FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SIVASAGAR, Nov 13: A team of IKEA Foundation and UNICEF, India visited Nazira block of Sivasagar district, Assam as a part of their monitoring visit recently. They visited Nazira Girls’ Higher Secondary School to review the life skills education imparted to the school going children. The students demonstrated activities on disaster risk reduction, awareness on HIV and effective communication. The team comprising of Nayana Chowdhury, Programme Manager, IKEA Foundation, Nikhil Kaushal, Manna Biswas, Child Protection Officer and Veena Kumari, Communication for Development Officer, Assam also visited Betoni Chapori, Nazira to interact with the Child Protection Committee and parents groups.
They discussed local issues like alcoholism, substance abuse, child marriage, child labour and school drop-outs. The visitors also interacted with a group of adolescents who are registered under adolescent groups and attend weekly sessions facilitated by the local NGO Kiran. Few adolescent young reporters and young photographers trained by the district children and Adolescent Cell, Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Sivasagar supported by UNICEF were also present in the session.
The young reporters shared their stories of empowerment by writing news stories of their areas for the Mukta Akash block wallpaper and newsletter. The interaction session with adolescents was followed by folklore performances at the Maduri Tea Estate. Two adolescents facilitated the performances and group of adolescents performed on diha naam, Bihu and jhummur. The folk songs sung by the adolescents disseminated messages on various social issues of the area like anaemia, school drop-out, child marriage and alcoholism. A total of 786 adolescents of Sivasagar district have been trained in using folklore forms like diha naam, biya naam, Nisukoni Geet, zikir and jhummur with the objective to revive traditional folk forms of the State along with community messaging. The visitors appreciated the initiatives of the district administration, Sivasagar, supported by UNICEF.
The pivotal visit of the team of IKEA Foundation and UNICEF, India was followed by a meeting with the staff members of district administration, Sivasagar on November 9. The meeting was presided over by the Deputy Commissioner of Sivasagar, Narayan Konwar. He provided a glimpse of the project implementation and the initiatives taken up the district administration for the welfare of the adolescents and the community at large. He asserted that development and the welfare of the society could be possible if the administration was supported by the technical expertise of organizations like IKEA Foundation and UNICEF.