Former Chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University is set on a national youth mission experimenting with a new ‘wake up call’ training college students. The first of the seres was held at the School of Social Sciences and Engineering at Rajagiri College, Kochi during first and third week of August.
Founder director of Child Friendly Guwahati Salesian Father V.M. Thomas (Vattathara) conducted four 2-day workshops at the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate institution as part of a skilling effort to build up young people in Leadership and in Professional Life.
Christened CROSSOVER, the innovative youth program for college and university students “is an intensive 2-day Inner Engineering Workshop to discover oneself, enhance better relationships, focus on goals and edit life frequently to make a masterpiece of oneself,” says team leader Fr. V.M. Thomas former Chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University and director of national Salesian Consultancy Services.
Some 200 talented and intelligent youth participated in this new venture.
The program is the brainchild of a core team of well qualified and highly skilled professionals encompassing the education sphere and the corporate world. The team includes alumni from Harvard University, XLRI, Don Bosco University, and Syracuse University.
An IAS (Indian Administrative Service) trainer for 13 years at Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute Mussorie, Fr. Thomas says, “The programme was rated high and much appreciated by the students and faculty.”
Former Salesian provincial of Guwahati province and president of the Conference of Religious India Fr. Thomas says, “Salesian charism [is] chartering new grounds and making forays into new tough grounds [in] shaping thinking youth.”
Fr. Thomas further explains, “It is a strategic intervention at this critical time to create committed and critical thinking leaders. The program is aimed at creating a strategic future for the young.
He cautions, “we can not give them (youth) the future but we can form them for the future.”
Fr. Thomas laments saying, “The world has been made comfortable and modern by new technologies but there is urgent need of discovering oneself, one's potential, personality types, understand and evaluate assumptions, biases, stereotypes, opinion, and hearsay.”
A youth trainer for over 40 years and founder director of Don Bosco Institute for youth services (at Kharguli in Guwahati) Fr. Thomas adds, ”life must be understood backwards to live forward.”
Fr. Thomas insists, “Life has to be EDITED frequently and ruthlessly to create a masterpiece.”
Getting to his training mode speech Fr. Thomas says, “Nothing great can be achieved except by those who dare to believe that there is something in them superior to external circumstances.”
“Obstacles are what we see when we take off our eyes from our goal,” he tells.
Explaining the blended learning techniques his team uses with college and university students Fr. Thomas says, “we use lectures, interactive sessions, inspiring and motivational videos, multi media presentations, role plays, demonstrations, live project works in the teaching-learning process.”
With a mixture of Management principles and Neuro Linguistic Programming, “We make them understand that 'they can create the world of their choice with their thoughts.”
Fr. Thomas says, “In the context of the present trends of majoritarianism, intolerance, fake news, manipulative behaviours it is urgent and important to influence thinking minds to stay critical and act independently living with the right attitude.”
Team member and co-trainer Mr Akhilesh Chandy an alumnus of Syracuse University USA believes the program is “A modern innovative idea to reach the critical mass of the young who will be the socio political leaders.” END
Photo caption: Fr. V.M. Thomas at a workshop with Rajagiri students.