02/02/2012, 00.00

Assam Salesians arts and crafts lessons for young marginalized

by Santosh Digal
The Bosco Barefoot College provides courses in tailoring, agriculture, carpentry, farming, cultivation of silk and English. The goal is to educate boys and girls, so that they may become self-sufficient and productive.
Guwahati (AsiaNews) - Six months of theoretical and practical courses to teach arts and crafts for boys and girls in rural areas, to form self-sufficient and responsible citizens. This is the mission of the Bosco Barefoot College (BBC), a vocational training center run by the Salesians in Boko (Guwahati, Assam). "Our main goal - says Fr V.M. Thomas, director of the BBC - is to educate people to be self-sufficient and productive, true leaders of themselves and the community. "

Founded in 1990, the Institute provides courses in tailoring, agriculture, carpentry, farming, food processing, cultivation of muga silk (the amber color, typical of Assam, ed), production of candles and English.

"Prior to joining the BBC - says Catherine, a student - I was ignorant. Here, I learned many things, but above all I understood the usefulness of these programs. I chose the tailoring course, and I hope to work in this area. "

Thanks to this "alternative" education, said Fr Thomas, "we have helped our marginalized boys and girls, giving them the tools to fight poverty and unemployment. These young people represent one of the most vulnerable groups in society. Most of them are semi-literate: this makes them victims of violence and discrimination. "

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