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Mapping Ecological Dreams

Last month I travelled to Wakru in Arunachal Pradesh through Tinsukia district of Assam with a bunch of young professors. It was a self-driven ride of about 4 hours from Dibrugarh the second city in Assam. The journey was fascinating as my friends stopped at various points on the way spotting orchids, big trees, abandoned shrines and beautiful rivers. Suddenly my friend would look away from the steering wheel and say, “Look look, look at the pride of those orchids hiding behind the tree branches.” Orchids of different varieties bloom along the roadside in Arunachal Pradesh. There are yellow orchids, white and purple ones called ‘Kopou’ in Assam. There were trees along the highway which had ‘Ezar’ flower buds.

In one spot we also located a ‘Borhomthuri’ plant with the flower and the bud which was famous for making lipstick in the olden days. Somewhere near the orange valley of Arunachal near Wakru, we stopped the vehicle and climbed down to the riverside and sat down on the stones to feel the serenity of the river. It was indeed a fulfilling journey of mapping the ecology around us. My friend said, “I like to remember nature through the nostalgic memories of the flowers, plants, herbs, trees and ferns in our daily life not just through their scientific names.” That is in fact a very crucial point to be drawn home. Since we do not value our immediate environment anymore because we do not connect with the rivers, lakes, fruit trees, flower trees and other such natural resources as they do not hold much ground in our social and cultural context. We remain confined to zoos, botanical gardens, reserved forests and city parks to enjoy nature. Otherwise we would rather look around for the dustbins, drains, sewage pipes and water taps for environment around us.

These days, schools are teaching children to be environmentally conscious about throwing waste in dustbins and reduce the use of plastic in their lives. Environment is boiled down to dustbins, plastic and electricity use in cities. Gone are those days of ensuring a green zone, blue rivers, rainbow sightings across the green hills and yellow flowers in the fields and grasslands. Nature is manicured and kept at bay under the concrete slabs, pruned inside pot plants and dwarfed through bonsai roots as home decors. In some huge malls and high raised flats people keep grass patches, vegetable gardens and balcony plants to keep an inch of environment in their shrinking living spaces.

In this era of reducing carbon footprints, earning green economy brownie points, countries have taken refuge in the traditional practices of conservation economics. Balipara foundation is initiating diverse innovations through rural interventions in natural water regeneration practices in remote locations of Assam. Dusty foot productions and NEN through its green hub initiative is training up young people on conservation photography and videography to ensure sustained efforts in ecological mapping of resources around the communities and groups living on the edge. Ecological mapping of every individual will definitely bring out our needs, constraints and resources which are closely linked to our immediate environment surrounding us. Based on these mappings we can make the lifestyle and life-skill choices which will either enhance our relationship with nature or restrain us from abusing nature.

This year on June 5 let us make an effort to map ourselves within and around our immediate environment and keep note of the checks and balances to revisit the map next year. We can choose to see that each natural space around us is safe and living with dignity without abuse from our end. Our relationship with our trees, birds, beetles, lady birds, earthworms and frogs will ensure a natural balance in neutralising pests, viruses and other harmful natural elements as well if we can revive a plastic free food chain. In this context use of plastics and chemicals needs to be replaced with natural disposables in every sphere of human existence without further ado. Economics cannot dominate ecology rather both needs to complement each other. Our theories of convenience and compulsions need to be revised with practical innovations which regenerate nature. Wish we could glide through the hills along with winds, cycle through the valleys, row the boats along the rivers and live in tree houses and blend in with the natural spaces. Hope that we can all dream more and make them real within our lifetimes.

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Foodie and Travel Writer.

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Awareness meet on Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni (KMSA)

22 Jun 2018 - 11:24am | Shajid Khan

TANGLA: An awareness meet was held regarding the Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni (KMSA) by Panchayat and Rural Development Department for ceremonial distribution of funds among the Self Help Groups(SHG) of the Bhergaon weekly market complex at Bhergaon SDO(Civil) office on Thursday. The meet presided over by the Paneri MLA, Kamali Basumatary was attended by Executive Member of BTC, Lwmshrao Daimary, Deputy Speaker of BTC, Nerson Boro and SDO(Civil), Bhergaon, Dithakananda Hazarika where women of SHG's from different villages under Bhergaon Development Block were apprised of the scheme.Speaking on the ocassion,MLA Basumatary said, "When women are encouraged to take lead and ensure respect for them, the society marches towards progress". She further stated that SHG's has always helped women gain financial independence and open up window of self-employment opportunities. In an interactive session the representatives of different SHG's described about their source of income, productions, and also about their necessary requirements. Executive Member of BTC, Lwmshrao Daimary and BTC Deputy Speaker, Nerson Boro stated that BTC administration is ready for financial grant to SHG's and for all those who wants to engage in different productive work be it cultivation or handloom etc.A cheque distribution programme was also held were cheques amounting to rupees fifty thousand were distributed among the different SHG's.

Peace rally in Kokrajhar

23 Sep 2015 - 6:17pm | Hantigiri Narzary

The Indo-Global Social Service (IGSSS) carried out a peace rally in Kokrajhar town on Wednesday for world peace.
More than 50 women from Kokrajhar and Chirang participated in the rally when it started from JD Road to Cirucit House.

Talking to Assam Times, organizers said the rally was a part of post observation  International Peace Day to promote peace in the region, to make people aware about peace, mitigate violence and promote peace among all communities.

The peace action project presently covered 65 villages in Karbi Anglong and BTAD districts. The thrust and focus of the project is on women centric role in peace building, conflict resolution to further sustainable peace and development in the region.

BPF-AGP-BJP forming govt in Assam: Jual Oram

30 Mar 2016 - 10:01pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau

Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram has claimed that BJP led Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) and Asom Gana Parishad(AGP) alliance government in Assam would be formed after the scheduled assembly election.

Union Minister Jual Oram has campaigned in a chartered Helicopter for alliance partner BPF candidate at Haraputa ground for 28-Gossaigaon constituency in lower Assam’s Kokrajhar on Wednesday, was accompanied BTC chief and BPF president Hagrama Mohilary and Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary. Oram addressed the campaigned in a well attended gathering said that this time BJP-BPF-AGP alliance is forming the state government in Assam as irrespective community and citizens are supporting the alliance parties. Union Minister slammed the Congress party said that the Congress in its third consecutive terms in the state has failed to fulfill hopes and aspirations of the citizens, so this time common publics are voting to the BJP and its alliance parties to meet good governance and social uplift. He has appealed to all sections of communities to vote for the BPF candidates in the scheduled election and help the parties to form government in the state.

Mohilary said that BJP led alliance party is winning over 75 seats in the assembly election and government formation is sure. He said that the exit poll announced by some agencies in the state of forming BJP led alliance government is predicting for the alliance parties for the state. He has predicted that AIUDF chief Maulana Badaruddin Ajmal can’t be Chief Minister during his presence, because AIUDF is defeating in large number of seats in the state. He said that his party was working for the all round development in the region.

‘We want early enlisted of the six ethnic communities in the ST status in the state. We have sent no objection certificate (NOC) to government to the inclusion of Scheduled Tribe (ST) for six communities of the state. He has urged Union Minister Oram to accord ST to the communities’, Mohilary said.

Jual Oram said that we (alliance parties) are forming alliance government in the state, no doubt. Congress is taking farewell from Assam as common publics are voting against them in the assembly election. The state government in Assam led by BJP alliance parties would be formed by Sarbananda Sonowal,who is Chief Ministerial candidate. We have been working to the all round development of the region through which his party and alliance partners are getting mass supports in the state.

‘I promise to implement the issue and demands raised from several organizations which included ST status to the six ethnic communities in state would be solved as soon as possible. The issue granting of ST status has been assessed through a committee was formed under the headed by special secretary for Home Affairs to accord the ST status in the state’, Oram said.

Oram on the funding pattern to district councils said that BJP led NDA government at centre was working to give direct fund to the councils so that the district council could be able to speedy up developmental and welfare activities in the region. He has alleged that Congress party never wants welfare of the common publics in their reigned, besides they have been corrupted peoples’ fund mean for public development.

Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary and party candidate for Gossaigaon LAC were also addressed the campaign meeting.