Village experience in Gujarat

Gujarat, January 2023

The youth of Don Bosco Youth Service set out for a rural visit to Gujarat on January 26. We first set foot at Don Bosco Narukot. Our youth marvelled at the huge campus with its lush green playground, organic farm, and a variety of trees and farm animals.

 We then set out in groups of 4 to live with the tribal families from 4 different villages in Narukot. The drive to the village was scenic and enjoyable with cool breeze blowing along the way. The warm hospitality of the tribal families brought a homely feeling. One group even got invited to a wedding and witnessed the tribal ceremonies and danced to the beats of Rathvi folk music.

 We were back at the Narukot campus the next day. That evening the Salesians organized a Barbeque night for us. We relished the tandoori chicken, soup and salad prepared by Fr Rozario. It was exciting to know that the radish and lettuce leaves were picked from their very own farm and were grown organically.

 Next morning we set out for a day-long trek at Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary. Trekking in nature with a bunch of enthusiastic youngsters is restorative, all life’s problems seem small. We were eagerly trying to spot wild boars, nilgai or a leopard. However, we saw a variety of birds and quite a few monkeys. The tall trees of the forest with its shady pathways made the trek enjoyable. In the evening, we traveled to Don Bosco Kawant by the local ST bus. The youth from Don Bosco Kawant welcomed us and hosted an evening of games and dance. Their warm hospitality and kindness made it a splendid evening.

 The next morning we celebrated mass with the boarders and local villagers in Gujarat. At the end of the service, the DBYS youth put up an Action song ‘Nachunga Gaunga’. Before leaving, we visited the Rabbits reared in the Kawant house, some of our youth petted and carried them in their arms. We then set off to visit the magnificent Statue of Unity. Fr Shawn drove us by the canals of the Sardar Sarovar dam and we enjoyed the fresh breeze, picturesque view and some good music. On our way, we visited the Missionary sisters of the child Jesus and learnt about their development efforts with the tribals.

 After visiting the Statue of Unity we boarded the train back to Mumbai. It was indeed a trip of learning, bonding and lots of fun.