EXPERIENCE IN THE PRACTICE OF THE PREVENTIVE SYSTEM OF DON BOSCO: Sr. Mabel Gothorp FMA, Kohima

 1. After my final vows I was sent to Tezpur boarding school as the General Assistant. I knew that the boarders would try me first so I put up to be very strict thinking to get discipline from them. But to my utter surprise I was finding that they were going beyond control. One day I punished them because they were talking after night prayer. I made them stand in the playground while the others went to sleep. I was punishing myself too by being with them. The Superior came to know about it, she came to me, did not scold me for using this method. But what surprised me was that she very lovingly told me that today you forgive them, they will not do this again. I got more angry thinking that the superior was not respecting me and was trying to defy me in front of the girls. But since I never disobeyed my superiors , I sent them to sleep. The next day the Superior called me and very lovingly explained to me that by punishing them I will not win over them but by understanding and being kind to them. From that time I never punished the girls instead I started showing that I was part of them joining them in their little pranks. Soon I began loving them and they too loved me very much. I was able to get them for anything. The big girls helped me in assisting the little ones. When I used to sit in the office the little ones would be around me touching my veil, playing around. I never annoyed, but enjoyed their presence. Today I still remember the words of my Superior ringing in my ears. I have become gentle and kind and can win over the young people with my presence. Thanks to Don Bosco and his Educative method that helped me to love the young people and feel loved by them.

2. When I became the Headmistress for the first time in Maligoan. I wanted to give myself fully for the children entrusted to me. I had special love for the poor children coming from the nearby villages. Since these children had to come from far away villages they would reach the school perspiring and smelling, and the other students would refuse to sit with them. So I decided to make sure they went to class clean and tidy like the other students. I told my Superior who was very understanding that I would give them bath everyday when they come. So these children would be taken to the water pump and given bath , put on clean uniforms and sent to class. The parents were very happy about it, as the children would go home and tell their parents that Sister is giving us bath and giving clean clothes. I got the co-operation of the parents. Every Sunday when they come for Mass, they would come to me and ask to wash the uniforms of their children. I loved the poor children very much and even today they remember me, though many of them got married now. Those were days when I felt fulfilled and satisfaction for being able to do something for the unfortunate ones. I wanted to follow the ways of Don Bosco by searching for the poor and neglected ones.

3. I was teaching Moral Science to Class X students at Don Bosco , Wokha. The class consisted of both boys and girls. The girls were easy to handle but the boys used to get on my nerves, but they loved and respected me. I enjoyed taking class for them. One day I noticed a boy who was extremely restless and could not concentrate in the class. I called out his name two, three times but no solution to that. After class I called that particular boy and asked him; Hey! What’s wrong with you today. To my utter surprise he began crying, I felt bad so I took him to the convent made him sit down and began talking. He lifted his shirt and showed me the bruised mark on his back. His father had thrashed him in the night after drinking heavily. He had no mother. My tears rolled down to see the boy suffering with pain. I put an ointment and gave him something to eat and drink. He felt a mother’s love and care. The next day he came to see me again. We became friends. He never misbehaved in the class. I promised him a gift if he could study hard and pass in the final. He did so. Today I still remember him. It’s enough for me to know you are young to love you. God has given me a heart to reach to others. I wish to continue to reach the side of the young people who face problems in life and be their mother. I thank God for making me a daughter of Don Bosco.
Sr. Mabel Gothorp FMA, Kohima