GOALPARA, Oct 30 - The Garos of Goalpara and Kamrup (R) districts held a rally recently at Nishangram village to highlight the backwardness of the Garo areas due to negligence of the Assam government and demanded a Garo Autonomous Council (GAC) for development of their area. This was stated in a press release.
The release also stated that the Garos have been accorded the ST status by the Government of India in 2003 and they have been struggling for a separate autonomous council by excluding all Garo villages of Goalpara and Kamrup districts from the Rabha Hajong Autonomous Council (RHAC).
Earlier, the Garo Nation Union (GNU), an umbrella organisation, took up the matter with the previous Congress government which assured them that the GAC will be granted after completion of procedural requirements. The then chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, also assured for the GAC in his budget speech in the Assam Assembly session on August 11, 2014, and then repeatedly made several references in his speeches during the Independence and Republic Days. However, the present CM Sarbananda Sonowal also assured to take their case following a meeting with a Garo delegation on March 1 last.
The release further added that the GAC will help them not only to protect their socio-cultural identity but will act as a strong instrument for developing their own areas which are neglected by successive State government since Independence.
The release also pointed out that due to lack of infrastructure development, people suffer the most during the monsoon season, most of the government buildings in their areas are in a dilapidated condition and also lack electricity following which life has become miserable. Moreover, there is not a single college in the Garo areas except some higher secondary schools. On the other hand, non-Garo teachers are appointed in the Garo lower primary schools, There is no primary health centres in Garo villages and the areas has not been covered by any neither PHE nor sanitation, ICDS, PMAY or any other developmental schemes. Even ration cards are not properly issued nor any revision was taken up for the �D� voters list. The people have also resented the absence of police stations despite being repeatedly harassed by insurgents time and again. The release further stated that as a result of the total negligence by the Government of Assam, the Garos have been compelled to join hands together and demand for a separate GAC.