30 March 2008

Siharam

In last month’s Arunachala Grace News, the monthly newsletter sent direct to subscribers email inbox, there was a very interesting narrative about the Salesians of Don Bosco's IT programme at their Institute in Tiruvannamalai, to promote personal, cultural, social and economic self assurance to rural youth. The name of the Institute is Siharam - Salesian Institute for the Holistic Advancement of the Rural and the Marginalized. The meaning of this Tamil word ‘Siharam’ is ‘Peak’ and the reason behind the acronym is; ‘to inspire even the most backward and marginalized youth to attain peak achievements and subsequently act as template for disadvantaged youth in rural communities.’



The Co-ordinator of the programme, Fr. Edwin Vasanthan, kindly gave our small group a tour of their facility. For this month’s Newsletter I asked Fr. Edwin Vasanthan to explain the difference the IT programme will make in the lives of the Dalit students. So, if you want to read more about the pain of living a marginalised life in rural India, please check out the upcoming Arunachala Grace News, April 2008.



I have huge admiration for those of the Dalit community who have not only broken out of the limitations of their caste bound life but are also making a ladder for others to climb up after them. For people who have had a good education and been brought up with all the fine advantages of life, it is sometimes difficult to remain positive, upbeat and summon up the confidence to ‘reach for your dream’. Can you imagine the immense weight of ‘negative thinking’ imposed upon Dalits over thousands of years through the caste bound system? To live a condemned life, be told one was only fit for dirty degrading work and be denied all opportunity to improve and uplift oneself through education? Bless their courage to be now moving upward.



Fr. Edwin Vasanthan SDB
Don Bosco SIHARAM,
P.B. 3, Kanchi Road,
Adaiyur Village, Vengikkal,
Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 6060 604
India

E-mail:
vasanthsdb at gmail dot com

3 comments:

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Arunachala Living said...

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