Executive Director

Executive Director

Protect Children from Drug Abuse

Fr.Koshy Thomas SDB,
Executive Director, Don Bosco National Forum for the Young at Risk

The National Forum for the Young at Risk and the Young at Risk Commission – Province of Chennai organized a National Seminar, on the 5th & 6th of February 2015 on the topic “Psycho Social Support For the Young at Risk”.The seminar was attended by 170 Participants covering nationally and various NGO’s who cater to the needs of the child.

The Seminar was inaugurated on the 5th February 2015, by Mrs.Nirmala (Retd. Managing Director TANSI) IAS. The inauguration began with a Prayer Dance by the children of Pope Johns Garden. After which the respected dignitaries were called onto the dais – Mrs.Nirmala IAS, Fr.Deva Joe ( Vice- Provincial Province of Chennai), Fr.Koshy ( Executive Secretary YaR – National Office) , Fr.Maria Charles (PCSA – DBYAR Delegate) and Fr.Johnson Bashyam ( YaR Commission Co-ordinator Chennai Province). The dignitaries were then requested to light the lamp as sign of the presence of god amongst us. The respective dignitaries were then garlanded; Fr.Johnson Bashyam welcomed the gathering and the Chief Guest of the day. Followed by which the Vice – Provincial Fr.Deva addressed the gathering and welcomed the participants on behalf of the Provincial. The Chief Guest of the day Mrs.Nirmala IAS then addressed the gathering, in which she conveyed the need for support for the children at Risk and raised many a question. The inaugural program concluded with a mime performed by the students of MSW, who are placed in Don Bosco Anbu Illam for their concurrent field work. The mime conveyed the different situations a girl child is vulnerable to and how help can be given.

The first session of the seminar began at 10:30 am by Mrs.Nirmala (IAS) who presented a paper on the topic “Psycho Social Support for the Children with Deviant Behavior”. She based her session on the experiences she had while working with children in these situations with examples. She spoke about how one could deal with children with deviant behavior and she insisted on diving deep into finding the root cause of the problem.

After the first session there was a tea break for half an hour. After which the second session was followed by Mr.Balamurugan (UNICEF Consultant), who briefly explained on a child’s basic needs – survival, development, protection, participation and violation of child rights. He addressed the issues of child violation that are seen in day to day life.
Lunch break was from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm.

The afternoon session of the seminar began on the topic ‘Psycho Social Support through Art based Therapy’ was taken by Mr.Krishna Prasad (Navajeevan Bala Bhavan – AP). In which he explained the various techniques and methodologies through which the behavior of a child can be identified. A technique which he expressed was that the behavior pattern can be analyzed through activities such as scribbling and the moods of the children through colors. It was an interactive session were the participants raised queries too.

The last session of the day was given by Dr.Raman on the topic “Psycho Social Support for the HIV infected and affected children”. A lot of videos and materials were used to explain the concept to the participants, as the concept was new and it opened the thought process of the participants.

Day – 2
The fifth session of the conference was on the topic “Psycho Social Support for the abused Children” which was handled by Dr.Aravindan ( Psychiatrist – IMH). The session focused on how the abused child can be treated and how important it is to carry out different counseling’s according to the problem of the child.

The next session was by Dr.Rani Mohanraj (SAMARTH) on the topic “Psycho Social Support for Child Headed Households”. As this topic was new to the participants, a lot of discussions and questions were raised too. The speaker had presented many topics but she had found this topic interesting and challenging.
The last session of the day before lunch was by Fr.Jeyaraj (Niraivagam) on “Psycho Social Support for the Young At Risk”. The session was very interactive and activity based. The session dwelt on development psychology.

After the lunch break, the floor was opened for panel discussion. The moderator to lead the panelist was Fr.Joe Prabu (Hlk – Delhi) Mr.Vidyasagar (UNICEF) , Mr.Krishna Prasad (Navajeevan), Mrs. Glory Gunaseeli (DCPU), Sr.Lourdu (Professor- Stella Maris) were the eminent person who were part of the panel discussion.

Mr.Vidyasagar had recommended that ‘Children are never responsible for the crime but the society is’. He added that the government should rehabilitate children in need of care and protection and take the necessary steps immediately.

Mrs. Glory shared the psycho social support been provided at the Government home. Theatre training, Art based therapy is given to the children. She had pointed that it provides moral support to the children who have entered into the reception unit.

Mr.Krishna Prasad then shared that the Indian family system has diminished, as prior the support for the child came from the family but unlike now the child does not receive support from the family; as most families are separated. He recommended that through therapy such as in art form we could try to analyze the problem of the child at an early period.

The final panelist Sr.Lourdu Mary had shared her experiences of dealing with children who are relocated and who have lost their surroundings. She recommended conducting a study on the Psycho Social Support extended to the children and its outcome. With this the panel discussion concluded with the moderator Fr.Joe Prabu summing up the panel discussion.

Followed by this the conclusion of the seminar took place, The Chief Guest for the conclusion was Mr.Raja Srinivas ( DSP, CB CID Crime Branch) . The event began with a prayer dance by the girls from Saranalaya. After which Fr.Johnson Bashyam introduced our guest of honor along with the Vice – Provincial (Fr.Deva Joe) who was also present at the occasion. Mr.Raja Srinivas then spoke at large about the various activities that the police are indulging to mainstream the children into the society.

This was followed by the distribution of prizes by the Child MISS team for the active participation of Nodes and Hubs. Fr.Koshy and the guest of Honor for the day honored Fr.Joe Prabu for the services that he has rendered to the YaR Commission. The program concluded with the National Anthem.

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