LOVE FOR THE MARGINALISED : Sr. Lucy Rose Ozhukayil FMA General Councillor, Rome
I would like to share the miraculous effect of the Preventive System which I witnessed and experienced during one of my extra-ordinary Visitation made to the FMA Province of Bangalore in particular to Prathyasha Bhavan (homes of hope) Palluruthy Cochin. The Salesian Sisters and the Staff enable the children and young people in difficult situations to journey in hope and dedicate to rehabilitate the homeless children by giving them shelter and education and reuniting them with their families when possible. After the example of Don Bosco, they are creative and inventive to network with other Agencies and Organizations so that children may have a better future which they otherwise would never have. Prathyasha Bhavan is an example of Government – Civil Society collaboration and has helped to give many young girl at risk to give the best possible start in life. They believe that living of the Preventive System as a spirituality and as a method you embrace many miracles in life.
I heard of many success stories from this “home of hope” and many Past pupils come back their home so that they in their turn open doors of hope others. Some of the girls have completed their graduation, post-graduation, professional careers, I.T. Course, teacher training, Air hostess training, Nursing, tailoring, printing etc. There are girls who work as P.R.Os., accountants beauticians, actors etc. in India and abroad. Many of them are self-reliant. A good number of them are happily married. We are proud of them. Bhany Priya was orphaned of both parents and was put as a child labourer in one of the houses. She escaped from her employer and was brought to PrathyashaBhavan. She took time for her to be at home there but miracles did happen. She completed her schooling and her diploma in computer Application from Auxilium Nirmal Jyothi Technical Institute, Bangalore. She is happily married and lives a happy family life.
The same can be said of Laura, whom I met as a beautiful bride at the age of 23, a perfect example of what Salesian formation and education can do. The sisters’ goal is to mould them as educated, morally independent young women. Laura was brought to the sisters at the age of six. She has a degree in secretarial practice and is now launched in her new life. Her husband Cleetus is a mechanic with a good job. Above all they live a happy family life with dignity.
The FMA province of Bangalore has “Homes of Hope” for young at risk also in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Sr. Jacinta Lobo Superior of the house “Navajeevana” at Bangalore and Chair Person of the Legal Aid Cell for Child Welfare says that the ripples that began at Valdooco and Mornese continue with greater vitality. In handling youth/children in difficult situations applying the preventive System has become the need of the hour. The principles of the Preventive System are found in the Juvenile Justice care and protection Act 2000. Great efforts are being made to apply these principles while dealing with children. She says, not as individuals but as a Team we are called upon to follow child friendly strategies to shape the future of the children. Applying the Preventive System requires unlimited patience, hard work, capacity to forgive, untiring prayerful support.
During my Visit to Navajeevana the Past Pupils came to wish me. Among them were two who came with their husbands and families. Marvelous indeed. Miracles do happen! One of them was 11 when she came to us. She ran away from home several times and finally she was kept in our house. Individual follow up was done on a daily basis. Special coaching and counseling facilities were arranged for her. Today she speaks well of Navajeevana and the formation received. She continues her studies that she can become a successful teacher.
Another past pupil was found sweeping the railways compartments when she was just five years old. The public brought her to our Centre. She was put to School. After her schooling she was put to study Hotel management Training. She never brought her salary home, always distirubute it to many friends. But once her marriage was arranged she turned out to be loyal. Presently she happily married to a Hotel Owner, has two children. She is very grateful for the new life received. She remains loyal considers Navajeevana to be her mother’s house.
Sr. Lucy Rose Ozhukayil FMA
FMA, General Councillor, Rome