Welcome to Assam the land of unseen natural beauty.Red rivers,blue hills, breathtaking scenes, hospitable people, various rare species of animals and birds including rhino and herds of wild elephants will greet you and you will fall in love them and to stay here longer and longer...
A high level delegation of Udalguri district administration visited Sapangaon JFMC (Joint Forest Management Committee)forest near Indo-Bhutan border at Sapangaon on April 9 recently to study and suggest its up gradation to an eco-tourism hot spot. The delegation included Sadhana Hojai,Deputy Commissioner,Udalguri; Girindra Adhikari,DFO, Raju Kumar Brahma,ACF of Dhansiri Forest Division and Jayanta Kumar Das, Hony. Wildlife Warden,Assam.The delegation along with the visiting environmental workers visited the 5 Sq KM picturesque man-made forest and had a discussion with the JFMC members and media persons to chalk out measures to make JFMC Sapangaon a world famous place of positive environmental movement.The Deputy Commissioner advised the JFMC members to plant bamboo,lemon,orange,peeper on commercial basis.The DC also advised the DFO to arrange training of bamboo plantation and craft for the members of the JFMC. The DC also assured that students of various schools of Udalguri district would be taken to JFMC Sapangaon under Jyan Yatra scheme of the government so as to make the students understand the necessity of conservation of flora and fauna.
It needs mention that six villages on the India-Bhutan border at Bhairabkunda joined hands with the Forest Department in successfully regenerating a stretch of barren sandy forest land. The results of this quiet community initiative done under joint forest management (JFMC) are evident with the regenerated forest expanse of 5 sq KM already emerging as a shelter of wild animals and birds. The 22.24 sq KM Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest (RF)was left without a single tree by the early 1980s due to rampant illegal logging. Afforestation drive by forest Deptt. in association of people of six villages namely- Sonaigaon, Goroimari, Bhairabpur, Sapangaon,No.1 Mazargaon and No.2 Mazargaon started in April 2007 and within six years a spectacular man made forest known as JFMC forest has grown up at Sapangaon by converting plot of barren sandy lands measuring 500 hectare (5 sq KM) in to a new picturesque forest by planting khoir,gomari,simul,shisum etc near Dhansiri river,very close to Bhutan and Arunachal. Thaneswar Malakar,former DC of Udalguri sanctioned an amount of rupees five lakhs for the construction of a guest house for visitors.
Conservation activists hoped that the place would draw the attention of tourists all over the world,if government developed infrastructure of the area. The regenerated forest land now has rich vegetation and has given shelter to wild elephants, deer, monkeys,leopard,bears etc beside various species of flora.A small river with several canals -a few of those man made runs throughout the forest ,providing replenishment for the green cover.
So said eminent scholar and writer of Assam Homen Borgohain at a felicitation ceremony in Borangajuli Satra at Dimakuchi on April 8. Borgohain was felicitated at Sankari Kala Kristi Bhawan,Dimakuchi along with writer Thaneswar Malakar ( former Deputy Commissioner,Udalguri) and noted businessman Mohan Jalan owner of JBs group.They had an interactive session with Bhakat Siromoni Harekrishna Mahanta Ata,founder of Borangajuli Satra and winner of Pitambar Debgoswami National Award at 11 am. Borgohain also planted a sapling at the Satra premises before the felicitation ceremony. Borgohain and other two people were felicitated with gamocha,japi,xorai and arnai each.
Noted writer Thaneswar Malakar thanked Harekrishna Mahanta Ata for inviting Borgohain to remote Dimakuchi near India Bhutan international border. He remarked that Bogohain had been the most discussed respected man in the state. He requested people to study his books so as to conquer mental depression. Mentioning about Bap Harekrishna Mahanta Ata,who had established 27 Satras in Udalguri district infested with violence,extortion,man-elephant conflict etc.
Borgohain while speaking was in all praise for Mahanta Ata,who at the age of 88 years is busy in his never ending mission of charity at a time when most other people have been running after wealth and personal comfort.He remarked that what Sankardev had introduced six hundred years back has now been forgotten by his present day followers. He specially thanked Mahanta Ata and Borangajuli Satra saying that had Mahanta Ata had been there in Majuli, Missing people wouldnot have converted into Christianity. According to him only Mahanta Ata has practically implemented ideologies of Sankardev by uniting people of all backward communities including Bodo,Rabha,Adivasi etc.in Borangajuli Satra. It needs mention that the Satra which was established in 1953 has now been run by a management committee headed by Suk Ram Boro and other tribal and Adivasi people. Referring to present day politics,Borgohain remarked that politicians of today want to reform the country forgetting to reform themselves.He expressed his displeasure at the activities of most of the present day politicians of India.
The felicitation ceremony was also addressed by Bhakat Siromoni Harekrishna Mahanta Ata, Gopal Jalan,Bipul Barchang etc. Suk Ram Boro,president of the Satra management committee offered vote of thanks at the end. Later Borgohain along with Thaneswar Malakar visited Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary in the afternoon and talked to forest personnel stationed there.
In view of the ensuing LS poll in the state election commission has engaged students to create awareness among voters to franchise their valuable votes for a stronger democracy. On the occasion Udalguri district administration organised debate competition at various schools and colleges on April 4 in the district.The topic of the debate was “Right to vote is basic duty of a citizen” (for school level) and “Why should I cast the vote” (for college level).Schools of Kalaigaon organised debate competition among students. On April 5, students of various schools of Kalaigaon namely- Kalaigaon Girls HS, Kalaigaon Secondary School, Bholabari HS, Sunjwrang HS,Tengabari HS,Kalaigaon Madrasa HS took out huge bi-cycle rally at 10 am. Thousands of school students holding play cards and banners toured various roads of Kalaigaon town requesting people to cast their valuable votes. The cyclists finally assembled at Kalaigaon Revenue Circle premises where they were addressed by Dinamoni Das,ERO,65 Kalaigaon LAC. The ERO explained about the necessity of casting votes. He said that although students do not vote ,but can motivate other voters including their parents to cast votes in favour of honest candidates for a corruption free democracy. RL Sinha,Senior BDO,Kalaigaon and Kamal Prasad Sarma,Mouzadar, Kalaigaon also spoke on the occasion.The wole activity in the district was sponsored by Sadhana Hojai,ARO,8 Mangaldai HPC cum Deputy Commissioner,Udalguri and Dr.Bhupen Das,Inspector of Schools,Udalguri.
A block level science based competition was organised at Kalaigaon Girls High School on March 15 with day long programme. Aryabhatta science Centre Kalaigaon Block,under the aegis of ASTEC (Assam Science Technology & Environment Council),Guwahati organised the programme in association with Kalaigaon Girls High School. Students and teachers of schools from Tangla and Kalaigaon, namely- Arunodoi Academy,Tangla; Tangla English Medium High School; Tangla Adarsha Bidyapith,Kalaigaon Girls High School, Kalaigaon Girls MV School,Lokapriya Bordoloi Public School,Kalaigaon;Bright Life English High School,Kalaigaon and Pride Academy,Kalaigaon participated in science based- poster drawing, extempore speech and science model competition.A total of twelve numbers of spectacular science models were displayed by the students. Kandeswar Deka,former principal of Kalaigaon HS School and president of SMDC of Kalaigaon Girls HS hoisted the Aryabhatta flag at 10 AM before inagurating the competitions.On the occasion he requested people particularly the students and teachers to take advantage of the latest electronic devices to enrich knowledge for welfare and development.A few distinguished people namely- Kamal Prasad Sarma,Mouzadar,Kalaigaon attended the session as the invited guest while Diganta Kalita and Lohit Deka attended as judges.
In science based extempore speech competition- Rimjim Chaliha (Arunodoi Academy, Tangla) won first prize while Usha Rani Rabha ( TEMHS,Tangla) and Sapna Barhoi ( Bright Life English School,Kalaigaon) won second and third prizes.In science based poster drawing competition -Prastuti Parashar (Bright Life English School,Kalaigaon ) won first prize ,while Tribeni Sarma ( Tangla Adarsha Bidyapith ) and Himanta Biswa Deka ( Arunodoi Academy,Tangla) won second and third prizes. In the science based model competition- Moitreyee Sarma and Bhupali Kashyap ( Tangla Adarsha Bidyapith) won first prize while Monpreet Kaur and Henrita Boro ( Arunodoi Academy,Tangla) and Dolly Saharia ( Kalaigaon Girls High School ) won second and third prizes.All the winners will take part in the district level science competition to be held at Udalguri in the month of April this year under the supervision of Udalguri district administration. The winner of science based extempore speech competition Rimjim Chaliha has been qualified to join the exposure tour to Science City in Kolkata to be organised by ASTEC in coming months along with other winners from other blocks of the state.
Incredible,but true. Nearly 6000 people in 926 families, inhabitants of three villages namely- Laika Pomua,Laika Pasidia and Laika Rigobi in the core area of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park are still living in primitive life style. They see electricity,hospitals,banks,markets,vehicles,roads etc only in dreams. The seriously ill people die a natural death as they never see a doctor in the far remote lands surrounded by rivers.
If you want to visit these forbidden lands,start from Tinsukia to Guijan Ghat on the bank of Diboru river. There at the Guijan Forest Range office you can meet Sri KK Kachari,hard working wildlife loving Range Officer of Guijan Range. You can stay or be refreshed in Banasree Resort run by your known forest friend Joinal Abedin (Benu).You can cross Diboru river by small boats or by forest motor boats. And you start your journey on foot through zigzag narrorw tracks crossing several rivers. The scenery around is breathtaking as you can feel touch of nature amidst loneliness.After a marathon 15 KM walk three Missing villages will greet you. The people have been living in the three forest villages in the core of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park since 1950. According to Jagat Lagacha,(Gaonbura) the villages used to rear more than lakh cattle for which most of the vegetation are destroyed year after year. Thick forest cannot grow there because of the thousand grazing cattle causing massive deforestation.
Cattle rearing and fishing are their only occupation. But they have been exploited by syndicate members. They are compelled to sell local fish @ Rs.50 or 60 per kg to the syndicate members at Guijan Ghat or at Tinsukia town while the price is Rs. 200 outside.They are forced to sell fishes or other products at the price fixed by syndicate members.
The villagers realizing their sad plight offered to come out of the National Park on March 5 in 1999. They requested Assam government through DC and DFO of Tinsukia for rehabilitation and compensation in other places namely- Jagun or Nampai. But the never ending government process wrapped in red tape have sealed the plight of nearly six thousand innocent people still living in primitive style.But they still hope that government will complete the process of rehabilitation and compensation so as to start a new life like other people.
Kalpana Patowary (Assamese: কল্পনা পাটোৱাৰী) (musician/singer/composer/recording artist/ record producer) disciple of legendary Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan and influenced by Dr Bhupen Hazarika, the 'Bard of Brahmaputra' geographically hails from Assam. Trained in Assamese folk by her folksinger father Bipin Patowary and Indian Classical music, Kalpana Patowary blessed with a stunning five-octave range and signature vocal abilities, has been hailed as a prodigy in the world of Bhojpuri music. “She gave Bhojpuri Music a new twist”. Critic wrote that she changed the art of Bhojpuri vocals. Very few people know that Kalpana Patowary is as versatile that she justifies or renders both in raw folk forms as well as western singing.Kalpana Patowary’s music genre is about primitive-acoustic folk with some trace of Indian classical music, ambient electronic and new age jazz - fusion. Her first language is Assamese but she sings in Bhojpuri, Hindi, Bengali, English and 25 other languages with around 9000 songs to her credit. She is deeply rooted in nirgun, purvi, kajree, pachra(devi geet, sohar, vivaah geet, chaita, nautanki, bihu, goalporia folk and many other folk forms from UP - Bihar and presented in a new way to the world.
The Assam Environmental NGO Forum comprising of thirty environmental NGOs of the state working for the conservation of flora and fauna of Assam and NE region in its annual session appealed Supreme Court of India to establish a permanent bench of Green Tribunal in Guwahati city for Assam and NE states in view of the deteriorating deforestation. The annual session was held at Bhagawati Prasad Barua Bhawan of Assam Sahitya Sabha in the city on January 19. The annual session was presided over by noted environmentalist Moloy Barua. Green Reporter Mubina Akhtar also the co-ordinator of the the forum in her welcome speech thanked its member NGOs for doing conservation activities including fight for the protection of rhinos and wild elephants in the state.The forum members after detailed discussion adopted the following important resolutions for the speedy conservation betterment.
Firstly,the forum requests Hon'ble Supreme Court of India to open a permanent bench of its Green Tribunal in Guwahati for NE region. Secondly,the forum opposes allotment of forest and wetlands in Guwahati and in the state. The forum said that allotments of wetlands and hills in Guwahati must be scrapped immediately and government must evict all including social organisations which had been allotted such lands by goverments.Thirdly the forum requests Assam government to allot lands to people who had been residing in Dibru-Saikhaowa National Park since 1950 ( forest villages) as the people were willing to vaccate their villages in the greater interest of Dibru-Saikhaowa NP. Its need to mention that three forest villages inside Dibru-Saikhaowa NP had been willing to vaccate NP villages in the greater interest of the National Park.
The annual session of Assam Environmental Forum also felicitated noted conservationist Jadab Payeng, who had already won laurels for conservation in international level.
The 46th annual convention of All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) concluded at Bhergaon on January 12.The four days convention was held at “ Beher Fwthar” which witnessed thousands visiting each day to see exhibition and other activities like sports,culture etc. The most important matter was to observe discipline and punctuality.Seven hundred volunteers showed good example of discipline and obedience to other organisations. Not a single police person was seen doing controlling traffic duty.
200 stalls comprising agriculture, horticulture, hand loom & textiles, ethnic food, and various local products could very well draw attention of the people.On the concluding day of the convention a grand cultural rally was inaugurated by Bidyasagar Narzary, Director, Public Information,New Delhi. The open session was held at 12 noon which was presided over by the student body's president Pramod Boro. Renowned social worker and leader of Mujdur Kishan Sakti Sangathan Nikhil Dey attended the open session as the chief guest while Taren Boro of Bodo Sahitya Sabha; D Ramakrishna Reddy, Convenor ,Joint Action Committee Telengana addressed the session as the appointed speakers. Sanjay Nahar,Director SARHD, Pune was the special guest. Presidents of various students organisations of NE namely – Tiwa,Mising. Rabha,Dimasa, Gurkha, Sarania Kachari,Barman Kachari,Hajong etc also attended the open session as the guest of honour. The annual convention adopted a few important resolutions.
Accordingly, ABSU decided to support good candidates in the ensuing LS polls in Assam; 1000 hours bandhs or do or die movement if Bodoland problems are not solved by centre in time; requested centre to introduce a Bodoland Express trains form North Lakhimpur to New Delhi and other important places of the country; special activities by its members from February this year for checking deforestation,encroachment and killing of wild animals and birds etc.
The 46th annual convention of ABSU will be held at sleepy Bhergaon town from nearly 100 KM grom state capital Guwahati from 9 to 12 January this year. People of Bhergaon as well as people of Udalguri district now seem to be busy to welcome as many as six thousand delegates from various place of India as well as from Nepal and Bhutan. Seven hundred volunteers both boys and girls drawn form various place of the district have been busy receiving hard training since December,2013 under the command of ABSU leader Daobaisa Boro. The reception committee headed by Kulen Boro,president and Dipen Mushahary,secretary told media that an area of land measuring 400 bigha has been converted into a spectacular venue of the ABSU convention named as “ Beher Fwthar”. The 220 feet long and 175 feet wide main pandal is nearly ready which will accommodate approximately ten thousand people.The temporary dining hall has been ready with sitting capacity of 2000 people at a time.A budget of rupees seven million has been prepared for the successful completion of the four day convention.
Upen Boro Narzy, chairman of the exhibition and book fair sub-committee also told this correspondent that the exhibition would accommodate 200 stalls comprising agriculture, horticulture, hand loom & textiles, ethnic food, and various local products. The venue of the exhibition has been beautifully decorated with artificial streams and bridges. The cultural stage designed like a h0use japi has been the attraction to all where artists from various ethnic groups of NE will perform their traditional culture.On the opening day on January 9 all main gates,venues, stages, pandals dining hall, volunteer camps , exhibition, book fair etc will be inaugurated while next day ie on January 10 various sports,literary and cultural competitions will be held to be followed by the central working committee meeting. On the third day on January 11,Pramod Boro,President ABSU ceremonially will hoist the ABSU flag along with other 28 district level flags at 7-30 am followed by a Peace March, “ Jono Jagoron, Jona Setona for peace,unity and violence free Bodoland”.
A five language, 300 page souvenir named - “Behersrwn” edited by Praneswar Boro and Karna Ram Boro will be inaugurated by Thaneswar Malakar,Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri at 10.30 am. On the concluding day ie on January 12. the grand cultural rally will be flagged off at 9 am by Bidyasagar Narzary, Director,Public Informations,new Delhi. The open session will be held at 12 noon which will be presided over by Pramod Boro, President ABSU. Several distinguished people of the country will also attend the open session as invited guests.
In a development that hold hopes for long term conservation amid the gloom of large scale deforestation in Assam specially in violence infested Udalguri district, villagers of six villages on the India-Bhutan border at Bhairabkunda joined hands successfully regenerating a stretch of barren sandy forest land. The results of this quiet community initiative done under joint forest management (JFMC) are evident with the regenerated forest expanse of 5 sq KM already emerging as a shelter of wild animals and birds. The 22.24 sq KM Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest (RF)was left without a single tree by the early 1980s due to rampant illegal logging. Afforestation drive by forest Deptt. in association of people of six villages namely- Sonaigaon, Bhairabpur,Goroimari, Sapangaon, No.1 Mazargaon and No.2 Mazargaon started in April 2007 and within five years a spectacular man made forest known as JFMC forest has grown up at Sapangaon by converting plot of barren sandy lands measuring 500 hectare (5 sq KM) in to a new picturesque forest by planting khoir,gomari,simul,shisum etc near Dhansiri river,very close to Bhutan and Arunachal.
Conservation activists hoped that the place would draw the attention of tourists all over the world,if government developed infrastructure of the area. The regenerated forest land now has rich vegetation and has given shelter to wild elephants, deer, monkeys, leopard, bears etc beside various species of flora.A small river with several canals -a few of those man made runs throughout the forest ,providing replenishment for the green cover.They have already planted more than ten lakhs of saplings in the man made forest. Nature loving office bearers of JFMC,namely Esmail Daimari,Elision Daimari, Lenin Daimari, Bimal Daimari, Purna Daimari,Atul Basumatari,Prenson Daimari,Pilup Daimari, Alfred Daimari, Helena Basumatari and Someswari Daimari believe that with some support from Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) the area can be developed as an ideal eco- tourism hub. With rivers criss-crossing the verdant Assam-Bhutan-Arunachal border and the Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest providing some undulating trekking trails ,there is a definite scope for promoting tourism. Although the forest has been recognized as an ideal place for shooting of films or documentaries etc, but infrastructure bottlenecks like absence of light,toilet or accommodation etc have compelled producers or interested persons to go to other locations. Nature loving people of Udalguri including members of the JFMC hope that, BTC authority,district administration,forest department would come forward for accommodation and sanitation facilities in the greater interest of eco-tourism prospect in the district.Its great to see the villagers working in the forest day and night forgetting even their own families.Can we spare time to meet and encourage them?