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Assam origin Myanmarese in Guwahati


GUWAHATI, Nov 23 - The descendants of the historically dispersed people of Assam origin living in Myanmar regard Assam as their motherland. They are eager to come back to Assam and stay here forever if they are provided with some sources of living and shelter.

The eagerness of these people to visit Assam is such that 67-year-old Puspamayee, who owns a small cloth store, has collected 26 lakh Kyats (around Rs 1.80 lakh) in the past five years, putting aside portions of her meagre earnings, to facilitate her Assam visit along with two of her sisters, Ratnamoni (75) and Chandramayee (72), and her nephew, Shivachandra (33). Shivachandra is the son of Chandramayee.

Ratnamoni visited Assam in November last year, along with her daughter, Rajani Devi. The video of the felicitation accorded to them at the Kumar Bhaskar Natya Mandir here is available on YouTube (rimitaYT �Assamese from Myanmar�). Ratnamoni and Rajani�s accounts of their visit to Assam aroused fresh passions among fellow Assam-origin people living in the Mandalay city of Myanmar. The four decided to undertake the venture in keeping with the timings of the Sangai Festival of Manipur. Priest Madhuryagopal Bhattacharjee, a descendant of a Bengal-origin family, who is also a resident of Mandalay, is leading them as their guide.

It needs mention here that the Manipur Government has made an arrangement of special flights for Myanmar�s Manipur-origin people to facilitate their visit to Manipur during the Sangai Festival. The four took advantage of that provision to visit Assam.

Meanwhile, a meeting held to felicitate these Myanmarese persons of Assam-origin at the Bhagawati Prasad Barua Bhawan here today, under the joint auspices of the Asam Sahitya Sabha and the Association for the Historically Dispersed People of Assam (ASHDIPA), demanded that the State Government should arrange special flights between Assam and Myanmar and Assam and Bangladesh during Rongali Bihu and Bhogali Bihu to facilitate visits of the people of Assam-origin living in both the countries during these festivals.

The meeting also called upon the Asam Sahitya Sabha to open its branches in Myanmar and Bangladesh so as to strengthen the link of the people of Assam origin living in both the countries with Assam. The meeting was presided over by ASHDIPA president Tapan Kumar Sarma and it was addressed, among others, by Asam Sahitya Sabha assistant secretary Abani Mohan Saharia, Kamrup District Sahitya Sabha president Parag Bhattacharyya and ASHDIPA office-bearer Anuj Goswami.

Yesterday, they were accorded a reception at the Pragjyotish College here. Later, talking to this correspondent, with Madhuryagopal playing the interpreter, Ratnamoni, Chandramayee, Puspamayee and Shivachandra expressed deep satisfaction over the reception they were accorded in Assam during the past two days. But they are very sad that they would have to leave Assam tomorrow.

They expressed the hope that they would soon be able to come to Assam again and this time, they would also be able to stay for a longer period here. They also expressed their willingness to stay in Assam forever if they are provided jobs and shelter and the rest of their family members agree to the proposition.

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