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INDIA: Salesian Missions donors provide funding for sheet metal and mosquito netting to make beds for students

INDIA

(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions donors have partially funded a project to help provide sheet metal and mosquito netting to construct 120 beds for poor youth at St. Anthony’s Technical Institute located in Kadapa, a city in the Rayalaseema region of the south central part of Andhra Pradesh, India. More funding is needed to help ensure the institute has the funding to purchase materials for all 120 beds.

This project is a work-sharing venture. Poor students at the Salesian trade school are in dire need of beds and protective mosquito nets. The goal is to provide the raw sheet metal, which the students in the welding shop will use to manufacture bed frames to replace the mats they currently use to sleep on the floor. Students will be able to practice the skills they learn in the classroom while also helping their classmates.

“We are grateful for our donors who have contributed to this and other projects,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Having a bed to sleep in is important for youth to get a good night’s rest so they can be alert and ready to take part in their studies. It also provides our youth, who come from impoverished backgrounds, a sense of dignity.”

St. Anthony’s Industrial Institute was founded in 1956 to improve the social and economic status of youth from the local community. Carpentry was the first course offered, followed by courses for blacksmithing and mechanical engineering. The institute was recognized by the government and awarded the ISLC certificate. The students went through a five-year course, which included coaching for the SSC examination.

In 1980, St. Antony’s became an Industrial Training Institute recognized by the Indian Government and began offering three-year certificate courses in carpentry, fitter turner and mechanics. In addition to traditional education, youth took religion and cultural courses. Salesian missionaries aim to install in their students a sense of social awareness, civic responsibility and respect for work.

Today, non-formal courses in carpentry and blacksmithing are offered to youth who have dropped out of formal education, and a youth center has been set up for children who are in need of extra services.

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 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 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.

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Sources:

Photo courtesy Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

Salesian Missions – India

St. Anthony’s Industrial Institute

World Bank – India

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