In September 2002, the Patna Archdiocese invited the Marianists in Digha-Ghat, Patna, to study the plight of the Mahadalit communities and to consider the possibilities of extending the services of REDS-Ranchi and to provide employable skills training to the economically backward youth. The Trust conducted a survey. The findings were presented to the Marianists in Digha and to the Archdiocese. The administrative body had approved these recommendations, assured supports and directed the Marianists in Digha to the implement. They prioritized the programs based on immediate requirements and utilized available resources. The rented Marianists’ residence was used as classrooms and lab to tutor and to train the neighbourhood youth, till they built the present institute cum residence on X T T I Road, Mariam Tola.
During the pastoral visit in December 2011, the Archbishop requested the Marianists to extend their service to the child labourers, particularly the ragpicking Musahars in Digha. In October 2012, the administrative visitors from the Trust considered the matter and permitted to continue the contact.
In May 2017, Most Rev. William D’Souza, SJ., the Archbishop of Patna, blessed and inaugurated this ministry in the presence of the Trust’s officials, members, well-wishers, neighbours and the beneficiaries. As a result, the ragpickers, child labourers, school dropouts and their friends come to the Marianists’ Campus on Saturdays’ for recreational activities and for refreshments since their parents and guardians continue to count on their small contribution to meet the family needs. The neighbours, youth from different organizations, students and trainees from nearby schools, colleges and training institutions have volunteered to help these friendly-visitors.
Due to limited resources and inconveniences, only eight children are attending formal school with their parents’ cooperation. The volunteers monitor their studies. The Trust bears these educational program expenses.
S., Victor Sahayaraj (Program Director)
REDS (Ragpickers Education & Development Scheme) Patna
Mariyam Tola, P.O. Digha Ghat
Patna 800 011, Bihar, India
Cell: 829 443 3500