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Agarwood seized

Jakhalabandha Police arrests two persons with 22 bags agarwoods in Jakhalabandha, Nagaon district on Monday.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 11:00

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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.

Career guidance programme at Aspire

28 Dec 2017 - 10:19pm | AT News Guwahati

Sonapur: With  a view to creating awareness on career options and opportunities, a career counselling cum guidance programme was organised by Aspire, an institute of coaching at its campus recently in Sonapur marking the second foundation day of the institute.

Ranjan K Baruah from North East Youth Foundation was the resource person who spoke on different attributes of career planning apart from informing students related to career options. 

The foundation day has been organised with cultural programme by different students of the locality.  Juri Devi Goswami, Principal of Sonapur H. S School was another guest who had also spoke on the occasion and encouraged the participating students.


Guests also distributed prizes of drawing competition organised on the occasion of foundation day amongst school and college students. 

Fiscal closing is Assam’s beginning

12 Jul 2009 - 11:43pm | Daya Nath Singh

March month is the closing of fiscal, but the Assam government plans to begin the implementation of developmental schemes during this very month alone. An example of such action has been found in the disastrous flood and erosion problems in Matmara recently. Giving brief picture of the recent flood problems affecting Matmara, Dhakuakhana and Majuli areas of the state to media persons recently, the All Assam Water Resources Contractors’ Association (AAWRCA), alleged that ignoring the suggestions by the organization, the government had gone out of the way to implement the schemes of flood control and erosion, resulting in such calamities. The organization’s president, Muhi Bargohain, along with other office bearers, said that the contractors had suggested in the past, to implement the schemes based on their experience, repeatedly and for this they had to resort to agitations also. In response to their demands the government had given some ‘vague assurances,’ but most of the demands were ignored, resulting in Matmara like serious situation. Repeating their suggestions they said that delayed implementation of schemes could not be useful any way. Delay in starting works and doing dyke repairs etc; just before the rainy season has become a ‘tradition in this state’. The government’s decision in respect of repairing of Matmara dyke was an example of such action. In its reaction to the media reports in respect of Matmara dyke repairing works, the AAWRCA said, although the organization had resolved to begin agitation for fulfillment of their various demands, it had welcomed the decision of government to give work order to a foreign company in the interest of the people of the state. But after the name of a foreign company, the contractors’ organization was surprised to note that there was some ‘conspiracy by vested interests’ in the matter. If there did no such understand no company could have taken responsibility of beginning the serious work like Matmara dye at the end of March month? Although the approval of a scheme is the responsibility of the government, its implementation is done by executive department. For the permanent solution to Matmara dyke work the Central government had sanctioned Rs142 crore schemes, which is the only achievement of the state government. For this the contractors’ organization has hailed the state government. But it had doubt on implementation of the scheme, as in such a short time just before the rainy season it was not likely to be completed even if it was given to local or a foreign company. The delayed approval of scheme under the National Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) too was the cause of concern for the successful implementation. After the state finance and revenue departments’ approval and departmental processing, the rainy season already knocking the door, the organization members said. They further added that in the year 2008-09 under CRF scheme implementation revenue department approval was delayed, for which certain schemes were held up. Anomalies had been observed in respect of release of fund by district officials even after the completion of works in the past. Without having land acquisition the implementation of schemes had created a number of problems. Without going through the details of the schemes some wrong information had also been given to the media. In the year 2008-09, in total 73 schemes were approved, which was valued at Rs 432 crore, out of which the Union government’s share was Rs 180 crore and the state’s Rs.20 crore totaling Rs200 crore. In the meantime, the Central government has released fifty per cent of its share i.e.Rs.90 crore and the balance 90 crore has not been released as yet. The contractors’ association has already completed about 80 percent work and 20 percent is yet to be done. Interestingly, in the Central budget for the current year, there is no provision for last year’s balance amount or Rs.232 crore. The contractors have to suffer due to non-payment of their balance amount even after completion of the work and the chief executive of the water resource department has to be held responsible for this. they said. In addition to all this the govt had to lose Rs.30 crore due to misleading works by the department for which the AAWRCA has demanded a thorough enquiry.