Focus

Focus 2003

India, Chennai - INM15-10-2003


Project: Bosco InfoTech Private Limited
Date of foundation: 1998
Place: Chennai, Yellagiri.
Province: Chennai (previously Madras) – INM

In May 1998, the province of Chennai launched an initiative to take computer literacy to the rural and poor youth. Fr. Francis Guézou, the French Missionary, came forward to support the venture and thus was born Bosco InfoTech with two divisions, one at Yellagiri and the other at Chennai.

At Yellagiri a full-fledged 3 storey building is dedicated to the training of 350 students who are recruited only from poor rural families. The various courses offered are Government certified and include Bachelor and Master diplomas in computer applications.

Software programmes are created here, as part of the training and production initiatives of the students. Some examples are a financial accounting package, children’s learning programme, a mailing solutions programme, a library cataloguing system, etc.

The Chennai centre on the contrary recruits young people who do not need to have any prior knowledge of computers. Over a period of 2 years, they absorb comprehensive skills in computers by gainful employment through various production works done for local and foreign clients.

In 2002, this programme was transformed into a Private Limited Company with 100% stake for the Salesians. Furthermore, partnership with Saffron Page, a UK based firm was established the same year.

The total staff of the two centres consists of 43 persons, most of them young people themselves. This project that enables talented young people to help other disadvantaged youth has paid rich dividends. It has realised the dream of many poor youth to leap on to the tracks of the informatics highway of the new millennium.

Directors: Thadeus Gregory, Maria Lawrence
Web Address: www.boscoinfotech.com ,
www.boscoits.com
E-mail:India@boscoinfotech.com; India@boscoinfotech.com
Phone: 91-44-6611851 / 6611952

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Name of Institute : ‘Vazhikaatti’ Centre for Job Placement and Career Guidance
Date founded 1997
Place:   Chennai (Branch offices: Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Pondicherry)
Province: Chennai (previously Madras) – INM

Vazhikaatti was set up to reach out to the rural and underprivileged youth who are in search of employment.
Among its many activities to poor and unemployed youth, here are some significant services:
- It offers jobs
- It gives career guidance through information, education, aptitude tests
- It helps youth take up self-employment schemes in their own areas
- It organizes group employment schemes to poor rural youth
Vazhikaatti has a huge data bank of information on job-placements, scholarships, stipends, opportunities, courses. It has four branches with a total staff of 14. Four salesians work together with laity.

Target groups:
Primary target: the rural poor
Specific groups: Stds. VIII, X and pre-university students, parents and teachers.

From January 1998 to August 2003:
Number of applications processed: 2349
Number of Candidates given jobs: 642
Career Guidance Seminars: 389
Students contacted: 85,338
Exhibitions: 38

Director: Fr. Bosco
Branch office directors: Frs. Edwin Vasanthan, Xavier Selvanathan, John Louis
E-Mail:boscosdb@donboscochennai.org
Phone: 0091-44-26424564/ 26412124

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The above are just two initiatives taken up by the province of Chennai. There are 369 confreres spread out in 51 different works which have a very definite thrust towards the poor and underpreviliged youth. Besides parishes and educational institutes, some of these services also include technical institutes, boardings and hostels, centres for communication and catechetics, a printing press, a home for people affected by leprosy, homes for street children and youth-at-risk

Provincial: Fr. Bellarmine Fernando
Salesians of Don Bosco
The Citadel l45,
Landons Road
Chennai – 600 010, India
www.donboscochennai.org
provinm@dbchennai.com