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Snehalaya, a child friendly society moves a step ahead

Snehalaya, a social service programme of Don Bosco Society for the care, protection and ultimate social reintegration of children in distress completed thirteen years of its existence. To mark the completion of thirteen years of relentless Services to children in need of special care and protection ‘Snehalaya Day’ was observed on January 4, 2014, at Don Bosco Higher Secondary School auditorium in Guwahati, where a number of dignitary participated in the function. Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi inaugurated the function.

Snehalaya became operational on January 1, 2001. it was a millennium gift for the homeless and destitute children. On that day Fr Lukose Cheruvalel, the founder director of Snehalaya started staying at Dhirenpara area of the city in a small hut. Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa of Kolkata joined Snehalaya and the very next day a group of eight children were picked up from Guwahati railway station. However, out of the first batch of eight children, three left early preferring their free life of the streets to the disciplined life of Snehalaya. The parents of one of the five remaining boys was traced out and he was reunited with his parents. They were very grateful to Almighty and the Snehalaya for bringing back their missing son after three years. This was the first of the many reunions that Snehalaya would arrange. Fr Lukose informed the audience that the remaining four boys are still in Snehalaya studying in the High school. Two mal-nourished children were brought by the Bethany sisters from Fatasil slums of the city and two others came from near Guwahati railway station. The Childline service in Shillong, run by Bosco Reachout began sending homeless children to Snehalaya, Guwahati. Snehalaya also began sheltering the children brought by Guwahati Childline. Shortly the Snehalaya had to accommodate about twenty children in a small room. On February 14,2001 a literacy centre was opened under a tin shed for the poor children of the neighborhood. Later on it became a Jyoti Kendra under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. After the increase in the number of children, a concrete building for Snehalaya was constructed.

At present there are five Snehalaya Homes located in Guwahati city at Pan Bazar, Dhirenpara, Betkuchi, Beltola and Noonmati, forming a ‘Garland of love’ around the city so that any child in distress can find a place for short or long-term stay. A total of 200 children in these homes are looked after by a team of nearly 50 staff members. Besides providing for basic needs like food, shelter, cloths counseling and opportunities for developing their hidden talents for singing and dancing. The older children are introduces to vocational training and the world of work. The strategy is to build up the capacity of the children through education and skills training so that as young adults they will be able to stand on their own feet. There is a characteristically cheerful and friendly atmosphere in all the Snehalaya Homes. The residential staff  try to maintain a family spirit of loving relationship in each of these five homes.

Snehalaya has non-residential programmes as well. These include primary education centers, day-care, children’s Assistance Booth at the railway station and advocacy programmes for child rights. It is growing quantitatively and qualitatively to meet the challenges of marginalization of a section of youth while another section enjoys the benefits of development. Over the years the bond between Snehalaya and the state governments’ social department and UNICEF and the respectability and credibility of Snehalaya in the civil society and among the NGOs have grown.

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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Manas National Park will open from November 4

3 Nov 2009 - 12:44am | Juthika Das

Manas National Park, one of the largest park in the country. But the communication network with the park is very deplorable. Manas National Park has a glorious history with the legend of the Bodo-Kacharies, Naudari-Chikhla, but at present this National Park could not be able to keep its past glory properly. The Manas River which benevolently has enriched the beauty of the park seems to have secluded. Yet the people of Lower Assam take Pride for this Park. The Park will be open for tourists from November 4.

Story of an unpublished diamond

13 Jan 2011 - 10:32pm | Ritupallab Saikia

Real talent never goes unrewarded and it has been rightly proved by 25 year old Maneswar Barman of Golaghat. A budding boxer who has to work hard to make both the ends meet. He earns his daily leaving as a tea vendor and also carries out the duty of a night watchman at Golaghat District Sports Associations’ Office from time to time. In the recently concluded 2nd State Games held at Nagaon, surprisingly Maneswar fail to gain a berth in the Golaghat Dist. Boxing Team. But such an initial hurdle failed to let down his spirits and he later contacted the Nagaon District Sports Association to allow him to participate in the State Games from their side. The Nagaon District Sports Association very generously allowed him to join the Nagaon Dist. Boxing Team and Maneswar went on to win the gold in the 75kg category. It is to be noted that Nagaon Dist. Boxing Team bagged the 1st position while Golaghat District Boxing Team had to satisfy with the 5th position. Maneswar has been successfully representating the dist. team since 2002 in various major boxing tournaments including All India BD Chandiwala Junior Mens Boxing Tournament and All India SAI Inter Regional Boxing Championship. At present Maneswar is busy in preparing himself to leave a mark in the upcoming National Games to be held at Ranchi. At this juncture Maneswar really needs the encouragement and blessings of the people including the concerned sports authorities, otherwise such rare talents are likely to be nipped in the bud.

Goodwill meet at Haflong

2 Aug 2011 - 3:50pm | Anup Biswas


To renew and strengthen the age-old brotherhood relationship among the various communities living in the district of Dima Hasao, a goodwill meet between the representatives of Jadikhe Naiso Hosom and Hmar Impui was held under the president ship of Sri Debojeet Thaosen, Chief Executive Member, Dima Hasao Autonomous Council,at the conference hall, Haflong Circuit house on Monday (1.8.11).


The meeting is attended by Sri Depolal Hojai, Chairman, Dima Hasao Autonomous Council, Sri Kalijay Sengyung, Executive Member, Dima Hasao Autonomous Council, Mayanan Kemprai, Executive Member Dima Hasao Autonomous Council, Sri L. Hmar, Executive Member, Dima Hasao Autonomous Council, Sri Dethang Naiding, President Jadikhe Naiso Hosom along with other members and Sri Vairiemsiem Varte, along with other members of Hmar Impui.


All the speakers opined to maintain brotherhood relation among each and every community living in the district for the over all development of the district. They also cautioned not to be misled by some evil force’s mis-propaganda rather to work unitedly for the development of the district as their own homeland. Some other said there has been conspiracy of some agencies to divide them raising various issues to full fill their aims. This should not be allowed to happen at any cost, they suggested.


Sri Vairiemsiem Varte, Hmar Impui talking to the media said ‘it’s a good beginning’ while appreciating the positive gesture of the Chief Executive Member, DHAC Sri Debojeet Thaosen. Sri Dethang Naiding, President, Jadikhe Naiso Hosom (Dimasa Apex Body) expressing his satisfaction, said this should be a continuous process of maintaining cordial relation with each community member, then only, a permanent and everlasting peace could be established.