Page 2 of 2
Kaushik Das’ thoughts on how AFNA and the NRAs can play a more Important Role in the Development of Assam:
First and foremost, any help and support that AFNA and the Non Resident Assamese (NRAs) is a blessing. We are grateful for this support because children from this land are giving back as young and successful adults to their roots and their people. That is always a moment of pride and hope for us.
Since the early 1980’s, a large number of Assamese / NE students went for their college and higher education to the other states of India. Many of them have found jobs outside of Assam, settled there and have done well for themselves. We also need to mobilize this group of persons so that they continue their association with Assam.
The people who have decided to stay put in Assam and are trying to develop Assam / NE need ideas, help and support because there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Moreover, the working conditions are very difficult here, combined with an apathetic attitude of the government and very limited awareness / support from the general public. During the past two – three decades there has been virtually no development here- we have a lot of catching up to do. There are a handful of people working in rural areas- they need special thought and support. The ‘voluntary sector’, in particular, needs support so that more dedicated people come forward to join it. It would be wonderful if a few NRAs who have done well for themselves abroad could be motivated to provide ‘fellowships’ to young social entrepreneurs (on the lines of ‘Ashoka fellows’) in Assam / NE. Though finding good candidates (dedicated and service minded) will be a very difficult task, we have to make a beginning and try to promote and energize this sector.
As I write this, I am reminded of a conversation I had with an elder from Kasturba Ashram, Sarania, Guwahati. She had returned from the violence affected areas of Udalguri and Darrang. She mentioned about the pathetic condition of the people living in ‘relief camps’ in those areas. Up to 2,000 people had been accommodated in a school- they have shelter, security and get free food but they have lost everything- their homes, their belongings and their granaries. Unless the people are able to move out of the relief camps, the education of the students will suffer. Our small organization collected clothes for the affected people which at least carry more weight than offering mere words of sympathy. It is in such situations, that organizations like AFNA can mobilize funds on an emergency basis to buy relief material.
By Caustoobh Bezboruah
||Caustoobh Bezboruah currently works at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas, where he has held various roles in product, test, device, process engineering, and management.
Caustoobh did most of his schooling in BRPL, Dhaligaon and did graduate studies in Delhi, Ames (Iowa) and Dallas (Texas). He currently lives in Allen with his wife and two children. He believes there are a lot of opportunities for today’s students in Assam, and it is just a matter of networking, reaching out and following ones passion, and is willing to guide interested students.