By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 8: Meet this successful man, Akon Saikia (51) who has reestablished the fact that the very essence of education is not ‘literacy’ and for scaling a height one has a whole lot of ‘altertive ladders’. His is a tale of rags to riches.
Akon Saikia, hailing from Biswath Chariali in Assam, has no formal education. Ismuch as his informal education is concerned, this reporter has no means to gauge that. At the age of 16 in 1983, Saikia fled his parental home at Biswath Chariali to Gerukamukh. He started working in a restaurant – doing dishes and whatnot. From there he left for Shillong where he had to work in a garage at night and carrying water for households during the day. He also had to work as a daily-wage earner. He also worked in slaughter houses in the neighbouring State. As though to leave an imprint in all sorts of works, he worked as a vendor, selling fried gram and other munchies.
On April 18, 1986 Akon Saikia wedded Mikshi Gohain of Gogamukh in Assam. “Even after marriage I had to face many problems, but then we’re two to face them. When I failed to get settled in anything, I bought a plot of land in Guwahati by taking bank loan. I stepped into real estate business – erecting flats and selling them,” Saikia said.
Saikia then started tea plantation as a small tea grower, purchased vehicles and gave them on hired basis. A lot of such works helped him mint money.
Akon is also an established social activist now. With his generous dotions over 100 amghars, two masjids and two schools have been erected in the State, besides doting land for a junior college, the Assam Press Correspondents’ Union (APCU) for its Guwahati office and a amghar. He also helped over 300 poor students by shouldering their education cost, besides ebling over 500 eye patients getting treatment.
Recognition of his good works kept coming in the form of Bipod Bandhu Bota from the Sadou Asom t Somaroh, 2018; Mab Hitoishi Bota from Pokhiraj tya Gosth of Tezpur in its silver jubilee year, an award from Baghmari Muslim Somaj, Biswath Muslim Samaj, Biswath Chariali Nepali Somaj, numbering around forty. When asked as to how he could make his tale of ‘rags to riches’ a success, Saikia said: “I have a wish to do all sorts of works. All that work I did paid me off. I had to work hard to earn an honest fortune. I did not do any harm to anybody. Maybe, God is pleased at that.”
Saikia has a son and a girl. While the son did BBA and looking after their family business at Biswath Chariali, the girl is doing her Ph.D.
He was given away the noted social worker award by Baxa Xahitya Gosthi on Sunday at Guwahati Press Club.