St. John Bosco; (1988) 2008: Salem


 “Creating a just and equal society and empowering ‘Young at Risk.’


THE SALEM DON BOSCO ANBU ILLAM SOCIAL SERVICE SOCIETY is a catalyst organization that works towards the welfare of children, youth, women, migrants, and the vulnerable community.  Through various creative initiatives, we empower them in the areas of education, health, livelihood, social engineering, and the environment.  We enable people to take part in governance through networking with NGOs and CBOs for their sustainable development and growth.  We create awareness and sensitization on issues related to the community.  We work for young people at risk through our interventions of rescuing, restoration, rehabilitation, and reformation. 

We aim to:

1. Identify and assist runaway, homeless, abused and exploited children and youth, irrespective of their caste or religion.

2.Provide care and protection for vulnerable young people.

3. Create honest citizens by providing life-coping and livelihood programmes and through counselling, sports, and quality education.

4. Provide community-based, alternative care and development of vulnerable children and youth.

5. Make all possible efforts for the reintegration of children with their families.

6. Empower the marginalized community through Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).

7. Work closely with government bodies and others for the welfare of young people at risk and the community.


There was growing awareness of the ever-increasing number of street children in the nooks and corners of Salem in the mid-1980s. Incredibly the plight of these children was not covered under any existing socio-political scheme or programme. They were not even considered in the population census of the state of Tamil Nadu. This alarming situation captured the attention of some students of philosophy, who have their academic centre at The Retreat, Yercaud, a hill station, 30 KM away from Salem. Based on their discussions on how to cater to these street kids during their weekend service schemes, the genesis of a marvellous rehabilitation programme for the young at risk was set up and headed by Fr. Schlooz. The initial contact centres were at the City Bus Stand and at the Railway Junction. They were also working with the juveniles in the Government Observation Home.

Once a year these boys were taken to the Retreat, Yercuad for a day of celebration. Then Fr. Francis Schlooz sdb and Bro. Meril sdb explored the possibility of working for street children in the city of Salem. They felt the need for the shelter Home for the street boys. Hence, in 1988, the death Centenary year of Don Bosco, a centre at the present location was inaugurated. The centre was primarily meant for rag pickers and was only a night shelter. The rag pickers shop was started at the shelter and it was monitored by the boys. At this time only accommodation was provided and the boys managed their own food. They had their regular savings and non-formal education. From 1995 the children were stopped from rag picking and were enrolled on schools for regular formal education. They felt the need for the Shelter Home for the street boys to play, sleep, wash their clothes, bathe, and rest at night. Hence, in the Centenary year of St. John Bosco, 1988, a building at the present location was inaugurated by the former District Collector of Salem Mr. M.F. Farroqi.

1985Initial contacts by the Students of Philosophy, Yercaud.
1988Shelter was erected.
1995Children were enrolled in regular schools.
1997Adivaram Shelter was inaugurated to accommodate newcomers.
1998Child Guidance Bureau was started in the New Bus Stand.
1999Transit Schools were started for the working children.
2000Registered as Social Service Society. Erode and Namakkal extension centres begun.
2001Social Awareness Team (SAT) started to create social awareness to the public.
2002Child Line was started to rescue children in difficulties and in danger.
2003Prevention and rehabilitation of street and working children through community-based Organization (CBO).
2004Federation of women groups and youth groups aiming to create a mass movement.
2005Movement based approach to core issues that affect Child Right and Human Rights involving District Administration and other participatory partners.
2007Auto mechanic and computer centre for non-formal students, Dropout and Vazhikaatti centre to employ the unemployment youth.
2008Namakkal Centre for the affected children was established.
2009A centre initiated at Moolakkadu for the HIV infected children.
2011To mark the bi- centenary of birth of St. John Bosco, Don Bosco Care Home (A Centre for HIV/AIDS infected children and youth) was officially inaugurated.
2013Silver Jubilee of Don Bosco Anbu Illam.
2013Modular Employable Skill (MES) training programme for the dropout youth.
2014Functional Vocational training Research and Survey (FVTRS) programme initiated for the dropout Youth Inauguration of the Bi-Centenary birth Celebration of St. John Bosco.
2020This year a team of 3 Salesians are asked to reside there in the Adivaram. We had done lots of Renovation work at Adivaram. We had built an office for the staff, room for the brothers, Counselling Room, cow shed, modified the existing kitchen, and built kitchen 2, Separate gas connection for the Adivaram, and so on. We had purchased two 52 inches led TV for the boys of both Children home and the reception unit. We had set computer lab with 12 computers for the boys to have access and learn from the online classes. MOU signed with Sacred Heart of College, Tiruppattur, Don Bosco   College Dharmapuri, Bishop Heber College, Trichy.
2021Yes (Youth Empowerment Salem), renovated kitchen in Adivaram which is dedicated to hall for Fr. Theo.
2022We had built a washroom block for boys in Mulluvadigate with the help of Rotary help organization. It was opened by Mr. Sundharalingam, the District Governor. On world TB Day we had partook in the TB Elimination campaign. The best performance was given by our team, so we were awarded by National Tuberculosis Elimination Program – Salem.
2022Fr. Theo Media centre hall had built at Adivaram and it was opened by Fr.Agilan the provincial of Trichy with a solemn ceremony. Similarly, a new toilet was a buildup for boys at Adivaram.
2022June – APF Azim Premji foundation project inaugurated in Vennandur MODEL VILLAGE PROGRAM – Sankagiri Project


TimelineName of the Awards & RecognitionsGiving Institution
1999The Best Institution Award (Fr. Vincent Xavier)The Mayor Of Salem Corporation
2004The Best Child Rights Promoter AwardRotary Club Of Salem
 The Best Job Placement CellTamilnadu Cultural Society.
2008The Best ChildlineChildline India Foundation (Mumbai)
2001 – 2006Fr. Amala Jeya Rayan Became The Member Of Child Welfare Committee
2012 – 2015Fr. Xavier Michael Became The Juvenile Justice Board Member
 Fr. Amalorpavaraj Served As A Member Of Different Commissions And Committees In The State And National Level
2012 – 2015Mr. Xavier Became The President Of Child Welfare Committee
06.06.2020The ‘Best Service Award (The Government Welfare Schemes Reached Persons With Disability In 30 Villages In Rasipuram)Nammakkal District Collector Thiru. K. Megraj IAS
26.01.2021The Best Social Worker Award (For The Disease Prevention And Relief Work)The Commissioner, Salem Corporation
26.01.2021The Best Social Worker Award (For The Disease Prevention And Relief Work)The Collector Of Nammakkal District
24.02.2021Ms. Nirmala Devi (For The Care & Protection Of Girl Children) Mr. Raman, District Collector Of Salem
21-02-2022.Awarded For More Numbers Of E-Shram Registration For Unorganized WorkersTamil Nadu Alliance
30.11.2021Rev. Dr. Casimir Raj: The Best ‘Yar Research Award’ (On Child Marriage In Salem And Dharmapuri Districts)Yar Sector
30.11.2021An Award For Outstanding Work With The Young At RiskYar Sector
30.11.2021Ms. Nirmala Devi, The Outstanding Work With The Young At RiskYar Sector
24.03.2022An Award For National Tuberculosis Elimination AwarenessNational Rural Health Mission
26.03.2022Social Harmony Award (For Protecting And Promoting The Rights Of Children In Salem And Nammakkal Districts)Most. Rev. Dr. Arulselvam Rayappan, Salem Diocese
27.03.2022The Best Social Service Home AwardAram Sei (Nrit mwk; nra; ew;gzp ,af;fk;)
10.08.2022The “Community Architect” Award (For 33 Years Of Work Rendered For The Children In Need)Networking & Development Center For Service Organizations (NDSO)
2022An Award For Outstanding WorkYar Sector


SERVICES –  (Our Focus – For Children, For Youth, For Community)


DBAI targets three main categories of marginalised children:

• Street children forced to leave their families due to poverty who become rag pickers, sweepers, hotel boys, pavement dwellers, and child labourers.

• Children who live with their families and work as child labourers; Orphaned children with single parents or from broken families.

• Missing and Trafficked children.


The shelter is the immediate requirement for the runaways, street children and vagrant children who are contacted the bus stations and railway stations.  It caters to orphaned children, and children from woman-headed families and broken families as well. 

We have three Shelter Homes, which are in Mulluvadi Gate, the foothills of Yercaud and Nilavaarapatty and they are rehabilitation shelters, preparatory shelters and the home for children with HIV/AIDS respectively.     These homes provide formal and non-formal education for the children.  We provide them with vocational training and guidance to start self-employment programmes. 

The children are referred to these homes by the child rights protection centre and Childline. At present nearly 150 children are given accommodation and other necessary facilities in the shelter home to continue their education.


CHILD HELPLINE 1098 is a platform bringing together the Ministry for Women & Child Development, the Department of Telecommunications, street and community youth, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, the corporate sector and concerned individuals.  The Salem Don Bosco Anbu Illam Social Service Society is the approved collaborative organization in the Salem district since April 2002.  It is a 24-hour emergency and toll-free telephone service for children in difficult circumstances.  The child helpline provides protection, medical aid, security, and safety for these children. Anyone can contact Childline to help children who are homeless or in need of protection. Childline not only responds to emergency needs but also links children to services for their long-term care and recovery.


A large number of children enter the juvenile justice system through the Child Welfare Committees (CWC) and are in need of residential care and protection during the inquiry and subsequently, for their long-term care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation. A reception home is set up in every district which provides comprehensive childcare to ensure their all-around development. Since 2009, in Salem district, the government has entrusted DBAI to run the reception home. The children who are rescued by the Childline, the Juvenile Police or by any public are brought to the reception home and they stay there till they are either settled with their parents if possible or sent to a shelter home if they don’t have parents.


A large number of homeless children, pavement dwellers, working children and child beggars, left on their own and in need of care, is of great concern. Many are victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. These violent life conditions mean that some of these children start to commit crimes, abuse drugs and exploit others. To provide for the needs of these children, the central and state government decided to set up Open Shelters in urban areas. These centres provide a space where children can play, use their time productively and engage in creative activities.

In Salem district, since 2004, the government supports DBAI to run an Open Shelter. The centre offers facilities for the street and working children to fulfil their basic necessities and engage themselves in recreational activities. The centre also ensures the overall growth and development of the boys.


Getting quality education is the prime and fundamental right of every child on earth. Due to negligence in the implementation of government schemes and the economic condition of the family, many children are denied their right to quality education. In low-income urban areas and villages, DBAI organises  ‘Evening Study Centers’ to create an opportunity to study better and equip children to go on to higher education.


The children’s parliament functions the same as the national parliament. In the children’s parliament, they identify some of the social problems in their area and come out with different suggestions to address the problems. They pass the resolutions in the parliament and give these to the relevant government officials to act. It is aimed at ensuring the participatory rights of children who are underprivileged and marginalised.


The Child Protection Centre is working for the rehabilitation of runaway and trafficked children in and around Salem. We have three street contact centres – one at the bus stand, another in the railway station and the third in Kitchipalayam.  Through these street contact centres, children are rescued and rehabilitated.


            The Eco-club creates environmental awareness amongst the future generation. Several eco clubs have been established in our operational areas. Through this, the students are motivated to keep their surroundings green and clean. They are encouraged to save water, plant trees, manage waste properly and create awareness among the people and the students of their locality.


            We ensure a child-friendly society through this initiative. The project commits itself to develop appropriate strategies for engaging with city administrations – interventions in which children themselves have a strong voice.  In the first level, we organise children and sensitise them to know their rights. We form them in groups and empower them in leadership qualities, in life skills to deal with the issues of child protection rights.   We give them the importance of education as well. In the second level, We create Civil Society groups inclusive of local leaders, parents, self-help group members and NGOs.  In the third level, advocacy and networking with city administration are done.  



There is a high rate of school dropout from the age group of 13 – 18. Most of the children start to earn their livelihood in poultry farms, textiles and spinning mills, brick kilns, silver ornament-making etc. These children are in a dangerous situation.  Hence, the dropout centre was established to provide an opportunity for dropout children to continue their education. This helps to prevent early child marriages, early pregnancy, and child labour.   Dropout children are prepared for their 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th std exams.  We have three Centres in Salem, Rasipuram and Vennandur. There is also youth over 18 years benefiting from this service.


Youth are given vocational training to enhance their skills and through these job-oriented skills, they access employment opportunities.  A short term computer skills training is given for the youth who are committed to coming up in life. Tailoring courses, embroidery designing, and jewellery-making have also been organized.   We make referrals to NGOs who provide skill training like nursing, catering etc.


To ensure that youth fulfil their potential and contribute to society, we have created adolescent groups for both boys and girls in the working villages.  We provide capacity building, life skills development, and career guidance in these groups. We focus on menstrual hygiene, child marriage, sexual abuse, and child labour.  The youth are made ambassadors to educate their peers.


The youth from low-income rural and urban areas have fewer opportunities to enter government positions.  To meet this need, TNPSC Centre (Tamilnadu public service commission)  has been started for underprivileged youths.  This provides professional training to aspirants to get into civil services from marginalized communities.  As part of this programme, we have created a center called ‘Salem Youth Empowerment Study Center’ (sYESc) in 2020 at Mulluvadi Gate.



            DBAI creates community-based organisations to promote awareness and integrate actions at the grassroots level. These local groups provide community-based care especially to child labourers and their families. The groups include youth, women, unorganised labourers, and slum dwellers.

Marginalised youth and communities become change agents who are empowered to plan and execute their own development. They act as a people’s movement against the issues like child labour, bonded labour, problems of basic amenities, dowry, early marriage, communal violence and casteism. Forums for local residents are formed to talk about their problems and find solutions.            


            Women are coming to the fore, to transform their communities. They are active in the Federations and are committed to regular savings – not depending on others for their economic security. Many of them are owners of petty shops and small industries.


            To establish a child-friendly society we need people who can take action to protect the basic rights of children. Thus, Caring Community Groups are formed with members identified from various groups like auto drivers, scavengers, transport workers, porters, shop owners, police, and railway officials etc. The groups protect child rights and support the process of rehabilitation of street and working children. Each group consists of 10 – 15 members, meeting monthly to discuss concerning issues about the welfare of children.


The Indian economy has a vast majority of informal or unorganized labourers. They suffer from low wages, ill-treatment, and poor working and living conditions. Many of the labourers in the unorganised sector face difficulties in getting their payments or security cover for their work. To address these issues, we have formed Workers’ Support Groups that meet inside the villages and in the mills. In the groups, the members learn about provisions for their welfare and well-being and how to activate these entitlements.


            Salem and Namakkal districts are among the destination districts with the largest concentrations of migrant workers, searching for better livelihood opportunities. Salem is a hub for the arrival of migrants, from where they disperse to various districts.  We help the migrants get access to government welfare schemes like e-shram cards, Aadhar cards, PAN cards. etc. DBAI also arranges health camps and mental well-being counselling for the migrants.

Our Strategy


The staff and children in DBAI are very well trained in various fields so that the focus to fulfilling the vision is sharpened.  Training for staff in the field of local research, Juvenile Justice Act, policies for the organization etc. help them proficient in their field of work.  Exposure visits and summer camps for the children contribute to their growth. Staff, children, youth, and women group members benefit from all this training.


To achieve our mission of a just and equal society where the community is empowered and the youth at risk are protected, DBAI conducts mass awareness programs in and around Salem alongside various governmental and non-governmental organizations.  These include programmes on health, education, livelihood, government schemes, career guidance etc, often staging street plays, producing short films etc.


To deliver quality service to children and youth, DBAI has a well-built network with organizations like Childline Foundation of India (1098), Young at Risk (YaR) national level network, Homelink, various departments in the district administration, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), district Children Parliament Network, CAUVERI Development Office, Vazhikaati (Career Guidance), Tamilnadu Alliance,  and other organizations that work in line with the objectives of DBAI.


DBAI offers services for those who wish to conduct seminars and camps like NCC, NSS and Scout Camps. At the foot of the Shervarayan hill in the Preparatory shelter campus, we have “Magizhvagam” which offers facilities to organize one-day seminars and camps. Educational Institutions and NGOs are invited to make use of the place for their animations and training.   Experienced Resource persons are available for organizing programmes on varied topics related to children, youth, women, and the community development.



DBAI carries out its activities efficiently with the help of many volunteers, allowing the organisation to take its work to a greater scale.  Students from different colleges come as interns for their field experience, and we provide the opportunity to have experiential knowledge of Social Work while accompanying them professionally. 


Vocational Guidance is an important and urgent need of youth today. Many youths are well qualified but find it difficult to find the right job. To meet this need, a centre for career guidance, training and job placement was established under the umbrella of ‘Don Bosco Vazhikaatti’ to create awareness among rural youth about the available job opportunities in the government and private sectors, through self-employment schemes and career-oriented services. Vazhikaatti extends its service to all the central and southern districts of Tamil Nadu, with a regional office in Salem. The students who look for job are registered in Vazhikaatti which tries to find them a suitable job. The organisation also conducts life-coping skills and career guidance in schools and colleges. Mega events like Vetri Namadhe and job fairs are also organised by Vazhikaatti.

To provide opportunities for young people to enter government Jobs, ‘Salem Youth Empowerment Study Centre’ (sYESc) offers training. ‘sYESc’ helps youths to get into civil services from marginalized communities and provides a world-class civil service coaching centre with participation from many different stakeholders.


The Salesian Past Pupils’ Association is an international movement of young people and adults, men and women, with local branches attached to many Salesian projects throughout the world. All those who have attended Salesian schools, youth centres, hostels, or camps are considered past pupils and can be part of the Association of Past Pupils of Don Bosco so they can maintain their link with the Salesian Family. In Salem, the Past Pupil’s Association contributes to the work of DBAI. Through this association, the boys who were educated and given life through DBAI are regularly followed up with and kept in touch. Twice a year, they gather at DBAI. A session on life coping and job skills is provided, and then they share their experiences at work. They also get involved in the activities of DBAI.


The Salesian Co-operators is a worldwide organization established by Don Bosco himself, in order to address the needs of the hundreds of young people who came to him.  In Salem, the Salesian Co-operators movement is active and agile with more than thirty members taking part in regular meetings and helping in the activities. Many of the staff of DBAI and parents of Salesians have been incorporated into the movement.


Don Bosco Anbu Illam
230, Brett’s Road
Mulluvadi Gate, Salem– 636 007.

House Phone: (0427) 2416631 / 2254497

Reception / Childline: 7708591244

E-Mail: anbuillamsalem@gmail.com

URL: www.dbaisalem.com


Don Bosco Anbu Illam,
847, Erumaikuttapallam,
Salem – 636 008.

Asst Director Adivaram: 8438991098 Land line : 0427 2902098

Adivaram Sponsor: 6384101098

Email: dbaiadivaram@gmail.com

Recent Events and Activities

Children’s Parliamentary Training@DBAI Salem.

A Children’s Parliamentary Training Camp was held on 20/08/2023 at Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Salem Mulluvadi Gate, under the leadership of the Child Friendly Salem. Rev. Dr.Casmir Raj. M presided over and inaugurated the program, who is the Director of Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Mulluvadigate Salem. In this Program 120 children from slum areas in […]

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Dropout Students Parents Meeting@DBAI Salem.

“Dropout Students Parents Meeting” was held on August 19th, 2023, for the students studying in our Continuing Education Centre (Dropout Centre) at Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Salem Mulluvadi Gate, at the helm of Assistant Director, Fr. Noyal Raj. In this meeting, the project coordinator, Mr. Xavier, Continuing Education  Centre Teachers, Mr.Balasubramani and Ms. Kalaiyarasi, Field coordinator […]

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MoU between DBAI Salem and SH College, Tirupattur

 On August 4th, 2023, a momentous occasion took place as Don Bosco Anbu Illam (DBAI) and Sacred Heart College Social Work department signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The event was graced by the presence of 1st year MSW students from Sacred Hearts College and Assistant Professor Dr. Christi Anandan CR, who listened eagerly to a […]

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Consultation on Migrants Issues @DBAI Salem

On July 31, 2023, a meeting took place at Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Mulluvadi Gate, to address the issues faced by migrant workers in the cotton industry within Salem and Namakkal Districts. The primary objective of the gathering was to find solutions to connect these workers with relevant government Social Protection Schemes. Rev.Dr. Casimir Raj, […]

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Training for Adolescent Girls @ DBAI Salem

 Training for Adolescent Girls: On 22.7.2023, Don Bosco Anbu Illam organised a training programme in Vennanthur for adolescent girls. In this programme, we had a session about child marriage, teen pregnancy, and acts of sexual harassment, as well as a supporting system for preventing sexual harassment. We use different activities and games to reach out […]

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Stakeholders Meeting with Child Protection System

 Commemorating 22 years of Childline’s Journey with Don Bosco Anbu Illam The stakeholders meeting aimed to better coordination between Don Bosco Anbu Illum’s services along with child protection system such as District Child Protection Unit, Child Welfare Committee, Juvenile justice board, Department of Labour, Police, and likeminded NGO’S. Meanwhile we celebrate and commemorate the 22-year journey of […]

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Bal Health Mela @ DBAI Salem

DBAI Salem organised “Bal Health Mela,” a health awareness programme for children, at the Don Bosco Anbu Illam campus, Mulluvadigate, on 31.5.2023. A general medical camp occurred during this programme; a team of doctors from Shanmuga Hospital came and checked height, weight, and general check-ups for children. Salem DCPO, Ms. Umamahesvari, visited the children and […]

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Free Tobacco Cessation & Dental Camp at DBAI Salem

On the day of World No Tobacco Day Don Bosco Anbu Illam along with Vinayaga Mission’s Sankarachariya Dental College, Salem, department of public health dentistry conducted “Free Tobacco Cessation & Dental Camp” for auto drivers & Transport employees at Central Bus stand, Salem on 31.05.2023. For this event, the Salem Don Bosco Anbu illam has obtained an order from […]

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DBAI-Salem Staff Capacity Building Initiative: Film-Based Curriculum Training

Don Bosco Anbu Illam and Vennandhur staff participated in five days of film-based curriculum training at Dindugal from April 16, 2023, to April 20, 2023. Dr. Bala Murugan, Consultant, Tamilnadu Alliance; Ms. Nirmala, Trainer; and Ms. Sibija, Coordinator, Tamilnadu Alliance, provided training on various useful topics, including preventing child labour, child marriage, community development, etc., […]

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DBAI-Salem Stakeholders meeting  – Creating a Child-friendly Salem

On behalf of the Child-Friendly Salem, we organized stakeholders meeting on 16th April 2023 at DBAI. Fr. Casimir Raj the Director of DBAI, Mr. Xavier the Superintendent of the Reception unit, Mr. Kannan the Center Coordinator of CHILDLINE, Ms. Nirmala Devi the Project Coordinator of CFS were present. Mrs. Shalini, Mr. Gabriel, and the Team […]

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Interface Meeting with Stakeholders @DBAI-Salem

Don Bosco Anbu Illam organized an Interface Meeting at Kandarkulamanikam village on 13.4.2023. Panchayat leader, Ward member, Anganwadi teacher, Community Support Group (CSG) leader and members and Community people participated in this meeting. Important topics like reducing School dropout students, the importance of the school management committee and the roles and responsibilities of SMC members […]

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International Street Children Day @ DBAI-Salem

The world observes International Day for Street Children on April 12 every year. This day was started to provide a voice for homeless children. So that their rights cannot be ignored. This day provides opportunities for human rights organizations to spread awareness about the plight of street children throughout the world. The aim is also […]

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DBAI-Salem ensures access to Safe Drinking Water

Access to safe water is the most basic human need for health and well-being. Nearly all of our body’s major systems depend on water to function and survive; with water making up about 60% of our body weight. Water serves as a vital nutrient to the life of every cell, acts first as a building […]

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Community Awareness Programme on the “Importance of Education”

On behalf of PG Department of Social Work, Don Bosco College, Dharmapuri and Don Bosco Anbu Illam (DBAI), Salem, the interns of M.S.W,  Mr. Joni Paul Kirubakaran J and Mr. Bibek Ekka have organized the community program on “Awareness on the Importance of Education” at DBAI, Salem. Fr. Casimir Raj the Director of DBAI, Fr. […]

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