DON BOSCO SCHOOL, ITANAGAR
1. St. John Bosco the founder
John Bosco, commonly known as Don Bosco, was born in 1815 at Becchi, a village near Turin, Italy. At the age of two he lost his father. His childhood was steeped in poverty and even though he liked to study, he could not pursue his dream due to fierce opposition from his stepbrother Anthony. However his mother encouraged and supported him to pursue his dream. He eventually had to leave home, work for his keep and pursue his studies as best as he could.
Through heroic sacrifices and by dint of hard work he was able to complete his studies and seminary training, and he became a priest in 1841. As a priest he dedicated himself to the service of boys, especially the poor by offering them food, lodging and education. Through the help of generous persons he opened technical schools, hostels and other institutions. Soon he founded a society of collaborators and extended his work to all of Europe and later even to other continents.
Don Bosco died on 31 January 1888 at the age of 73. He was declared a venerable by Pius X on 21 July 1907 and a saint by Pius XI in 1934. Pope John Paul II called him “Father and Teacher of Youth.”
2. Don Bosco’s presence in the world
The work of this humble priest has grown from a tiny seed into a large tree. His spiritual sons (around 14,600), daughters (20,000) and members of the Salesian family (53,000) are now continuing the legacy he left behind. Don Bosco’s spiritual family continues to bring hope and succour to the lives of the young especially the poor and lead them towards horizons far beyond their reach.
The Salesians of Don Bosco he founded now numbers over 14,600 members working in 132 countries through more than 3,500 institutions. From Sodertalje in Sweden, just below the Arctic Circle, to Ushuaia, just above the Antartic Circle, from New York to San Francisco, to Hongkong and Bangkok, and on to Rangoon, Kolkata, Cairo and around the world, they bring care and concern to over two million boys and girls.
3. Don Bosco in India Even though
Don Bosco had a great desire to respond to the many invitations he received from India, he was not able to send his Salesians to India during his lifetime. The first successor to Don Bosco, Don Rua was able to send the first batch of Salesians under the leadership of Father Tomatis to Tanjore in South India in 1906. However, due to several overwhelming reasons the work of the Salesians did not grow spectacularly as anticipated. In 1922, Fr. Rinaldi the fourth successor of Don Bosco sent another group of Salesians under the leadership of Fr. Louis to Shillong to look after the Assam Missions. Under the dynamic leadership of Fr. Louis Mathias the Salesian presence multiplied all over India and more so in Northeast India.
The spiritual family founded by Don Bosco is present in a big way in India. Today there are over 2800 Salesians serving the educational needs of our children through over 350 centres and institutions scattered throughout the country. Besides the Salesians other members of the Salesian family, co-operators, Past-pupils, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Missionary sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) and others carry on the mission of Don Bosco all over India.
4. Don Bosco School, Itanagar
Beginning a School at Itanagar, the Capital of Arunachal Pradesh was a long-standing dream. The breakthrough came when in July 1992, the possibility of getting land (present Auxilium College Girls Hostel) at Daath, Jully near Holy Trinity Church became a reality. Don Bosco School was inaugurated on 11th February 1993 by the Minister of Civil Supplies, Mr. Tardar Taniang. The classes began in June 1993 with K.G. class. There were about 30 students in the rolls and most of them were boarders.
In October 1994, forty bighas of land (the present Don Bosco College) was negotiated for the establishment of a centre where a link road to Itanagar was expected to be constructed. It was decided to establish the School there as the previous land was too small. The foundation stone of the new Don Bosco School was laid in the new land by Chief Minister Gegong Apang and blessed by Bishop Robert Kerketta of Tezpuron 17th August 1995. The construction work for the School met with difficulty as it involved a lot of levelling work.
Providentially, a new plot of plain land was available at Jully Hokah, and the construction of the School begun at the new site in 1997. In 1998, classes III to V were conducted at the new site while K.G. to Class II were conducted at the old site at Daath, Jully. The new school building was inaugurated on 16th August 2001 by Shri Mukut Mithi, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.
After affiliation to CBSE in 2005, the first batch of students appeared for their CBSE examinations in March 2007. The previous four batches from 2002 to 2006 had appeared for the CBSE examinations from the Government Higher Secondary School, Itanagar. In 2001, Don Bosco School made 8 further strides with the approval of the CBSE for opening the Higher Secondary Section in Arts and Commerce. With the number of students increasing, the foundation stone for the School’s new block was laid by Fr. R.K. Guangdiat Nicholas on 30th April 2017. The school is working towards opening the science stream from the next academic session 2021-22 onwards.
It is hoped that Don Bosco School, Itanagar will be able to respond adequately to the needs of young people and be an agent for the fulfilment of their dreams and aspirations and will lead us to a closer affinity to the vision dear to our founder – St. John Bosco.
DON BOSCO’S TIPS TO SCHOOL CHILDREN