The chief minister of Manipur yesterday launched a film on St John Bosco at a grand ceremony to mark the arrival of the saint's relics in India. The film depicts the transformation Don Bosco's followers – Salesians – made in India’s northeast in the last 90 years. “The people of Manipur are grateful and proud of what the sons and daughters of Don Bosco have achieved with our people in these past years,” said the minister, Shri Okram Ibobi Singh. The documentary film, The Hand, traces the arrival of the first Salesians in Shillong (Meghalaya) in 1922 and the many ways in which they endeared themselves to the people of the region and worked with them for development. Dr. James Poonthuruthil, provincial superior of the Salesians of Dimapur province, said: “It is significant that the film is released in the capital of Manipur, where four young Salesian missionaries were martyred in recent years at Maram (1997) and Ngarian (2001). “In fact, shooting of the film commenced in Ngarian where three of them where shot down. It is also one of the high points of the film and is a pointer to the total commitment of the Salesians to the region.” The general secretary of Don Bosco Alumni Association Dimapur, Dr Stephen Kamson, endorsed the film, saying: “This movie has the aroma of the special relationship that the northeast has with the Salesians.” Soon after the ceremony, film buffs were seen making a beeline for stalls that sold DVDs of the film. “A tribute both to the Salesians and to the people of the northeast, the film is well accepted by all,” said Dimapur Salesian Mission office director Father Elow Samuel. “Demand for DVD copies is so great that we need to think of getting additional copies done quickly,” he added.