Travelling is the best way of having new experiences. Travelling gives time to think about, to reflect, and to wonder about the big question of our life. Travelling is best way of gaining new perspective, new point of view about leading our life. We meet so many people along our journey and they all influence us in some way. It is the people we meet that make travel the rich, vibrant experience that it is. I had a most amazing year, being inspired and impressed. And what better way to end the year than on a positive high.
I set out to find them across every field of endeavour, the people who are bending history right now. It was an impossible task, but the result is a determined, defiant, earnest, brilliant, and philanthropic and together they are writing the first chapter of the rest of our lives.
Assam is full of wonderful people doing extraordinary things. I feel very fortunate to come across them and to be able to use my website to highlight as many more. As the year wraps up, I had like to shine a special spotlight on 10 exemplary person of Assam, who has inspired me in 2015.
Durlav Bora curator cum owner of Uttaran Museum, Sivasagar is worth mentioning figure who works without caring for any hindrance, are trying to capture our rich heritage through their collections. The Museum “Uttaran” is the first personal museum in the North East where it has stocks and collections of different elements of handicraft, sculpture, animals, birds etc. With his personal effort, this man trying to collect objects which are associated with Assamese day to day life. He has such artifacts in his collections which we have either read or have heard. Uttaran is not just a museum but an effort of Durlav Bora, who toiled hard to collect and showcase. Being an Engineer he has been culturing the sculpture art. He has been simultaneously playing his role as an activity to preserve our glorious monuments.
The collection is impressive and effort commendable. The two storey building is full of artifacts. His endeavor was to create a microcosm of our world so that future generations could draw on artifacts and relics in the museum for reference and study in the eventuality of the fast pace of development. There are three hundred and thirty seven bottle of water from different ponds built during the Ahom era, anthills, seeds of trees and a variety of stones and rocks jostle for space at Uttaran.
Evelyntice Sajem of Jatinga, Dima Hasao district, a local social activist of has been contributing immensely to the empowerment of women and various other social works in the area for years.
The 69 year old retired principal of Halflong Girls’ HS School has been working selflessly for uplifting the living standard of 3000 odd Jayantiya (Pnar) people in Jatinga.
Sajem has been successful to make her village about cent per cent literate one. For most of the villages in the State, it has remained a dream till date. The enthuastic lady has taken many other steps too for the total development of the area like initiative for supply of potable water, construction of sanitary latrines by the villagers on their own etc. Activities for development of transportation as well as communication in the area have also been performed with her initiatives.
She has been able to establish herself as a role-model for the women of Jatinga by virtue of her continuous as well as committed counseling programmes on health and hygiene, child-care, marriage, divorce and re-union etc. among the women of the locality.
Ms. Sajem has been associating herself as the adviser to the ‘Jatinga Mothers’ Association’ (JMA), a local NGO since its inception and have been contributing for the all-round development of Jatinga under the banner of the organization.
For her continuous social contribution, she was conferred the prestigious Samajpran Sarbeswar Dutta Memorial State Level Social Service Award-2013.
Still, she feels she has “miles to go….” to achieve her desired development for Jatinga.
Dr. Imran Hussain
During his tenure of 8 years as extension co-ordinator, Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Dr. Imran Hussain has successfully transformed the lifestyles of poor rural farmers leading the path to increase agro-productivity. Supplying seeds, fertilizers, vermin compost and implementing improved techniques to a better income he was trying to reach every farmer to encourage expertise themselves in agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, hatchery, direct marketing and value addition. With the help of World Bank funded AACP project and a energetic group of dedicated officials he develops his ideas to attract the young generations to the agricultural sector.
Based on demonstrations the farmers are convinced on improved technology by seen the demonstration and accordingly replicate it. The farmers have already started double cropping after harvest of saali rice. these includes potato cultivation in Kaliapani, Teok, gladiolas garden in Sukanjan, Titabar; garlic garden in Majuli, breeding of Kalinga varieties of kuroiler in Selenghaat Gohain Gaon; bottle guard cultivation in Hatichungi, Chipahikhola Gaon, goat farming in Bogar Gaon, Titabar etc. integrated pest control management with weeding control strengthen the cultural practices for a better cultivation system and value addition to agro products create a new milestone in the district. In Sukaanjan, the front yard areas of houses of farmers are utilised by vegetable cropping. This is also new introduction to the farming community.
Noted writer, journalist Homen borgohain also praised his activities in the sector with bright words. Borgohain pleased to see the faces twinkling with happiness of the farmers and encourage them by visiting surrounded by a large group of followers for several times. There is a great impact on goat up gradation that is initiated only through the ATMA project. Now he is Assistant Director in Department of Agriculture.
Hardworking with a mission for ultimate success in life Jiban Saikia has achieved a well position as an entrepreneurship. Being out from home after passing 10th standard and starting working as a dishwasher in a hotel in Guahati . He couldn’t imagine himself that he will be a owner of 3 star hotel then.
After working as dishwasher, hotel boy, waiter, he successfully completes a training programme in food and beverage in an institute for which his position uplifted to kitchen helper, chef assistant and so on. Working as a barman in the Hotel Janata Paradise in Johat for almost six months he returned to his home in Konwarpur Nakatani Gaon, Sivasagar for start his independent venture. With a friend when he set out to Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, he decided to stay in the beautiful valley and there he starts a canteen in 2008. He used to sell tea and biscuits in the nearby govt. Offices. After one year staying his luck bloomed when he met Mihin Takar , a millionaire and a successful entrepreneur. Influenced by jiban saikia’s personality and believing in his capacity, Mihin Takar hand over his newly constructed shopping complex to open a hotel taking a miraculous amount!
Afterwards he gradually developed his hotel named Valley View in the hilly town of Hapoli with the helping hands of Takar and his friend Srikanta hazarika, a furniture owner there. Now this hotel reaches to a height of six floors bringing smiles to his face alongwith hundreds of employees engaged there. Now with his wife Maya Pradhan Saikia, daughter Himadri saikia and brother Manik Saikia he becomes a popular entrepreneur in among the peoples of the neighbouring state as well Assam. Mouth watering dishes with traditional aroma he has been trying to satisfy his customers. Now he is going to establish a big resort cum heritage village owning 10 acres of land near Owhaat Tea estate, Tunijan in Lakhimpur district.
Kumar Nabajyoti, an assistant professor at DHSK Commerce College, Dibrugarh as the director-in-chief of S.I. Foundation for Media & Social Welfare, Asom’ (SIFMSWA), a well known media critic, author,and columnist in local newspapers.
A PG Diploma holder in Journalism & Mass Communication, has been counseling various media courses in an upper Assam study centre of KKHSOU, attended various media seminars/workshops etc. organized by UNICEF, KKHSOU, and other bodies served as resource person in media training programmes in Upper Assam by Gandhi Smiti Darshan Samiti, an autonomous body of Govt. of India.
Being a social minded and a good orator, his passion for creative writing credited him with six books so far: a) Samprotik (poetry), b) Dhorat Jetia Jonak Sore (Lyrics), c) Nirjanota Bhalpowa Kothabur (poetry), d) Swapna, Jukti aru Bastav (article), e) Bhasha Sahityar Bibidh Dish, f) Policek Khabar Nidibo (Anthology of transcribed short stories). Served as correspondent of many a vernacular newspaper as well as English newspaper of the State including The Eastern Clarion, Amar Asom, Ajir Dainik Batori etc. almost for one and half decade since college days. Presently contributing a media related weekly column in a local newspaper.
Through SIFMSWA, he holds meeting of journalists with public, distribution of leaflets covering media awareness, media-persons’ visit to remote and problem thronged sites, places of heritage and ethnicity etc. besides holding of talk on Communication and Journalism in different schools.
Recipient of Asom Sangha America Award conferred by Asom Sahitya Sabha, Kotha Boibhav state level literary award conferred by Natun Sur Prakashan Parishad.
Starting in a pond of her house in a little village of Nalbari district of Assam she might not knew the strokes of swimming at the age of 3, but now Monika Goswami becomes the pathfinder to popularise water sports event in the state. During the studying at school she used to practise cycling and mountaineering her love and passion led to learn rowing. In 1997 she was selected to participate in the national event of rowing championship.
After completion of the training course she represented the inter club championship in Kolkata where the Assam team become champion. In the same year the Assam team won bronze medal in sprint rowing championship held in Chennai. Gradually as her interests grow faster and challenges strengthen her mind. She took NIS training from Assam boat racing and rowing Association for which she was selected as the instructor for the state team. She improve the water sport event by using new techniques although the water space was in Assam was not sufficient to training and equipments are minimum. However the state team led by her won many medals in national as well as international level.
Monika Goswami also learns the canoeing and kayaking which are much unknown for the people of Assam. She trained a group in Dighali Pukhuri in Guwahati. She hopes that these sport events including rafting can change the sport scenario of the state. Everyone can develop these games professionally by using the large ponds and rivers, streams. These also supposed to be useful for tackle disasters like flood, for which a rescue team can formed selecting experienced players. She plans to open an academy for water adventure sports but it will be very expensive. Being an employee of Health and Family Welfare Department Govt. Of Assam she parrallaly set for an adventure to feel the turbulence of water. She had taken part as an active member in Bamboo rafting expedition in the mighty river Brahmaputra recently. For the hobby of trekking and rock climbing she also reached the top of Sandakphu and Dzongri mountains in Sikkim.
Ranjan Kumar Barua
The Karbi Anglong district of Assam is gearing up for an economic makeover with a large number of people taking to planting santalum album (Indian Sandalwood. The man behind the district sandalwood revolution is Ranjan Kumar Baruah. Joined the services in 1976, presently working as a Forest Ranger, an employee under the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, in charge of Bio-diversity cum Recreation Range.
After joining as Ranger in 2000, he got space to plant the trees in large numbers in a nursery. Initially, he started distributing them in ones and twos and then in hundreds around 2012. He has given away more than 2 lakh saplings to people.
Before starting his experiments in sandalwood at the Park, Baruah had set up an arboretum of herbal and medicinal plants. He has successfully planted more than 600 species of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in 25 hectare of area in the range, a major attraction for students, researchers. The Park, too, 27 species of Banana, 16 species of Bamboo, 10 species of cane, more than hundred species of edible plants, 25+ species of orchid etc.
In recognition to his outstanding works in the field, he was conferred with the honour of “Best Practical Forester” by the the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Authority. More about Bio-diversity cum Recreation Park, Diphu.
Dr. Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti
Dr. Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti, an author, an academic scholar, Associate Professor of Economics, Visiting Professor of Sankaradeva Studies. Life and works of Srimanta Sankaradeva constitute majority of his literary works. He is also President of global organization “Society of Srimanta Sankaradeva”.
He is deeply interested in the life and works of medieval reformer litterateur Saint Srimanta Sankaradeva, who preached an egalitarian social outlook. He is try to spread his humanitarian ideology globally by exploring his different aspects to take message globally.
He authored 56 books, including 2 novels, 5 economics books, 1 poetry, 2 political commentary, 2 literary analysis, 5 translations, 1 thesis, 5 biographies and 3 e-books. Rests of the books are on Srimanta Sankaradeva and his works. He had translated Srimanta Sankaradeva’s Bargeet and Madhavadeva’s Namghosa to English. One of his book, a biography of Srimanta Sankaradeva has been translated to Hindi too. He has written a novel based Srimanta Sankaradeva’s life.
His latest book on the saint is “Srimanta Sankaradeva: A Multi-Faced Genius”. Few other books are: Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva, English Rendering of Mahapurusha Madhavadeva’s Namghosa: The Oriental Gem, Place of Srimanta Sankaradeva in All-India Perspective, Development Issues of North East India, Sarvagunakara Srimanta Sankaradeva, Srimanta Sankaradeva: An Epoch Maker, Great Songs: English Rendering of Srimanta Sankaradeva’s Bargît, etc.
Recently he is associated with “Srimanta Sankaradeva” a 125 episode mega serial being made both in Assamese and Hindi. He had also written a few scripts for documentaries.
Sayera Rahman, a ray of hope for the differently-able person, whose second child Zafri Nawaz is afflicted with cerebral palsy. When she was in Kolkata with her son, she saw the activities at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy and she got her inspiration from there. There is a management committee where most of them are parent or family member of disable person to run the affairs of Prerona, which extend to a gamut of different areas.
Prerona, Spastic Society of Jorhat, situated at Cinnamara, is dedicated to providing education to children with various types of disability and facilitating the rehabilitation of physically handicapped people from all walks of life. Set up in 1992 on a 12-katha plot of land, the institution is affiliated to Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata (Spastic Society of Eastern India). From a small school service with few children at Ms Rahman’s house, now it has a large set up with Centre for Special Education, Residential facilities, Vocational Centre, Manpower development centre, DDRC, NOIS etc.
Prerona runs Centre for Special school and Respite care service for National trust specific disabled. . At present there are 120 disabled children who attend the school at Prerona. At Respite Care Centre there are 30 students who avail the Respite services.
Victor Banerjee (born Partha Sarathi Banerjee, 15th October 1946) is actor who appears in English, Hindi, Bengali and Assamese language films. His father, army man S.N. Banerjee, had set up Moran Blind School at Raidingia in Moran in 1971 for blind children of tea workers. Victor Banerjee single handedly raises the funds for running this school. Looking after fooding, lodging and education of 70 blind children is matter of appreciation.
Not many people know that Victor Banerjee shares a close association with the northeast India. His father S.N. Banerjee was a tea planter and grew up in different parts of Assam as his job took him there. He had the most amazing childhood in the natural surroundings of Assam. Even with his busy schedule, Victor makes it a point to visit Assam at least five to six times a year.
The versatile actor was the ambassador of Srimanta Sankaradeva Movement meant for the promotion of the lessons of the saint nation-wide. He termed Srimanta Sankaradeva as a global citizen, whose relevance of his messages has increased at the present scenario across the globe.
Assamese films acted by Victor Banerjee:-Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xipare, Jeeya Jurir Xubaax, etc.