From a Correspondent
TEZPUR, April 12: A group of Class XI students from Belgium recently visited Assam in order to understand the problems of the margilized children living in some remote rural and tea garden areas in Tezpur and the periphery areas.
The 36-member team comprising both students studying in Class XI and their teachers from St. Josephs’ College- AALST-Flanders, Belgium located some 25 km away from Brussels, after visiting a good number of schools and some rural areas and tea garden areas, interacted with this correspondent and said that it was very unfortute that even in the 21st century world many children in tea garden and remote rural areas in Assam were being deprived of education, and proper health and hygiene facilities.
The students’ group led by Demuynck Walter was hosted here by a missiory organization Ga Cheta Samaj located at Hajarapar area. They shared their experience of working for the disadvantaged children of the society and said that margility was an experience that affected millions of people throughout the world. People who are margilized have relatively little control over their lives, and the resources available to them. “This results in making them handicapped in delving contribution to society. A vicious circle is set up whereby their lack of positive and supportive relationships means that they are prevented from participating in local life, which in turn leads to further isolation. This has a tremendous impact on development of human beings, as well as on society at large. As the objective of development is to create an ebling environment for people to enjoy a productive, healthy, and creative life, it is important to address the issue of margilization,” they said adding that development is always broadly conceived in terms of mass participation.
The group visiting the region with the purpose of knowing the activities of Jesuit run educatiol institutions, social and developmental centres in and around Tezpur and also to see the living reality of the people in India and specifically of Assam and help the people for development further mentioned that margilization deprives a large majority of people across the globe from participating in the development.
Ga Cheta Samaj run by Father Xavier Lakra, Thomas Barla and Anup Minz has been providing yeomen service to the margilized sections of the society. One of the students of the group, Maarten Goubert said that the culture and heritage and the climate of Assam have impressed them a lot but seeing the condition of children in the rural and tea garden areas in Assam provided a very tragic picture. “After going back to our country we will collect money for the cause of these margilized children and send to Ga Cheta Samaj for spending for the cause of these children,” he said.
The group visited Kaziranga tiol Park, Assam Valley School, St. John School, Balipara, and St. Xavier’s College, Sobeel, and interacted with the students and teachers. They also visited village areas in Missamari and met different ethnic communities such as Bodo, Nepali, Assamese and Adivasi. They also visited a handloom and tailoring training centre of Ga Cheta Samaj at Banderhagi village in Missamari, a tea factory and Tezpur Social Service Society (TSSS) at Dholaibeel. “It was a very fruitful visit for us,” they said. Expressing their views on Assam and the Assamese people they said that the people of Assam were very hospitable, peace loving and harmonious.