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India - ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’: a Mental and Emotional Initiative for Every Child in Mumbai

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January 26, 2015

ghamEDUCATION - On the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco, Prafulta Psychological Services, a Don Bosco Organization in Mumbai, organized ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ a programme to boost the mental health of children in Mumbai. Over 1600 youngsters benefitted from this programme that was held at three different locations across the city.

The first phase consisted of reaching out to children of over ninety schools and helping them to understand the importance of mental health. The process started with counsellors meeting Principals of around thirty schools in each of three different locations.

The first in the series of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham events was held at Don Bosco International School, Matunga on 10 January 2015. Over 600 students, including a large number from municipal schools, participated in the planned activities. Violence in society has increased chiefly because of our inability to deal appropriately with feelings. Children were taught to get in touch with their feelings and express them in appropriate ways. While the children participated in this process, their parents attended a separate session on ‘Effective Parenting’.

The second event was held at Dominic Savio High School, Andheri on 11 January and the third at Don Bosco High School, Borivali on 17 January. In each of these venues over 500 children and their parents participated in the workshops.

More than forty volunteer counsellors trained at Prafulta and elsewhere came together to conduct these sessions. The core team included a Salesian, Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, Founder-Director of Prafulta; Ms. Shalu Mehrotra who has been working at Prafulta since 2001 and Mr. Shishir Joshi, CEO Bombay First, who is also a trained counsellor.

Global Foundation sponsored this event. Many of the participants said that this was the first time that they became aware of the importance of feelings and learning ways to deal with them. We plan to have follow-up programmes with the same students and also propose to organise many more such events in various other schools.

Source: Agenzia Info Salesiana, January 20, 2015

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