Flood Relief and Rehabilitation - 2004
Unprecedented flooding during the rainy season of 2004 created enormous problems throughout entire Assam. Assam Foundation of North America (AFNA) created a flood relief fund to help out with relief and rehabilitation activities. Due to an excellent response from our community members more than $8500 was collected for the Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Fund of 2004. In addition to that, the organizing committee of Assam Convention 2004 came forward to donate a surplus amount of $1,300 towards medical assistance for Flood affected people of Assam. Using the money provided by Assam Convention 2004 AFNA collaborated with Downtown charity Trust (DTCT), Guwahati to organize four health camps covering Flood affected areas of Panikhaity, Jugdal, Sonapur and Noonmati of Kamrup District (Assam) during the month of Nov and Dec 2004.
Sanjiwani is a Rehabilitation Center for Physically and Mentally Disabled Children.Located in Tezpur, Assam it is the only NGO of this type in the entire Northern Assam Division.They provides Physiotherapy and Education Therapy to disabled children.In January 2006, Krishanu Kaushik visited this organization for the second time after about 18 months and and he was overwhelmed by the dedication and steadfastness of the volunteers, who ran this institute with nothing but a heart full of love and care.
The children of Assam needs your help. An institution named "Aarohan" (meaning - to ascend) has been set up up in Beltola, Guwahati, with wonderful plans to provide for the children of Assam a novel opportunity to enhance and enrich themselves. Aarohan will be a place where many of the children in Assam will get exposure to things (Amenities)that our kids in the US take it for granted in this country of abundance. Children are the future of our society. Please invest in them if you want to see a beautiful and prosperous Assam in the future. The idea of Aarohan was initiated by Late Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia. Aarohan was the dream project of Dr. Saikia. He started the project but before he could complete it, destiny snatched him away from the people of Assam. AFNA is supporting Aarohan financially.
AAROHAN...where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free
Aarohan will be the haven that will welcome little children into its embrace and as they journey through its halls, they will imbibe values that will strengthen their character, enhance their knowledge, hone their talents, encourage their creativity, inspire their intellect and above all, teach each one of them to be a good human being. In Dr. Saikia’s words – “a child who spends 5 years at Aarohan will step out as a stronger person with values and ideals that will help him grow into an able, conscientious and diligent adult.”
A place that invites children to sit down with their parents, siblings or friends and read or listen to a story. Books are not locked in cabinets but lay around in baskets and small shelves that little hands can reach. Children are encouraged to tell a story they have read or heard to other visiting children and to ask and answer questions. The emphasis is not on rules, but on sharing, enjoying, learning and inquiring, At the same time, children are taught the importance of taking good care of books, learning to clean up after themselves, putting things back in proper place, the value of quiet 'thinking' and 'reading' time. Group activities will include book discussions, story building, and meet the writer sessions. Children will be encouraged to write original writings, book reports, critiques. There will be competitions for storytelling. Interested teenagers will be provided with a well-selected reading list - once a month, a meet will be organized where noted literary personalities will conduct constructive discussions – the goal will be to instill a love for reading and promote appreciation of good literature at an early age. The walls of the library will be covered with paper where children will be encouraged to make up their own stories with illustrations. There will be an “applause board” where good ideas and good behaviour will be rewarded with praise. Aarohan will have regular publications and will undertake projects to publish children’s literature. Parents will supervise the children - there will be additional coordinators that are on staff.
The Art Room
A room full of color and life – where children aged three to sixteen years are encouraged to create - the walls will be their gallery - water and paint on the floor are not frowned upon - the lower walls will be lined with paper where little hands will draw - each month a new project will begin. Children will do little projects that can be started at the class and completed at home. They will be encouraged to create gifts - for friends, family and children less fortunate than themselves. Children will learn to recognize famous paintings, artists and styles. Workshops will be held, and competitions will be organized at local and regional levels. CRAFTS An open space with a pottery wheel, a spinning wheel, a childsize loom, sewing, knitting and crochet supplies, tools for sculpture. Children will work with clay, paper, wood, bamboo, fabric, beads, buttons, beans, seeds, flowers to make dolls, toys, puzzles, book covers, greeting cards, wallhangings, collages, calendars, jewellery, simple machines and mechanical toys, learn origami, do puzzles. Shelves lining the walls will display their work. Importance will be given to developing motor skills and coordination in the young and encouraging creativity in the older children.
Music and Dance
Formal classes by well qualified teachers in various classical categories, including Satriya, Manipuri, and regional styles will be offered at Aarohan. There will be sessions where children will have the opportunity to listen to and appreciate good music -- Indian and western classical, children’s music. They will be asked to select a favourite piece and then discuss why they made that choice. There will be designated times when the halls of Aarohan will play pieces of choice music – everyone will be encouraged to stop and listen. Children who visit and those who are students at Aarohan will be endouraged to do impromptu shows for other visitors – where everyone will be welcome to join in. On the walls, there will be pictures and information about various forms of music, instruments and great musicians. In the corners, real instruments that children can touch, play and learn about. The goal is to introduce children to classical music and instruments, encourage them to discover if they have a liking for a particular form of music, and if so, give them an opportunity to learn that form. Children noted to have the talent and seriousness will be given all necessary support to pursue further training.