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INDIA: Salesian Missions donors provide funding for new chapel at Amalarakkini School for the Blind

(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions has received donor support for the construction of a new chapel for resident students attending the Amalarakkini School for the Blind, which is located in the town of Tiruvannamalai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Currently, the students and teachers need to be transported by hired vans to weekly Catholic mass, which is very costly.

Being able to provide religious services at the school will help in the spiritual formation of the students and staff. The new chapel will also serve the surrounding community. The school was founded in 1980 and prepares more than 100 students with visual impairments each year to be self-reliant through education and employment training.

A significant focus of the school is its music program, which aims to train gifted musicians to enable them to perform at a professional level in the Richard Walsh music troupe. Some students will also go on to find employment opportunity through the Richard Walsh school of music. For most students in the surrounding communities, this is the only music program available.

“We are grateful to our donors who are enabling the Amalarakkini School for the Blind to build a chapel at the school so students and facility will no longer have to travel for church services,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Youth with disabilities have the same ability to achieve as their peers if given the opportunity. Salesian missionaries in programs around the globe initiate projects that pave the way for advanced research, learning and innovation that help aid inclusion of people with disabilities.”

Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.



Salesian Missions – India

World Bank – India