GUWAHATI, April 24 - Adding to the colourful hues of the spring festival and New Year celebrations of Bihu all over the State, a group of university students organised a children�s programme with a mini circus and magic show on Saturday.
The Swastyayan programme of Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) provided the platform for children from all over Guwahati to celebrate and showcase their talents at Keotpara, a village on the fringes of the Deepor Beel bird sanctuary, under Azara Gaon Panchayat.
At the community event titled Life-skill Education and Awareness Programme, over 300 children participated from schools of Azara locality, as well as two Snehalaya homes for street children at Dhirenpara and Beltola.
Children from Snehalaya participated on the joyful occasion, as Brother Hopna Tudu, an ADBU MSW student and programme coordinator, is based at Snehalaya.
�You need to have strong belief in God, self-belief, hard work, sincerity, and perseverance, in order to succeed in life,� said chief guest at the event, director of Snehalaya Salesian Fr Thaddeus Kujur, encouraging the large gathering of deprived and under-privileged children. Fr Kujur also enthralled the children with a dexterous presentation of his magical skills.
�Use of creative art is essential while educating children. It brings out the best in them,� said Hiren Das, a local teacher and village elder of Keotpara, present at the programme as guest of honour.
�The two-hour-long colourful programme was filled with performances of dances and songs by children of Snehalaya and participants of Swastyayan,� said Hopna Tudu, a student coordinator of Swastyayan organising the event.
A lively circus show in the end by Snehalaya students was the icing on the cake.
�Swastyayan...a commitment�, is an ADBU project with three components: evening tutorial classes, community counselling centre and life-skill education and awareness programme (LEAP).
The students, faculty and staff of the university have been voluntarily giving free tutorial classes to needy high school children from the villages of Azara, Garal and Dharapur gaon panchayats since its inception in 2013.
In order to augment the life-skills of the children and young people, sessions on personality development, career choices and creative arts are conducted regularly. A free-of-cost community counselling centre has also been made available to the families in need.
�These activities are our humble attempts towards enabling neighbourhood communities to be strong and resilient,� said Victor Narzary, teaching in the social work department and coordinating the project.