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The ‘Empowered Women’ of Assam

  • These women needs no men to ferry them home
    These women needs no men to ferry them home

Any mention of India’s Northeast, and the first two things that comes to the mind of people from outside the region which has been a wonderful cauldron of cultures are, a disturbed area battered for long by arms conflict, or else, ‘the other exotic’. However, very few from rest of the country recognizes, that this eastern tip of India, connected to the rest of the country by a mere chicken-neck corridor, which is both physically and metaphorically true, happens to be the western most end of South-east Asia merging and melting into the mainland of what came to be defined as India since 1947. It is true that the long history of this region of various racial identities have passed through troubled times while certain parts of Northeast continue to be still tormented by conflict situations. What is also true are prevailing patriarchal systems within the social folds, giving birth to treachery and cruelties like witch hunting across parts of contemporary Assam which has been historically the gateway to the entire region.

Yet, despite the existing odds and challenges presented by India in accepting the Northeast within its much greater folds, the region stands out as unique and not exotic as many may think. These photographs present vignettes of ‘traditionally empowered’ women of Assam, their self-dependent nature evident while returning from a weekly market in Chandubi, in Southern Assam, around 50 kilometers west of Guwahati. These women from the Rabha community are rarely dependent on their men folk to ferry them across long stretches of water, or support them on land, during visits to the market to sell vegetables and traditional commodities, and return home with goods for the hearth and home from the market.

Homeward bound...after a hard day's toil of course...
While the men took a break for lunch, the women rowed away...
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Maulee Senapati's picture

Maulee Senapati, an alumnus of FTII Pune, is a filmmaker based in Assam.

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Guwahati citizen team in Halflong

27 Jul 2009 - 10:00pm | editor

A team of Guwahati citizens has arrived in Halflong today to study the socio-political problems of NC Hills district. During the mission, the team will interact with a varied section of people of the hills district and try to understand the burning issues. The initiative has been taken following a resolution adopted in a citizen meet held at Guwahati Press Club few days back. The team is supposed to carry the message from the trouble-torn district to the greater section in the society. Led by the cultural activist Loknath Goswami, the team includes IPTA worker Jayanta Gogoi, poet Kamal Kumar Medhi with journalists Nava Thakuria, Anup Sharma, Nituparna Rajbongshi and Prasanta Datta.

Aviation awareness programme concludes

21 Apr 2015 - 6:41pm | Nava Thakuria

The College of Aeronautical Engineering, which is the lone aircraft maintenance engineering institute of northeast India, in association with Guwahati Press Club has organized a daylong media aviation awareness programme in press club on 21 April 2015. Prior to the orientation programme, prominent aviation personalities from Assam including Air Marshal (retired) PK Barbora, Air Commodore (retired) DJ Sharma and Air Marshal (retired) Anjan Gogoi were felicitated. The programme was inaugurated by Air Commodore (retired) Iqbal Hazarika lighting a holy lamp.

It may be mentioned that the awareness programme for media persons to understand the aviation sector of the country was first of its kind in India. Various resource persons, while delivering their speeches emphasized on paving ways for optimum benefits out of India’s Look East Policy (now known as Act East policy) for the region with aviation infrastructure developments.

As the northeastern region is surrounded by hills, rivers and valleys, the alienated region can opt for air connectivity. The speakers emphasized on sustainable development of aviation sector that should yield benefit to the health, tourism, trade & industry with many other avenues.

Recently the Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju Pashupati met all the heads of State governments in the region and also the companies related to the aviation sectors to discuss about the difficulties faced by the region in regards to the development of air connectivity.

The College of Aeronautical Engineering based in Borjhar (Azara), while appreciating the participant journalists in the programme, assured all possible supports to the media in understanding various aspects of civil aviation with firsthand experience in the days to come.

Chidambaram to visit Assam on Friday

1 Jan 2009 - 9:32pm | editor
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is arriving in Guwahati on Friday to review the security situation in the state in the wake many terror attacks.

According to information, Chidambaram would meet Chief Minister Tarun Gagoi and unified Command to discuss the security situation. Hi visit is significant as the term for ceasefire with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) expired on Wednesday.

The Union minister is schedule to discuss extending Suspension of Operation when its hand behind the Assam blasts were suspected along with insurgent elements based in Bangladesh, he said the CBI took up investigation only on December 18 and no concrete evidence has been gathered about those responsible for it.