One day in the field: ICYM and YCS Units of Katapady Plant Paddy Saplings

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By Fr. Ronson DSouza
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi, 10 Jul: “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded” Pope Francis, “Laudato Si”, No. 13.


All eyes are set on the youth in Udupi Diocese this year as the year 2019 year is earmarked as the “Year of the Youth”. All through the twelve months of the year various activities are being initiated and organized for the youth in very many parishes of the Diocese. In the month of June, Youth were called to feel associated closely with the nature and partake in activities that foster our environment. These activities comprise of planting vegetable seeds, planting saplings, and cultivation of paddy.


The combined units of ICYM and YCS of Katapady Parish came up with a venture of planting paddy saplings. One of the parish-youths, Vinod Rodrigues, an experienced person in the cultivation, led the truope from the front. Under his leadership, ICYM unit animator, Wilfred Lewis chose a field which was left deserted without cultivation for many years. Thanks to Mrs. Marceline D’Souza and Late Lawrence D’Souza, Manipura for the field and Leslie Suares from whose field the saplings were gathered for cultivation.


The field was prepared well in advance, making it all set for the plantation drive. On 7 July 2019, the parish youth (both ICYM and YCS) turned out in large numbers to mark the day with their enthusiastic presence in the field.


The cultivation drive began with prayer by Fr. Ronson D’Souza csc, the Parish Priest and Director of both ICYM & YCS units of the parish. Wishing good luck to the youth he partook in the drive with his presence throughout the day. Mrs. Marceline D’Souza, owner of the field, inaugurated the cultivation drive along with her grandchildren, Freyja and Freon (youth Members) by planting the saplings. No sooner the inauguration took place about 30 youth stepped into the field with enthusiasm to plant the saplings.



After completion of the planting of paddy-saplings, the youth expressed a sense of contentment as Sohan Fernandes, one youth described, “Surely this was a wonderful experience. Personally, I had not got such an opportunity to experience and try these things. I’m grateful to parish priest, youth animator and all who have taken initiative and made this day possible for us. This was something new and fulfilling”. Their eagerness was still on as some expressed that they would have liked to plant more. For most of them it was a first-time experience to get into the paddy field and to work.


Andrea Monteiro said, “I wish we get the chance every year. It gave me lot of happiness”. Judson Monteiro pitched in saying, “It was a great experience. I used to watch from far what farmers were doing. But today I got an opportunity to experience it. Now I know how difficult it is to be a farmer by profession…As youth we may not get such chances elsewhere but the chance we got we grabbed it with both hands”. Riona D’Souza said, “Learned a bit of planting. Great experience. First time in the slushy field….”


This experience has given these youth an insight into the difficult task of farmers who toil for hours in the field. The plantation-drive was an act of gratitude to the Mother Earth who has given us in abundance. This is an encouragement to the youth to save and protect our environment. The youth are enlightened about their responsibility towards mother earth and their noble work has given inspiration to others.


Hearts abound with gratitude to Mrs. Marceline D’Souza & Fly, Leslie Soares, Vincent Norbert Pereira & Fly, Joseph Monteiro & Fly, Mrs. Monica D’Souza & Fly, Rohith D’Souza & Fly, Ivan Fernandes, Wilfy (Vincent) Pereira, Rocky Soares, & Joba Pereira. Big thanks to Wilfred and Bryan, the animators. Also thanks to Dayananda and neighboring families for being kind and co-operating with us.



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