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Rehabilitation still eludes 2008 blast victims� families

By SIVASISH THAKUR
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GUWAHATI, Oct 29 � It has been six years since the October 30, 2008 serial blasts that left nearly a hundred dead and incapacitated many others. Regrettably, life continues to be an ordeal for those who bore the brunt of the tragedy as the Government has failed in honouring its promise of compensation and rehabilitation to the victims� families.

Take for instance the case of Niru Barman of Japorigog who lost her husband � the sole breadwinner of the family on that fateful day. In spite of running from pillar to post, she is yet to get the full amount of the announced compensation.

�We were promised Rs 8 lakh as compensation but have got only Rs 5 lakh. During last year�s public function commemorating the fifth year of the tragedy, I even asked the Chief Minister to do the needful but to no avail. I get a meagre Rs 3,000 as pension of my late husband but that is hardly adequate to run my family,� Niru told The Assam Tribune.

In the matter of providing jobs to members of victim families too, the Government has done precious little. �My daughter is a graduate, and we were assured that she would get a government job, but that has not materialised till date,� she added.

Niru, like many other unfortunate victims of terrorism, feels that the Government has failed to tackle terrorism. �We all can see that terrorism is only spreading its tentacles far and wide. This is because the Government is unable to punish the perpetrators. We want capital punishment for the masterminds behind the October 30 blasts, but it�s doubtful whether they would ever be punished at all,� she added.

Sunita Sarma of Jatia (a resident of Hengrabari when the tragedy had struck her) has almost the same story to tell. While she was a bit fortunate in getting the entire amount of Rs 8 lakh as compensation, rehabilitation is something that has eluded her.

�I have got Rs 8 lakh as compensation but that is hardly enough to maintain my family with my 14-year-old son besides my brother and mother. I am not much educated but will happily do any job that the Government deems fit for me,� she said, adding that the authorities should devise a mechanism to meet the long-term needs of the victims by engaging them in gainful pursuits.

The over-three-decade-old insurgency in Assam - often degenerating into acts of downright terrorism such as the killing of ten innocent schoolchildren on Independence Day in 2004 or the October 30 serial blasts - has been particularly cruel to women who invariably become the worst sufferers caught in a conflict situation.

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Rehabilitation still eludes 2008 blast victims� families

GUWAHATI, Oct 29 � It has been six years since the October 30, 2008 serial blasts that left nearly a hundred dead and incapacitated many others. Regrettably, life continues to be an ordeal for those who bore the brunt of the tragedy as the Government has failed in honouring its promise of compensation and rehabilitation to the victims� families.

Take for instance the case of Niru Barman of Japorigog who lost her husband � the sole breadwinner of the family on that fateful day. In spite of running from pillar to post, she is yet to get the full amount of the announced compensation.

�We were promised Rs 8 lakh as compensation but have got only Rs 5 lakh. During last year�s public function commemorating the fifth year of the tragedy, I even asked the Chief Minister to do the needful but to no avail. I get a meagre Rs 3,000 as pension of my late husband but that is hardly adequate to run my family,� Niru told The Assam Tribune.

In the matter of providing jobs to members of victim families too, the Government has done precious little. �My daughter is a graduate, and we were assured that she would get a government job, but that has not materialised till date,� she added.

Niru, like many other unfortunate victims of terrorism, feels that the Government has failed to tackle terrorism. �We all can see that terrorism is only spreading its tentacles far and wide. This is because the Government is unable to punish the perpetrators. We want capital punishment for the masterminds behind the October 30 blasts, but it�s doubtful whether they would ever be punished at all,� she added.

Sunita Sarma of Jatia (a resident of Hengrabari when the tragedy had struck her) has almost the same story to tell. While she was a bit fortunate in getting the entire amount of Rs 8 lakh as compensation, rehabilitation is something that has eluded her.

�I have got Rs 8 lakh as compensation but that is hardly enough to maintain my family with my 14-year-old son besides my brother and mother. I am not much educated but will happily do any job that the Government deems fit for me,� she said, adding that the authorities should devise a mechanism to meet the long-term needs of the victims by engaging them in gainful pursuits.

The over-three-decade-old insurgency in Assam - often degenerating into acts of downright terrorism such as the killing of ten innocent schoolchildren on Independence Day in 2004 or the October 30 serial blasts - has been particularly cruel to women who invariably become the worst sufferers caught in a conflict situation.