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JFA bats for media wisdom

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing serious concern over repeated attacks on working journalists across India, insisted on honoring media wisdom by both media and non-media entities. The scribe’s body reiterated that as the journalists enjoy the right to ask questions for information, the others should have the opportunity to criticize the media persons as well.

It may be noted that following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's long interview by Smita Prakash, editor of Reuters' partner Asian News International (ANI), which was subsequently telecast by various news channels on 1 January 2019, criticisms erupted against the interviewer that she left many hard issues from discussing.

Even the Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi termed the ANI interviewer as a pliable journalist while addressing a press conference in the national capital, which was strongly denounced by the Editors Guild of India over the use of word like pliable by the law maker.

"We believe journalists should claim no immunity from healthy and civilized criticism. At the same time, labeling of journalists has emerged as a favorite tactic on the part of the establishment to discredit, delegitimize and intimidate them,” said a statement of Editors Guild.

Various other journalist associations came out with strong words against the Congress president for his remark against the ANI editor as perhaps ‘she conducted an interview with a rival political leader’. It’s unwarranted and unbecoming of a senior leader of a national political party, they asserted.

JFA argues that journalists should not bother about critical comments from the politicians (or anybody),” said a statement issued today JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that ‘it always believes in continue working with a clear mission to safeguard the interest of the nation in particular and the human race in general’.

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Senior journalist based in Guwahati.

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Free tuition to plug school drop outs

29 May 2016 - 6:40pm | CM Paul

A parish in Assam’s Bongaigaon diocese with the help of a Guwahati based NGO has come up with a novel scheme to prevent high school children dropping  out of school or flunking in their board examinations. Parish priest of St Joseph’s Doomni parish nestled in the 1,040 hectares of Doomni Tea garden in Baksa district of north-east India says, “In the past two years I am here, I am saddened by the number of promising students who drop out of school just before their first board exams.”

Fr Ethelbert Minj says, “The problem is acute as large number of students fail or do not appear for the board exams as they are weak in Maths, Science or English and cannot afford private tutors who charge Rs. 500 (approx. USD 10) per month per subject.”

Fr Minj who was assistant priest in the same parish some two decades ago, sought help and harnessed the collaboration of Bosco Reach Out (BRO) a Guwahati based Salesian NGO to find sponsors for the children to benefit from free coaching.

BRO was established in 1983 as a non-profit, non-political and social service wing of the Salesian Province of Guwahati in North East India.

BRO director Salesian Fr K.J. Thomas proposed to find sponsors for 100 students of the parish which has population of some 12,000 Catholics spread out in 1,740 families in 27 villages about 5 to 10 kms radius of the parish. They belong to Adivasi, Assamese and Boro population living in harmony.

The parish also runs Don Bosco School established in 1972 as Assamese medium and later in 1997 made into an English medium school under Assam Board. Today the school has 1,083 students at Doomni and two feeder schools in Bongaon and Subansiri villages totaling another 261 students.

While mobilizing students for the coaching class, Fr Minj found “a huge response of some 350 students of the neighboring schools in the parish area who wished to benefit from the scheme.”

“Today there are 235 students signed up for 2 hours of evening classes from Monday to Friday every week with four teachers teaching three subjects: Maths, Science and English,” says Coordinator of the Coaching Class project and Assistant Parish priest Fr Charles Deepan Lakra.

The students get daily snacks to ensure that they do not go hungry while staying back to study.

Hearing about the enthusiastic Coaching Class project Salesian provincial of Guwahati Fr V.M. Thomas promised every student three notebooks each saying, “it is gift from one of my cousins who was inspired by the ignited minds of village children who were willing to study and dreamed of a better future.”
BRO director Fr Thomas also promised “best three student toppers of the tuition classes will be invited to a Christmas party in December to BRO in Guwahati along with their teachers.”

Mr Maximus Kerketta teacher at neighbouring Nalbari High School one of four teachers at Coaching Class and leader of parish youth programs coordinated the inauguration program, 27 May.

Speaking at the inaugural function Fr Thomas congratulated Fr Minj for his “characteristic availability to come to the aid of weak students with motivation and conviction that given the chance, students can succeed.”

Fr Thomas affirmed his belief in the words of Gandhiji who said “our talents lie in the villages and given the chance they will bloom.”

He encouraged students saying, “when other students loaf about, there should be no drop outs and no failures from coaching class students.”

Fr Thomas also presented and congratulated Mr Anil Kujur, a boy from Doomni Tea Garden to become the first College lecturer at Doomni College and PhD Scholar at Assam Don Bosco University Guwahati.

“Thank you for thinking about us poor and marginalized students offering us opportunity to succeed in life,” said class IX student Mr Damien Kerketta summing up the feelings of his class mates in the welcome address.

Republic Day celebrated in Chirang

27 Jan 2016 - 10:09am | Hantigiri Narzary

Chirang district joined the rest of the country in celebrating the 67th Republic Day on Tuesday. It was celebrated in a befitting manner at Kajalgaon parade ground.

BTC Deputy Chief Kampa Borgoyary,attending the celebration as chief guest paid floral tribute at the Srimiti Tarpon and unfurled the national tri- colour national Flag. He inspected the guard of honour and took salute from the march-pass contingens.

In his speech,Borgoyary highlighted the developmental activities being done by the BTC authority since last ten years. He well comed the asurance given by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during his recent visit to Kokrajhar about the upgration of Kokrajhar CIT to Deemed University within a year, according of ST  status to the Bodos living in Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao Autonomous Councils and development of Rupsi Airport for use of defense and public.

 In the programme, students from different schools and cultural groups of the locality  showcased colourful cultural programme. Students from the Bengtal Don Bosco School and the 7-Sikh Li Regiment  displayed band and arms and ammunitions which attracted the garhering lot.

 As such, students of Gossaigaon JNV got the first prizes in both parade and cultural programme. On the occasion, financial assistance amounting of Rs. 15,000 were also given to the Women SHGs under NRLM by the Chirang DRDA

BTC Secretary Carol Narzary, ex- MLA Matindra Basumatary, BTC ex-speaker  Paniram Brahma, ex- EM James Basumatary, Chirang DC Rupak Kumar Mazumdar, SP Ranjan Kumar Bhuyan, all heads staff of the departments were present on the occasion.

 

Rhino poachers strike again

11 Feb 2018 - 11:20am | AT News

BOKAKHAT: Rhino poachers are back in Kaziranga leaving the much hyped multi layered security to protect the pride of Assam.

After a brief halt the poachers struck in Baghmari range of Kaziranga in Biswanath killing a full grown rhino and chop off the horn.

Forest guards deployed in the Sixth part of the world heritage site spotted the carcass on Sunday wee hours.

Local residents have blamed the forest guards for failing to protect the rhinos.