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Boscom South Asia - Social Communication Delegates meet at Yercuad
By Father Ashok Lingampally
Mumbai, Aug. 7. The General Body meeting of Boscom South Asia, comprising of 11 Salesian provinces of India and of Sri Lanka was held from 3rd-4th August, 2017 at The Retreat Yercaud, Chennai. Father Agilan Sarprasadam the Vice Provincial of Tiruchy Province welcomed the BOSCOM members
''BOSCOM has a vital role in animating the youth in our society towards capacity building and seeking the Truth'' he said.
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Father Godfey D'Souza the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai Province and Provincial incharge of BOSCOM South Asia delivered the inaugural talk in which he exhorted us to be creative in communicating God's message of love to the young.

Father Raj Mariasusai the Executive secretary of BOSCOM read the minutes of the General Body meeting. Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, Regional Delegate, of Boscom South Asia thanked Fr. Raj Mariasusai the Executive secretary of BOSCOM for having completed his three year term with dedication and commitment and effectively organising and co-ordinating the activities of BOSCOM South Asia.

The members of BOSCOM unanimously elected Father David Mariaselvam SDB, Editor of The Salesian Bulletin as the new Executive secretary for BOSCOM South Asia for a period of three years from 2017-2020. He gave his consent and the members congratulated him and assured him their prayers and support.

Father Joaquim Fernandes briefly read the report on the Social Communication Ministry in the Provinces of South Asia (BOSCOM) for the year 2016-2017.  His report emphasized the thrust areas of Animation and Formation, Information and Public Relations, Productions and Business Enterprise and Artistic and Cultural Goods. The Financial Compliance Report along with the  Budget and expenditure approved by the Salesian Provincials Conference of South Asia  for the year 2016-2017 was presented and approved by the SC Delegates. He thanked Father Godfrey D'Souza the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai for the valuable financial contribution and assistance towards supporting the BOSCOM South Asia activities by the Bombay Salesian Society.

This was followed by the presentation of the reports from each province / departments on the  various activities / initiatives and programmes that each centre is involved in with emphasis on one unique plan for the province. These plans have been done by incorporating the Rector Major and General Council's Social Communication plan and integrating it with the Boscom South Asia Regional Plan for the year 2016-2020. Father Joaquim Fernandes appreciated and urged the members to continue the good work done by the Provinces.

At 12.00pm the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Godfrey D'Souza the Provincial incharge of BOSCOM South Asia. ''Each individual ought to look into himself and understand how God loves us and His faithfulness for us.  If we make ourselves small in the sight of God we become successful in life.''  he said.

Father Joaquim Fernandes presented the budget proposal for the year 2017-2018 which has been approved by the SPCSA.

The evaluation of the The Don Bosco Youth film Festival (DBFFI) which was organized simultaneously and films screened in 19 states and over 100 venues in India simultaneously on January 28-29, 2017 was taken up for discussion. Twenty Four short films, were screened at the Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India. The theme of the Film Festival was ''Youth and Nation Building''. Nearly seven lakh youth from across the venues viewed the films.  The members shared their evaluation and shared their experiences in organising the Film Festival.

Father Joaquim Fernandes  thanked Father Harris Pakkam, the Former Festival Director for organising the Film Festival and creating a ripple effect which entertains and educates the young in our country.  Father Francis Xavier SDB, the Social Communication Delegate for the Province of Chennai and the director of DBICA, Chennai  was appointed as the Don Bosco Youth Film Festival Director for the year 2017-2018. The core team comprising of the SC delegates from the various provinces has been formed to assist him in organising the Film Festival. The theme for this year's Film Festival is ''YOUTH for LIFE''. This year the Don Bosco Film Festival of India is scheduled on 18th-19th January, 2018.

Boscom South Asia General Assembly Meeting from the 2nd-5th November, 2017 was planned.  Father Francis Xavier, the Social Communication Delegate for the Province of Chennai along with Father David Mariaselvam, the Executive Secretary will co-ordinate and organise the programme and its logistics.

Father Joaquim Fernandes presented the report on the work in progress status of redesigning the Don Bosco South Asia Webportal www.donboscoindia.in/org. The website architecture / blueprint has been completed. The consulting agency company - ''Young Creative Services'' has commenced the copy editing work and the data collation is being completed. The home page of the website www.donboscoindia.in was launched by the Rector Major, Father Artime Fernandez during the Team Visit on 4th March, 2017 in Chennai. This website will integrate all the Provinces and its networks with around 600 institutions of Don Bosco India in one portal.

On Day two  Father Raj Mariasusai presented the ''Writers Forum'' project which has been conceptualized by him and presented it to the Social Communication Delegates as part of the Boscom and The Salesian Bulletin Initiative to train Youth in India through peace and capacity building initiatives.

Salesian Bulletin: Father David Mariaselvam briefly presented the report of the Salesian Bulletin Monthly magazine for the Salesian Family presently it has a print run of 7800 copies printed per month. He requested all the SC Delegates from each provinces to write features/ news and sent it to him for publishing in this Salesian Family Magazine.

Father Joaquim Fernandes discussed some deliberations which needs to be implemented. There is a need to appoint a Full time Journalist and Social media expert who writes news and features and edits the stories and articles of our institutions.

The establishing of the BOSCOM Trust: In order to brand and linkage with other sites, both internal and external and also to function as the executive body for Salesian Communications in India / South Asia, it is necessary that a Trust be established.  

BOSCOM office in Delhi: There should be a full time staffing and the Regional Delegate stationed in Delhi. The Budget plan and the actual office / staffing needs to be taken up post-haste.

Workshop for Bosco Information Correspondents in each province: The Social Communication Delegate from each province needs to train Bosco Information Correspondents to write news / features in their respective institutions to strengthen the Bosco Information Service news in each province.

Video Messages of the Rector Major in local vernacular languages to be translated and sent to Father I C Jacob in Rome and creating the South Asian Image Bank in our archives and repository.

Father David Mariaselvam, SDB thanked Fr. Raj Mariasusai SDB and his community for hosting the BOSCOM SOUTH ASIA meeting.

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