Affection and commitment towards social
work is the best activity of life. We the Post Novitiate brothers were
privileged to be a part of the Vimukti Pothnal from September to October
2020. Belonging to a congregation which inherits its spirit from St.
Francis of Assisi, it was a rejuvenating experience for us to walk into
the life of the people and experience their very state of life. Our
mission exposure programme in Pothnal was animated and guided by Fr.
Satish Fernandes OFM Cap. When we look into the past few days, we had a
gradual and progressive growth in our outlook towards social work. We
were introduced to a number of activities and initiatives that aimed at
the betterment of children, youth, women and adults. In our visit to
Gangavati, we could witness with our own eyes the functioning of Child
Resource Centers (CRCís) and Youth Resource Centers (YRCís), run by
Capuchin Krishik Seva Kendra (CKSK) in collaboration with Child Fund
India (CFI). We could also visit the families of different students
sponsored by CFI and realized the consolation and support that it was
providing to the society. In our stay in villages, we mingled with the
life style of the people. It also enabled us, to understand their living
conditions, circumstances, challenges and for a while, we felt, as if we
too were a part of their joys and sorrows. We also extended our little
services to them by engaging with their children, visiting and praying
for the families and doing some sort of field work. All the villagers
were courteous and hospitable, and readily welcomed us into their little
homes. In our visit to Raichur, we could closely work with the Child
Line 1098 Programme coupled with some practical experiences in the
field. In short, our mission exposure programme opened our eyes towards
the various social issues such as child labour, child marriage, child
trafficking, Devadasi system, illiteracy, poverty, migration and so on.
We were also introduced to a number of schemes offered by the government
for the upliftment of the children, women and the poor.
Our mission exposure in Pothnal, took us into a new horizon of social
work. We realized that social work is all about enabling the people in
the society, to stand on their feet. Social work is not mere charity but
rather empowering the society to achieve its rights. This can be done by
empowering and organizing the people to attain their needs. We felt
that, Vimukti Pothnal stands as a model by getting into the various
realms of the society and enforcing them to achieve their rights. We
feel greatly honoured to be a part of this initiative undertaken by the
Capuchin friars, and we specially thank Fr. Satish Fernandes OFM, Fr.
Arun Lobo OFM, and, Dr. Sadashiv Kadambi, Mr. Sudarshan and all their
team members for their immense support and guidance. We also thank our
dear Director Fr. Joel Lobo who took a decisive step to inculcate in us
a varied spirit of social service.