DSC07800Rt. Rev. Charles Gomes, Bishop of Ahmedabad invited the Salesians to his Diocese. At first he offered them the parish of Sabarmathi in Ahmedabad but the Provincial asked for a mission station instead. The bishop then proposed to divide the Umreth parish and give the Salesians Dakor. Thus in 1980, Fr. Ivan D’Souza was sent to Dakor to study the possibility of establishing a Salesian presence there. He was officially on supply to the parish of Umreth. He was an assistant parish priest and helped run a boarding for the Thakor boys which was being run by the parish in a rented bungalow consisting of two flats (six small rooms) in Mahalaxmi Society, Dakor. The boarders attended a school in town.

In 1981, the Dakor parish with about 500 Catholics was handed over to the Salesians. Fr. P.C. Jacob, SDB the parish priest of Baroda undertook to maintain the house of Dakor.

In 1981, Fr. Cyril D’Souza was sent to assist Fr. Ivan. Frs. Bento and Viren Coutts came the following year and very soon land was acquired on the outskirts of Dakor town along the Kapadvanj road. A small shed soon came up which housed both confreres and boarders. They put up with many inconveniences. The Provincial and his council approved of a boarding cum non-formal technical section to be built at Dakor. But because of technical difficulties permission could not be obtained.

During these years, the fathers carried on the work among the Thakors, some of whom had already been initiated into the Catechumenate by Fr. Peter Fernandes the parish priest of Umreth. They also had to cater to the spiritual needs of the Catholics of the area who were considered low caste. Because of this strong caste consciousness, befriending and involving oneself in the life of the Thakors was not easy. Fr. Avil Rodrigues came to Dakor after Fr. Bento and Viren were transferred. In 1996 Fr. Michael Fernandes replaced Fr. Avil and the next year he took charge of the mission with Fr. Elson to help him.

On January 21, 1988, a meeting was called to discern whether the Salesians should continue in Dakor. The decision was in favour of continuing. It was decided that a school be set up.

Construction work began in 1988 once the non-agricultural certificate was obtained. On February 15, 1988, work began on the new hostel and a year later the primary school commenced with classes from V to VII. The permission to begin the school was obtained on September 17, 1989. The newly constructed hostel served to house the boarders as well as the school children. Finally, on February 21, 1990, Fr. Aurelius Maschio arrived from Bombay to bless the new school building. The school caters to the education of the children in the neighbourhood as well as from far off villages.

In 1991, Fr. Michael Fernandes was made the first Rector. Over the years the strength of the boarding increased as the school got popular. Hence in 1996, the work of construction on a further extension of the boarding was undertaken.

In 2004 newly appointed bishop of Ahmedabad Diocese, Rt. Rev. Thomas Macwan, requested us to have a PTC college on the campus. The Mumbai province accepted the bishop’s request and began working on it zealously. Finally in 2007 the PTC college obtained the permission and the work began in full swing. After running successfully for five years, the demand for PTC waned drastically and consequently had to be shut down in May 2012.

From May 2012 the Institution began a new dimension to their apostolate that of social development in the villages of Thasra Taluka. Currently we are working in 20 villages and have established 70 SHGs in the last two years.

It also began the English Medium KG with three students enrolling on 13 August 2012. Of the three, the first discontinued after a month, the second in January and the third managed to stick on till the end of the year. The full fledged LKG with 20 students was officially launched and inaugurated in June 2013. To date we have 38 students in LKG and 15 in UKG.

Currently the nature of the community has changed and has evolved to be even more multifaceted.

Don Bosco Chatralaya
Established 1981
Canonically Erected 1991
Diocese of Ahmedabad, State of Gujarat

Services:
Parish
Gujarati Medium School
English Medium Kindergarten
Boarding
Social Works