(ANS – Calcutta) – The Salesians in the Calcutta Province (INC) have launched a joint project with the Indian Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development to training and prepare for work the poorest young people.
The first lessons began on June 20 in the state of West Bengal, part of INC. Taking part were hundreds of students between 18 and 30 years of age divided into classes of 60. According to a report in the Asianews agency, in the next two years the project will expand to other Indian states with over 60,000 students benefitting from the courses.
The initiative consists of three months of free training courses in hotel management, engineering, automobile construction, tailoring, and handicrafts. This is the largest program undertaken by the government in collaboration with the Indian Catholic Church.
Fr. Robin Gomes, a Salesian missionary in Calcutta, says: “Over the last three years we have been discussing with the Ministry how to educate young people who are below the poverty line. So we saw the possibility of conducting training in a specific area of learning funded by the Ministry using the over 100 Salesian technical institutes in India.”
“We are delighted,” he adds, “to help and serve poor students and the country through this project. I hope that this cooperation between Church and government can continue in the future.”