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Media Event 'Make Me Smile' organized by Assam Don Bosco University Students


By Father Bivan R. Mukhim
Guwahati, May. 10. ''Make Me Smile'', an event giving a platform to the talents of marginalized children as well as sensitizing people on children in need, was organized by the Department of Mass Communication of the Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) in association with Snehalaya and Child Friendly Guwahati (CFG) at Don Bosco School, Panbazar on 7th May.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Ranjit Sarkar Mooshahary, former Governor of Meghalaya, lauded the efforts of the Don Bosco Society to bring together the children of Snehalaya. ''If a child is not smiling, the child is not happy. As parents or caretakers, we find out the reason. But if there is none to look after the needs of such children, it becomes the responsibility of the society to reach out to them and address their agony,'' he said.
Lauding the dance performances by the children of Snehalaya and its project, Child Friendly Guwahati, Mooshahary said one can learn the lessons of tolerance from these children.

Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, while highlighting the need to work for all marginalized sections of people, including domestic helpers and victims of human trafficking, said that several sections of people are yet to receive the benefits of the financial growth in the country, with the widening gap between the rich and poor. He also released a booklet highlighting the success of Snehalaya and Child Friendly Guwahati.

The event was also attended by the doloi of Kamakhya Temple Jagannath Sarma and Imam Anowar Hussain of the Burha Jame Masjid, Ambari. In their speeches, both the religious leaders stressed the need to keep humanity above everything else and supported the initiative by Don Bosco Society to uplift the life of street children and those in need of special care and protection in and around Guwahati. Cine actor Baharul Islam, along with his wife and theatre activist Bhagirathi also participated in the programme.

Snehalaya founder director Father Lukose Cheruvalel emphasized the need for better awareness about child protection laws perterning to free and compulsory education, juvenile justice, child marriage, child labour and human trafficking. ''Children do not understand what rights they are being deprived of. It is the duty of the government and its machinery to ensure the implementation of these laws. But at the same time, civil society, activists and general people must be sensitized about such laws for a comprehensive understanding. This will definitely control the violation of such laws,'' he added.

Apart from the colourful cultural presentations by several groups from Snehalaya and Child Friendly Guwahati, a photography exhibition and screening of a documentary related to the topic also formed a part of the programme. Father Thadeus Kujur, director of Snehalaya and Child Friendly Guwahati also spoke on the occasion.
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