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94-Year-old Salesian Missionary receives Government Award


By Fr. P.D.Johnny
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Guwahati, Jan. 28. An Italian Salesian missionary who came to Garo Hills 65 years ago to dedicate his life for the cause of the people and in the process helped as many as twenty thousand young boys and girls complete their education has been honoured by the government on Republic Day celebrations at Tura MP Stadium.
Reverand Father Battista Busolin of the Salesians of Don Bosco was honoured by the government with a special award for Lifetime Service to the people. A citation and a watch made in Italy were part of the gifts given to Fr. Busolin by Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma during the Republic Day celebrations on Monday.

The citation mentioned Fr. Busolin as a patron, friend and guide of the people of Garo Hills who has dedicated his entire life and the past 65 years for selfless service to the people.

Born on 16 January 1922 in Padua, Italy, Fr. Busolin first set foot in Garo Hills in 1950 and devoted more than six decades of his life to endless and untiring service of the people of the region.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Don Bosco College in Tura, the Don Bosco B.Ed College, the higher secondary section of Don Bosco in Tura and the College hostel.

He also set up numerous schools and dispensaries  in Rongjeng, Garobadha, Baghmara and several villages of Garo Hills which continue to provide both education and much needed medical help to the poor.

One of the highlights of his missionary service in Garo Hills for the last 65 years has been the financial help he provided for as many as twenty thousand children to help them get through schools and colleges.

Fr. Busolin would provide funds from his own pocket as well as arrange sponsors to help educate the children, many of whom did not have the financial resources for undertaking their studies. Today many of those helped by Fr. Busolin are holding positions in the state and many more have ventured out to provide employment to countless others.

At the age of 94 Fr. Busolin remains active, exuding happiness and enjoys good health continuing to meet people from all walks of life who call on him daily having been inspired by his positive mindset and relentless service and generosity.
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