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Foundation laid for new skill development centre

By Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Aug. 19. The foundation ceremony for a new skill development institute with an aim to provide job-oriented training programmes to the unemployed youth of the region was laid in a glittering function held at St. Joseph's Mission, Barpeta Road on 18th August. Rev Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial laid the foundation for the construction of the new centre. In his speech, he called on those gathered to extend all possible support in order to make the dreams of young people of the region come true. The centre was constructed with the support from the ChildAid Network, Germany.
In his speech, the provincial recalled to mind the dream and the vision that Don Bosco had when he started the oratory at Voldocco. ''Don Bosco was born poor, lived poor and he lived for the poor and today we continue that dream of Don Bosco. We cannot forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have given themselves selflessly for the welfare of the young,'' Fr. VM Thomas said. He invited everyone to work together to fulfill the mission of Don Bosco particularly during this year when we celebrate the bi-centenary of birth of Don Bosco.

Earlier speaking to the students and young people who had gathered to welcome him, the provincial challenged them to believe in the possibility of things and told them to ask 'why not?' instead of 'why?'. He hoisted the bi-centenary flag, joined the students in taking the pledge and dedication of themselves to Don Bosco.

Fr. Markus Lakra, the centre in-charge welcomed the gathering. In his speech he thanked the province and Fr. VM Thomas in a special way for putting his trust in him and in the centre. ''The presence of the provincial and other Salesian confreres brought much smiles and happiness into the faces of the young people who are undergoing different skills programme here at Barpeta,'' said Fr. Markus. ''We inaugurate today the bi-centenary of the birth of Don Bosco, a person who lived for the sake of the poor people and the laying of the foundation of the new skill development institute reminds us of the dream he had to help the poor and make them rich,'' Fr. Markus added.

The celebrations culminated in the installation of Fr. Markus Lakra as the new Rector of the centre. The function was attended by several priests, religious, past pupils, teachers and students. Mr. Robert Ewers of ChildAid Network was also present at the foundation laying ceremony. Barpeta has been coordinating with Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati in running the Bosco Skill Mission projects of the Employment Generation Mission (EGM), Government of Assam. Many unemployed youth have received skill trainings from the centre and are placed in different companies. Besides skill trainings, the centre runs an Assamese medium school, an English medium school and a pre-apostolic school.
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