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INDIA: Don Bosco College Students Raise Funds for Terminally Ill Patients

(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco College, located in the suburb of Mannuthy just outside Thrissur, a city in the Indian state of Kerala in the southwest of India, recently raised 400,000 rupees (more than US $6,400) for the Pain and Palliative Care Society, an organization that provides for the treatment and care of terminally ill patients. More than 640 students participated in local fundraising activities to raise the money.

Don Bosco College is an arts and sciences educational facility providing degree programs in computer science, electronics, mathematics and finance. In addition to fundraising, students participated in an inter-collegiate program known as “Ad Astra 2k15” which included both educational and entertainment activities. Proceeds from the program were combined with proceeds from the direct fundraising and donated to the care society. The students also planted a tree in honor and remembrance of cancer patients at the society.

“This is the first time in the history of our Society that we have received this much genuine and sincere attention and involvement from the students, staff and management of an educational institution,” says the Secretary of the Pain and Palliative Care Society.

The students involved participated in the events as a way to raise funds for an organization as well as to raise awareness of health care needs within their country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 5.8 million Indians die each year from heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes. One in four Indians are at risk of dying as a result of a non-communicable disease before they reach the age of 70. Doctors in the country are also finding that people are being affected by heart disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases at younger ages.

The WHO notes that globally, more than 4 million deaths are caused by exposures to indoor household air pollution and 3.7 million deaths are attributed to outdoor air pollution each year. Approximately 40 percent of the deaths from indoor air pollution and 25 percent of those attributed to outdoor air pollution occur in Southeast Asia. The poor in India who live near busy roads and industrial sites are disproportionately affected by air pollution as are women and children who spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from cooking stoves.

“Students at the Don Bosco College know the value of their educational opportunities and want to give back to their local communities,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian students tend to focus on their studies in order to gain an education and later, stable long-term employment. Though education they are able to break the cycle of poverty and support themselves and their families in addition to making a positive impact on their communities.”

With more than 1.2 billion people, India has the world’s fourth largest economy and according to UNICEF, is home to one-third of the world’s poor. Close to 217 million of India’s poor are children. Although more than 53 million people escaped poverty between 2005 and 2010, most remain vulnerable to falling back below the poverty line.

Lack of educational opportunities in India are often due to issues of caste, class and gender and with 44 percent of the workforce illiterate, there is much work to be done. Less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education and too many secondary graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



ANS – India – DB College Mannuthy sets a trend in reaching out to the terminally ill

Don Bosco College