The day on 30th September, 2007 (Sunday) was slightly different for the Assamese as well as well-wishers of Assam, residing in the Millennium city of Gurgaon, New Delhi & Faridabad. Slightly away from the hustles of the mushrooming malls, the community hall at Rail Vihar, Sector-57 was all agog with hundreds of the Assamese community gathered around. The reason was the visit of Revered Xotraadhikaar of Aauniaati Xotro, Dr. Pitambar Dev Goswami. On, arrival, Dr. Goswami was rendered a traditional welcome by the young residents of Gurgaon with ‘Gayan-Bayan’ and chanting of ‘Uruli’. Arround 150 people from Gurgaon, New Delhi & Faridabad participated in the ‘Naam-Proxongo’, which was followed by ‘Negera Naam’, presented by some young residents of Gurgaon. The ladies were also not far behind and actively participated in the ‘Naam-Proxongo’.
The second session began with a cultural evening, which started at around 07:15 PM with the arrival of Chief Guest, Honorable Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Shri Mukundakam Sharma. The ceremony was formally inaugurated with ‘Lighting of Lamps’ by revered Xotraadhikaar Dr. Goswami, Hnorable Chief Justic Shri Sharma and Retired IAS officer Shri Ashok Saikia. Revered Xotraadhikaar Dr. Goswami was felicitated with a traditional ‘Pator Cheleng Chadar’by Honorable justice Shri Sharma and later on Shri Sharma along with Shri Ashok Saikia was felicited with ‘Cheleng Chadar’ by Shri Mridul Bhuyan, President, Assam Association Gurgaon. The felicitation was followed by a lecture about the works of Dr. Pitambar Dev Goswami by Shri Mukundakam Sharma. Revered Xotraadhikaar, Dr. Goswami mesmerized the gathering of about 200 people with an insight in to the ‘Xotrya Traditions of Assamese Culture’. The highlights of the cultural evening was melodious ‘Borgeet’ presented by disciples of Aaauniaati Xotro, Ms. Eepsita Hazarika, Mr. Mridul Mahanta and Natua Nrityo & Chaali Nrityo, presented by the disciples of Aauniaati Xotro. The curtains to the day long programme dropped at around 09:30 PM with ‘Vote of Thanks’ by Shri Mridul Bhuyan, followed by a sumptuous Assamese Dinner comprising of Rice, Daal, Vegetables, ‘Khar’, ‘Masor Tenga Jool’.
Manipur’s human rights activist Irom Sharmila who has been on a fast-unto-death since November, 2000 seeking the repressive Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act repealed. She opposes the Act that gives draconian powers to the security forces and has repeatedly been used with brazen brutality in the Northeast. For five years, she has been imprisoned and force-fed by the State for her ‘crime’. Irom Sharmila’s lone battle against the government is a proof of the grit and determination of a woman scorned.
Popularly known as the iron lady of Manipur Irom Sharmila has approached UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for help by handing over a letter addressed to Sonia Gandhi to Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay award winning activist recently when he was on a visit to Imphal’s Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, where Sharmila is on her hunger-strike. She presumes that the congress chief’s intervention would have a positive outcome and ensure the fulfillment of her demands.
A five-day solidarity fast that concluded recently which was in support of the people’s movement against the Armed Forces (Special Powers)Act, 1958 and Irom Sharmila’s lone crusade. Human rights activists from all over the country as well as the state’s student and civil society participated in the fast organized jointly by Delhi based National Alliance of People’s movement, Asha Parivar and Manipur Forward Youth Front(MFYF).
Pandey a member of the visiting team and MFYF members decided to convene a “national convention” in November over the imposition of the army act in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
Sharmila’s lone crusade started a day after troopers of Assam Rifles gunned down ten civilians at Malom in greater Imphal on November 2, 2000. Sharmila was honoured with the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in recognition of her fight against injustice.
But now it remains to be seen when her real wish i.e. the repeal of the Armed Forces Act is going to be honoured if at all and when will her crusade meet a fitting finale.
Photo: Sandip Panday and his party met Irom Chanu Sharmila on 16-09-07 on the 4th day of 5 days long solidarity fasting agitation in support of peoples movement against Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1958 and for saving the life of Sharmila. Pix by UB Photos.
The Centre for North East Studies ad Policy Research (C-NES) announces the premiere of ‘Where there are no roads’, at Jyoti Chitrabon Studio, Kalilipara, Guwahati, on May 24, 2013 at 6.00 pm.
Maulee Senapati is the Director and Cinematographer while Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee of C-NES and founder director of the Centre for NE Studies and Policy Research in Jamia Millia Islamia, is the producer and script-writer.
The film is about a unique experiment, a major innovative health campaign that reaches some of the most marginalized and poorest communities who live on hundreds of inaccessible islands, called saporis, on the river Brahmaputra. There are no roads here. But, over a dozen specially-designed boats, conceived and developed by C-NES and manned by doctors, nurses, lab technicians and pharmacists as well as crew, organizers and community workers reach more than ten lakh people, pulling them out of a deadly cycle of maternal and infant mortality, disease and poverty conditions which contrast dramatically with the overwhelming beauty of the place. C-NES is supported by the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), to implement a project providing preventive and promotiove health services in the islands through specially designed boats.
Chandana Bora, PFI-C-NES Project State Coordinator (9957013249)
Dispur rolls up its sleeves to expedite the process to rehabilitate the refugees in the riot-hit BTAD areas and Dhubri. A ministerial panel met with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Dispur to discuss the steps to rehabilitate the genuine refugees. Gogoi asked the authorities the scan the land holding documents of the refugees. Scrutiny of land holding documents of the refugees is under process in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.