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Ray of hope for family of Dulal Sarma, an unsung hero

Our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, May 20: Though the poor plight and sufferings of Krishna Sarma- widow of Dulal Sarma, failed to reach the State government, political parties like AGP and even the leaders of AASU, immediately after coming to know about her sufferings, hurriedly rushed to village Mandakata near North Guwahati and offered money as a mark of solidarity to the family members of Dulal Sarma.

They are an employee of the Ministry of Textiles, Leelawati Deka Barua, businessman Dinesh Sarma, originally of Uttar Pradesh, and Ajit Rajbongshi. On Saturday, they met Krishna Sarma and offered her financial assistance. Leelawati Deka Barua and her husband Achyut Barua also assured to construct a bust of Dulal Sarma on a suitable plot of land at Mandakata.

Leelawati Deka Barua too joined the oil blockade movement during the Assam Agitation and on April 23, 1980, she had witnessed how Dulal Sarma wrote Tez Dim, Tel Nidio with his blood at Chandmari in Guwahati
Members of Mangaldai Media Circle, Hitesh Hazarika, Ganesh Dutta, Hemanta Kumar Barua and Bhargab Kumar Das, former activist of the Assam Movement, Hiren Saharia, both the members of Kamrup (Rural) Zila Parishad, Jon Gogoi Boro of Saraighat ZPC and Chandana Mahanta Bania of Bezera ZPC, and social activist Mantu Boro of Changsari were also present in the function.

During the peak hour of the Assam Agitation, on April 23, 1980, Dulal Sarma – a youth of Kalaigaon – gave a new dimension to the ‘oil blockade’ movement by writing Tez Dim, Tel Nidio (I shall give blood, but not oil) with his blood. The State government on April 18 had imposed curfew in Guwahati following atrocities on the peaceful picketers at Narengi who were opposing the transportation of crude oil from Assam. Early morning on April 19, lakhs of people coming from different parts of the city and outskirts spontaneously came out on the streets to defy the curfew, thereby creating a record in the history of the Assam Agitation. The agitated sea of protesters, including women, marched forward to Narengi to continue the picketing with more strength and enthusiasm. Thousands of supporters from different places of the State started to make a beeline to Guwahati to join the picketing and road blockade.

Dulal Sarma later returned to his native village but due to their poor financial condition he started to search for some employment and in 1982, Executive Engineer Ganesh Changkakoty of the Water Resources Department offered him a post of khalasi and he worked there till his death on April 16, 2001. In 1987, Dulal Sarma married Krishna Sarma and got settled in a very small plot of land donated by his father-in-law at Choudhury Chuba at Mandakata Bazar in North Guwahati under Jalukbari LAC.

Dulal Sarma’s sacrifice added a new enthusiasm and emotion to the Assam Agitation but till date not a single leader of the Assam Agitation, the leaders of the AGP or the BJP have visited the family members. The schemes declared for the activists of the Assam Agitation too failed to reach the family members of Dulal Sarma. However, the All Guwahati Students’ Union few years had constructed a memorial at Chandmari inscribing Tez Dim, Tel Nidio, mentioning his name but without his address, which often creates confusion about the proper identity of this ‘unsung hero’.
Last year Hrishikesh Goswami, the media adviser to the Chief Minister, had asked the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (rural) district to offer a plot of suitable land, a dwelling house and drinking water facility to Krishna Sarma. But though one year has passed, the district administration of Kamrup (rural) is yet to take any initiative.