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Social worker sets example in selfless service

By SHAMBHU BORO

TEZPUR, Sept 10 � There may not be many people like this simple, kind and down-to-earth social worker, Keshab Chandra Baruah, a resident of Khelmati area under Bandarmari Panchayat in Sonitpur district, who has set a unique example in selfless service by spending most of his time and even his personal earnings in dealing with various social issues of the area including establishment of educational institutions, sharing the problems of people hit by floods and communal riots, repairing deplorable public roads, etc.

It may be mentioned here that the greater Bandarmari and Bahbari areas comprising more than 50 villages under Chardwar and Tezpur revenue circles of Sonitpur district are plagued by a number of problems like poor roads, lack of electrification and pure drinking water, absence of good schools and colleges, etc.

Proper education and intellectual development are still a far cry for the people of this area even after 60 years of Independence due to the alleged neglect by the authorities concerned. The area that falls under Barchala LAC has been represented by many political leaders, including panchayat workers, with the commitment of developing the road communication from Kolakuchi to Sagali Ahot Tol area connecting NH-52, upgrading two foot bridges on this stretch of the road at Bahbari and Adarshagaon area, etc. However, it is alleged that though on many occasions, sizeable amounts of government funds had been sanctioned for reconstruction of this road, nothing has been done due to the alleged misappropriation of the funds.

Lately, the road has turned out to be a death trap for pedestrians and motorists as well. Due to lack of maintenance, large potholes have been created on this portion of the road, posing serious threat to the people including school-going children.

Against the backdrop of these problems, this social worker, who is popularly known in the locality as �Baruada,� has already taken personal initiative to repair the road, spending the required money for it from his own income.

Baruah, an employee of the Life Insurance Corporation, spends his time in mobilising people for social work and has already undertaken many risky jobs such as rehabilitation of many Bodo and Adivasi people of the area after the floods caused by the Gabharu river in 1995 and the communal riots in the district in 1983, providing financial help to the poor people and organising free medical camps by spending money from his own income and borrowing funds from others in order to keep his native place socially progressive.

During an interaction with this correspondent at his residence, Baruah expressed unhappiness about the present state of the society and its rapid degeneration. In an introspective mood, he analyzed the events which had significantly shaped his approach towards life and society.

It should be mentioned here that Baruah, who is at present the president of the Bahbari branch of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, is also a good organiser. He had dedicated his time to mobilising public institutions like the Boro-medium section of the Khelmati High School and the Omeo Das High School in the company of leading Bodo people of the area.

�As I have passed most of my time among these simple, kind and hardworking people and dealing with their day-to-day issues, I feel that I can cope with their problems for the rest of my life. My conscience compels me to take up the problems of the people which go unheard,� said Baruah, recalling the time when he had begun his mission of addressing the problems of the society he lives in. In this silent crusade, he has few supporters and still lesser number of people who understand his innermost feelings.

�Many politically motivated people think I have gone out of my mind to have spent my hard-earned money on social work. But it was my inner calling and I could not ignore it. Despite the apathy of the unscrupulous political leaders of the area and the authorities concerned, I have managed to repair the 12-km pitched road with my own money,� said the social worker, adding that a trend of giving priority to easy money over selfless service to the society is growing in the area which is harming the society as a whole.

�Despite all these problems that I have faced in my life, I am happy because my innerself is satisfied,� said Baruah, expressing his hope that a time would come when each and every man would realise that he was right in carrying out a duty for the sake of a classless society.

�People living in and around me are gradually becoming aware about the issues concerning the society and thus a section of them inspire me to go ahead with my mission,� Baruah added.

Apart from his zeal for taking up social work in the right direction, this man has a dream to establish a college at Khelmati area for those who despite having an intense desire for higher education, have to forego their wish due to financial hardships. Turning his dream into reality under the sponsorship of a local SHG, Sonali, he has set up a junior college at his residence for the benefit of the underprivileged students of the area this year.

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Social worker sets example in selfless service

TEZPUR, Sept 10 � There may not be many people like this simple, kind and down-to-earth social worker, Keshab Chandra Baruah, a resident of Khelmati area under Bandarmari Panchayat in Sonitpur district, who has set a unique example in selfless service by spending most of his time and even his personal earnings in dealing with various social issues of the area including establishment of educational institutions, sharing the problems of people hit by floods and communal riots, repairing deplorable public roads, etc.

It may be mentioned here that the greater Bandarmari and Bahbari areas comprising more than 50 villages under Chardwar and Tezpur revenue circles of Sonitpur district are plagued by a number of problems like poor roads, lack of electrification and pure drinking water, absence of good schools and colleges, etc.

Proper education and intellectual development are still a far cry for the people of this area even after 60 years of Independence due to the alleged neglect by the authorities concerned. The area that falls under Barchala LAC has been represented by many political leaders, including panchayat workers, with the commitment of developing the road communication from Kolakuchi to Sagali Ahot Tol area connecting NH-52, upgrading two foot bridges on this stretch of the road at Bahbari and Adarshagaon area, etc. However, it is alleged that though on many occasions, sizeable amounts of government funds had been sanctioned for reconstruction of this road, nothing has been done due to the alleged misappropriation of the funds.

Lately, the road has turned out to be a death trap for pedestrians and motorists as well. Due to lack of maintenance, large potholes have been created on this portion of the road, posing serious threat to the people including school-going children.

Against the backdrop of these problems, this social worker, who is popularly known in the locality as �Baruada,� has already taken personal initiative to repair the road, spending the required money for it from his own income.

Baruah, an employee of the Life Insurance Corporation, spends his time in mobilising people for social work and has already undertaken many risky jobs such as rehabilitation of many Bodo and Adivasi people of the area after the floods caused by the Gabharu river in 1995 and the communal riots in the district in 1983, providing financial help to the poor people and organising free medical camps by spending money from his own income and borrowing funds from others in order to keep his native place socially progressive.

During an interaction with this correspondent at his residence, Baruah expressed unhappiness about the present state of the society and its rapid degeneration. In an introspective mood, he analyzed the events which had significantly shaped his approach towards life and society.

It should be mentioned here that Baruah, who is at present the president of the Bahbari branch of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, is also a good organiser. He had dedicated his time to mobilising public institutions like the Boro-medium section of the Khelmati High School and the Omeo Das High School in the company of leading Bodo people of the area.

�As I have passed most of my time among these simple, kind and hardworking people and dealing with their day-to-day issues, I feel that I can cope with their problems for the rest of my life. My conscience compels me to take up the problems of the people which go unheard,� said Baruah, recalling the time when he had begun his mission of addressing the problems of the society he lives in. In this silent crusade, he has few supporters and still lesser number of people who understand his innermost feelings.

�Many politically motivated people think I have gone out of my mind to have spent my hard-earned money on social work. But it was my inner calling and I could not ignore it. Despite the apathy of the unscrupulous political leaders of the area and the authorities concerned, I have managed to repair the 12-km pitched road with my own money,� said the social worker, adding that a trend of giving priority to easy money over selfless service to the society is growing in the area which is harming the society as a whole.

�Despite all these problems that I have faced in my life, I am happy because my innerself is satisfied,� said Baruah, expressing his hope that a time would come when each and every man would realise that he was right in carrying out a duty for the sake of a classless society.

�People living in and around me are gradually becoming aware about the issues concerning the society and thus a section of them inspire me to go ahead with my mission,� Baruah added.

Apart from his zeal for taking up social work in the right direction, this man has a dream to establish a college at Khelmati area for those who despite having an intense desire for higher education, have to forego their wish due to financial hardships. Turning his dream into reality under the sponsorship of a local SHG, Sonali, he has set up a junior college at his residence for the benefit of the underprivileged students of the area this year.