Focus 2005

Kolkata - INC01-04-2005

Project: Don Bosco Prison Ministry
Date of foundation: 18 dic 1999
Scopo del progetto: orm, Reintegrate and Rehabilitate to restore Freedom, Honour and Dignity.
Province: INC Bengal India

Beneficiaries: 1800 Prisoners and Problematic Youth
The five year old Don Bosco Prison Ministry, Berhampore in the province of Kolkata is indeed a unique Salesian service in concept, style and impact.

Started in December 1999 as outreach programme of the Don Bosco Yuva Jyoti Training Institute, the ministry now serves 1,800 prisoners. Some 500 of them are convicts serving life sentences, 200 prisoners are below 18 years of age and the rest are under trials staying in the Berhampore Central Prison and Lalgola Open Air Central Prison, some 200 km north of Calcutta.

Facilities & Assistance offered
To Female Prisoners:Tailoring Course for 30 women prisoners (cutting and stitching)
To Male Prisoners:Tailoring facility for 40 men prisoners
Motor Driving & Automobile maintenance Course for 30 men prisoners
Motor Driving with Auto Electrical
Electrical House Wiring & Motor Winding
Computer Skills
Other facilities for all prisoners:Legal Assistance for needy prisoners
Educational Assistance for children of poor prisoners
Marriage Assistance for daughters of Poor Prisoners
Low Cost Houses for Poor Prisoners

Additional Information: Name of the Director / Rector: of the Project : Fr. Nedumattathil Scaria (N.T.)Number of Salesians involved in it: Two priests and one Coadjutor BrotherNumber of Lay persons involved: 11

Outcome: In 5 years the prisoners some significant results are visible. The prisoners have an easy rapport with the Salesians and their staff. The friendship has helped to restore their lost dignity and has given them a sense of new purpose in life. The trust that is being place in them is also being respected by the prisoners. For example, the attempt at training them to be auto drivers is showing great results. Prisoners are looking at their term in prison in a more positive light - as a means to better their personal capacities. A clear example is the Lagola Open Air Correctional Home experience. Daily inmates travel by train from Lalgola to Don Bosco Berhampore and back, a distance of 120 km, without any Police escort. No one has run away! The Government of the state of West Bengal desires that the Don Bosco Prison Ministry extends the same facilities to other prisons as well.

The Salesian province of Kolkata: It was the first Indian province was founded on 28 May 1926. It comprises of the sates of West Bengal, Sikkim, and part of Bihar, and the Kingdom of Nepal. There are 223 Priests and Brothers working in 37 Institutions in the province. Besides working in 14 parishes the mission work continues in the Santhal and Nepali areas. The average age of the confrere is 45.1 years. Over 1000 (one thousand) boys and girls attend 13 institutions offering non-formal and self-employment oriented training. Some 25,000 (twenty five thousand) boys and girls daily attend 15 regular schools in the following languages: English, Bengali and Hindi.

Address: Don Bosco Prison Ministry,
742 101, W.
Bengal India
Tel: +91.3482.255556
Web site: