Continuing his visitation of the Province of Darjeeling in India, Fr. General Arturo Sosa met the community at the Gandhi Ashram School in Kalimpong, a region of the country known for its educational institutions. The school, founded in 1993 by Jesuit Father Edward McGuire, caters to children from underprivileged families, giving them the same access to top-tier education as more affluent communities. Known for its musical programs, Gandhi Ashram School welcomed Fr. General with a concert performed in a new auditorium, inaugurated on the occasion of Father Sosa’s visit. Following are excerpts from Fr. General’s talk. This is a day of great joy, rejoicing and gratitude for Gandhi Ashram School, Kalimpong. (…) Gandhi Ashram School is one of the frontier missions of the Society of Jesus in the Darjeeling Province. It aims at reaching out to the excluded through music, academics and other related projects. In the twenty-six years of its existence, this school has educated hundreds of students, giving them life and hope. It has also been a catalyst in the process of a positive transformation of the community around.
Music is a perfect antidote to the disharmony we often experience due to poverty, division, contradictions and destructions caused by self-directed motives. Gandhi Ashram is a unique and alternative model of education. It is open to all. It is free. It is innovative. It is a bold attempt. It has rightly proved that when opportunities are equal all distinctions vanish and all can explore, express and develop their potentialities. Music makes a difference and, indeed, is a great leveller. Finally, I hope and pray that the vision of Gandhi Ashram School of promoting equal rights and opportunities for every child to be educated, and that of empowering individuals to positively transform their communities and the realities that surround them, may stay alive for years to come. I pray that Gandhi Ashram may be a beacon of hope and light to those in need, for the greater glory and praise of God.