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SEWA: Working for the less fortute

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 Jan 2015 12:00 AM GMT

SUBHALAKSHMI GOGOI

DIBRUGARH, January 25: The acronym of the organization stands for what it does. The Socio–Educatiol Welfare Association, more popularly known as SEWA, has been serving people, especially the less fortute, since its inception 15 years back.

The NGO is the dream child of Shanti Gogoi, wife of Keshab Chandra Gogoi, who served as Chief Minister of Assam for a very brief span. A room in her residence continues to be used as its office. SEWA became a reality during a meeting held on April 23, 2000. Shanti Gogoi was chosen as the chairperson and Altaf Hussain as general secretary. The organization’s vision is of a society where the community is capable of and takes charge of its own development through facilitative support from the civil society organizations. The mission statement goes as ‘Creating space for the community to develop itself through sustained social mobilization intervention towards all round development on an equal platform, thereby ensuring economic social and intellectual empowerment and improvement in the physical quality of life.’

Since its inception, SEWA has worked in the spheres of literacy, community based flood risk magement and livelihood, women empowerment and promotion of women SHG (self–help group). Under the SEWA Starbucks Project, the organization extends vocatiol training to dropout youths in different industrial training institutes and runs coaching centres for students of classes IX and X, as part of School Education Retention Programme. They also award scholarship to meritorious students. In 2007, the NGO started a family counseling centre in 2007, which is working towards helping victims of domestic violence. Some years back, they started a project under which educated youth were trained at a local nursing home here to serve as home nurses to the old, sick and lonely. At present, 50 such individuals are engaged at various homes.

The organization celebrated its 15th anniversary at a function here on Saturday in which former president of Axam Xahitya Xabha, Dr gen Saikia, was the chief guest. The meeting was iugurated by the Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University (DU), Prof Alak Kumar Buragohain, who dwelt on the reasons behind the success of NGOs in implementation of social welfare schemes. He also focused on the lacue that exist when government departments try to do the same and said that these organizations fill this gap. Prof Buragohain attributed the success of NGOs to the attitude of sacrifice, dedicated service of humanity and perseverance. He further said that scientific alysis of a social problem followed with coordited effort was required to address it before mentioning DU’s initiative of adopting a neighbouring village as associate village where research scholars go there to interact with the residents to find out possible solutions.

Dr gen Saikia stated that he had been witness to the work being done by SEWA and expressed confidence the organization would emerge as one of the leading NGOs in the region if it continued its good work. He released the souvenir, Joyjatra, brought out to mark the occasion. Dr Pallabi Bujar Baruah of DU also addressed the meeting. Dr rayan Upadhyay of Assam Medical College released the SEWA Karmir Haatputhi, a handbook for the workers of SEWA.

Former Principal of DHSK College, Kalyan Kumar Barua, was also present on the occasion.

His address gave an account of the birth of SEWA and said that it was no surprise that Shanti Gogoi was working to serve people as she belonged to a family whose motto was service of society. The function was chaired by Shanti Gogoi.

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