Kaibartas conclave stresses on unity and solidarity
SILCHAR, Feb 15: A massive conclave of the Kaibartas held close to the ground by the side of tiol Highway of Silchar on Sunday focused on various issues related to their community. Organized by Kaibarta Mahasabha the biggest ever meet of the community was presided over by Pabitra Das, a social activist, and addressed by Suryokanta Sarkar, Nishikanta Sarkar, president, Kaibarta Mahasabha central committee, Jyotilal Das, working president, Titon Das, secretary, Lalbasi Das, general secretary, and Bishwapratim Das among others. The overflowing gathering from different habitations gave the indication that the community people have become awakened and alive to their problems and it was high time to decide their own course of action.
Nishikanta Sarkar said the conclave has been convened to discuss the socio-economic issues faced by the community scattered in various locations of this Barak Valley. Around three lakh people of this community continue to reel under economic and social backwardness. In order to give a new direction and dimension for their uplift, the saner sections have decided to form a large and comprehensive body. Besides, decision has been taken to bring out a mouthpiece under the me and style of 'Samaj Darpan'.
Lalbasi Das explained that in course of time all the members of this community would be included under Mahasabha to share their views and opinions for more effective articulation of the issues for resolutions. Presently, they are engaged in fishery and as daily wage earners. In fact, Kaibarta may refer to Haliya Kaibarta, a Bengali Hindu agricultural caste called Mahisya as well as Jaliya Kaibarta, a Bengali Hindu fishing caste. Jalia Kaibarta, traditiolly engaged in the occupation of fishing and origilly belongs to the states of Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and eastern Bihar. Kaibartas are categorized as a scheduled caste.
Though they are a backward community, their literacy is 50%. They have been fighting for better health services, educatiol facilities, cultural advancement and most important employment. They are in most cases neglected and deprived. They sustain and maintain themselves through their hard labour. During rainy season, their main source of living is fishing and Kaibartas are seen spreading their nets from the boats in the flooded waters.
Speakers expressed their unhappiness at the fact that in spite of all their potentiality, ability and capability they are often neglected and face difficulty in becoming a part of the socio-economic programmes for which these are formulated and implemented. The Mahasabha has sent the message that Kaibartas will no more be taken for granted. The next conclave is planned either before or after the assembly elections, according to a member of the Mahasabha.