Osbert D’Souza who studied at Don Bosco Lonavala is thankful for the education and values he imbibed at this institution.
By Osbert D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 11, 2021
DBL Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Don Bosco, Lonavala, has begun its Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and a few from the Class of 1983 have come forward to immortalise the Apostolic School, which to all have been a source of inspiration. The values that were instilled in us and the unity with which we lived, played, danced and cried together as students, has been the foundation that has helped us navigate the real world.
Julian D’Souza, Melroy Borges and Martin D’Souza, all from the Class of 1983, have initiated this ‘Celebration’. If you have been a student here and you want to share your story, feel free to write to us at the email mentioned below.
We kick off this series with Osbert D’Souza, a Class of 83 Boarder, who today is the Director of Osworld Scientific Equipments Pvt. Ltd. an organisation having humble beginnings which was started by his father sometime in the late fifties.
Look forward to more stories in the weeks and months to follow.
Being in Don Bosco Lonavala was a life-changing experience for me. Looking back, I can vividly recall how it unfolded.
While living in Mahim, Mumbai, it was our family tradition to attend the Midnight Christmas Mass at Don Bosco Shrine, Matunga. Being a beautiful Shrine, it also served as a Christmas outing for the family. At this place on Christmas Day of 1979, the late Fr Oscar Misquitta approached my parents and suggested I should join the Don Bosco Apostolic School in Lonavala.
After my parents agreed and I showed interest, there followed the weekly Thursday meetings at Matunga which was followed by a selection camp in Lonavala in May 1980. Yes, I made it. I was all excited and ready to go.
Life in Don Bosco Lonavala
My new home was large, well-equipped with showers, a dining hall, indoor and outdoor sports and various amenities, which at that time few people could afford or even dream of. Born and brought up in a one-room house in Mahim, I was fascinated and ecstatic about the place and the fine weather. In the three years at DBL from 1980-1983, many instances and happenings created a huge positive impact that shaped my life. Little did I realize that those formation days were preparing me for a tough, competitive, challenging life in Mumbai, the ‘city of dreams’.
My positive take from those years is the fact that discipline which was evident amongst all the boarders, was not because it was enforced, but for the reason that it was demonstrated by the Brothers and Priest who lived with us. We copied the good things they did. We did everything in time from waking up in the morning to the sound of a hand clap to participating in the Eucharistic Celebration and various activities during the day. None of our superiors had to scold or beat us to make this happen.
Learning to live as a family
Most of us lived in poor neighbourhoods, yet we were peaceful and orderly in following rules. Nothing was enforced, there were no punishments, yet we obeyed. Later, when I joined my dad’s business in 1988 (www.osworldindia.com), I was well appreciated for my timely work. Just like our superiors, I began to set the right example for our employees. I felt that to make them do the right things, and on time, I will have to lead by example.
Accepting people the way they are, accommodating the underprivileged and working as a team regardless of what faith or class the person belongs… these were values instilled in me. In a ruthless, unethical, chaotic and unprofessional business environment, we went on to manufacture high-quality pharmaceutical equipment with cutting edge technology in compliance with US FDA guidelines. Our team of mostly unqualified and unskilled labour from rural areas like Orissa, Jharkhand along with qualified engineers went on to produce goods that are today used and appreciated in 15 plus countries.
I am forever grateful to the priest, teachers, brothers, administrative staff, benefactors and my boarding mates. Lots of who I am today is due to what they were to me. Thank you for everything, Don Bosco Lonavala!
Osbert D’Souza spent three years at Lonavala from 1980 to 1983. He left after completing Std X.
(If you have been a Boarder or a Day Scholar at Don Bosco Lonavala, and want to share your story, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org)