Good Samaritans Lotus DMC & Globe Travels Sponsors of ‘Smart Class Room’ at Sandspit Bengre School
Mangaluru: The joy of being able to bless and give someone you love and care, and to make them smile, is priceless. The satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of others cannot be overstated. Knowing that you have helped make someone else’s life a little brighter and better is a special feeling, and one that will last with you for a long time. And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy. “Do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16).
“We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day. We’re all part of God’s great big family. And the truth is that love is all we need. So let’s start giving, for it’s true, we’ll make a better day. Just you and me.” – These thought-provoking lyrics by the late pop-star Michael Jackson from the song “We Are the World” are quite befitting here. Yes, we all can do it if we make up our mind. If you are looking for a way to enhance your act of sharing and giving experience, try giving back now- and contribute to a needy organization or a education institute- and that’s exactly what Lotus DMC Pvt Ltd who are privileged to be the ground-handling agent in India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives for the world’s premier cruise lines including Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises headquartered in Cochin, Kerala; and Globe Travels, Mangaluru, the pioneers and renowned travel agents in the City, did in helping out a school in Bengre, Mangaluru
In their quest for sustainable practices in tourism, Lotus DMC a few years back had created an excursion to the village of Bengre, off the New Mangalore port. The excursion was approved by their cruise partners and in no time became very popular. Lotus DMC along with its partner Globe Travels decided to keep a portion of its tour cost for supporting / development of the village and formed a society involving the local community. In the mean time, Lotus and Globe Travels supported the Sandspit School in Bengre, by means of conducting a ship tour for the children and also conducting annual study tours for the school.
With a little bit of funds that together, both Lotus and Globe travels could raise, they were successful in building a SMART CLASS ROOM for the Sandspit school. Even though it was a small contribution, both the Managing Directors- Sanjeev Kumar of Lotus DMC, and William D’souza of Globe Travels are elated as it has been a long term dream and hard work from their team which has brought in smiles to thousands of tourists and the children of Sandspit Bengre school. “It is very difficult to believe that what was once dreamt is being fulfilled today” said Willaim D’souza, during the inaugural of the Smart Class Room on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 at 12 noon.
The inauguration was done by unveiling the plaque and the cutting of the ribbon by chief guest-Capt Sokratis Sklavos-the Captain of Cruise Ship ‘Costa Victoria’, which had docked today at the New Mangalore Port; along with other dignitaries, namely- Y R Belagal- Traffic Manager of New Mangalore Port, Sanjeev Kumar- Managing Director, Lotus DMC, William D’souza- Managing Director, Globe Travels, Ms Stephanie- Hotel Manager on Costa Victoria, Chethan Kumar- President of Bengre Fishermen Association, Madhava Bengre- Past President of Bengre Fishermen Association, Ms Usha- Headmistress of the school, Pradeesh Varghese- Manager, Lotus DMC, and Sr Agnes Frank- Social Activist, belonging to Congregation of Bethany Sisters, Permannur, in the presence of the children , teachers of Sandspit School, and the people of Bengre Village.
And it is learnt that this is the first of its kind initiative in the cruise tourism industry of the country. Kudos and three cheers to Lotus DMC and Globe Travels for making a difference and bringing out a change in the society, the villagers, and children. Prior to the formal programme, the cruise ship visitors had a jolly good time amidst the school children, where they sand and danced along with the children, which was quite a memorable scene to watch and cherish. Following a prayer song invoking God’s blessings by the school children, the welcome address was delivered by Ms Delphine D’souza- the manager at Globe Travels, and also the compere of the inaugural programme.
In his inaugural address Capt Sokratis Sklavos said, “Being myself a father of two beautiful young girls, I am truly blessed and overwhelmed to be among all these happy and beautiful children. While I was in the tourist bus on my way to this school, I asked the bus driver who are the good people in this scenic area, and he said, they are the villagers and children of Bengre. And I think he was right, by looking at all these people and children who have so much love and the spirit of hospitality and friendship in them. No doubt, the dream of having smart class room has come true for the teachers and students of this school. I am happy to be part of this inaugural ceremony, and will cherish this moment for the rest of my life”.
Y R Belegal speaking on the occasion said, “It was indeed a kind gesture of Lotus DMC and Globe Travels to start this unique project for the educational benefit of the children, all done by them for the love of children, for which we should be all grateful. Their example of donating their partial wealth to a needed cause should be followed by others. A person can earn lots of money and remain rich forever, but his life is useless if part of his wealth is not shared with others in need in the surrounding areas. Helping others should be our motto. And it was indeed nice of the Ship Captain in entertaining the children on a ship tour”.
Chethan Kumar also speaking said, “Bengre is small fishermen community, and whatever we earn is not much to help others in their needs or projects. But when kind and generous firms like Lotus and Globe Travels come forward with their mighty help, changes happen and make a difference in the life of the villagers and children. These days education is a must, and without English, it is hard to find a good job. With this smart class room the children could learn better and be smart to face the world. There have been quite few saviours who have helped in developing this Bengre community, for which we are grateful. There is much more things to be done here, but eventually with the help of well-wishers and international visitors our dreams may come true soon”.
In her vote of thanks by Sr Agnes Mary, where she said, “Today we had good Samaritans and generous people from local and international level all joined for a good cause to help these school children having better education and facilities to be leaders of tomorrow. These donors of today’s project will be a role model to others to come forward and extend their helping hand for a better cause. What we saw today, where generosity and love was spread, it should be carried forward also by others in order to make a difference and change in the society. And yes, together we can make it happen”.
The Capt of Costa Victoria and a bevy of his crew distributed Teddy Bear dolls with the Ship Logo on them to the children, thereby bringing miles of smiles on their faces. The most fun part of the inaugural ceremony was the dance performance called “Slinky” by Michael Brest, a cruise ship passenger on Costa Victoria from France, followed my melodious and mesmerizing singing by Ms Jovanna Russo from Italy, also a cruise ship passenger, who sang “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Can Make” from the 1950 Walt Disney film ‘Cinderella’, followed by yet another song of Elton John “In the Circle Of Life”, where the children joined Ms Russo and Capt Sklavos dance along forming a circle in the school campus. Wow- it was so wonderful and joyful to watch the children happily dancing with these foreign nationalities, where “East Met West’!