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Don Bosco Liluah – set up in 1937 under the ideology of a Saint from Italy!

10 September, 2020 11:01:35
Don Bosco Liluah – set up in 1937 under the ideology of a Saint from Italy!

He was born in faraway Italy, in a small hamlet of Becchi some twenty kilometers from Turin. Who knew his ideology would help to establish in Bengal one of the most successful missionary schools, that is still revered in this land! Don Bosco Liluah’s establishment and John Bosco’s journey are equally fascinating. John lost his father only at the age of two. The grief-stricken words of his mother, telling him that he was now fatherless remained deeply impressed in the child’s mind and perhaps, helped to instill an intense feeling for the orphans and the homeless later in life.

The story of the exertions and sacrifices made by him and his mother were immense. Working as a servant, teaching, assisting a tailor, doing chores for a blacksmith and keeping score at a billiards table, were some of the things he did in order to pay for his food, lodging and tuition while at school. But the worst was over when in October 1835, with an outfit provided by charitable neighbours, John Bosco entered the seminary at Chieri. On 5th June 1841, John Bosco was ordained a priest. Very soon, Don Bosco became a frequent visitor to the poorer quarters of the city. Owing to its rapid expansion, labourers were crowding into Turin in great numbers. The young priest was distressed by swarms of neglected children whom he encountered. Don Bosco’s work for boys started with one boy, a mason’s apprentice. Soon this boy brought others and the number of “Don Bosco’s friends” soon multiplied. All this while, from his ‘old boys’, Don Bosco had been building up a society of men who would help him to develop his work and would carry it on when he died. In December 1859, these young men were formed into a simple society for this purpose. They were called the ‘Salesians’ after St. Francis of Sales.

St. John Bosco

This was the very group that started the Don Bosco school in Howrah’s Liluah. The school was established in 1937, and is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, which is a minority institution within the Catholic Church. The patron saint of the school is St John Bosco. The motto of the school is ‘Virtus et Labor.’ The school celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in December 2012. The land for the school was bought in 1928 by the Salesian Provincial, and the church was built in 1937. It became the first parish church in the country dedicated to St. John Bosco. The technical school was begun in 1937 and started functioning in 1939. The school was closed for four years from 1942 to 1946 for use by the army during the Second World War. 
It was recognized by the Government in August 1948, and in 1954 the first batch of students appeared for the Senior Cambridge Exams. In July 1958, the school auditorium was inaugurated. The main building of the school was inaugurated by the Archbishop of Calcutta in November 1959. 

St. John Bosco Church was blessed on 8th December 1937 by Archbishop F. Perier to serve the European and Anglo - Indian Catholics of Liluah Railway colony. Next the tribal students from nearby areas of Chotonagpur Plateau were given the light of education. In 1950 the village of Joypur was given over to Liluah. A new church was built and blessed on December 8, 1985 to replace the old. In 1986 Hind Motors, Uttarpara and Konnagar, were added to the parish. 

Don Bosco High and Technical School, Liluah has ICSE and ISC and technical Sections. The school offers possibilities for boarding for underprivileged students, National Open School, Evening School and Adult Education Programmes. 

In January 1977, the Free Night School was started, to cater to the needs of the poor children of the locality. The First Inter Schools cultural and co-curricular festival named as ‘Bosco Blow Up’ was held on September 1977, with seven participant schools. Don Bosco Self-employment was started in August 1978 for the young men of the locality who are school drop-outs to enable them to learn a trade and earn their livelihood. Even today this prestigious institution caters to hundreds of students and the best of brains.  

Story Tag:
  • Education

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