Mangaluru, Sep 16: As a wonderful dimension to the Decennial Year celebrations of Mount Carmel, a love offering was collected to be shared among ten homes for the less fortunate. Each class of students was allotted one destination to which they carried bags of provisions comprising several kilos of rice, coconuts, stationery items, other essentials and cash, a love offering collected in the school made possible only by the collective efforts of the goodwill and generosity of all the parents and principal, her team and the enthusiastic students of Mount Carmel Central School.
The students of class IX ‘A’ started out on their journey to ‘Saanidhya’, Shakthi Nagar, amidst great excitement and cheer. The students had been practicing for a programme that they wanted to put up for the children in that special school. The programme commenced with a prayer service seeking God’s blessings on the donors, teachers and residents present there. The action songs made the children very happy, and they too actively participated in them. A magic show was performed, which they enjoyed with peals of laughter. The dancers of class IX ‘A’ danced to the beats of lively and popular songs which were thoroughly enjoyed by the children. Games like musical chair and passing the ball were also conducted which brought out the sportive spirit of the inmates. The children enjoyed the sweets distributed to them. “In my life I’ve learnt that true happiness comes from giving,” said Minola Saldana, IX ‘A’.
The students of IX ‘B’ took their share of the love offering to St Agnes Special School, Bendore, eager to perform all that they had planned for the children there. As they entered the grounds they noticed that the place was well kept, neat and tidy. The innocent special children were welcoming and disciplined. As they moved on to sing songs and rhymes, the students saw genuine happiness as they too sang, danced and clapped to the pulse of the songs. A game of passing the parcel was played with them. The students enjoyed their time to the full with the children. To their surprise, the performers became the audience as the children of the special school too performed a dance, which was full of life and energy. Their joyful faces were a sight worth seeing. At the end of the programme, the students distributed a box of sweets to the children and a memento to the principal. “We experienced that service to the less fortunate is the biggest reward we can give to the society,” said Jessica Coutinho, IX ‘B’.
Class X ‘A’ visited ‘Jeevadhan’, a home for patients suffering from AIDS at Kaikamba. They found great happiness in sharing the love offering, which was gratefully received. The love offering comprised of bags of rice, coconuts, soap, toothpastes, stationary items and eatables. A short programme was presented to cheer the inmates; it began with a hymn, followed by a dance by the girls and then the boys. The inmates viewed the programme with excitement and joy. They were also invited to take part in a ‘line dance’. Games were conducted which brought broad smiles on their faces. Prizes were distributed to the winners. The interaction with the less fortunate ones of ‘Jeevandhan’ was a new and heart-touching experience. “On our way back from school, we pondered over the experience and realized how fortunate we are to be blessed with good parents and good health. We felt the need to thank God for all his blessing,” said Glen Philip Sequeira, X ‘A’.
‘Sneha Sadan’, Kaikamba, was yet another destination for the distribution of love offering collected at the Mount Carmel Central School. This institution was visited by the students of Class X ‘B’. They were warmly welcomed by Father Shiju, the director who briefed them about the institution and the causes of AIDS. He also shared the lifestyle of the HIV/AIDS patients and their problems. The students had prepared a short programme which they then presented. It began with a prayer, followed by dances. The children enjoyed the programme very much. A few games such as ‘Passing the Cap’ and ‘Bombing the City’ were played and prizes were distributed which brought immense joy to the winners. “The aim of our visit to ‘Sneha Sadan’ was to show our love and concern towards the needy by sharing the love offerings collected in the school and interacting with the residents of the center. Our little experience with ‘Sneha Sadan’ made us believe that there is still hope,” said Shaima Shamim, X ‘B’.
The students of Class XI and XII along with few kindergarten students and teachers visited St Antony’s Charitable Institutes, Jeppu. The students presented a cultural programme filled with songs and dances from 90’s. The audience laughed at the joke presented in Konkani and cheered at the action songs sung by the tiny tots of kindergarten. “The visit was a great experience wherein we realized the importance of family and friends in our life. It also helped us to respect our elders and care for the sick in our homes. We were able to bring a smile on the faces of people who carry hearts full of tears and sorrows,” said Arolin Miranda, XII.
The students of class VIII ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ conducted similar programmes to the inmates of Mother Theresa’s Home, Home for the Aged at Bajjodi and Prashanth Nivas, Jeppu who had tears in their eyes when the young children interacted with them. They hugged them as their grandchildren. The students felt that it was a wonderful opportunity to discover empathy within them. “The smiles we exchanged throughout, had a lovely language of its own,” said Arundhati Vasanth, VIII ‘C’.
The Carmel Blossoms had a unique spiritual experience when they visited the Cloistered Carmel Sisters at Kankanady whose main mission is to pray for the people. They were very happy and excited to interact with the sisters and shared the love offering with them. The prioress also spoke to them about the life of St Mary Bovardi, who was canonized recently and who lived in Mangaluru for a few years in the 19th century. Mount Carmel is under their care for the spiritual blessings on the institution.
The 3-day ‘Each One Teach One’ programme of Class VII ‘A’, ’B’, ‘C’ at the Infant Jesus Primary School brought the students to the ground reality that God’s gift of intelligence is the same, it is man’s greed that divides the society. Both the group mingled together in a friendly way and enjoyed the programme they had planned for them in academics.