Monday, August 23, 2010

Irugu Porugu (Aug. 22, 2010)

The first major collective outreach programme for the neighbourhood, directed specifically towards the children, was held at St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba on August 22, 2010. Titled 'Irugu Porugu' (immediate neighbourhood), the animation for the day witnessed 580 children, from 21 villages to which Seminarians visit every weekend, actively participate in the several activities of the programme. Mr Rajanna, the MPDC (Official representative) of Kothavalasa Mandal was the chief guest of the inaugural function.

The programme for the day commenced at 10 in the morning with the cultural programmes. Practically all those villages who were represented put up a dance, a song and sashed down the stage in a variety of costumes for the fancy dress competition. Srs Jacintha and Maria of the Daughters of St Anne (DSA) and from our neighbouring Parish in Pendurthi, were the judges for the event. Several of the Brothers had taken special care to ensure that the children practiced and performed their programmes well.

Soon after lunch, which was had in smaller groups according to their village, the children were all set for the open air games. While the boys were kept busy in the football ground, games for the girls were organised in the house lawns. With each one striving to do their best, it was fun watching children give their best to stay in the game and emerge victorious. The brothers enthusiastically supported the children while lending a helping hand in organising the events. The day concluded on an exciting note with the distribution of the prizes. At the end of the day (nearly 4 pm), practically each village had a prize or two to carry home, along with the rich experience of the day.

On a average, 20 to 25 children from each village made it to the Seminary for the day. Though just a fraction of the number frequenting the weekend apostolate, the number was purposely kept low in order to facilitate organisation and to provide the best rather than have thousands of children and plenty of confusion. On the whole the day was made memorable, especially for the children, thanks to the sincere efforts of the Chaitanya Deepika group (one of the eight growth groups of the community), who along with their animator, Fr Rinoy meticulously planned and executed the various activities of the day. They were ably assisted by the Brothers, especially for the food and hall arrangements.

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