India’s home minister has honoured a Catholic priest on the occasion of Arunachal Pradesh’s 31st statehood day. Salesian Father Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil of Dimapur province received a state award Gold Medal for Excellence in Youth work from home minister Minister Rajanath Signh at a function on February 20 in the state capital of Itanagar. The priest set up two youth centers in the northeastern Indian state over past 16 years. Fr. Pulinthanathumalayil set up the first youth center at Khonsa in East Arunachal, district headquarters of Borduria, in 2000. In 2007 he started the Don Bosco Youth Centre in Itanagar in West Arunachal. The citation reads, “The Don Bosco Youth center has helped hundreds of young people from the state to find jobs in various parts of the country.”
The award function, held at Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar, was attended by Chief Minister Pema Khandu; federal Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju; Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein; Arunachal Home Minister Kumar Waii and Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin.
Chief Minister Khandu visiting the youth center to inaugurate Tadar Taniang Hall and unveil the foundation slab of Dorjee Khandu Annexe said, “I appreciate that Don Bosco Youth Centre in Itanagar for last many years have been channelizing the youth’s potential enabling them to live a dignified life. I am happy that most of the passed out trainee from the center have been able to secure a livelihood for themselves.”
Training programs at the youth center include skill training in computer, hospitality, spoken English and other soft skills. The center has also collaborated with India’s major vocational training providers such as SBJ, Greater Noida; VLCC, New Delhi; MIE, New Delhi, Orion Edutech, Kolkata; O2 Skills, Hyderabad; Chrysallys Accademy, New Delhi and International Institute of Wellness, Greater Noida from 2011. Besides providing career guidance to youth to join for appropriate courses in these centers, Fr. Pulinthanathumalayil also followed them up throughout their training by visiting them and providing them follow-up counseling. The youth center in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, has also initiated the much-appreciated North East Youth Fest at Chandigarh which has become yearly feature for NE youth residing in Chandigarh.
Public Health Engineering Minister Bamang Felix endorses Fr. Pulinthanathumalayil’s youth empowerment style saying, “His novel idea of developing the trainees` personality and leadership skills during a residential motivational soft skills training, before venturing out of the state for further specialized training and placement, has enhanced the success rate of the government`s skill training programs.” “Most of the skilled entrepreneurs lack financial support to start their business,” says 52 year old Fr. Pulinthanathumalayil who has engineered pro-investment policies and land reforms which helps investors feel secure to invest in the state.
In Itanagar Fr. Pulinthanathumalayil has established also Literacy Centre and Computer Centre with a Library at E-Sector as well as a Residential Skill Development Training Centre with residential facilities for 100 boys and girls at Vivek Vihar. He has also constructed the Tadar Taniang Hall in memory of late Minister of State who held many important portfolios. It can seat 400 people.
Construction is soon to start for Dorjee Khandu Annexe in memory of chief minister’s father late Dorjee Khandu former Chief Minister of Arunachal at Vivek Vihar at an estimated cost of 60 million rupees. The facility will have Administrative block, Smart Class Rooms, Computer Rooms, Mini-Conference Hall, Labs for hospitality and beauty training and a Gym.
Fr. Pulinthanathumalayil also manages a Childline in collaboration with Childline India Foundation for children in distress in Itanagar. (Source: Matters India)