(A picture of a Dalmatian)

Bilal V.S.

Bilal is 17 years old and presently he is doing II PUC at Mahajana PU College, Mysore. When he was 13 years old, he dropped out of 7th standard due to persistent headache. At that time, his family was in Madikeri. In 2010, the family shifted to Mysore. Coming to Mysore, Bilal was sitting at home doing nothing. At that time, through one of his friends he came to know about Don Bosco Makkalalaya - the opportunity available for school dropouts. He joined for the direct SSLC program, and in the following year he passed SSLC successfully. Today he feels that Don Bosco has given him a second life. He fondly remembers the homely and educative atmosphere, the daily meditation, the good teachers, the Spoken English Classes, etc at Don Bosco Makkalalaya. He is happy and looks toward future with confidence.

(A picture of a Dalmatian)

Vasantha M

Vasantha is presently a Staff and Coordinator of the direct SSLC and PUC programs at Don Bosco Makkalalaya. She is also doing BA at Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) Mysore. In the first year BA Examination, she passed with a first class. As a girl she dropped out of school in the 9th standard after the sudden death of her father. Her mother, being anxious about her future, got her married at the age of 14. Her husband was from Tamil Nadu, a neighboring state of Karnataka. She went to Tamil Nadu to join her husband’s family, which was a joint family with many members. According to her, she had a very difficult time there. After 14 years of married life, she came back to Mysore with two children. She wanted to educate her children, and in the place where she was living in Tamil Nadu, it was not possible. Coming back to Mysore, one of her friends told her about Don Bosco Makkalalaya, a program for school dropouts. She always wanted to study and do something in life. She joined the direct SSLC program at Don Bosco and in the following year she passed SSLC with a first class. Later, she did PUC at Don Bosco and passed with a second class. Seeing her commitment, dedication and hard work she was made a staff at Don Bosco Makkalalaya, and later she became the Coordinator for the direct SSLC and PUC programs.

(A picture of a Dalmatian)

Bharathi D

Bharathi is working in Don Bosco Makkalalaya as Community Organizer and Social Activist. She is 42 years old and she joined Don Bosco in the year 2008. She lost her husband after 9 years of married life. She has 3 children- two daughters and one son. The eldest daughter is married, and other two are studying. As a girl, due to family problems Bharathi dropped out of school in 9th standard. After joining Don Bosco as a Community Organizer, her task was to go in search of school dropouts and motivate them to do SSLC at Don Bosco. But she herself was a dropout. Finally she came forward to join the SSLC program at Don Bosco and completed SSLC in the year 2010 with a first class. She completed PUC in the following year with a second class. Thereafter, she joined for BA at the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU). Presently she is doing 2nd year BA. She is a dedicated mother at home, a committed community organizer, teacher, social activist and student at Don Bosco Makkalalaya.

(A picture of a Dalmatian)

Terense Loyd

Terense Loyd is 26 years old and he is from Pushpagiri, Mysore. Due to family problems he dropped out of school in 8th standard. Then he joined for work in a factory. Later he became a Driver in a Travel Agency. He worked for 7 years. Then the importance of education and the idea of continuing studies came to his mind. He shared this thought with a religious sister in a neighboring convent. The sister told him about Don Bosco Makkalalaya. Terrance wrote SSLC in 2011 and passed with a second class. He completed PUC in Don Bosco and has joined for BA at the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) Mysore. Presently, he is Driver, Community Organizer and Social Activist at Don Bosco.

Pavithra M

Pavithra is presently second year B.A student at St.Philomina’s College Mysore. She had dropped out of school in the 9th standard. Thereafter she stayed at home doing nothing. At that time, a staff of Don Bosco Makkalalaya visited her home and told her about the programs going on at Don Bosco Makkalalaya for school dropouts and unemployed youth. Her parents were very supportive of her joining Don Bosco. Through Don Bosco, she wrote SSLC in 2011 and passed with a first class. The following year she completed PUC with a second class. She wanted to pursue her studies further. She joined St. Philomina’s College for BA. She maintains very fond memories about Don Bosco Makkalalaya. She was able to reconstruct her life through Don Bosco.

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Mary Rekha

Mary Rekha is 18 years old. She belongs to a family of 4 members. Her father is working in a Multinational Company. Her mother is a homemaker. Her elder sister has completed B. Sc Nursing. According to Mary Rekha, her parents are very caring. They admitted her in a reputed girl’s school for education. But she dropped out of school in the 9th standard. For few years, she remained at home doing nothing. During that period a relative of her told about Don Bosco Makkalalaya, where school dropouts can join for direct SSLC. She wrote SSLC in 2011 and passed with a second class. In the following year, she completed PUC. Now she is a teacher at a school in Mandya. She is happy and enthusiastic about life. She is a good singer and always ready to perform during special occasions. She wants to continue her studies to become a journalist with photography as specialization.

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Jayappa with his son

Jayappa is 31 years old. He is from Deodurga in Raichur District. He dropped out of school in 9th standard. In 2004 he joined Don Bosco Hassan, in Karnataka State to do a non-formal Motor Mechanic training course. As part of that training, he learnt 4 wheeler driving and got license. In 2005, he joined Don Bosco Mysore as Driver. He was very committed to his work and everyone was happy with him. In his free-time, he would attend to repairs and maintenance works. In 2009 he got married. Thereafter, from his own savings he bought a piece of land and built a house. Interacting with the Staff and students of Don Bosco, the idea of continuing his studies came to his mind. In 2012 he wrote SSLC through Don Bosco Makkalalaya and passed with a second class. In the following year he passed PUC with a second class. He has registered for BA in the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU). He is very happy with his life. He has a son who is studying in 1st standard. He takes care of his family, attends to his work and finds time to study as a student. In other words we can say that Jayappa earns, learns and burns.

(A picture of a Dalmatian)

Nayanakumari M

Nayanakumari is a 9th standard dropout. Her family was facing many problems at that time. She was always a good student and was very sorry to have left her studies. For few years she remained at home doing nothing. She came to know about Don Bosco Makkalalaya through one of her friends who studied in Don Bosco. At Don Bosco, she appeared for SSLC in the year 2014 and passed with distinction. She shows great commitment and dedication in what ever she does. Presently, she is doing PUC at Don Bosco. After completion of PUC, she wants to join for nursing and become a Nurse. She is very enthusiastic and enjoys her student life which she thought she had lost.

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Sandhya A

Sadhya belongs to a family of 3 members; her mother and two sisters. Her father passed away when she was small. Her mother had to work very hard to bring up the children. Due to poverty, Sandhya could not complete her SSLC. She stayed with her grandmother who had no one to look after. One day a Don Bosco Makkalalaya staff visited her grandmother’s home and told her about the direct SSLC program. Leaving all problems aside , she joined for the SSLC program and passed in the year 2013.Thereafter, she joined for the 3 months Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) course under Don Bosco Tech and completed it successfully. In the Campus Recruitment process, she was selected by the ‘Coffee Day’, a chain Restaurant Group. She and her family are very happy. Clouds have disappeared and sunshine has found way in her home.

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Geetha with her family

Geetha feels that Don Bosco has given hope and vision to her life. For many years, she had drifted in life without clear goals. She wanted to do something in life and support her family. She came to know about Don Bosco from a neighbour. After coming to Don Bosco, she understood that life has a purpose and each one has to fulfill it. The Retails Course, which is part of the Don Bosco Tech she attended for 3 months at Don Bosco Makkalalaya changed her life. It made her innovative, reflective and confident. She was very happy with the daily meditation she attended with all the students and staff of Don Bosco Makkalalaya. After completing the course, she joined as a Billing Assistant at a famous Super Market in Mysore.

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Vanishree M

Vanishree is from KN Pura in Mysore District. She has 4 members in her family - father, mother and one younger brother. The family is staying in a rented house. Her father is a Goldsmith who works for daily wages. Vanishree completed her SSLC successfully. Days were going quite well until the family got into serious debt. They were not able to repay the loan and thus lost all the valuables at home. The situation was very grim. At that time a ray of hope came. Vanishree came to know about the DB Tech program for skill training and job placement going on at Don Bosco Makkalalaya. She joined for the 3 months Retails Training and completed it successfully. Through Campus recruitment she was job-placed at Dominos Pizza at the Mysore Unit. She earns Rs.7000 a month. She is happy with her work. She supports her family and her parents are very happy.

(A picture of a Dalmatian)

Darshankumar K

Darshan’s family is from Kushalnagar. Presently they are staying at Bannimantap, Mysore. His family consists of 4 members; father, mother and a younger brother. His father is a Newspaper Agent, mother a homemaker and younger brother studying in 9th standard. Because of financial problems, Darashan could not continue his studies after SSLC. One day, sitting at home, he heard a mike announcement from a moving auto about the Don Bosco Tech skill training program at Don Bosco Makkalalaya. On enquiry he found that the training is given free of cost. He came to Don Bosco Makkalalaya and joined for the 3 months Retails training program. The program offered Daily Meditation, life skills, Retail Customer Interaction skills, Spoken English Classes, Computer Basics etc. At the end of the course, he was selected by ‘Dominos Pizza’ as the Customs Service Executive at their Branch at the Mall of Mysore. He earns good salary and other incentives. He feels happy to support his family. He is very grateful to Don Bosco Makkalalaya and the staff over there.

IN A NUTSHELL… Fr. Francis John SDB Director, Don Bosco Makkalalaya, Mysore

Don Bosco Makkalalaya Mysore is a project for child labourers, school dropouts and unemployed youth offering education, skills, job placement and career. It is an evolving project, keeping the aspects of both prevention and intervention.

According to a report published by the Prison Ministry of India in 2013, there are 1394 prisons and 3, 84,000 (three lakhs eighty four thousand) prisoners in Indian jails. How much of time, energy and resources are utilized for keeping these persons in custody! Can we not prevent at least to some extent this state of affairs? Interventions are necessary but there should be space and efforts for prevention also.

At Don Bosco Makkalalaya, we are keen on spending more time, energy and resources on prevention. During the last 3 years, through this project, over 200 school dropouts have completed SSLC through the direct SSLC program of the Karnataka State Open School (KOS), over 100 have completed PUC through the Karnataka State PU Board and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) New Delhi, over 50 have joined the mainstream college higher education after completing PUC, and through the skill training programs over 1500 have been placed in jobs in various companies. Through a process of Social Auditing, we have been able to measure the impact of this project on families, community and society. We underscore the fact that this has been possible only because of our constant dependence on God’s providence, the inspiration and vision of our founder Don Bosco, the untiring hard work of the Don Bosco Makkalalaya team and the support and encouragement of many persons of good will.