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Inauguration and Blessing of DONG DON BOSCO

By BIS Correspondent
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Mumbai, Nov. 21. On Sunday, 18 November, a new ''dong'' of Nongkohlew Village within the Mawlai Constituency was inaugurated and blessed. The new dong is named ''DONG DON BOSCO''  after the patron saint of youth, by the Salesian Father C.M. Jose Chunkapura SDB, founder of Caring Ministry.
Dong Don Bosco is a ''green field project'': an entire hill-top (knoll)  was purchased and divided into 24 plots of 1500 square feet each, which were registered in the names of 24 needy families that didn't own a house. Houses and toilets were then built on these plots. Each family has a small area of land to use as a kitchen garden. The Dong Don Bosco also has a common playground/children's park area of 2500 square feet area, levelled by a JCB. This common area is registered in the name of the CMC of the Dong.

By unveiling a memorial granite plaque, Bah Process T. Sawkmie, MLA of Mawlai inaugurated the new Dong Don Bosco at the start of the ceremonies on 18th November. Also present was Bah Marbud KDkhar, President of FKJGP, Mawlai. Out of the 24 houses of the project, 11 have been completed. Construction of the remaining 13 are in progress. The 11 new houses  were blessed  by Rev. Father C.M. Jose Chunkapura SDB at the end of the Holy Mass celebrated in the outdoors in the children's park area against the scenic backdrop of the rolling hills. Kong Brigita Rynjah, the local Secretary Balang, said ''It significant that the very first function in the new dong of this entirely Catholic village is the open-air Holy Mass celebrated in the village grounds.''

During the brief felicitation ceremony that followed the Holy Mass, Father C.M. Jose Chunkapura SDB handed over the keys of the houses to all the 24 beneficiaries.  Bah Process T. Sawkmie MLA congratulated and thanked Father C.M. Jose Chunkapura SDB for this great initiative of providing housing for the landless and homeless, for his vision for the poor and his humanitarian service to the people of Meghalaya during the past 30 years, particularly for the care of children affected by rickets. Bah Sawkmie promised to continue to support further development of the village by pushing infrastructure initiatives such as black-top road, etc. Bah Baiaineh Diegngdoh, the local Rangbah Shnong thanked Bah P.T. Sawkmie for providing the village with infrastructure facilities already completed (jeepable road, culvert, etc). He placed on record the undying gratitude of all the beneficiaries to Rev. Father C.M. Jose Chunkapura SDB, saying ''Dear Father Jose, it is a dream come true for us to have our own house. Thank you.''Bah Vincent Marwein the supervising engineer who volunteered his services, and Bah Klington Nongsteng the contractor felt happy and proud to have been a part of this humanitarian intitiative.

Besides the houses at Dong Don Bosco, three other houses for the poor have been completed at Phudmuri (Mawlai) and one at Laitlum. Another one at Umsaw is under construction.

Caring Ministry (''Caring for Disabled Children'') is a service started by Father C.M. Jose Chunkapura SDB in 1989 for the care of children affected by rickets, which at that time was widespread in Shillong. Over these past 29 years, Caring Ministry has treated over 26000 children. Currently Caring Ministry is treating more than 7600 children affected by rickets from various parts of Meghalaya. Besides the care of rickets-affected children, Caring Ministry also runs a free elementary school and a free tuition centre for children from very poor families. Caring Ministry also takes care of the educational needs (school fees, uniform, books, etc) of about 150 poor children who are enrolled in 8 different schools . Moreover, several young people are being supported for their college education and for various courses in technical education (electrician, automobile mechanic,  beautician, etc.)
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