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Chennai – Vyasarpadi
History of the House
Don Bosco – Beatitudes was founded by Fr.Orpheus Mantovani, an Italian Salesian missionary on 8th December in 1964 on a dump-yard of cinders. Moved by the condition of lepers and the refugees from Burma who came back to the country Rev. Fr. Mantovani, insipired by the Archbishop Louis Mathias of Madras –Mylapore surveyed Vyasarpadi area and established a new parish. This simple seed sown by him him has grown into a mighty tree that provides shelter to thousands and thousands of poorest of the poor. The Beatitudes Social welfare centre, as it is called now, has a number of welfare programmes extended towards the orphan and semi-orphan children, juvenile children, poor and unemployed youth, women from poor economic background, poor slum dwellers, poor and abandoned elderly and the handicapped lepers. The centre aims to improve the lives of the poor. Our Programmes help educate, train and empower the poor of all age groups, ‘from cradle to the grave’. This centre is sustained solely by Divine Providence, which is seen through the contribution of generous people from different parts of the world.
“No one has the right to be happy alone” was the saying of Fr. Schlooz one of the Salesian Priests who built this Beatitudes at the beginning stage after the Founder. This motto of the Institution is realized in every part of it.
The following activities are carried out at this centre:
1. St. Thomas Home for the Destitute Aged
St. Thomas Home is a care home for the destitute who are abandoned. Begun in 1965, it has been managed efficiently by different women religious such as the Mother Teresa sisters, the sisters of the destitute and now the Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix who form part of the Salesian family lead this venture. With a built-up capacity to house 100 elders it provides medicare, physiotherapy, palliative care, spiritual renewal and a homely atmosphere.
2. Rua day care centre and shelter home for the urban aged
Rua day-care centre is a free shelter home for pavement and street dwellers and elders who lack food, medical care, wash, and other basic facilities even though they live in close proximity with their own children and relatives. With a capacity to care for 50 elders, this centre welcomes any elderly person who needs these facilities of daily living and extends comprehensive care for them addressing each ones need in a personal manner.
3. Dominic Savio Boys’ Homes (5-16 yrs. of age)
Dominic Savio Boy’s Home houses the orphans and semi-orphan boys who are 5-16 years of age and approved & recognized by the Department of Social Defence of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Since 1978, this boarding is the home to the children of leprosy patients, the beggars, pavement-dwellers, children from broken families and Juveniles in conflict with the law.
This boarding accommodates 100 children, and all necessary facilities such as good study, good food, entertainment facilities, musical instruments, sports & games, children’s park, scouts & guides movement, typewriting & computer
education, picnics & movies, spirituality & training in good behaviour are given to the children for an all- round formation. They attend the Don Bosco Schools, situated in the same campus and are given special tuition to cope up with theirstudies.
4. Nirmala Girls’ Home (5-16 yrs of age)
Nirmala Girl’s Home offers exactly the same facilities and opportunities as of the the boys' boarding. School Drop-out prevention and prevention of female infanticide is one of the main contributions of Don Bosco Beatitudes through this venture. These girls are given opportunities to learn tailoring, typing and embroidery and the Salesian Sisters lend a helping hand in looking after these girls.
5. Don Bosco Primary and High Schools
On June 24, 1965 the Don Bosco Elementary School was started with Tamil as the medium of instruction in order to focus our services to the real poor. In the course of time this primary school was upgraded to a High School. These two schools extend invaluable service to the real poor of the slums of north Chennai and possess good infrastructure, sanitation & power facilities, running water, computer centre, spacious play grounds, mid-day meal centre, well furnished class rooms etc to house over 2500 students. The students of these two schools are from the age group of five to sixteen and are mostly from poor slum area & hail from very backward sections of the society. The administration of Don Bosco High School is done by the Salesians, while that of the Don Bosco Primary School is done by the Salesians Sisters.
6. Don Bosco Rehabilitation Training Institute (DBRTI)
Don Bosco Rehabilitation Training Institute was started in 1978 for the benefit of the slum youth and those children who attempt to complete their Schooling with us but cannot afford to proceed with their academic studies or pursue any other course for various reasons. This centre gives the opportunity to poor youth to acquire various skills & due Government Certification in trades like tailoring, embroidery, commercial power tailoring, Typewriting, handicrats & arts, in order to help them fend for themselves. The skill training institute for girls is under the supervision of the Salesian sisters. Ever since its inception in 1978, several batches of girls have passed out of this institute fully qualified to take up jobs in their own trade, and most of them are usefully employed.
7. Night Study Centres.
Four Free Night Study centre are organized by the Salesians in and around the slums for the benefit of the slum children. As these children do not have facilities and the ambience to study at home, they approach our supervised study centers to better their study skills and cope with their regular studies. Beatitudes welfare centre began this service of education in the year 1965. Infrastructural facilities created can support over 350 who benefit from these student friendly centers that employ youth as volunteers and teachers. In most cases, these children are givenmonetary help for tuition fees, text books and note books, stationery and uniforms through Sponsorship programme.
8. Don Bosco Creché (Balwady)
It is a Day Care Service centre for the poor children between two to five years of age recognized and supported by Central Social Welfare Department of the Government of India. This programme began in 1976 to assist parents who leave for work to fend for the family. They can leave their children at our day care centre in the morning and take them back in the evening when they return after work. The three centres, located at different areas of the slums, look after over 400 children. They are taught rudiments of alphabets, pronunciation and learning ability via play-way method of learning, and are also given the nourishment they require. This service is offered to them through the assistance of the Salesian sisters.
9. Women’s Health Empowerment Animation Training (WHEAT) Programme
Started in 1976, Nutrition Education Programme (NEP) aims at educating the illiterate womenfolk in health, hygiene and domestic care. This programme made an immediate impact on the lives of the women. Thirty slums were identified in and around Vyasarpady as the target areas of this programme. The number of beneficiaries grew from 400 in 1977 to 5000 in 1986. At its peak, more than 15000 women benefit from this Nutrition Education Programme.
In the recent past, in order to empower and educate women towards economic self-reliance and make them agents of socio-economic transformation of the society, WHEAT - Women Health Empowerment Animation and Training was
formed. Women are mainly organized into Self Help Groups (SHG’s) and they are encouraged to initiate micro-credit programmes. They are helped with several skill training programmes to start income generation projects of their own. Presently, there are several income generation projects like: making soaps, washing powder, phenol, paper bags, jute bags, and running petty shops. Literacy drive has resulted in self-confidence to approach government officers to get their requests fulfilled. The Government has come forward to help this movement in a big way through NABARD (National Banking for Rural Development) and give loans to women to
start income generation projects.
10. Health Care units – Camillus Health Centre
Health care centres came in to existence in 1965 at three different areas for the benefit of the leprosy patients and the poor people of the slums. Camillus health centre, situated in the Beatitudes campus itself, sees to the health
care of the 30 slums in and around Vyasarpadi. Besides, it also takes care of the old people and the children in the campus and has an annual patient walk-in of over 9600 patients. Qualified medical personnel are at work to take care of residents & visiting patients.
11. Mantovani Educational Project.
Mantovani Educational Project started in 1969 renders financial assistance to the economically poor children to pay their education fees. The children are helped with clothes, tuition fees and books. This project is carried out by the Salesians through the Parish. At present there about 500 children who benefit from this scheme.
12. Youth Centre
In 1968 the Don Bosco Youth centre was started by Br.Sigamani to help the youth of the area. At present the DBYC has a built-up capacity to cater to 400 youth. The youth of the locality are given opportunities to improve their talents, and lots of sports facilities like Football, Volleyball, Table tennis, Caroms, Gymnastics, Boxing, Scouts and Guides, Music, Karate, Chess etc, are available to them and apart from these they also involve themselves in social work. Regular animation programmes are organized to prepare them for life. The Salesians are happy and
proud to carry on the work started by Don Bosco to work for poor youth.
The parish of Our Lady of Consolation, at Vyasarpadi was canonically erected on Feb. 2, 1965 with Fr. Mantovani as the first parish priest. The parish now has three sub- stations. Presently there are 711 registered families with about 4,500 members most of whom are very poor. Vincent De Paul Society, Legion of Mary, Charismatic Prayer Groups, Sunday school for Children, and youth services are some of the regular activities of the parish.
Parish Ministry: Anbiyams - Pious associations. Academic Ed: Don Bosco Primary and Higher SecondarySchools - Youth Centre - Chil-dren’s homes for boys and girls. Technical Ed: Non-formal trade for girls - Tailoring; Handicrafts, Typewriting for boys and girls (Govt. recognized), BOBS Computer Centre, Fr. Francis Schlooz Comput-er Centre. Social Ministry: Balwadies, Project for empowerment of Women (WHEAT), Self-Help Groups (SHGs), St. Thomas Home for the aged destitute, Rua Day care centre for the aged, St. Camillus Clinic; Night Study Centres for neighbourhood children.
Don Bosco Beatitudes
50, Sundaram Main Road,
Chennai 600 039
(044) 2551 4292/87 -House
(044) 2551 4585 -Parish Priest
(044) 2551 1775 -WHEAT
(044) 2552 3565 -DBHSS
(044) 2551 1774 -FMA Convent
(044) 2551 4137 -SMA & St. Thomas Home
(044) 25511171 -Rector
P Arokiam Sagayaraj - Hm
S Arokiasamy Anand - M.Sc. (Maths)
S Arulanandam Lourdu Joseph - B.A.(Soc) III yr
P Devasagayam Arulanandam - V/Pp
P Gladstone Jeffrey* - Pp (Lent to
Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore)
P Panackel Joy - R/Dr/Cd
P Paul Mark - A
P Vincent Kabilai - Dy/YMC
S Yacop Pichaimuthu - PT 1
St. Anthony’s Church,
Chennai 600 039