From our Correspondent
DIMORIA, July 4: Making Indian villages 'self-reliant and self-sufficient' in a broader sense is one of Mahatma Gandhi's dreams. Are there any takers of this policy of Gandhiji among the Congress leaders in Assam now? They say, actions speak louder than words. The degree of importance which the successive Congress-led governments at Dispur accorded to an institute established in Dispur constituency way back in 1954 with the aim of translating Gandhian village economy into reality bears testimony to their neglect.
In order to translate the dream of Gandhiji into reality, Axom Noyi Talim Kendra (ANTK) was set up at Khetri in the Dimoria area under Dispur constituency was back in 1954. This is the only centre based on Gandhi's theory of village self-reliance, but due to prolonged negligence on the part of Dispur this centre is gasping for life.
This centre is meant for making villagers self-reliant through imparting vocatiol training. The decision to set up this Centre was taken at a meeting held at Dharamtul in gaon district in 1952, and with Amala Prabha Das taking the lead it was set up at Khetri in 1954 near tiol Highway 37 in a 22-bigha plot.
Apart from facilities like primary to university-level education, the Centre had facilities for practical training on ginning, weaving, dairy farming, paddy cultivation, sericulture like silk farming, beekeeping etc.
Shashi Prabha Deori, a local woman who has been associated with the centre since 1957, said: "Along with facilities for imparting education, the centre had facilities for vocatiol and technical education. However, due to paucity of manpower, all of those facilities were closed one after another like the way dry trees shed their leaves. This was famous for making women self-reliant through imparting training on various handloom-related trainings. Now the infrastructure is used mostly for holding various voluntary camps, meetings etc. Each and every woman associated with the centre were largely benefitted through trainings on ginning, weaving, handloom, silk farming, beekeeping, etc. Still now the centre has handloom and ginning facilities."
However, according to the local people, none at Dispur has time to take care of the centre now. As though they look the other way as the centre is gasping for life. Paucity of staff is a regular feature at the centre. It seems that Gandhiji's dream of self-reliance is being shattered by the ruling party at Dispur.