A Journey of over One HUNDRED SEASONS with the Dalit Bahujans

14 April 2020

With the Blessing and Inauguration of” Surakshita”, the Home for Women in Distress by Rev.Fr.Raminedi Balaraju Sdb, Provincial and Sr.Mary George, the Vice Provinical of MSMHC, the flagging of the State level campaign by Prof.Madabhushi Sridhar, Central Information Commissioner against corporal punishments in schools and the Public Meeting at the premises of Ekalavya Training Centre the Reminiscence and Celebrations of PARA’s One Hundred Seasons of Journey with Dalit Bahujans drew to a close. The occasion also set the trajectory for the Journey PARA will certainly continue to make with Dalit Bahujans.

Nature conspired to create a perfect ambience for the events of the day. From early morning till midday it continued to rain, the way Saturday 16th August 1986 had begun. We considered it as Blessings from Above and from the Madonna we remember specially on Saturdays. On that far off day people came streaming in to Don Bosco Mission in fear and apprehension. But on this Saturday they came joyously to relive a memory, celebrate a journey that they and Don Bosco Ravulapalem made over the years and institutionalized it as People’s Action For Rural Awakening. On the previous day many of the past colleagues of PARA had gathered for a “Mutchatla Sayamkalam” (evening get together) to recall the past.

At 15.00 hrs the Blessing and Inauguration of “Surakshita” took place in the presence of Fr.Sebastian M, the man behind the relief and rehabilitation effort in 1986, Fr.Abraham M.C, Fr.Jose T.V. Sr. Ivy, theex provincial, Srs. Mary John and Rose and Mr. Luberth – people who had reached out in service to those affected by the flood. Fr.Guvvala Balaraju and Sr.Maria Manmadha the present directors of Don Bosco Mission and Don Bosco Convent also graced the occasion.
The rally by children from human rights clubs from across the state in support of Campaign Against Corporal Punishments in Schools led by Fr.Provincial, the Central Information Commissioner and Fr. Thomas Koshy, National Coordinator, YaR reached the Ravulapalem Town Centre on the Golden Quadrilateral between Chennai and Kolkotta at 17.00 hrs. Rallyists were joined by Mr.Chirla Jaggi Reddi, MLA Kothapetta and Mr.Gollapalli Surya Rao, Ex Minister and now MLA Razole and Mr.Muppalla Subarao, State Bar Council Member. The pledge against corporal punishments was administered by Mr.Gollapalli Surya Rao.

The public meeting at Ekalavya set the trajectory for the future. The release of the Souvenir ( a labour of dedication by Sr.Sangeeta, Mr.Chittibabu and Mr.Buddana Venkateswara Rao – chronicling the years gone by and the release of the Human Rights Record Book to chronicle the years to come was symbolic of the passing on the baton to children who would now be the main protagonists of changes that PARA intends to strive for, in line with what children are asserting “WE are TODAY’S Citizens”.

While we thank everyone who made this day a memorable one, we usher in the Celebration of the Bi-Centenary of the birth – on another 16 August – of the Friend of Youth, Don Bosco our father and founder. He walked with us all these years and surely he will walk with us especially now as the new protagonists, children take up the Journey along a new trajectory.