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Sisters saved me from my over protective father – Barbara Gomes

Firstly I came here with my uncle and sister and it was Sr. Pushpa whom I met first. They protected me from my Daddy. My Daddy was overprotecting me. He would not let me to go outside to see the world. He would not keep any relation near ad did not want me to make friends with anyone.
I used to stay in the crisis centre of the Good Shepherd sisters in Mumbai. Sr. Pushpa used to come to see me and take good care of me. I was even given good food to eat. I was given nice clothing. My Dad was searching for me and my life was in danger in Mumbai so sisters send me to Chennai where the sistes have their shelter home.

As I reached there, I was welcomed in a nice way. There I learnt how to make flowers, knitting and stitching. The sisters were very good to me and taught me these things. I stayed for a year. I had a great interest for drawing and they used to give me to prepare charts.
Again I came back to Good Shepherd Hostel at Mumbai. Meanwhile both my parents died and I was totally lost but sisters were there for me like Good Samaritan and consoled me saying they are like my parents. Here the sisters are very loving, helpful, caring and kind. I learnt a lot. I owe them all the gratitude and gratefulness for their support and constant guidance. I would even teach the children who come to the centre for coaching classes. When ever I was depressed the sisters used to council me.

At present I got a good job in the school because of sister’s influence and I am very happy. I love them a lot. They took a lot of care and concern for me. They wanted me to grow as beautiful person to face the society. Now I support our sisters in supplementary coaching centre. I cant imagine without our sisters support where ai would have landed. I ever remain grateful to them and continue to support them in bringing justice to girls like me.

An Immense learning procedure and growth as a human being

Good Shepherd Hostel has indeed been a ‘Home Away from Home ‘for me in Mumbai. Located in the heart of Mumbai, I feel blessed to be able to stay in a safe and secure hostel like good shepherd Hostel. There are hundreds of single working girls like me who have found a safe haven here. I am from Nepal and when I came to Mumbai in search of job I did not know where to go and through someone’s help I got our sisters address and they sheltered me for the past 3 years.
The atmosphere is very friendly and homely and all the amenities are provided at very reasonable cost. The credit of this goes entirely to the respected Sisters of the Good Shepherd who have selflessly devoted their lives to Christ and for the good of human society. The Sisters are always there to guide and support the hostelites in every way possible. They are helpful, pleasant, and supportive and always lend a helping hand to the girls.

Staying in Good Shepherd Hostel and being under the guidance of the Sisters has also molded me into a better human being. We see the Sisters cheerfully and tirelessly helping underprivileged people. They begin the day at the crack of the dawn. In the morning and the evening they hold classes for the children of slum dwellers. They are also taken for picnic and other recreations from time to time and all the school functions like Independence Day, Republic day etc are celebrated with great gusto.
The sisters also provide shelter and provide economic independence to women in crisis. They also spread awareness by holding rallies and workshops related to issues pertaining to women. From morning till late evening they work hard with a smile on their faces for the betterment of the society. Not only in Mumbai have they worked tirelessly in other cities as well

Thus, apart from being independent I have also inculcated qualities like helping people in need and being selfless. The credit of this goes to the Sisters. I feel totally blessed to be under the guidance of our sisters and will always be thankful and indebted to them for their unconditional love, help and support.

Experience of Teacher Collette James : Mrs. Collette James.

The year 2008 was a year which made me realise that all those 35years, I spend in the field of education, in one of the elite schools of Mumbai. St. John the Baptist High School, Thane, with students numbering 6000 plus, with affluent back grounds, was not so fulfilling as when I joined the Good Shepherd Convent School. Here I found the true meaning of education.
Teaching these children who belong to the poor and the marginalised part of the society. The Good shepherd Convent is located not in a city or a town but in a little village of thatched huts and mud houses.

When I first came to teach here, I was not prepared for what I saw, I was used to seeing students well dressed neat and clean. Here most of the students were often shabbily dressed and rarely bathed. Poverty could seen in most of them. Teaching here was a sort of challenge and I decided to take it up. Then I found a little miracle taking place. The Good shepherd Convent School, led by Sr. Divya and few of us teachers decided to bring about a change through education.

I was happy to see a change in the children. With neat and clean uniforms and clean appearance. When people noticed these students happily coming to school with a spring in their walk, and talk began eagerly putting their children in the Good Shepherd Convent School.

In the beginning I found it difficult to get to the level of these children. But slowly I found it really a pleasure. What brought this change in me was the enthusiasm and willingness of these children to learn in English, and the efforts put in by the sisters the teachers and the support staff. What is more important to understand is that these children are first generation English learners in this area.

I, along with other teachers have learnt to regard each individual child as unique and deserves love and kindness which is their due. I have learnt in that the truest sense of the term that besides educating girls academically they should also be socially empowered. I have seen this in the sisters of the Good Shepherd. The immense amount of interest and work done by them is truly note worthy.

They have brought about a lot of social awareness among people specially girls and women by their dedicated social work. I was very much touched by the sad incident took place 2 years back , when a young girl from one of the village they work was raped and murdered. A large protest rally was organized and sisters, teachers, students and other people took part in it. This shows the amount of social awareness that is taking place.

The Government is concerned about the RTE. We at the Good Shepherd Convent have already been implementing it and we have taken this as our top priority.

The parents of students are also changing their attitudes and life styles. I am glad to be associated with the Good Shepherd Sisters and the school. The Gundge village , when I started teaching was very lonely. The people would not want to leave their homes in the dark, specially young girls and women because the area was not safe. The area was known for murders and suicides. But with the arrival of the Good Shepherd School, the entire area and the neighbourhood was lightened up. Tall buildings have come up with people from distant areas making their homes in karjat being assured of a Good School. Good Shepherd School is also a good influence to local schools to put their acts straight looking at various activities under taken by us at the Good Shepherd School.

May God bless us everyone at the Good Shepherd.

Mr. Shyam Pawar

Experience of parent – Mr. Shyam Pawar

The Good Shepherd Convent which is located in Karjat Taluka in the district of Raigad, Maharashtra, is a well known institution. It has under taken many social projects successfully. In the year 2003 an English medium school was started. Earlier children from the Bhisegaon and Gundge areas had to cross the railway tracks or a footwear bridge to go to the other side to an English medium school there. This often resulted in risk to both the parents and children’s lives. Keeping this in mind the Good shepherd convent school was started. The school consisted of a nursery and the junior classes with 42 students.
Sr.Vinaya D’Souza was then the headmistress. The school being new the parents were a bit reluctant to admit their children to the Good Shepherd School, but the teachers and we few parents urged the parents to send their children to the Good Shepherd School. Besides academics the school was and is conducting many cultural activities to bring about an all around development of a child’s personality.

After Sr. Vinaya’s transfer, soft spoken Sister Helen took charge of the school. She got the parents to participate in various activities of the school and to help the school to solve problems faced, and they were successful to a large extent.
It was during this time that the school began facing some serious problems. Some parents were misinformed that as the school was not granted permission, it was closing down. Parents began withdrawing their children from the school. It was then that I decided to keep both my daughters in the Good Shepherd School and along with few others got rid of the rumour and the plans of the rumour mongers failed.

With the arrival of Sister Divya Good Shepherd School got a strong intelligent but a strict headmistress. She gave the school what you see today a clean, neat and disciplined school. It was during this time the school got permission and recognition. The PTA and members of the school committee began interacting. At present we have classes up to std. X and the number of students shot up to 500 plus.

Today we see long lines of parents for Admission of the children to the Good Shepherd School, now having realised the Good Work being done. Whilst admitting students the authorities’ see to it that preference is first given to children of the Bhisegaon and Gundge area. These areas were underdeveloped, but with the arrival of the Good Shepherd Covent the areas Bhisegaon and Gundge got importance. The area developed very fast with building complexes coming up and the thatched huts have begun disappearing. Broad, well- lit roads can now be seen. Land prices have also shot up. Because of the Good Shepherd School and its Good Influence the people who were earlier against it are now ready to help it.

The cultural activities held by the school are well attended by the education officers, administrative officers, gramsevaks on their own. Students of the school themselves compare the programmes under the expert guidance of the teachers. The quality of leadership is being well developed in students. The school sees to it that power of good speaking in English, Marathi and Hindi is well developed too. It also seeks to develop creative sporting talents of the students.

The Adivasi children specially the girls are well- looked after in the Good shepherd Convent boarding. They are taught to be self depended. In the villages the sisters meet the people discuss their various problems and help to solve them to a large extent. Many social programmes and activities are carried out for these villagers. The people have now learnt to respect the sisters of the Good shepherd.

The year 2014- 15 saw the first batch of the Xth std students pass out with cent percent result and are now seeking higher studies in cities and in different fields .

I heartily wish that this institution makes better and better progress in future.

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