Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fr. Joe awarded the Shri Sai Gurav Puraskar in Vasai, India

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Shrishaya Mitra Mandal  one of the oldest social mandal in Vasai, recently completed its silver jubillee. A series of events and functions where held to celebrate their 25th anniversary.  The Mandal helps out the locals in the region of Vasai in  activities of sports, education, civic issues and health care. The mandal is mainly the brainchild of dynamic corporator Shri Sandesh Jhadav, well supported by the committe members Santosh Vanmali and Milind Jhadhav, under the guidance of Lokneta Shri Hitendra Thakurji.
To commemorate the celebration, the mandal felicitated prominent personalities from the region of Vasai in different fields. Fr. Joe H Pereira, Founder Managing Trustee of Kripa Foundation was awarded the " Shri Sai Gaurav Puraskar " for his outstanding work in the field of Addiction and HIV especially in the region of Vasai- Virar.
Due to his prior commitments  with the Alcoholic Woman Group from USA, UK, New Zealand, Virgin Islands and Austrailia which was organised by the Australian Alcoholic Woman group, Fr. Joe was unable to be present to receive the award.
Mr. Santosh Vamali personally visited Kripa Vasai to handover the citation, shawl, book and DVD.
Photo by
Mousin H

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fr. Joe H. Pereira " Class A Trustee" of AA in India, speaks on Woman Alcoholic and High Functioning Alcholics at KEM Hospital Auditoruim, Mumbai

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The number of women afflicted by alcoholism and substance abuse is rising alarmingly, especially in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, say doctors. Stigma and non-acceptance from family and society is not letting them get help, due to which female de-addiction wards run empty and were eventually shut down. Dr Shubhangi Parker, assistant dean (academics) at KEM Hospital, said, here on January 27, 2013, at the seminar and press conference in KEM Hospital Auditorium, Mumbai.
“An alcoholic male will be respected by his family and the woman in his life will motivate him to undergo treatment. However, this is not the case with an alcoholic woman. She is not extended the required support with same intensity and commitment.” She further added that the stigma attached with being alcoholic, and rejection from family and society are major roadblocks in the treatment of female addicts. “We were the first to start a seven-bedded female de-addiction ward in 1991. But with no women coming forward, we had to shut it down,” she lamented.
Fr. Joseph H. Pereira "Class A Trustee"of Alcoholic Anonymous In India and Founder Managing Trustee, Kripa Foundation, highlighted how the scourge of alcoholism has primarily affected women in North Eastern India, spurring  Kripa to be the first in opening rehab centers aimed at their uplift. Fr. Joe spoke about the Kripa Model of Recovery, which is acclaimed worldwide as having the highest success rates in de-addiction and rehab of substance abuse. Fr. Joe said Yoga and meditation form key components of the Kripa Model and explained how meditation assists in stabilizing the brain functions, thus bringing an enhanced mental stability among addicts, and how important it was to practice the 11step of AA. Thus giving a recovery the dimension of Psycho Social, Psycho Spiritual and the most important Psycho Somatic, that’s learning to love the body back to life. Fr. Joe mentioned that women were more vulnerable to men becoming alcoholics and hence he called them the “ Silent Majority” as in India it was still a taboo to have a lady alcoholic. However he added that today the youth are more forth coming. They are openly coming to his centres all over the country to seek treatment, and therefore it was very important to have awareness programs for the general population and not just single out the women.
While the numbers of women alcoholics have risen, the only female de-addiction centers are very few and many cities  have no such centres. Those who seek treatment prefer to be admitted to places on the outskirts of their dwelling place, Fr. Joe further added that urbanization, changing social norms, and social economic structures have lead to more women taking up to alcohol.
Bollywood actor-producer Aamir Khan, who brought several social issues to the fore through his show "Satyamev Jayate", has now lent support to the fight against alcoholism amongst women. He says women should be forthcoming about admitting their addiction.
 Aamir further  stated that the problem is more complex in India as women never come admit they have a drinking problem. "In India, the problem is more complex. There are so many modernistic issues involved with drinking that women would be afraid to admit openly that they are drinking. It is a very difficult thing for them," the 47-year-old cine star, said

"The fact that you (female reporters) have come here, will give them a lot of strength, lot of courage and with the media reporting about it, the message that it is a disease will come across." said Aamir. “Even if you are a woman and if you are suffering, you need to step out and there is help available to you," he added.
AA member SK Bhalla, coordinating the programs, said, “According to statistics, we have 30,000 known women addicts, and one-third of alcohol addicts in India are women.”
It is to break such taboos related to women alcoholics that 82 AA women members from USA, Russia, Virgin Islands, New Zealand and Australia through AA Australia in collaboration with AA of India, had been touring the country and urging women alcoholics to speak up and address the problem of Alcoholism. This tour of the Mumbai leg was actively supported by Kripa Foundation, India’s largest and pioneering NGO in the field of de-addiction and rehabilitation of Chemical dependency and HIV care

Submitted by

Ashwin Honawar
Sheldon Patrao


Recent Press Coverage on

Visit of the Australian Women AA Members’ Delegation to India
Reformed women alcoholics from Australia on taboo-breaking trip in India
( The Times of Ind) Jan 13, 2013,

Australian delegates reach out to women alcoholics in India
(The Hindu) KOKATA, January20, 2013
Women of Oz AA share struggles
(The Hindu( CHENNAI, January 23, 2013

Female alcoholics, the invisible addicts, shy away from help
(DNA) January 24, 2013

Come out, fight addiction, Australia AA team urges women
KEM may restart women alcoholic' de-addiction ward
( The Times of India) Jan 28, 2013
Rise in number of women drinking, get no help
(DNA) January 28, 2013
_                                  ______________________________________________________________________

We need to speak up: Aussie Alcoholis Anonymous member
(DNA) January 28, 2013
Aamir supports fight against alcoholism among women
(News Track India) Cinema/ showbiz, January 28, 2013


News desk

Birthday Wishes to Francis Fernandes - Kripa Mount Mary Office, Mumbai.

Photo by
Ms Dominica D'Souza

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fr. Joe and Kripa Foundations work being acknowledge Globally

On the 25th of January, Fr. Joe was visited by Shatish Chauhan and Jason Searing from UK, who were on a visit to India to no more about Fr, Joe and the Kripa Model of treatment. Jason is a Director of a rehab in Nicargua a Yoga and English teacher, who intends to start a rehab in Nicaragua shortly.The two visited Kripa Bandra and Kripa Vasai and spent quality time with Fr. Joe and the staff. They also accompanied Fr. Joe to the 50th Golden jubillee celebration Mass of Ebco Pvt. Ltd.


Jungian Psychoanalyst Dr. Ashok Bedi conducts a programme on Jungian Analysis at Mumbai Jungian Centre.

(L to R) Brett, Ms Krishna, Dr. Bedi, Rajan, Dr Girish, Stephen, Dr Barnes ( center), Newton, Elais.
As part of the ongoing series of lecture on Carl Jung’s psychology and addiction, eminent Jungian psychoanalyst, Dr. Ashok Bedi, held a presentation for the team of Kripa Foundation in Mumbai on January 25, 2013.  The event was held the Mumbai Jungian Centre  at Dr. Leo Barnes Foundation in Bandra (West), Mumbai.
In his presentation, Dr. Bedi spoke about patient after-care and an addict’s integration into the family. Dr. Bedi highlighted how a dysfunctional family can impact an addict’s behavior both during addiction days and after voluntarily undergoing a rehabilitation program and discussed a case study. The event was attended by senior staff of Kripa Foundation, Mumbai, as part of the NGO’s ongoing project to upgrade the skills of its professionals with a view to offer superior services to patients
Submitted by
Brett Rodricks
Ashwin Honawar

Secularism at its best at Ebco Golden Jubillee celebration Mass by Fr. Joe. H. Pereira

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Ebco Pvt Ltd. A leading manufacturer of hardware and furniture fittings in India has combined two apparently opposite requirements of the customer. They have brought luxury and affordability together to make homes and offices havens of comfort and elegance. With their innovative, state-of-the art designs, Ebco has moved from customer satisfaction to customer delight. Anticipating the customers needs and exceeding their expectations has been a way of life at Ebco.
On the 25th of January, Ebco completed 50 years of leadership which was commemorated with a celebration at their Unit 1 in Vasai.
The celebration started with Holy Eucharist with main celebrant  Fr. Joe H Pereira Founder Managing Trustee of Kripa Foundation, who is a close associate of the Nagpal Family. Fr. Joe was accompanied by con-celebrants Fr. Seraphinus Tigga and Fr. Cyril D’Souza of Kripa Foundation.

The Mass was attended by 700 people which included Mrs. Verna Nagpal, Mr. Geoffrey Nagpal Managing Director Ebco, Mrs. Charonne Nagpal, Mr. Nishant Nagpal  Director, Mr. Rajesh Nair Director, Mr. Rex Albuquerque General Manager, Managers, staff and their families from Ebco units of Mumbai, Palghar and Vasai. Mr. Ashley Nagpal Director and Mrs. Bianca Nagpal excused themselves due to ill health of Mr. Ashley Nagpal. Fr Joe held a special prayer for his speedy recovery.

On seeing that the congregation was mainly people of different faiths, Fr. Joe incorporated Sanskrit and references to the Koran and Bhagavat Gita, to make the mass more meaningful to them. In his homily Fr. Joe mentioned about new life. How one should live an ego free life in families, companies and society. Fr. Joe gave reference to how countries waste precious time by battling each other. He further mentioned how one should love one another and live in harmony. When one does so he said:  he is spared and gets the gift of  love, as God's love is unconditional to all. He gave the example of business, and mentioned EBCO, how a humble beginning 50 years ago and on the way over the years  the Nagpal’ have shared the fruit of their labour with all its staff and the huge gathering was witness of that love. Fr. Joe also gave an example of “WIN WIN Attitude “by Dr. Denis Waitley which the world business houses are following its teachings. But to do so one must have a conversion not from one religion to another, but with the two towers God within us and the divine control of God's spirit between us, that’s Faith. Once one believes that God dwells in our hearts, the ego comes under control. He ended his homily by saying, that on this great feast of conversion of St. Paul, all need to change and to do so we all have to be ready to change and for this we need the Blessing of God.

The congregation followed the mass with rapt attention and silence and even participated in the meditation after communion service. The people of other faith were given ”Prasad”. Later Fr. Seraphine went around blessing the premises with Holy Water.

After mass Fr. Joe rushed off as he had an appointment in Mumbai with the AA women's group from Australia at K.E.M. hospital auditorium. Mr. Geoffrey Nagpal and Family along with Mr. Rex Albuquerque General Manager, thanked Fr. Joe for bringing so much meaning into their 50th Jubilee celebration of their company.
Submitted and collage by


Fr. Joe's message on Republic Day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fr. Joe at the 37th Anniversary celebration of Asha Daan -Mother Teresa's home in Byculla, Mumbai

Asha Daan: The initiative began in 1976, when Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) under the dynamic leaderhip of Chairman Mr. T. Thomas supported Blessed Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity to set up Asha Daan, a home in Mumbai for abandoned, challenged children, and the destitute. Subsequently, Asha Daan has also become a home to the HIV-positive.
 The objective in supporting Asha Daan was and continues to be to share the organsation's prosperity in supporting the Mother's mission of serving the "poorest of the poor". Asha Daan has been set up on a 72,500-square feet plot belonging to HUL, in the heart of Mumbai city. HUL bears the capital and revenue expenses for maintenance, upkeep and security of the premises.
 The destitute and the HIV-positive are provided with food, shelter and medication for the last few days of their lives. The needs of the abandoned challenged children are also met through special classes of basic skills, physiotherapy and, if possible, corrective surgery. At any point of time, it take care of over 300 infants, destitute men and women and HIV-positive patients.
Every year over a decade on the 8th of January, Fr. Joe H Pereira, Founder Managing Trustee of Kripa Foundation celebrates Holy Eucharist with the residents and Missionaries of Charity Sisters amongst prominent guest and well wishers. This year too on the 8th of January 2013m Fr. Joe H. Pereira was invited to be with the MC family at Asha Daan.
 Fr. Joe commenced the program with the traditional lighting of the lamp, payed respect to Blessed Mother Teresa and celebrated Holy Eucharist. Later in his address, he spoke about his close associate with the Missionaries of Charity Sisters and how Blessed Mother Teresa was his Inspiration and guide in his work of battling against addiction and HIV Care. Fr. Joe also mentioned how Blessed Mother Teresa helped him set up Kripa in Kolkata and inaugurated Kripa Vasai Centre in Maharashtra.
Prominent amongst the guests was  Mr. T Thomas former Chairman of HUL who is closely associated with the concept of Asha Daan and  "Friend of Kripa".

Fr. Joe and Kripa in the "DREAM RUN" at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013 along with Earnest John Group of Companies.

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And the crowd cheered us along...

Father Joseph H. Pereira, led the nearly 50- strong team of runners for Kripa Foundation at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013, on January 20th. Fr. Joe’s participation was sponsored by Piramal Healthcare while the Kripa team, which included runners from the ‘Friends of Kripa’, staff and patients were sponsored by Earnest John  Group of companies  led by Dr Earnest Joseph John II, Managing Director, Ms Chloris John, Director, Mr. Dean John, Director, Mr. N.N. Pal, CEO, Mr. B.S, Shenoy Vice President Operations along with their staff.

Fr. Joe was participating under the select ‘Dream Wizard’ category and the Kripa Foundation- Earnest John combine consisted of runners under the Dream Run, Half Marathon and Senior Citizen categories. This was the 10th consecutive year that Kripa Foundation was participating in what is billed as India’s largest fund raising event.

Kripa Foundation began preparations for participation in the 10th edition of the SCMM Mumbai Marathon 2013 several months ago with a team led by Mr. Brett Rodricks, Counselor, Kripa Foundation,  who launched a massive awareness drive to inform ‘Friends of Kripa’- an online forum of well wishers in India and abroad, of the NGO, about the event, who contributed generously to the Kripa cause of rehabilitating substance addicts while preventing the spread of HIV/ AIDS, through the online pages of various runners and Fr. Joe. Several local well-wishers pledged their support to Kripa through cash and cheques.

The runners led by Fr. Joe and Dr. Earnest John II ( Dr, Suren) assembled at Azad Maidan, Mumbai where Fr. Joe, in a brief speech cheered all the participants and blessed their efforts on behalf of their marginalized brethren some of whom were afflicted by the deadly scourge of HIV/ AIDS by hailing “Addiction & AIDs Murdabad,” (down with addiction and AIDS while the runners  responded  “ Kripa Foundation Zindabad”  (long live Kripa Foundation). With these cheers, the Kripa-Earnest John team embarked on their Dream Run from Azad Maidan to Metro, Dhobi Talao, Churchgate and Nariman Point a distance of nearly 5 kms.

Fr. Joe and Dr. Suren were an inspiration to all the runners since they did not pause or rest for a single minute during the entire marathon. Indeed, Fr. Joe proved how Yoga and meditation helped a person to remain physically and mentally fit. Mr. Bosco D’ Souza our National Program Director regaled the Kripa- Earnest John team with jokes and banters while covering the event pictorial
At the end of the dream run in his gratitude to Kripa Mr. Bosco D'Souza said " Last year Fr. Joe helped me to WALK.. This Year Fr. Joe helped me to RUN".
Submitted by
Ashwin Honawar
Francis Fernandes
Brett Rodricks
Collage by


Monday, January 21, 2013

World Community of Christian Meditation pilgrim group to India visits Fr. Joe and Kripa in Mumbai, India


The pilgrimage is the Community’s Way of Peace event for 2013. It also marks the fifteenth anniversary of the first WCCM pilgrimage to India, which initiated the Way of Peace programme. This is a memory and inspiration cherished by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who recently wrote: “In 1998 I joined as historic pilgrimage of practitioners of both the Christian and Buddhist traditions in prayers, meditation and dialogue in Bodhgaya … Each morning under the Bodhi tree, we all sat together and meditated, which I think was historic.”

The highlight of the 2013 pilgrimage was a full day of dialogue, prayer and meditation led by His Holiness and Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB, on Saturday January 12 in Sarnath where Lord Buddha gave his first teaching, thus setting the ‘dharma wheel’ in motion.

The WCCM’s pilgrims to India visited Kolkata, Bodhgaya, the most important of all Buddhist pilgrimage sites, were the pilgrim' sat under the Bodhi tree of the Buddha’s enlightenment, and visited to the nearby Mahakala cave, site of the Buddha’s pre-enlightenment asceticism.

A visit to Varanasi, the city of Lord Shiva on the banks of the sacred river Ganga, Kathmandu (a UNESCO world heritage site) in Nepal, and visited the sacred stupas of Swayambunath, and Boudhnath.

The group later flew into Mumbai and visited the important caves of Elephanta. The next day they visited Dharavi the second largest slum in Asia after which in the evening they visited the Basilica of Mount Mary, Bandra, Mumbai and later on to kripa Foundation, India’s largest NGO, for treatment of addiction and HIV care.

At Kripa they were delighted to meet Fr. Joe H Pereira Founder Managing Trustee of kripa Foundation and WCCM- India National Co-ordinator. Fr. Joe introduced them to his work and his team.As the group could visit Kripa Dharavi due to time restrain ,the children came of Kripa Dhravai came over to Kripa Bandra and entertained the group with a dance and poem, A young teen shared his experience of recovery from drug addiction which was very moving. Later the group led by Fr. Joe sat in WCCM meditation along with the WCCM group of Mount Carmel Church and Kripa Foundation.

The evening ended with a sumptous dinner prepared by the in-house catering team. It was indeed a memorial visit to all who attened the programme at Kripa Foundation, Mumbai.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fr. Joe addresses a packed auditorium of college students at Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai

It has been increasingly felt over the last couple of years, that leadership of our country needs to be complemented by civil rights groups in undertaking major reforms in governance. Towards this end, citizens in general and leaders from business and other professional groups in particular, need to join hands to sustain and strengthen the process of change. Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), a registered trust,having on its board Late Mr. B. G. Deshmukh, Mr. J. F. Ribeiro,, Dr. R. K. Anand, Mr. Dara Gandhy, Dr. Ratna Magotra, Mr. Kumar Ketkar, Mr. S. S. Puri,  Ms, Nandini Sardesai, Mr. Gulam A. Vahanvaty and founded by a few concerned citizens, has the capability to mobilize public opinion and increase public participation and activism towards creating more transparent and efficient governance. PCGT works to ensure enactment of laws and policies, which promote honesty, transparency and accountability in governance. It takes up causes which affect large segments of society, especially the middle classes, and it promotes islands of integrity and excellence among government and other bodies.
PCGT have been having many programs all over the country to mobilize citizens about their civil rights. At the recently concluded program at Sanmukanada Hall Mumbai on “Youth for governance India I care” on Addiction Free, Corruption Free and Violence Free.
The audience mainly college students listened with rapt attention to Fr. Joe H Pereira, Founder Managing Trustee speak on Addiction and HIV, and how the youth can play a major role in battling addiction and co- related issues like corruption and violence with an holistic approach from Brokenness to Wholeness to Holiness. Fr. Joe’s address was well applauded by all present in the packed auditorium. Other speakers that addressed the students on various issues were Mumbai Commisioner of Police Dr. Satyapal Singh, Dr. Harish Shetty Social Psychiatrist, founder of Mitri for families affected with Mental illness, Mr. Chamanlal- IPS(Retd), highly respected by the people wherever he has served.now working with Adivasis in Karnataka and Tamilnadu, Mr. Shantanu Gawde- 16 year old student who is almost a genius in fighting cyber crime and use of social media in an ethical manner, Mr. V Shankar Educationist and Philanthropist in SIES group of institutions, Mr. Narayan Varma C.A Senior RTI activist and Jt. Mg. Trustee of PCGT and Mr. Rebeiro Julio. IPS-(Retd), Chairman of Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT).


Fr. Joe conducts an intense awareness to college students from St. Loyola college, Cochin and Grant Medical College Mumbai

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kripa Kolkata organises training and awareness programmes

In their ongoing process of empowering woman to handle different modes of dealing with addiction and HIV/ AIDS Kripa Kolkata organised a one month long training  programme on  Stress Management. More than  25 woman mainly Principals and Rectors of different English Medium Schools in Kolkata took keen interest in their participation.This training programme was held once a week in its premises.
Kripa Kolkata also organiised an awareness programme on HIV/AIDS for more than 75 Rotarians at the Rotary Club of Kolkata. The programme was much appreciated by the Rotarians.

Submitted by
Dr. Sandeep Mitra
Kripa Kolkata


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Awareness at St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, India.

Kripa Foundation’s Bandra unit on January 14, 2013 conducted an outreach program at the St. Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, Mumbai, to create a general awareness about substance addiction and it’s evil effects. Mr. Newton Khonglah, Counselor, Kripa Bandra gave a lecture on the subject and spoke about the Kripa Model of Recovery, chemical dependency and it’s various aspects and impact on the society. Two recovering addicts from Kripa Bandra narrated their experiences while abusing drugs and alcohol. The event, organized by Wilson College, Mumbai and supported by the Anti Narcotics Bureau of Mumbai Police was attended by over 70 students and their faculty members.
Submitted by
Ashwin Honawar

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Awareness Program for SVT College of Home Science- SNDT Mumbai

Kripa Bandra and VRACS dispel myths and create awareness about HIV and AIDS among female students of SVT College of Home Science An awareness program for over 40 students and faculty members of the SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, was conducted by Kripa Foundation on January 10, 2013. The event included a lecture on modes of transmission, detection, treatment and myths surrounding HIV/ AIDS and an interactive session.

The program was organized by the National Social Service (NSS) wing of the SVT College of Home Science at the university, which had invited Kripa Foundation and the Vasai Region Aids Control Society to conduct the awareness campaign, due to Kripa and VRACS’ vast experience in this field. The principal, Mrs Thakur and senior faculty members of SVT College welcomed the Kripa Bandra team consisting of counselor Mr. Vijay Pujari and Dr. Girish Gidwani and VRACS representative and counselor, Mr. Daya Rane.

Mrs. Thakur introduced the Kripa & VRACS team to the students and other faculty members. Later, Dr. Girish Gidwani later gave a lecture on the medical aspects of HIV and AIDS covering issues such as transmission, detection, prevention, treatment and myths. Mr. Daya Rane gave a lecture on the role played by VRACS in controlling and creating a general awareness about HIV/ AIDS in the Vasai-Virar region and gave details on how the organization counsels victims of the infection and disease. Mr. Vijay Pujari spoke about how drug addiction and it’s correlation with HIV/ AIDS transmission while pointing out how drug addicts are considered a “high risk group” to contract the virus. Mr. Vijay Pujari also spoke about Kripa Bandra’s awareness campaigns conducted in slum areas of Mumbai, which hosts a large populace of intra-venous drug users and how the contagion spreads rapidly, as well as methods of counseling for such addicts deployed by Kripa Foundation.

Women students asked several questions relating to protection measures from contracting or spread of HIV due to sexual contact, how AIDS affects pregnant women and neonates, the spread of AIDS due to multiple sex partners and if HIV spreads via saliva and sweat. The Kripa Bandra and VRACS team gave the relevant answers which were well applauded by these students. Students thanked the Kripa Bandra and VRACS team stating, the lecture and interactive session had helped dispel various myths about HIV and AIDS while throwing light on prevention.

Ashwin Honawar

Thursday, January 10, 2013

His Excellency Gaston Stronck visits Fr. Joe and Kripa Foundation, Mumbai - India

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Luxembourg is impressed by Fr. Joe and Kripa’s works, says envoy at nostalgic reunion
Kripa Foundation’s work in the field of rehabilitating substance addicts while simultaneously containing the HIV/ AIDS contagion in India is “very impressive” and is appreciated by the government of his country, His Excellency, Gaston Stronck, Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, said in Mumbai on January 10, 2013. Incidentally, the occasion was also a happy reunion between the career diplomat and Fr. Joe, after nearly 24 years and the two resolved to further strengthen their friendship.
Ambassador Stronck, who was accredited as his country’s envoy in September 2011, made these observations following a visit to Kripa’s Bandra center in suburban Mumbai. “I was informed about Father Joseph H. Pereira’s works and Kripa by my colleagues at Luxembourg’s foreign ministry. They hold Fr. Joe and Kripa in high esteem and hence, I was eager to meet Fr. Joe and get a first hand insight into Kripa’s pioneering work,” he said, adding his country was proud to be associated with the Non-Government Organization.
The envoy was welcomed at Kripa Bandra by Fr. Joe and his delegation consisting of  senior officials at Kripa including Bosco D’Souza, National Program Director, Dr. Snehal Mehta, Director-Psychiatry, counselors and staff at Kripa Bandra. Ambassador Stronck also met patients recovering from drug and alcohol addiction who are residing at the Bandra facility. Patients briefed the ambassador on their addiction and the effectiveness of the Kripa Model of Recovery.
Fr. Joe pointed out, a majority of patients admitted at Kripa across all its centres in India range within the age group of 18 and 50 years. Father William Athaide, Parish Priest, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Bandra, Mumbai also attended the event. Fr. Joe availed the opportunity to thank Fr. William and the Mt. Carmel church parish for their generosity towards the Kripa Bandra facility and noted that Fr. William  plays a key role in helping Kripa and it’s patients. “Fr. Willie is loved by all patients at Kripa Bandra for his kindness and generosity,” he added. Fr. Joe informed patients about the exemplary contributions made by Luxembourg towards the Kripa Vasai centre which was formally inaugurated by Blessed Mother Teresa.
Later, an audio-visual presentation on Kripa and Fr. Joe’ achievement since its humble beginnings in 1981 was made by Bosco D’ Souza  for the ambassador. Fr. Joe recalled the dilemma he had faced in 1971 while being ordained as a priest and his calling towards helping substance addicts and HIV/ AIDS victims while containing the epidemic. He detailed how Mother Teresa and his spiritual director, Fr. Tony D’Mello had encouraged him to follow his calling. “Exactly a decade later, in 1981, Kripa was established- hence culminating Mother Teresa’s prophecy into reality,” he added. Dr. Shashi Menon, Director-Medicine at Kripa, in the audio-visual, lauded how Kripa became a pioneer in India in battling substance addiction while helping contain the HIV/ AIDS epidemic since drug users and alcoholics are considered as high risk groups to contract the deadly disease. The audio visual also contained testimonies of former Kripa patients some of whom are top professionals such as physicians, engineers and IT experts and leaders in their various fields.

Following the visit to Kripa, Fr Joe, Ambassador Stronck, Dr. Mehta and Mr. Bosco D’Souza enjoyed a dinner at the world famous restaurant ‘Bungalow 9’ in Bandra (West).
Ambassador Stronck gave his friend, Fr. Joe, a pleasant surprise: He asked Fr Joe to open a gift wrap which contained a picture of Fr. Joe and Ambassador Stronck taken 24 years ago, when the envoy, then holding a different position, had visited the Bandra centre and later was part of a diplomatic delegation that had toured Kripa Vasai, a facility funded by Luxembourg. “ I have longed to meet you again since our first meeting nearly 24 years ago,” the ambassador, remarked.  The reunion was very nostalgic for both as they shared precious moments and talked about their respective spheres of work. 
Owners of Bungalow 9, Mr.Anslem and Mrs. Leonys Pereira who hosted the dinner, stated  they were “ blessed and happy to have Fr. Joe and Ambassador Stronck as their guests. Indeed a memorial day for His Excellency and Fr. Joe in their bondage of friendship.
Submitted by
Ashwin Honawar

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fr. Joe host annual children party at Kripa Vasai

Fr. Joe emphasizes on importance of sports at Kripa’s annual party for special kids

Over 650 specially gifted children and physically challenged persons attended the annual children party hosted  by Kripa Foundation at it’s Vasai centre near Mumbai. Held under the theme ‘Season of Spreading Love’, the event was graced by Archbishop Felix Machado, Archbishop of Vasai as the Chief Guest, Fr. Joseph H. Pereira, Founder Trustee of Kripa and Friends of Kripa from various parts of India and abroad.

In his homily to mark the celebrations, Fr. Joe highlighted the significance of sharing, amity and spreading love across communities. He noted how Jesus Christ is an epitome of love and sharing adding that His message bears more relevance now than ever before in history since modern society tends to be self-centered. and called upon all privileged members of the society to exert extra efforts towards alleviating social evils such as poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease through combined efforts.

Fr. Joe thanked the various sponsors of the event, including The Trustees H.P.L. Charitable Trust( Mumbai), Cadbury India Ltd,, Parle Agro, TAJSATS, Yoga  group -Mount Carmel Church, Bandra, and a large number of anonymous donors who had contributed generously for the celebrations. Special guests included Mrs, Joy D'Souza, Mr & Mrs. Haroon and family (Goa), Ms. Yvonne Lawlor ( Ireland), Mr. Barry & Mrs, June O'Loughlin ( Ireland), Mrs Laura Rodrigues and Anna( Germany),who are fondly called ‘Friends of Kripa’ and have supported the organization since the last several years. The event was organized and coordinated by Bosco D’Souza, National Program Director who also compered the proceedings and organised the party, along with Mozen H, Mr Stephen D'Souza, Mr. Ignatius Buthelo, patients and staff of  Kripa Bandra and Vasai under the leadership of Fr Seraphine, Fr Cyril and Ms. Jean Pereira.

Children from Kripa Dharavi, dressed in camouflage fatigues presented a dance while kids from other participating institutions showcased their various talents such as singing. Kripa staff led by Fr. Joe also joined the fun and frolic by dancing with children with special needs and physically challenged persons. Santa Claus ( Mr Johnson D'Souza- Bandra) made a special appearance at the party to dance with kids and adults while giving away freebies to lucky ones.

 The event concluded with Fr. Joe and guests of honor giving away gift hampers containing a variety of items and each participating organization was gifted commonly used sporting goods donated by the anonymous ‘Mrs. Santa ’. and wellshers. The sporting goods were gifted keeping in line with Fr. Joe and Kripa’s principle of promoting good health through physical fitness. Fr. Joe and the Kripa Model of Recovery lay special emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing of people which is proven to prevent addiction. Kids were treated to a grand buffet that featured a variety of seasonal delicacies and desserts specially cooked by Mr.Buthelo, Thoams D'Souza, Lester Dias and Paul D'souza with the help of Kripa family Vasai.

 Fr. Joe further delighted the children by giving away gift bags containing an assortment of useful stuff and eatables, as a parting gift. Kids and adults accompanying them sought the blessings of Fr. Joe as they departed the venue. Children also posed with Fr. Joe for pictures to be retained as cherished memories of the event.
Submitted by
Ashwin Honawar
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