  
The surprising motorcade consisting of more than 200 hundred vehicles, with motorbikes leading the motorcade, all the riders clad in their traditional costumes, was a sight to behold in the capital city. The more than 5 kms motorcade starting from Gopur Tinali, to the city, put the whole traffic to a halt.

The casket was brought to the heart of the city, at the Don Bosco Youth Centre, where thousands had already gathered to welcome the relic. The casket was garlanded by Shri Wanglin Lowangdong, Hon'ble speaker of the Legislative Assembly, SChowna Mein, Hon'ble minister, Hon'ble minister of Horticulture. After that it was brought in procession to the St. Mary's Church, Itanagar.

After the initial ceremonies by Fr. Joby Mattapally, the Parish Priest, floral tributes were paid by several dignitaries of state as well as Church which included, Shri Wanglin Lowangdong, Hon'ble speaker of the Legislative Assembly, SChowna Mein, Hon'ble minister, Hon'ble minister of Horticulture, V.K. Dev, Commissioner Finance, Mr. Bamang Felix MLA, Fathers and Sisters.

Fr. Nestor Guria, Vice Provincial, in his speech, gave a brief history of the veneration of relic in history of the church, citing biblical references and church history. He explained to the people about the importance and significance of the veneration of relics. He cited the miraculous permission given for the relic to enter East Arunachal Pradesh.

Shri Chowna Mein, Hon'ble Minister and an Alumni, while speaking of the great educator don Boscco, acknowledged how Don Bosco has contributed much to the welfare of his family members, through the instrumentality of the Salesians under whom he was shaped and educated.  

Hon'ble Speaker, Shri Wanglin, while appreciating the great service of the organization, said that though a poor boy, Don Bosco had a vision for the education of the poor and marginalized. He said that his presence should enthuse everyone with the same interest and passion for the poor and abandoned.

The releasing of the ''The Hand'' a 25 minute documentary on the works of the Salesians in the North East was released and screened for the benefit of all.

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