Inauguration of Don Bosco Academy, Tura and Academic Session 2018-2019 of Don Bosco College, Tura
The 9th of July 2018 was a red-letter day in the history of the Garo hills as the Don Bosco Academy was formally inaugurated in the presence of a host of dignitaries, staff and students of Don Bosco College, Tura.
The traditional lamp was lit to the accompaniment of invocation to God, seeking blessings to lead from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge and from death to life.
Fr. Bivan R Mukhim, Principal, Don Bosco College accorded a warm welcome to all the guests as students presented to each of the invited dignitaries a Garo stole, a college scarf and a bouquet of flowers. That the guests were more than welcome was evident from the hearty applause from the students assembled in the ampitheatre of Don Bosco College, Tura campus.
Fr. George Plathottam, Rector, Don Bosco College, Tura and the chief architect of the Academy invited the students to make use of the golden opportunity to better their prospects by availing of the high profile training with latest technology, right at their very doorstep. He thanked the Provincial, Fr. Januarius Sangma for the support and encouragement of his Council without which the Academy would continue to be a distant dream.
Shri Ram Singh, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills enthused the listeners to cash in on this training for the civil services not just for their personal development, but so as to make a worthy contribution to society. He said that in this competitive age, a mere graduation would take them nowhere. In order to have a cutting edge over hundreds of other competitors, it was imperative to excel in three skills – effective communication in English, mastery of general knowledge and good knowledge of mathematics. Shri Ram Singh, lauded Don Bosco College, Tura for providing excellent infrastructural facilities in salubrious surroundings, interspersing academic studies with sports, cultural activities and a wide of array of programmes to prepare responsible citizens for society. Shri Ram Singh also asked the students to take a pledge to be conscious of the environment and to keep it plastic free, by making a reality check on a daily basis as to their use of plastic.
Shri Prateek Bhattacharjee, National Business Head, ALS (Alternative Learning Systems) challenged the students to integrate their undergraduate studies with preparing for their own World Cup, as he put it, four years later. He said, all he needed was their commitment to invest four hours each for two days over the week-ends. Shri Bhattacharjee said, not all were called to enter the civil services, other services depending on their talents would also be welcome. He cited the example of scores of students from the north-east who had temporarily migrated to Delhi with dreams of making it big in life. But they struggled with pollution, sanitation, hostility and many other issues. Having set up 75 centres in north-east India, he was confident that the people of West Garo hills would not miss the opportunity of taking advantage of satellite assisted training for the civil services in their very home town.
Shri A.K. Tigidi, IAS (retd), the first Garo to join the prestigious civil services recounted the hardships he had to face to make his dream come true. Switching from English to Garo so as to bond with the student community, he appealed to them to grab the services provided by Don Bosco Academy to be part of the elite civil services. This would not only bring glory to the Garo community but take them to higher levels of excellence while serving the nation.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Andrew R. Marak, the Guest of Honour blessed the gathering with his gentle and gracious words, thanking the Salesians for throwing open their campuses, and providing innumerable programmes for the development of the youth of Tura.
Rev. Fr. Januarius S Sangma, Provincial of Salesians of Don Bosco, Guwahati Province, the Guest of Honour while thanking the Principal for inviting him to the programme, reminded the audience that an Academy of this kind was initiated in the year 2005, but it died a natural death due to various reasons. He was extremely happy, he said, that the Don Bosco Academy had made a comeback. Fr. Januarius cited the examples of Garo youth from humble beginnings who, due to sheer grit and determination were selected to study in the prestigious IITs.
Shri Thomas Sangma, MLA, Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister and former Member of Parliament, the Chief Guest said like all politicians he loved make promises. The son of the soil who understood the contours of the terrain of Garo hills said he was happy to preside over the inaugural function of Don Bosco Academy, but he promised to come back once more within his five-year term to felicitate a Garo who had cleared the civil services examination. Shri Sangma motivated the students to believe in their potential and gave them the example of the late Purno Agitok Sangma , who regardless of his humble beginnings, supported by Don Bosco institutions in the Garo hills, became the honourable Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Rev. Fr. Zacharias Varickasseril, Principal, Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura, Rev. Fr. Albert Thyrniang, Principal Don Bosco School, Tura, Rev. Fr. Charles Sangma, Don Bosco School, Mendal, Fr. Albert D Sangma and Fr. Jogesh Sangma, Vice Principals of Don Bosco College, Tura
The students of Don Bosco College, Don Bosco Academy and Don Bosco higher secondary school entertained the audience with a welcome song, and two traditional Garo dances.
The Vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Madhusudan Saha, H.O.D. Department of Chemistry, Don Bosco College. Earlier, the dignitaries and students observed a minute silence to pray for the departed soul of the former Governor of Meghalaya Shri M M Jacob.