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Spreading smiles among border residents

By RR Sapkota
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UDALGURI, Dec 18 - Ganga Prasad Sarmah, who is a resident of Jorpukhuri Majuli Gaon along the remote Indo-Bhutan border under Panery PS in Udalguri district, is known to the needy patients of the area for his liberal service, particularly to the poor villagers suffering from tuberculosis (TB).

Entrusted with the charge of Gaonburah (village headman) by the then Harisinga Revenue Circle Officer way back in 1990, he has been rendering yeoman service to his fellow villagers, read tuberculosis patients, since the last 25 years.

Not surprisingly, the State Government is yet to recognise his post as village headman. However, he has been serving the poor without a penny from the Government side till date. But Sarmah does not bother about the lack of Government recognition and says, � I see the presence of God in the faces of those people who come to me for treatment. I have been supplying them medicine for tuberculosis under the DOT (Directly Observed Treatment) which I get from the Health Department of the district.�

Most of the poor tuberculosis patients, many of whom have fully recovered from this disease, recently felicitated Sarmah, their messiah, with gamosa, arnai and sarai at his residence as a token of their gratefulness.

�Thus, my service to mankind is recognised by God, as the grateful poor people throng my house with hope and aspiration writ large on their faces, while I try my level best to nurse them back to health,� a visibly satisfied Sarmah said, while recalling his 25-year-long crusade against tuberculosis in the region.

One Agna Basumatary, a serious TB patient said, �I am alive today only due to the sincere effort of this generous man who provided me DOTS free of cost.�

There were Ronsaigra Boro, Khaila Kachari, Mitali Karmakar, Bateswari Rabha and Devaram Boro, all hailing from the remote Indo-Bhutan border villages, who assembled at Ganga Prasad Sarmah�s residence recently with an objective to organise a felicitation programme in honour of their messiah. They also arranged a community feast as a mark of gratefulness for his humanitarian services.

� It was due to the constant efforts of Sarmah, a DOT provider, that smiles have returned to many huts of the region. The Udalguri District TB Control Cell and the NHM know very well about the untiring service of Sarmah, who has never approached the Government with an application to recognise his post of village headman (Gaonburah).

But the conscious people of Hatigorh, Panery, Udalguri and Harisinga in Udalguri district feel that the Government should not delay any further in bestowing on him the due honour.

�If a deserving person like Ganga Prasad Sarmah�s sterling service to society is not recognised, whose service then will be recognised?� asked a visibly annoyed Narayan Deka, a mediaperson of Tangla region. Ganesh Dutta, a senior treatment superviser (STS) of RNTCP and Dr Ganesh Chandra Brahma, district coordinator of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) at Udalguri also appreciated the untiring activities of Sarmah and said that the former had been ceaselessly serving the needy people of Majulibasti, Majuligaon, Satgharia No. 1, Satgharia No. 2, Bormukoli, Santipur, Barbaripathar, Jorpukhuri and Bongurum along the Bhutan border since April 2004 with the launching of the RNTCP and had been providing DOT to the patients. He has been instrumental in curing more than 100 villagers and has brought smiles to the family members of the cured persons.

�Sarmah has been a constant source of inspiration to the people, an instant source of help and authentic information to the Deputy Commissioner and other Government officials, besides Forest Department officers during periods of elephant depredations along the Indo-Bhutan border villages, besides the Army and security personnel during times of extremist activity and anti-social disturbances.

Strangely enough, the Government has chosen to ignore his sincere contributions over the years and therefore failed to make his post of Gaonburah permanent. Till date, he has not received a penny from the Government,� a villager of Jorpukhuri under Panery Police Station rued. He too appealed to the Government to formally recognise Sarmah�s service at the earliest.

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Spreading smiles among border residents

UDALGURI, Dec 18 - Ganga Prasad Sarmah, who is a resident of Jorpukhuri Majuli Gaon along the remote Indo-Bhutan border under Panery PS in Udalguri district, is known to the needy patients of the area for his liberal service, particularly to the poor villagers suffering from tuberculosis (TB).

Entrusted with the charge of Gaonburah (village headman) by the then Harisinga Revenue Circle Officer way back in 1990, he has been rendering yeoman service to his fellow villagers, read tuberculosis patients, since the last 25 years.

Not surprisingly, the State Government is yet to recognise his post as village headman. However, he has been serving the poor without a penny from the Government side till date. But Sarmah does not bother about the lack of Government recognition and says, � I see the presence of God in the faces of those people who come to me for treatment. I have been supplying them medicine for tuberculosis under the DOT (Directly Observed Treatment) which I get from the Health Department of the district.�

Most of the poor tuberculosis patients, many of whom have fully recovered from this disease, recently felicitated Sarmah, their messiah, with gamosa, arnai and sarai at his residence as a token of their gratefulness.

�Thus, my service to mankind is recognised by God, as the grateful poor people throng my house with hope and aspiration writ large on their faces, while I try my level best to nurse them back to health,� a visibly satisfied Sarmah said, while recalling his 25-year-long crusade against tuberculosis in the region.

One Agna Basumatary, a serious TB patient said, �I am alive today only due to the sincere effort of this generous man who provided me DOTS free of cost.�

There were Ronsaigra Boro, Khaila Kachari, Mitali Karmakar, Bateswari Rabha and Devaram Boro, all hailing from the remote Indo-Bhutan border villages, who assembled at Ganga Prasad Sarmah�s residence recently with an objective to organise a felicitation programme in honour of their messiah. They also arranged a community feast as a mark of gratefulness for his humanitarian services.

� It was due to the constant efforts of Sarmah, a DOT provider, that smiles have returned to many huts of the region. The Udalguri District TB Control Cell and the NHM know very well about the untiring service of Sarmah, who has never approached the Government with an application to recognise his post of village headman (Gaonburah).

But the conscious people of Hatigorh, Panery, Udalguri and Harisinga in Udalguri district feel that the Government should not delay any further in bestowing on him the due honour.

�If a deserving person like Ganga Prasad Sarmah�s sterling service to society is not recognised, whose service then will be recognised?� asked a visibly annoyed Narayan Deka, a mediaperson of Tangla region. Ganesh Dutta, a senior treatment superviser (STS) of RNTCP and Dr Ganesh Chandra Brahma, district coordinator of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) at Udalguri also appreciated the untiring activities of Sarmah and said that the former had been ceaselessly serving the needy people of Majulibasti, Majuligaon, Satgharia No. 1, Satgharia No. 2, Bormukoli, Santipur, Barbaripathar, Jorpukhuri and Bongurum along the Bhutan border since April 2004 with the launching of the RNTCP and had been providing DOT to the patients. He has been instrumental in curing more than 100 villagers and has brought smiles to the family members of the cured persons.

�Sarmah has been a constant source of inspiration to the people, an instant source of help and authentic information to the Deputy Commissioner and other Government officials, besides Forest Department officers during periods of elephant depredations along the Indo-Bhutan border villages, besides the Army and security personnel during times of extremist activity and anti-social disturbances.

Strangely enough, the Government has chosen to ignore his sincere contributions over the years and therefore failed to make his post of Gaonburah permanent. Till date, he has not received a penny from the Government,� a villager of Jorpukhuri under Panery Police Station rued. He too appealed to the Government to formally recognise Sarmah�s service at the earliest.