DIBRUGARH, Aug 1 - Cheniram Khanikar, one of the pioneers in taking up tea plantation on a small scale in the State, an educationist and a well-known social activist, passed away last night at a private nursing home here. He was under medical observation since past one month.
Khanikar, a resident of Udaipur in Tingkhong, was a vibrant leader who steered the All Assam Small Tea Growers� Association (AASTGA) in his capacity as its vice president, working president and as the president of the organisation from 2005 to 2011. He later served the small growers� body as its chief advisor.
Khanikar had retired as a school teacher early to carry out some social activities in Tingkhong area. He was a founder member of Tingkhong College, founder general secretary of Tingkhong Model School and president of Tingkhong unit of the Asam Sahitya Sabha.
In recognition of his popularity, a section of the Tingkhong people had also fielded him as a candidate in the Assembly polls once.
Kafeucha, a prominent self-help group in the tea circle was also founded by Cheniram Khanikar. Today, Kafeucha has turned out to be a small industry, having its own tea manufacturing factory.
The last rite of Khanikar was carried out at the crematorium at Rajgarh today. Earlier his body was carried to Tingkhong College, Tingkhong Model Academy and the small tea growers� body office of Tingkhong unit in Rajgarh town for last tributes.
The leaders of AASTGA, members of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Rajgarh traders� body, local mediapersons besides MLA Bimal Borah and Chakradhar paid their last respects to the departed soul.
Cheniram Khanikar leaves behind his wife, a son, three daughters, grand children and a host of admirers and friends.
The AASTGA has decided that they would observe a seven-day mourning in all its offices with organisation�s flag hoisted at half mast, Rohit Borgohain, general secretary, AASTGA informed.