The Spirit of the season
Well...Wish you had a wonderful Christmas this year and a very happy new year in advance. With Christmas celebrations taking place all over and New Year being just around the corner, the city is all set for the long winter celebration (though the chill seems to be pretty late in arriving). The last few days Guwahati was all decked up for the Christmas celebrations. Lights, colours, plum cakes, Santa caps, gifts and stars, added with bells, Santa Claus and reindeer minion replicas along with a lot of love that spread in the air during the Christmas celebration, was overwhelming to the mind.
[Fr. V. M. Thomas addressing the gathering]
Almost every building in the city was laden with decorative lights, stars, bells and more. Apart from the beautiful decorations, lots of events were organised in the various Churches and schools and institutes of the city.
One such celebration took place in the office of Child Friendly Guwahati [CFG]. The program was held in the premises of The Provincial House, Panbazar. This was the 4th year of celebrating pre-Christmas in the CFG premises. The event was adorned by the gracious presence of Fr. V. M Thomas Vattathara, SDB - the Provincial of Salesian Don Bosco, Guwahati Province & Chairman of CFG, Fr. Thadeus Kujur, SDB - Director of CFG and Rector of Snehalaya, Ms. Geetanjali Kakati. Salesian Fathers, Sisters and Snehalaya Staffs also graced the panel of guests and invitees. The Yuletide spirit was further amplified with a string of beautiful acts presented by the staffs of CFG.
[ Fr. Thaddeus Kujur - Director of CFG and Rector of Snehalaya, addressing the gathering]
The celebration started off with the inspirational speech by Fr. Thadeus Kujur. The cultural and religious amalgamation witnessed the beautiful performance of Assamese Kirtan that marked the start of the cultural event. This was followed by another beautiful act by the talented staffs and members of CFG. Living with the season of celebration and goodwill there was dance and drama. The act portrayed the spirit of hope and belief. Later, a felicitation ceremony was held where Fr. V. M Thomas Vattathara, felicitated those associated with the noble cause taken up by the CFG. The whole celebration was enriched by Ms. Geetanjali Kakati as she followed the yearly tradition of gifting the Christmas cake, which was enjoyed by all those present at the event.
Keeping the noble cause in mind and the effort in making it work, the event organised by the CFG had to be beautiful and special. CFG, as suggested by the name itself, has been working towards making the city children friendly. It works in association with Snehalaya in support by Child Aid Network and Kindermissionswerk. The chief goal of CFG is to channel the school dropped out children into formal education in government schools. They have now come up with two new departments of vocational and rescue where youth and children will be sponsored by CFG in vocational training and children lost in unwanted conditions are rescued and reunited with their families respectively.
[Fr. V. M. Thomas facilitating the members of the staff]
Guwahati has witnessed the engagement of children under fourteen into various works that lead to a rising number of child labour in the city. To make the city, child-friendly and realise the basic child-right of education, CFG and Snehalaya have been working hard. Adding to their effort Don Bosco society has also taken up the responsibility to make Kamprup district (metro) more children friendly.
Through celebration, CFG tried to rekindle the message of love and goodwill. However, as the Christmas celebration is getting over people are gearing up to welcome the New Year with little apprehension and lots of hope and positivity. And here is wishing you Happy New Year once again.
Reporting: Abhijiti Ghosh
Words: Arastah Jannat Islam