The resident students of Salesian College Sonada (SCS) held their annual Christmas Mela (CM) in 3 zones where they hold youth centres every Sunday. This year, the CM 2018 and pre-Christmas celebrations were held at Oak’s Field Pacheng, Margret’s Hope, and St Mary’s Hill Kurseong, on Sunday 17 December.
The Vice-principal Fr C.M. Paul and Assistant professor Mass Comm Department Fr Nirmal Toppo along with four Radio Salesian interns visited two of the venues (Pacheng and Kurseong). The interns prepared a one hour radio program which was aired on Tuesday, 18 December from 11 am to 12 noon.
The SCS students hold Sunday youth centres in 22 villages between Kurseong and Rangmukh, walking from college for two or three hours each way, as far down as Balasun and as high as Upper Chattakpur.
Since 1963, Salesian College Brothers have panned out to various tea garden villages to conduct Sunday youth centres as part of their outreach program. The students organise games, visit the sick, engage children in recreational activities and motivate youth to be socially committed.
“Its been 18 years where the SCS Brothers get together to make the event successful,” says third year student Bro Roby of Gorabari youth centre.
In each of the 3 venues, there were over 500 people taking part in the mela which lasted about 4 hours.
Br Roby adds, “To conduct the Christmas Mela the Brothers have been collecting funds. There has been a lot of generous donors willing to sacrifice and contribute for this community venture. It’s an event for the people and by the people of the community, especially the youths.”
“The main purpose of these events,” Br Roby explains, “is to bring unity among the community people and engage youth in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration in keeping with Christmas spirit.”
The brothers divide themselves into groups and conduct the mela in different places with chance games, lucky dip, food stalls, bingo, talent show, carol singing and crib making competitions for young and old people.
The funds raised in the Christmas mela is used to conduct various annual activities like, youth centre rally, football tournament, excursion, children’s day, and parent’s day.