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Annual Thanksgiving Day Celebrated by Don Bosco Balprafulta, Andheri

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Mumbai, Apr. 29. April 20, 2013 was a special day in Don Bosco Balprafulta, celebrated as 'Annual Thanksgiving day'. Several NGO's represented by their staff and a few stake holders, who assist Don Bosco Balprafulta whilst working on Child Rights participated in the celebration.

The Annual Day celebration began with the welcome address given by Rev. Fr. Godfrey D'souza, Rector of Dominic Savio, Andheri. The day's Programme was well synchronized with a mix of children's dance and skit performances based on the theme of Street children which gave much food for thought. The Chief Guest of the day, Sir. D. Tripathi, Secretary of Maharashtra State commission for protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR), who is also a Gandhian, spoke elaborately on the growing phenomenon of slum children on streets and a Gandhian philosophical approach for addressing the problem.

The annual report which was presentated on the occasion traced the various activities taken up by the organization. This was followed by a short movie presentation made by the staff of Don Bosco Balprafulta, on the theme of the Annual Day '' Street Child whose responsibility?''

The highlight of the day was a public debate on the current trends and challenges and way ahead of street children.  This was preceded by Don Bosco Research Centre presenting the major findings of the Rapid Assessment Study (RAS) in Mumbai, a study on home placement and study on drug addiction in collaboration with National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

There followed a panel discussion at which the following eminent panelists took part:
Mrs. Mrinalini Kher, Hon. Secretary and Trustee of Kherwadi Social Welfare Association and co-founder of Yuva Parivartan, who spoke about changing face of street children in Mumbai;
Ms. Sunita Mhaiskar, Assistant Labour Commissioner of Mumbai and Head of Child Labour Cell, who spoke on prevalence of child labour among street children;  
Dr. Sunita Shanbag, Head of PSM Department, KEM Hospital, who spoke about the health and psycho-social trauma of Street Children;
Dr. Deepa Bhanushali, Administrative Officer Education Department, M-Ward, who spoke about street children and their educational challenges.

The debate was interesting and very insightful. The audience posed a number of important questions before the panelists who answered them according to their expertise.

In conclusion, Rev. Fr. Barnabe D'Souza who Chaired the debate, pointed out that the responsibility to advocate for Child rights with regard to street children lies in the hands of each individual rather than the Government or the society in general. The programme was concluded with the Vote of Thanks given by Sr. Jacinta, the Asst. Director of Don Bosco Balprafulta.
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