THE TEENAGER (now THE TEENAGER TODAY) was founded in November 1963 by the two great visionaries, J. Maurus and Aloysius G. Rego, at Allahabad, not far away from SANGAM, where the three holy rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswathi merge, and where lakhs of devotees come together, every year, for a holy dip in the Ganges. The city of Allahabad holds a very important place also in the political history of the nation. It was here two Prime Ministers of the country were born: Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. At Anand Bhavan, Allahabad, the home of the Nehrus, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru often met, and took major decisions, during the freedom struggle.
It was to this city that Providence led the pioneers of the Society of St Paul to begin their mission. They began their work by establishing a printing press there, which in due time became the birthplace of THE TEENAGER. The magazine continued to be printed from Allahabad till 1991, when it was brought to Mumbai with the idea of reaching out to a larger readership.
With the transition came also expansion in the editorial set-up, with Joe Eruppakkatt as the new editor. First to join him was Verus Ferreira, our music columnist. Navniit Gandhi and Caroline D’Souza joined later as Assistant Editor and Editorial Assistant, respectively. From the very first month Verus Ferreira joined, every issue of THE TEENAGER carries his most popular music column — an unbeaten record so far.
Navniit Gandhi continues to be a special part of THE TEENAGER, though she now lives in Kuwait. Every issue of THE TEENAGER/THE TEENAGER TODAY, ever since she joined, bears the mark of Caroline D’Souza’s journalistic excellence and creativity. All three of them deserve a huge applause from us.
The above story will not be complete without my naming a few Institutions, among many, that stood by us in this long journey to the fifty-fifth birthday. The IBMV Sisters, now known as the Congregation of Jesus, come first in the line. They are our founding partners and good neighbours in Allahabad. The Sisters introduced THE TEENAGER in all their schools: from Allahabad to Kanpur, to Lucknow, to Nainital, Patna, Jhansi, to Sikkim and even to Nepal.
The Daughters of St Paul, besides making the magazine available in all their centres, literally carried it to the homes they visited and to their book displays everywhere. In the early 90’s, the Presentation Sisters in Chennai, Delhi, and Jammu & Kashmir brought the magazine to places where it had not reached yet. Simultaneously, the Mission Sisters of Ajmer, the Auxilium Sisters, MSMHC Sisters in the North East, the Cluny Sisters in Sikkim followed suit. We remember you, dear Sisters, with deep gratitude during this special Birthday season.
Alfonso Elengikal, SSP, has the unique distinction of being the longest-serving editor of The Teenager Today, an office he held for over 17 years. He is the bestselling author of You Can Make A Difference, You Are Destined For The Skies, Let The Real You Stand Up! and Discover The Hero Within You published by Better Yourself Books.