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    Archived pages: 203 . Archive date: 2013-12.

  • Title: Hope Floats : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Hope Floats.. | September 9, 2009 |.. Like this:.. Like.. Loading.. Category.. :.. ,.. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.. Subscribe via RSS Feed.. Leave a Reply.. Click here to cancel reply.. Name.. ( required ).. Email.. ( required; will not be published ).. Website.. If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a.. Gravatar.. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.. Notify me of new posts by email.. %d.. bloggers like this:..

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  • Title: Boat clinics offer a ray of hope in Assam : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Boat clinics offer a ray of hope in Assam.. | September 3, 2009 |.. The moment the mobile clinic anchors onshore, people start trickling towards the tents that function as makeshift clinics and pharmacies.. The scene is no different at Chakia sapori or island, a good three-hour ride from Dibrugarh on a hot, sultry day.. As the tents are being put up, the local accredited social health activist (ASHA) come running towards the boat, followed by the villagers.. It is an unscheduled trip for the mobile clinic but the number of patients is no less than that on an announced visit.. “The patients come with common problems like skin rashes, ear infection, eye infection, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis and most of these are preventable diseases,” says Dr.. R.. Prasad, one of the two doctors on board.. Apart from distributing free medicines, Dr.. Prasad and his colleague Dr.. B.. C.. Bora also give them a lesson or two on hygiene.. “Villagers here do not wear footwear and bathe in the river that leads to skin diseases and ear infection.. We do not even give them antibiotics.. Simple medicines help in curing them,” Dr.. Prasad explains.. But it is the women and children who have benefited most from the boat clinic.. They come for  ...   Dhemaji, Morigaon, Tinsukia, Barpeta, Jorhat, Nalbari, Sibsagar and Sonitpur.. The concept received a boost after it entered into a partnership with the Government under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).. The infrastructure is provided by C-NES and the technical support by the Government.. Each boat has space for an out-patients department, doctor’s cabin, medicine chest, kitchen, toilet and a general store.. Walking all the way.. Sometimes during floods when the river is in spate or when the water level is low, the boat clinic cannot enter less deep channels.. In such cases, the 15-member team has to walk on foot for several hours to reach the villages.. In some far-off islands, each trip can take three to four days without any communication with the outside world.. Initially there was recommendation to provide referral transport facility for the patients but not much has been done due to the inaccessibility of the islands.. The Centre is now considering supporting C-NES’s proposal to develop a floating hospital, designed as a referral hospital that could function between the lower districts of Assam and Meghalaya.. Tucked away in the north-eastern part of the country, Assam has 3,000 small river islands where 30 lakh people live in geographic isolation.. Arati Dhar (.. The Hindu.. August 15, 2009)..

    Original link path: /437/boat-clinics-offer-a-ray-of-hope-in-assam
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  • Title: Projects : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Category: Projects.. C-NES- NRHM Health initiative touches 2 lakh.. Even as delayed monsoons and subsequent floods hit Assam, over 2 lakh flood vulnerable people living in the saporis or river islands of the Brahmaputra have been covered with sustained health care for the first time in their lives by the “Boat Clinics” of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)- National [ ].. Boat Clinics reach out to more districts.. | March 31, 2009 |.. The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research(C-NES) -National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) partnership’s health initiative, has been extended to cover the districts of Jorhat, North Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Nalbari and Barpeta.. The inaugural camps which witnessed a huge turn out even from the neighbouring villages in all the districts were held simultaneously on 16 [ ].. Upscaling of Boat Clinics.. | February 24, 2009 |.. Comments (1).. The boat Clinic programme has been upscaled.. By the Brahmaputra(Vol:4).. | January 23, 2009 |.. C-NES Newsletter (October December 2008).. Health campaign gets big push: three new vessels for three districts.. | September 24, 2008 |.. SB Swaminathan, Tunsukia The C-NES-NRHM partnership’s health campaign through our boat clinics in the Brahmaputra Valley got a surge of energy in the past weeks with three new boats being pressed into service in Tinsukia, Morigaon and Dhubri districts.. The SB Swaminathan and SB Rustam, which have been funded from donations by the prominent editor [ ].. Snippets from the Boat clinics.. | September 11, 2008 |.. The Dhemaji Boat Clinic, “SB Shahnaz” has a more popular name now- the “Doctor’s Boat” given to it by none other than the children of the saporis (river islands).. They run along with the boat  ...   Dhubri districts in Assam, bringing health and healing to many who have been [ ].. The Ships of Hope.. | January 18, 2007 |.. For centuries, the Brahmaputra river has swept along its long journey from Tibet to the Bay of Bengal, touching the lives of tens of millions with its enormous power, physically, culturally and economically.. Every year, lakhs of people are displaced and extensive property, crops and livestock are destroyed in annual floods in Assam and other [ ].. Impact of armed conflict on women in Nagaland and Tripura.. | October 21, 2004 |.. The Centre conducted a study on the Impact of armed conflict on women in the states of Nagaland and Tripura at the request of the National Commission of Women.. The coordinator was Ms.. Preeti Gill, Advisory Council member and editor, Zubaan.. Researchers and assistants in the two states include Ms.. Wecheteu Kapfo and Mrs.. Akule [ ].. World Bank Award.. | October 20, 2004 |.. The Centre is one of 20 winners (June 2004) of a nationwide competition organized by the India office of the World Bank to consider innovative ideas, which if implemented, could make a difference to rural problems.. The C-NES project, which included a model to scale, was titled: A Ship of Hope in a Valley of [ ].. By the Brahmaputra: Regenerating livelihoods (2002 to 2005).. The Centre, through its Managing Trustee and four researchers in Assam (all from the state of Assam) has been working by the Brahmaputra river, to develop an information and data bank of economic activities along the river and the livelihoods of people in six districts of Assam (Kamrup, Darrang, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh and Dhubri), especially [ ].. Previous Page..

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  • Title: C-NES- NRHM Health initiative touches 2 lakh : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Even as delayed monsoons and subsequent floods hit Assam, over 2 lakh flood vulnerable people living in the saporis or river islands of the Brahmaputra have been covered with sustained health care for the first time in their lives by the “Boat Clinics” of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)- National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) partnership’s health initiative.. “ The programme is reaching people who do not have access to health care and NRHM is happy to partner and support it.. It is a success story which is being replicated in other parts of the country,” says Dr J B Ekka, Mission Director, NRHM.. The disticts covered under this initiative are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur,Morigaon, Nalbari, Barpeta and Dhubri.. Villagers in isolated areas say they have benefited from the programme.. “This is the first such health intervention here and my community will give full support to the health team,” says Galung Pegu, the elderly village headman of Lakhimpur’s Kankan sapori while assuring the health team of the Lakhimpur Boat Clinic.. At Sonitpur’s Lanke Char, 24 year old Fozilla Begum was the first from her area to have an institutional delivery in Tezpur’s Kanaklata Civil Hospital.. A beaming Fozilla says, “I was motivated by the Boat  ...   March 2008, has been women and children although the general population also benefits from the initiatives which is implemented through health teams on specially designed and built boat clinic which have not just medical personnel on board but also a lab and pharmacy.. NRHM funds the activities of the project.. UNICEF is also involved in Dibrugarh district (since 2006) where the organization began its innovative work in 2005 and is assisting with capacity building and training as well as an education outreach programme for children who have dropped out of school or never been at school.. It partners C-NES in Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur districts.. According to Jeroo Master, Chief, Field Office, UNICEF, Assam What started as a single district pilot, conceptualized by C-NES and supported by UNICEF, to respond to the unmet health needs of marginalized communities living on the flood-prone islands of the Brahmaputra in Assam, has now evolved into a sustainable and replicable strategy covering 10 districts of the State with full buy-in of NRHM Assam.. “At a time of distress and difficulty, the project is showcasing an innovative and effective idea and practice that can be exported from Assam instead of the usual bad news,” says Sanjoy Hazarika, C-NES’ Managing Trustee and eminent writer who conceptualized the programme..

    Original link path: /436/c-nes-nrhm-health-initiative-touches-2-lakh
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  • Title: Upscaling of Boat Clinics : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: The boat Clinic programme has been upscaled to include 5 more districts- North Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Nalbari and Barpeta from January 2009.. Five District Community Organizers were recruited for the clinics in these districts.. An orientation meet was organized by C-NES on 11th December, 2008 at Hotel Alankar, Guwahati for new members joining the organization’s Boat Clinic program.. The names of DCO’s in the current and new districts are given below: Amrit Kumar Borah (Dibrugarh, Current), Hiranya Deka, (Tinsukia, current), Dulu Bura Gohain (Dhemaji, current), Abul Kalam Azad, (Morigaon, current,  ...   (Nalbari, new) Probin Chamuah (Jorhat, new) and Syamjit Pashi ( Barpeta, new).. Tags:.. Add new tag.. Trackback URL.. Comments RSS Feed.. Suvojit karmakar.. says:.. July 13, 2011 at 5:49 am.. Sir i ve complitted D.. Pharm from Assam Medical College,DIBRUGARH and i m working as a pharmacist in HMRI 104 at Bongaigaon.. plz give me a opportunity to serve in Dhubri as a boat clinic pharmacist.. I ll really thankfull if you are appointed me.. My add:.. C/o:Suresh ch karmakar.. Vill P.. O:Baro-charaikhola.. P.. S:Golakganj.. Dist:dhubri.. PIN:783334.. Contact:+918011652112.. Land line:03662-284514.. Reply..

    Original link path: /224/upscaling-of-boat-clinics
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  • Title: Ships : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: Category: Ships.. World Bank picks Hazarika s ship idea.. | July 1, 2004 |.. Recognizing innovativeness, creativity and a pro-people approach, the World Bank has awarded a national award to the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, which is run by the eminent writer and editor Sanjoy Hazarika, for its idea A Ship of Hope in a Valley of Flood.. Altogether 20 innovators from across India were [ ]..

    Original link path: /category/projects/ships/page/2
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  • Title: C-NES Newsletter (January – March 2013) : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: C-NES Newsletter (January March 2013).. | April 10, 2013 |.. By the Brahmaputra (Vol: 21).. (For the quarter January – March 2013).. Editorial.. A Messy Democracy: Burma’s challenges.. The unraveling of ethnic strife in neighbouring Myuanmar or Burma as some of us would prefer to call it but especially the sharp escalation of anti-Muslim violence, first, against the Rohingyas or Muslims of the Arakan and then against Muslims elsewhere in the country, represents one of the key challenges that face its rulers and especially the leadership of its principal opposition figure, Aung Sang Suu Kyi.. Democracy is a messy business as we all know.. The early, easy promises of change, based on the military junta’s surprisingly sudden decision to disempower itself and recognize the key role of Aung Sang Suu Kyi as well as the democratic opposition may not have quite faded.. But with the army being called out to crackdown on rioters who burned Muslim neighbourhoods and homes while the police allegedly stood by and watched (a familiar scenario in parts of this country) or worse were partial to the rioters, Burma faces a series of tests which call for not just a high degree of statesmanship from its former military rulers turned democrats and the toast of the western world – not to speak of other parts of the world but also from figures such as Suu Kyi.. These are not easy challenges.. For on their handling will depend much of the future of Burma and its ethnic minorities, the most extensive, powerful and diverse in the world, but also the relationship between Buddhists and Muslims there and the road map to a secular nation.. This has been among the most crucial issues facing both new and older nations, fledging democracies and established ones: the question of inclusion of minority groups, whether ethnic or religious or any other, and the need to affirm the equality of all communities.. In many cases in India, we have been found wanting and have repeatedly failed the test.. Whether the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in Delhi, Kanpur and elsewhere, the communal riots in Gujerat or Bhiwandi and Bhagalpur, of last year in Assam and the ethnic eruptions of this year in this state, if we are to look at the record of the last 20-30 years, it’s a sorry spectacle of a majority or a powerful minority, protected or assured of protection by local power syndicates and systems, literally running riot, gunning for the “other”.. In all this, there has been some solace: there have been commissions of inquiry, public debates, investigations by media and independent groups, long and at times depressing but often inspiring legal and activist driven campaigns seeking justice and ensuring that it is meted out.. The strength of the latter has been far more lacking than the activism of the former.. But although one could write a tome on the capacity of the State and its many minions through a multitude of processes of delaying and stalling justice (the Sikh victims of the 1984 riots are one such case), what is amazing is that in case after case especially in recent years, those who have suffered have not given up: the may feel that the State has failed them but not the system of law, however delayed or convoluted it may appear to an outside observer.. Returning to Burma, this is precisely the problem: the institutions of fair governance, equal play, justice and democractization such as the panchayats in this country (let’s not deride them beyond a point, many councils function even though, like their mentors in state and national politics, members may be corrupt and disinterested in anything outside of personal gain) but above all of free expression and media are what are lacking in our neighouring land.. The NGO movement in this country is so vibrant, noisy and at times irksome, especially to governments and stakeholders.. But think for a moment of its major figures such as Aruna Roy, Arundhati Roy, Medha Patkar, Ravi Chopra of the Peoples Science Institute of Dehra Dun, our own Gogoi not to speak of Anna Hazare and others who are a major force in India.. Indeed, without personalities like the Chipko father figure of Chandrika Prasad Bhat, SR Hiremath of Karnataka, Prof.. Mishra of Benares, who passed away recently but as scientist and activist, made unrelenting efforts to save his city and the Ganges from human pollution, of Rajendra Singh, the water man of Rajasthan, of Anil Aggarwal, perhaps the first green campaigner for rights in India based on equity and science and founder of the Centre for Science and Environment, and his worthy successor Sunita Narain.. Without them, could we even visualize a nation where the rights of people for safe water, air, food and a democratic and equal space are protected? The State and the corporate sector, domestic and international, private and public, would have wiped out resources and destroyed the environment, livelihoods and incomes without compunction.. What we have saved is due to these selfless warriors.. They made the noise, presented the facts, mobilized the people, the media and organized the campaigns that enabled concerns to be protected and even drafted into law.. Where are Burma’s eco warriors? Its battlers against corporate might and the force of the State, both of which often combine? We do not hear enough and often of them.. What about those who battled the junta so long and so hard? There are worrying reports that some of them are now part of the system and do not wish to raise their voices.. The one name that emerges at every turn of Burma’s road is Suu Kyi.. Where are the others?.. There have been challenges to the Kalodyne multi-nodal river project that seeks to benefit India by transporting goods (when it is finally ready and no one is quite sure when that will be) from Sittwe port in the Arakan up the Kalodyne to Mizoram and then by road to other parts of the NER.. Can one think of a more tortuous way to do business: there are neither godowns nor landing sites where ships are to unload onto trucks.. I have spoken of this in earlier columns.. The Chin community through whose lands the project and river flow says it has not been consulted, that livelihoods have been affected and the environment damaged without compensation.. I have been told by senior officials in the Indian Government that things have been ‘sorted out’.. Also, it is not surprising that despite the mayhem that appears to be taking place within parts of Burma, that the large international corporations, whether American, Russian or Chinese (not to leave aside smaller western powers) continue to beat a path to Neipidaw and Yangon, political and economic capital of Burma.. There’s business and money to be made in good times and bad.. In all this turmoil, the stand of Aung Sang Suu Kyi and her party is crucial.. To me, at least, her position has been puzzling, and even of concern.. In different parts of the world, when she went on her first international trip last year to be feted and give addresses and accept awards, she hesitated to take a position on the Rohingya question.. At that time, one believed that that was a sensitive view which took a long-term approach as she did not want to exacerbate the ongoing confrontation.. But when she came to India and met some of us at a dialogue hosted by Salman Khurshid, the External Affairs Minister, she indicated what was really on her mind: that the Rohingya issue was complicated by corrupt immigration officials who allowed many illegal migrants to come across the border and settle in the Arakan.. To me, this appeared to be either a naive interpretation of facts on the ground for the Muslims of the Arakan, have settled there over generations and are a mix of many communities, including Arab, Bangla and others – or a ‘mainland’ or Burman construction of conditions.. With elections just two years away in Burma, how does one view also the fact that she took a place of honour along with the generals she so long opposed on a recent national day to watch the Army march past? Of course, her father was the founder of the modern Burmese army.. So in a way, this too can be explained.. But what cannot be explained adequately is the reluctance to take a position that would pit her against the right wing in her party and in the Burman community, the largest and most powerful of all ethnic groups in her country.. Is she reluctant to possible alienable the influential and populous vote bank which would decide her future as the first democratically elected leader of Burma in decades? Can the latter be taken for granted.. given the rifts which have surfaced in her own party? But far more important, will The Lady take a far more inclusive approach than she has done so far because as she herself as indicated, that is the key to a stable and hopefully democratic future in Burma.. Being an Icon is not enough.. Her friends, well wishers and neighbours are watching.. Sanjoy Hazarika.. Managing Trustee.. (From his regular column in the Assam Tribune published on 3rd April 2013).. Republic Day Honours.. Sonitpur ANM Mrs Elizabeth Tigga being felicitated by state minister Tanka Rai Bahadur.. The Boat Clinic units at Sonitpur and Barpeta, under women District Programme Officers Moushumi Duwarah and Sapna Das respectively won laurels at the Republic Day celebrations.. The Unit at Sonitpur district was felicitated by the State Minister Planning Development Mr Tanka Rai Bahadur in presence of the Deputy Commisioner Mr Tapan Sarma and SP Mr Apurva Jivan Baruah.. The ANM of the unit Mrs Elizabeth Tigga received the award on behalf of unit at the Republic Day function in the district where the Boat Clinic services were appreciated by the minister.. Elizabeth was the only ANM to receive the award from Sonitpur district this year for her work.. It may be mentioned that the district administration short listed the Boat Clinic unit after a house to house survey conducted by a team under the initiative of the district health administration.. The team visited char areas as part of an IPPI camp and checked the vaccination status in that area.. They were given positive feedback from the villagers regarding the health services provided by the Boat Clinic.. The Boat at Sonitpur named “SB Numali has been donated by the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility outreach in 2011.. At Barpeta, the district health society selected the Boat Clinic unit in the district a model worth displaying in the Republic Day tableau.. A proud moment for  ...   Hamur char, Bhangkoura char, Kajiar char, Lohori char, Nabur char and Kasemor char by the Morigaon Boat Clinic team to open bank accounts for health beneficiaries (especially new mothers).. 366 accounts were opened.. Media.. Nalbari.. Correspondents from of Zee News visited Nalbari Boat Clinic on 10.. December, 2012 and attended a health and immunization camp at Balarchar.. The three member team accompanied the health team and reached the camp conducted in the residential premises of ASHA worker Sohida Dewan.. Two hundred people attended the camp for health check ups and some of these beneficiaries were interviewed by the media team.. Individual interviews of each member of Nalbari Boat Clinic were also taken.. Sonitpur.. Doordarshan Kendra, NE, Guwahati produced a documentary on innovative health service under NRHM and accordingly covered a health camp conducted by the Sonitpur Boat Clinic Unit in February 2013.. The documentary was telecast on 25.. March.. Kamrup.. Journalist Samudra Gupta Kashyap from the Indian Express accompanied the Kamrup Boat Clinic team to a health camp at Balagaon held in the Balagaon L.. P.. School premises.. Team reached the school premises at 11.. 30 am after 50 minutes boat journey and almost one hour on foot.. Kashyap interviewed a few villagers and patients for his coverage.. An awareness session on importance of routine immunization was held where community worker Md.. Lalmaud Ali, CW spoke to the gathering.. Sanjoy Hazarika and his family with the Jorhat Boat Clinic team on December 31, 2012.. The team halted the night at Bhekeli Village.. Local villagers entertained the guests with a cultural session- local songs and dances including the ever popular Bihu on the New Year’s Eve.. Capacity building.. A two day capacity building training for ASHAs on family planning and reproductive health was organized at C-NES’ Brahmaputra Community Radio Station, Dibrugarh on 5.. and 6.. March 2013.. 21 ASHAs and 2 ANMs from Dibrugarh and Dhemaji Districts attended the training, part of the Population Foundation of India (PFI) supported C-NES project to popularize the concept of family planning among the Brahmaputra river island communities in five of the thirteen Boat Clinic districts in Assam -Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Sonitpur.. The objective of the training was to impart clear concepts on family planning methods, effective counseling skills for better community response and to make the participants confident in community discussions and challenging topics.. The participants were welcomed by Arup Saikia, DPO, Dibrugarh Boat Clinic and Chandana Bora, State FP Coordinator who discussed the challenges faced by the ASHAs in char areas.. The resource persons for the training were Dr.. Tulika Goswami Mahanta, Professor Dibrugarh Medical Collage and Ms.. Monisha Borgohan, DPM, NRHM Dibrugarh.. Medical Officers of Dibrugarh Baot Clinic Dr.. Bhoben Ch Bora and Dr Priyanku Pratik Sarma were present.. Training and discussions were held on Reproductive and Child Health, Maternal Health, IPC skills and advocacy with community and the government.. Jamia NE Centre inaugurated.. The inaugural plaque unveiled by MM Pallam Raju,.. Minister for Human Resource Development, GoI Pallam Raju inaugurated the totally NE decor and designed new premises of the Centre for NE Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi to a packed, standing hall on 22.. nd.. January 2013.. He said that the centre should be the pivot of research and work in NE and neighbourhood and that it should bridge gaps between field work, research and policy.. The ethnic NE decor and designed new premises of the Centre for NE Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi.. NE Fest of Cultures in Delhi.. Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee, C-NES and Director of Centre for NE Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Millia Islamia, launched a two-day NE Festival of Culture at the Habitat Centre in New Delhi on January 18.. and 19.. ,2012.. He chaired a session on Mizoram with a range of scholars.. Two other C-NES Trustees had a key role in the programme: Preeti Gill, formerly editor of Zubaan books, helped put the entire project together: Ms.. Patricia Mukhim, editor of the Shillong Times chaired the opening panel and moderated a session on Meghalaya.. Street Plays for awareness.. The Bongaigaon Boat Clinic team organized six street plays in the district’s river island villages in collaboration with the district NRHM as part of an awareness drive during February 2013.. Awareness on prevention of early marriage, adolescent girl’s health, importance of immunization for children, pregnant women and Government schemes for health beneficiaries were some of the areas focused.. The Community worker’s announced about the plays earlier so there were big gatherings for each play.. At the end of the programme the community workers had a special message to share about the play which was appreciated by the people.. My experiences with the Boat Clinic.. Swapna Das, DPO unit II, Barpeta.. Work is worship.. —I am guided by this principle from the Bhagawat Gita.. And this is why I have been working with sincerity whenever and wherever I have got opportunities.. But the job as D.. O.. under C-NES.. will be always memorable life long.. There are challenges, thrills and excitements everyday.. The greatest thing is that we get to be in direct contact with people.. Service to mankind is service to God.. - is the proverb highly prevalent all over the world.. Being a part of.. C-NES.. I have got a chance to serve human being.. So, I feel very blessed myself.. My team has been working in Barpeta District in lower Assam providing medical services to the poor and underprivileged.. Our area of operation is the river island villages locally called char.. The life style and living standard in char villages are different from mainland village.. People living here are struggling with basic needs, diseases and with natural disasters.. There is no sea in Assam.. But the Brahmaputra in Assam and its tributaries are as mighty more so during the monsoon season when floods ravage the state of Assam.. It happened in June –July month last year.. The Brahmaputra showed its Tandav Nritya or the dance of destruction with the monsoon rains.. The wave of floods swept away everything that came its way.. Barpeta Mandia road was under water and all bridges and pools were washed away.. The electric posts with cables were leaning dangerously on road side.. The river ghat road was totally under water.. The char areas where our team conducts health camps remained cut-off for long from other part of the district.. The flood caused untold human misery and devastation.. Thousands of people became homeless and left in search of high land for shelter by using small boats and rafts made of parts of banana trees.. I sensed my duty and obligation.. My heart cried for these kind hearted ordinary people.. They now needed our help.. Our existence there and support would really mean a lot for those people.. Otherwise, they would become easy prey of epidemic diseases.. So, my team had got ready with all we required.. But then we realized our helplessness.. How could we could reach our destination? There were no road links, no other means by which we could reach our boat clinic.. A chunk of the concrete bridge was hanging as the only evidence and memory of the bridge at Manikpur ghat.. The tea stall of Rahim Chacha where we sipped hot cups of tea had no sign.. I had not seen the familiar faces like Sakina Jerina who always greeted us in her own language……….. and what happened to the boy who asked our medical officer almost everyday: “I caught a big fish today.. Do you need it sir?”.. Where had those people gone? I could not guess their whereabouts.. Were they alive? I looked at the packets of foods and medicine again and again.. I had received a number of calls during the flood.. : Miss Swapna, you have to arrange relief camps from tomorrow hook or by crook.. District administration ordered us to do so.. …………….. the joint director said.. : Swapna, help us…………situation is too grave………….. -Mandia block PHC in-charge telephoned.. We all were aware about our own responsibility but could not do anything.. We were trapped with road link cut off.. That day I wished human beings had wings to fly.. I called on the driver and asked him to arrange a bike.. Next day we came out in search of alternative roads.. The poor and dangerous condition of sub-roads disrupted our search drive.. The bridges and pools were broken or swept away in multiple places.. Yet we continued our search all the day.. Different kinds of thoughts came to my mind.. Sometime, I thought that I was.. knocking at death’s door.. I was putting myself in danger.. Within a moment the previous thought was replaced by new one- it was a chance to do something good- an opportunity to serve the people who were struggling for life.. Every cloud has a silver lining.. At last, we found an alternative road.. My team could reach Brahmaputra after crossing three tributaries-.. Beki, Saulkhowa and Vellengi river.. We quickly decided to take that long path.. Thus, we served the people for nearly two months.. The flood situation improved gradually and the Mandia road became useable once again.. But this time it was not so smoo.. Still we used it and traveled a portion by the multipurpose vehicle Sumo, a portion by boat, some of it by tempo and some on foot before we could reach our clinic floating on Brahmaputra.. Those are familiar scenes in char areas and well-known to all who are working at boat clinics.. The past days were my toughest days but full with thrills, suspense, experience and knowledge.. We are trying to give our level best to char villagers ignoring all our physical pain and discomfort.. We participated in exhibition of Assam Sahitya Sabha sanmilan held from 1/01/2013 to 5/01/2013 at Barpeta Road.. We even arranged a show on.. Republic Day.. with the help and guidance of District health society, Barpeta this year so that we could showcase what the boat clinic is.. Rana Dev Das, Joint Director of Health Services, inspired and supported the programme.. I am very grateful to him as his leadership has been an inspiration to improve our service and fulfill the dream of reaching the unreached.. The rainy season will soon arrive, so will our battle with nature begin again.. But we are not afraid of these odds.. We are more mature, experienced and determined this time and are ready to come out successfully again.. My team will go to fight back again to be the winner.. Because we believe-.. quitters never win; winners never quit.. And we also truly believe-.. action speaks louder than words.. Please feel free to contact us at: c-nes@c-nes.. org fr any inquires.. General..

    Original link path: /2011/c-nes-newsletter-january-march-2013
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  • Title: By the Brahmaputra (Vol: 20) : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: By the Brahmaputra (Vol: 20).. | January 16, 2013 |.. (For the quarter October – December 2012).. By the Brahmaputra : The North-east must fashion the Burma Road.. At a recent discussion on Myanmar, where several senior Burmese civil society figures participated, a number of ‘real issues’ came up.. One was the puzzlement of those from that country about the so-called ‘Look East Policy’ and what it meant, specifically, for Myanmar, and how those from the North-east agreed about the LEP’s failure to do anything of substance for the region itself.. Another was the amusing way in which some former Indian Government officials had transformed themselves from speaking only for government and believing in what it does (what is called G to G: Government to Government) to becoming breathless advocates of a P to P (forgive the inappropriately sounding phrase) approach.. A third was the way in which speakers from the NER, especially those in office, made forceful pleas for ensuring that those from the region drove the approach, policy and conceptual framework for the new relationship with Myanmar and South East Asia.. As TP Khaund, the representative and adviser of the Mizoram Chief Minister, and a veteran administrator himself declared, it is those from the region who speak its languages, have traveled in the area and understand its people and those on the other side of the border with sensitivity, who are best equipped to take a pro-people policy of neighbourly relations forward.. This cannot be done by mandarins from Delhi, especially a few retired ones who have breathlessly gone into pushing their ideas on the area.. There were other issues which came up and which need to be reflected upon.. Rajiv Bhatia, surely one of the finest foreign policy officers that India has produced who thinks about international and national issues with coherence and served with distinction as Ambassador to Myanmar, made other telling points: one was the umbilical link between reform and reconciliation, a point that President Obama himself made and which rings true from the experiences of South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines and even pockets of the gravely troubled Middle East.. The other substantial point is how Myanmar was going to deal with a federal polity, a concept that was banned from discussion for decades because it was seen as a precursor of all things evil including the possible fragmentation of the country.. One needs to understand this issue a bit more substantially for it informs the latter part of this column.. Myanmar’s major ethnic groups are minorities in their country but majorities in their homelands where their languages and traditions rule.. Since 1962, when Gen.. Ne Win took over in a military putsch that displaced the democratic U Nu, contemporary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the military had fought brutal, unending civil wars with the ethnic armies of the country, which only have calmed in the past decade and appear to be coming only now to some form of political accord, under President Thein Sein’s benevolent gaze.. The accounts of those conflicts are too chillingly similar to our own military’s encounters with the Nagas, Mizos and then Manipuris and to a degree those from Assam over a similar time frame.. People displaced and killed, villages burned, women molested and raped, a long list of the disappeared.. After some time, a counter-story in our country emerges, from the other side, of manifest brutality and extortion, depredation and intimidation by armed non-state actors.. Yet, over the decades, good sense began to prevail in Delhi and among the armed groups: political dialogue slowly replaced the language of weapons, negotiations and agreements became the process of change and ceasefires (many not implemented effectively) the order of the day.. Levels of peace began to grow even as insurgency-related violence began to slow, weakened by a commensurate growth in peoples aspirations, their lack of support for the militias and, indeed, their consequent fatigue with conflict and its many accompanying traumas.. This does not mean that violence is at an end but surely it is of no mean significance that no jawan had fallen to an insurgent bullet in Nagaland for over five years? Peace may not be in hand but a lessening of violence related to claims for sovereignty, that now faltering slogan, clearly is.. This is the advantage that even a fractured democracy is able to give people and citizenry it enables them the selection of candidates (not entirely of their preference but whom they can choose) to run affairs and with time better sense has prevailed in Delhi where it has become clear that the force of arms against fellow Indians must be replaced by the open hand of friendship, if not the embrace of agreement.. But in Myanmar, it’s a different story: having spent nearly half a century under a despotic military regime that has done its best to cut itself off from the world.. During that time, battling to crush ethnic claims and combatants, the generals who still make up a majority of the reforming (not reformed) Myanmar’s new face would be very reluctant at heart to embrace a multi-ethnic federal polity.. But this is the key to the country’s future and the difficulties are seen in even the unsure position of DASSK, as Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi is also known, on the issue of the Rohingyas.. Most Burmese leaders deny there is such a community in their country.. These unfortunates are denied citizenship.. They are derided and dismissed as Bangladeshi and that they speak Bangla (indeed, many speak a form of the Chittagongi dialect).. Aung Sang Suu Kyi, at an engaging conversation with some of us in Delhi during her recent visit, emphatically declared that many of the Rohingyas were out of doubtful nationality since corrupt immigration officials had allowed to let them in.. She has said this elsewhere as well.. To some of us, frankly, this appears to be far too simplistic and does not address the issue of ‘inconvenient’ minorities in homelands, a problem that is staring us in the face in Assam and other parts of the North-east.. Indeed, her remarks took me back to a conversation some years ago with some of the Myanmar political \groups in exile while they were based in Mizoram.. Two or three representatives of Arakan factions were also there.. When I asked the roomful of dissidents how they would plan to tackle the Rohingya problem, they all turned sheepishly to the other, half-smiled and almost together said that it would be resolved when democracy came to their country.. I still remember what I said to them at the time: ‘This means that your position is basically the same as the military and when and if democracy comes, it will not change and you will have the same problem all over again.. ” Unfortunately, this has become a fact and a thorn in the flesh of the nascent democracy in our eastern neighbour.. How are the Burmese to handle this and other ethnic divides which continue to trouble them?.. I believe there are good and bad examples to follow in the North-east.. One is not specifically referring to the Rohingya problem but to the overall question of a federal relationship: In the NER, there is the fine example of Mizoram where a comprehensive dialogue between the Centre and the Mizo National Front meant that politically inclusive negotiations preceded an agreement where the civil society, especially the powerful Church, was involved.. A Chief Minister stood down to make way, during an interim period, for the leader of the insurgents to take office.. In one swift move, the armed fighter had become a prisoner of the Constitution and its servant and thereby a part of the democratic process.. That Laldenga of the MNF was defeated by schisms within his own party even after winning at the hustings is another story, one that tells us not of the fragileness but the challenges, robustness and divisions of democratic politics in this country.. The Naga-Delhi talks appear to be at the same ‘final stage’ as the talks between ethnic groups and the Myanmar government with similar sticking points: will the ethnic army be disbanded and merged into the national army? What is the meaning of complete peace and cessation of conflict: does it bind future generations? What are the Constitutional provisions that guarantee a special ‘unique’ place to the negotiating group? Will land demands/borders be respected?.. The North-east is in a position to export good ideas and experiences to its neighbours, not just limited items of trade and headloads of tiny commodities at Moreh and Zokathar, Tamabil and the haats on the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border.. I write this from Thailand, which lies at the crossroads of many cultures and influences.. The soft power of our music (rock bands and musicians such as Reuben Mashangva, the Shillong Chamber Choir, the Nagaland Singing Ambassadors, Lopu Majaw, Rudi Wallang), poets and authors as well as sports figures (football teams from Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland) can perform in Mandalay and Yangon, in Bagan and Neipidaw but also in Bangkok and Cheng Mai, Kaula Lumpur, Penang, Singapore and Jakarta.. It’s the time for the real Look East Policy to come on the road, not a few car rallies organized by business associations, but one that is driven and designed by ideas and people from the region.. (From his regular column in the Assam Tribune published on 12th December 2012).. Myanmar conference at Jamia.. Following the significant visit of Opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi to India, a group of senior political, civil society figures and scholars from Myanmar participated in an international conference on ‘Myanmar: Distant Neighbour’, organized at Jamia Millia Islamia by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Millia Islamia in association with the Centre for Policy Research, ANFREL, Bangkok, and the Academy of International Studies (JMI).. The conference was held at the Rabindranath Tagore Hall in Mir Taki Mir, near the Administrative Building, on Dec 5.. The opening session was chaired by eminent writer journalist Sanjoy Hazarika, Director of the Centre at Jamia.. The effort was to look at ways of bridging existing gaps in collaboration and understanding and looking at ways to strengthen people to people connectivity.. The Myanmar team will have also studied Parliamentary procedure and processes.. From the Indian side, R.. S.. Mooshahary, Governor of Meghalaya, Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia,Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs, Dr.. Sanjaya Baru, former spokesman in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr KC Sivaramakrishnan Chairman, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi, Former Secretary, Govt.. of India, Senior Advisor, World Bank, Mr T P Khaund Principal Adviser to Govt.. of Mizoram and Mr.. PD Rai, MP(Sikkim) were among the policy makers, scholars and others who joined the conference.. The seminar brought together from Myanmar, under the aegis of ANFREL, prominent media practitioners as well as political activists and representatives of ethnic groups.. Participants at the Jamia conference.. Media Coverage.. NDTV.. The NDTV coverage of a health camp at Bordia.. A team from NDTV led by its North East Bureau Chief Kishalaya Bhattacharjya visited Bordiya char with the Kamrup Boat Clinic team on 15th October 2012 to cover a health camp with special focus on children affected by recent floods.. Dipankar Das, CEO and Bhaswati Gowami, Communications Officer, C-NES also accompanied  ...   effected by this.. Children accompanied their parents and the packed crowd eagerly listened to the talk.. To make the camp more appealing and to keep the children entertained there was singing competition arranged in two sapories.. Children of the islands sang beautifully excited with microphone in their hands, for the first time ever.. Monmohan Bora (MO), Elizabeth Kom (GNM) and Sashi Pamegam were the judges of the competition and prizes were distributed.. Singing competition at Sengelisuti.. Winners display their prizes.. Nalbari team in Health Mela.. Bhumidhar Barman treating people.. The Nalbari Boat clinic team took part in two special Swasthya (Health) Mela camps organized by Mukalmua BPHC at Barballa IV and Kaplabori in September 2012.. The former Health Minister of Assam and local MLA Dr.. Bhumidhar Barman accompanied the team.. The camp was conducted near the ghat before which a meeting was conducted by the villagers where they facilitated Dr.. Bhumidhar Barman who appreciated the work of the Boat Clinic in the district.. Nearly 700-800 people attended the Swasthya Mela where 649 patients were treated.. Bhumidhar Barman also treated the people.. Hand Washing Day observed.. Boat Clinic Community worker demonstrating hand washing to a child.. Global Hand washing Day (GHWD) is observed world over on October 15th to promote hand washing (with soap) as an important hygienic practice that reduces by two thirds, the prevalence of diarrhea, dysentery, other water borne diseases that affect and in many cases kills millions of children.. The Barpeta Boat clinic Unit 1, observed Global Hand Washing Day during its camp at Kasaripara, under Nagoan PHC.. Members of the Public Health Centre also accompanied the team and attended the camp.. As the camp is a regular targeted char under Boat clinic unit 1, routine immunizations and general check ups were also conducted.. In addition, awareness campaigns on health and hygiene, family planning, safe drinking water and sanitation were also organized.. Brahmaputra Community Radio Station.. C-NES in collaboration with UNICEF, Assam has set up a Community Radio Station (CRS) “Brahmaputra Community Radio Station” (BCRS) at Maijan, Dibrugarh, on the banks of the Brahmaputra.. The BCRS which is now fully equipped, staffed and expected to broadcast later this year will be broadcast in five languages Bhojpuri,Assamese,Mishing, Bodo and Shadri, the dialect of the tea tribe community (prominent in the nearby areas) and will thereby reach a large number of tea garden community members on diverse issues extremely relevant to them including health, education and entertainment leading to overall development of the community.. Programme on Gram Sabha.. Recording the programme on Gram sabha.. BCRS conducted a live phone in-out program on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in two Gram Sabha Panchayats in Dibrugarh district Hilodhari and Maijan Panchayat on 2nd October, 2012 including disseminating information on the basic ideas of Gram Sabha, its importance and people s participations in Gram Sabha and Gandhiji s Gram Swaraj.. A discussion on women’s participation in Gram Sabha and other village level social activities was also conducted with local women.. The reporters conducted interviews with villagers about their perceptions on gram sabha.. Workshop on proposal writing/ fund raising.. A three day workshop on effective proposal writing and fund raising for upcoming CR stations was organized by Drishti, a community media organisation in Ahmedabad at the Janvikas Training Centre, Ahmedabad in association with UNICEF, India from 6th to 8th November, 2012.. UNICEF Delhi has entered into a partnership with DRISHTI to provide support on proposal writing fund raising for various CRS across the States.. 12 participants from seven CR stations supported by UNICEF, participated in the workshop from seven different states of India- BCRS, Assam; Radio Dhimsa, Odisa; Lalit Lokvani, UP; Sambhav, MP; MANT, WB; Vaishali Lokvaani, Bihar; SPAR, Jharkhand.. Radio Brahmaputra was represented by Mr.. Manik Ch.. Boruah, Associate Programme Manager, C-NES and Mr.. Bhaskar Jyoti Bhuyan, BCRS’ Coordinator.. Mohan Krishna from Janvikas Training Centre was the key resource person of the training.. Management Committee meeting.. Media person Mrinal Talukdar at the BCRS in October 2012.. He appreciated the programmes and spots made by these first time community reporters and offered valuable suggestions and feedback for the upcoming station.. A management committee meeting of BCRS was held at its conference hall on 30th October 2012, attended by five members from the BCRS management committee Dr.. Bishnuram Das, Associate Professor, Community Medicine, AMCH,Dr.. Bangthai, JDHS, Dibrugarh,Dr.. Pranjal Sharma, Associate Professor, Dept.. of Sociology, Dibrugarh University,Mr.. Ikbal Ahmed, Senior journalist, The Sentinal, Dibrugarh and Mr.. Amrit Kr.. Borah, DPO, Boat Clinic, Dibrugarh.. along with Managing Trustee, C-NES Sanjoy Hazarika, PMU members Ashok Rao, Program Manager and Manik Ch.. Boruah, Associate PM.. Four DPOs from the neighboring Boat Clinic districts and 13 staff from BCRS also attended the meeting chaired by the Managing Trustee.. A presentation about the project activities and description of various formats was made by the BCRS Coordinator, Bhaskar Jyoti Bhuyan.. Selected BCRS produced programmes were played in the meeting for a feed- back about the quality of programmes and suggestions for improving the same.. Impressed with the productions especially those on health issues, Dr.. Bangthai, JDHS, Dibrugarh requested the BCRS team for the lyrics of the song on hand washing, so that it could be used by the health department.. Managing Trustee urged Dr.. Bangthai to think whether the song on hand washing could be used by the health department as the theme song.. Talks by Sanjoy Hazarika.. Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee, C-NES and Director, Centre for NE Studies at Jamia, spoke on Unraveling the North-east: conflicts, concerns, issues at the Gandhi Study Circle, St.. Stephen s College, Delhi on Oct 18, 2012.. The same evening, he participated in a discussion on Identity and the NE organized by Zubaan Talkies at The Attic, Connaught Place (Regal Building).. The discussions had Ms.. Kausiki Sarma and Ms.. Zuveni Lotha, photographers, as well as Ms.. Nitu Das of the English Dept of IP College, Delhi University and was moderated by Ms.. Preeti Gill, C-nes Trustee and Editor, Zubaan.. Researcher at Majuli.. Researcher and journalist Papri Sri Raman recently visited Majuli,the largest river island and the centre of Vaishnavite culture in Assam in association with Jorhat Boat Clinic to conduct research on the Satras (monasteries).. She also visited Jorhat Boat Clinic.. Follows a write up by her on the Majuli experience.. Hope Rides On The River.. The River the river the river you have to see it to understand the enormity of it.. and how insignificant I and you are before this vast stretch of water.. Still as a glass.. Mine was a study trip to the island of Majuli.. I had never been to the north-east and this was my first visit.. I was going alone.. I did not know the language.. I had no friends or relatives anywhere there.. Yes, like most others in the rest of India, I had never consciously thought of the north-east and there was the usual matter of ignored identity.. There were also the newspaper headlines of the floods and riots which cast long shadows over the picture of Mary Kom on Time magazine cover.. But yes, there was that inspiration, if she could do it, so could I.. If nearly two million flooded out people could reb againuild year after year, if the grass in the Kaziranga park could stand tall again and, so could I.. The Centre for North East Studies was not part of my plan, although a few years ago, it had facilitated a fellowship for me for conflict studies.. It just took an e- mail from Sanjoy Hazarika to Riturekha Barua in Jorhat for me to be able to go through Jorhat and see what is popularly known as the Ship of Hope.. The hospital boat is steady as any house could be, people coming in and crowding the starboard, the voices of the busy GNMs could be faintly heard.. The S S Nahor is getting ready for an assessment by a visiting National Rural Health Mission team.. I will be going on to the island and will not be on the boat going from sapori to sapori, but I understand what it would be like, district programme officer Ritu and general nurse and midwife Elizabeth take me on a conducted tour, explain it all to me, as does the boatmaster.. Anganwadi worker Deepti Mili would be crossing over to Gormur in Majuli on the crowded ferry boat, which provides only four crossover services in the day from Nimatighat.. It is three hours on the river.. She holds my hand and tells me how the Boat Clinic has made a great difference to all the char or sapori, inhabited mud flats, on the river in lower Majuli area, where the boat clinic service is provided.. To convince people to go for immunisation for the children still remains a problem , Deepti says.. Just like elsewhere in rural India.. If I fall flat on my face on the slippery fine muddy banks of the Brahmaputra, I actually have nothing to fear.. The boats are full of friends! The Mishing know, the boat clinic is there for them.. There is no one at the port side, its the quiet back of the boat under sunshine though.. where I sit wondering and asking why and how the water is still and so high the sapori is barely inches above the waterline, the silt lurking just under even the boatmaster is not sure where it is so much for guesswork and not running into one while navigating.. Just two weeks ago this was the water that displaced almost two million people today it sleeps like a baby the erosion on the banks immense and for the world to see.. The biggest island is slowly falling away, bit by bit.. There are no waves in the Brahmaputra and the still placid surface tempts one to walk over first drop your shoes, then drop the ipad,ipod,ebook, datacard pen,paper, everything.. just be without anything.. just the place to vanish.. watching the ring of ripples as one by one these attachments disappear.. and then I know the xihu (hihu) is waiting at the centre of the ripple.. asking me to dive in and follow him upriver to his wonderful kingdom.. On the Majuli island, the temples are like tapovans, roadless and remote and shaded by tall shonaru and shilikha , Bel, bakul, banana groves, I walk over flowers, goat kids trail me to my sleeping quarters, angry geese bar my way, the sound of music khol,taal wakes me and puts me to sleep they bring me payesh, prasad from the temple in bucketful my first cup of tea.. My monastery hosts ensure that I don t miss any of bhawna recitals and they want me not to to leave, the monastery has five hundred young acolytes i am stunned by the kindness and caring of strangers they didn t know me a few days ago but they protect me as though I was as precious as their sashipats.. Work cannot always be an escape.. freedom is when you leave the city and its heartache behind freedom is to be able to be in the back of beyond where no one knows you, ride with the xihu on the boat of hope watching a golden moon playing on the wide, wide river Brahmaputra.. Papri Sri Raman..

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  • Title: By the Brahmaputra (April – June, 2012) : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: By the Brahmaputra (April – June, 2012).. | July 15, 2012 |.. By the Brahmaputra (Vol: 18).. C-NES Newsletter.. (For the quarter April – June 2012).. By the Brahmaputra.. A question of trust, equality – force Centre to share facts about water.. Perhaps ‘In the Brahmaputra” or ‘On the Brahmaputra’ may be the more appropriate title for this week’s column and perhaps for the next months as well.. As the river brushes aside embankments and feeble human efforts to control it, we are reminded again and again of the thunderous songs of Dr.. Bhupen Hazarika in his endless tributes to the river, of ‘on either bank, the breath of so much hope and despair.. ’.. And again we are reduced to wringing our hands, organizing the same set of seminars, workshops and inviting the same set of speakers and self-styled experts to talk about the flood ‘threat’, calling for ‘good ideas’ and better engineering solutions etc.. Suddenly, the Government has realized that embankments are a curse; they are a palliative answer not a permanent solution, developed by British engineers and their Indian successors to protect the towns and let the flood plains where our main populations live be destroyed.. Can you think of a more cynical approach: study the pattern of embankments – they are built to protect towns and large, important villages (usually close to an urban centre or home to an influential official or politician).. They are designed to keep the river out, not to let it flow.. And despite everything that we do, our fresh water sea dismisses our intervention with contempt.. I wonder if our engineers,.. babus.. and politicians will ever learn anything from anywhere despite all the trips they make abroad and MOUs they sign.. New theories are floated to suggest engineering solutions, whether by dams or braiding etc.. We can theorize and model all the way to heaven or hell but as others have said before, an ounce of practice is worth a million tons of theory.. Well, all these theories are being buried under the weight of the water and sediment of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries of these past years.. As a river, the Brahmaputra is the greatest sediment carrier in the world after the Hwang he or Yellow River of China.. The alluvial fans of the Brahmaputra stretch beyond the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans, the ‘Mouths of the Ganges” in Bangladesh which should be renamed as the Mouths of the Brahmaptura for it is the greater river, past the Andamans and towards Indonesia, building land underwater in the Bay of Bengal even as its gouges soil from the Tibetan Plateau, the Assam Plains and Bangladesh.. Today, we are told that the Government has discovered that erosion is the major problem in the Brahmaputra.. Well, scholars like Prof.. Dulal Goswami of Gauhati University defined this as the key concern decades back.. No one listened to them.. The embankments we build, year after year, despite funding from international institutions like the Asian Development Bank are poorly made.. Over 300 of them gave way in the last major deluge in 2006; or have we forgotten that disaster already? Governments count on short public memory.. But we seem to be suffering from collective amnesia.. I’m prepared to wager that many of the 100+ embankments which have collapsed this time around were in that earlier list.. And what did studies commissioned before that disaster and after it find: that the embankments were poorly designed, badly constructed and ill maintained.. I’m running out of adjectives here.. Some of the problems are very simple: the structures are weakened by infestation of rats, which burrow below the surface, weakening the stone and mud above, allowing water to seep in.. When a flood comes – use your imagination and a little science to think of what happens.. These embankments being the only seemingly safe high land, the refugees from the villages crowd upon them, using the tin sheets, bamboo poles, tents that government gives and other materials they ar3e able to salvage.. There are embankments on villages at the edge of Guwahati, abutting its pride and joy, the IIT of Uttar Guwahati.. Go and visit them and see how wretched are the lives of those who toil in the fields at such times: hungry, sick, having lost their capital (homes, property, crops and most, of all, animals).. They survive on the doles of a flood manual that hasn’t been revised in 30 years.. That is an outrage by itself.. Try living for a few hours, forget about a day like that and you will understand why millions of people are angry and desperate.. The humiliation and lack of dignity is an affront to all of us.. The Government has waged a valiant fight at the district level, under its state leadership.. The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and state officials, political leaders, district authorities, have worked ceaselessly, with courage, energy and determination.. As usual, the Indian Air Force and army has rushed to the help of the beleaguered garrisons of tens of thousands of people; yet the human toll has risen to over 120 as I write and hundreds of animals have been killed by floods in Kaziranga, not to speak of the evil poachers and reckless drivers).. But despite this courage, this is not a situation that a state can control, as the Chief Minister has admitted with candour.. It is even beyond the power of the Centre.. But it requires as scholars such as Prof.. Goswami, Prof.. Chandan Mahanta of the IIT and others have been demanding for long – a regional approach that must bring in China, Bangladesh and Bhutan.. We are sandwiched between all these countries, an island as it were marooned between receiving the waters of two nations (Tibet and Bhutan) and flushing those waters downstream to another lower riparian, Bangladesh, of whose suffering little has appeared in our media.. What is at stake here is not just the lives of millions of people.. It is also the issue of equality and discrimination: the Government refuses to share information with even the Governments of its own party/allies in these border regions! What does that tell us: no number of statements from Prime Ministers or UPA chiefs or helicopter rides over the flood stricken areas can negate the actual message behind it all: we can’t trust you.. Because “international;” rivers and “international borders” and security issues are “involved.. ” It’s as simple as that.. The Government of India refuses to share information on water: it treats water like a state secret, locked up in vaults, away from even the prying courage of RTI buccaneers.. The reports of the Brahmaputra Board are not accessible to even state leaders.. I know in one case where a Chief Minister asked for the report of the Board; it was brought to him by an official who stood in the room while the Chief Minister examined the report and then took the same away after the politician had completed his perusal.. Of course, times have changed and perhaps information is more readily accessible.. But this is all part of the process and system of secrecy that dominates our region and our rulers.. So it is not just the offensive and draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act that we must mobilize against, it is also the lack of information on issues such as water and our natural resources where the state governments must battle with and for us, the people.. How can you design policy or an embankment or a project or programme of any sort if you do not have access to the basic data.. And we don’t.. This is the astonishing fact: and instead of merely fighting against big dams, I believe that all must come together to force the Centre share information on issues that make the difference between life and death for millions, between hunger and destitution for them and between governance and delivery of basic services by Governments.. Scholars base everything on the river on estimates and presumptions not on raw data because they do not have access to this, barring what little they and their research teams generate! How can you plan for the future on such an ad hoc basis?.. It is in the interests of the Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya as well as Sikkim especially as four states which are directly affected by the devastating floods, landslips and incessant rain to come together and press the Centre to give them the information they need and which the people require.. It is their constitutional mandate and the basic human rights of those who are suffering today.. I write with concern about my boat clinic teams, one of which had to be rescued by an IAF helicopter sortie in Amarpur (Tinsukia district – I wonder how many of our school and college children even know of its existence), but who have, within days of being rescued returned to their efforts of reaching the most vulnerable on the islands with sustained medical help and succour.. This is where our partnership with the National Rural Health Mission in Assam is an example of a triumph against all odds and why it is held up as an example, by the Central Planning Commission, of inclusive health care.. So even in desperation, lies hope.. From despair can come courage.. But let our Governments and all of those concerned about the vulnerable of Assam come together and demand with one voice of the Centre – open up, don’t just toss out a few hundred crores and think of palliative measures.. These deny us justice and access to rights.. Share the data, plan the present and future with us, not for us.. Aami jodi bharotor xontan, tene amar maat, amar kotha xunok.. Will the Governments have the courage to lead this fight? Many eyes are on Tarun Gogoi; as the region’s most influential chief minister and political leader, he cannot let this slip away.. In all this, do not forget the river’s cry it needs space to breathe, as it were, for our help in gouging out the millions of tons of silt and sand, pebbles and rocks that it brings down along its magnificent journey to the sea.. Use dredgers continuously, use them scientifically not to raise sand that is used to build fancy apartments in Guwahati but to deepen channels and enable navigation to flow again, for the fish to spawn, for the.. xihus.. , the dolphins, to play again.. In the health of our rivers, lies our future.. Not in damning and blocking them.. (From his regular column in the Assam Tribune published on 11 th July2012).. MT delivers talk at Boll headquarters.. Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee, C-NES, was invited to give a series of talks in Germany and screen his latest film on conflicts and its impact on women in the North East.. Hazarika, who also holds the Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair and is Director of the Centre for NE Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, gave the first of the talks on Monday April 16, 2012 at the Heinrich Boll Foundation Headquarters in Berlin followed by a screening of his latest documentary, ´A Measure of Impunity: the impact of conflict on women in Nagaland and Assam.. ´ The film is directed by Maulee Senapati.. The screening was preceded by the launch of a month-long exhibition of Kausiki Sarma´s powerful images of conflict and its repercussions; the photos formed a crucial part of the report released by former Home Secretary GK Pillai in Delhi last September.. Later in the week, Hazarika traveled to make presentations of the film at the Martin Luther University at Halle, the University of Leipzig, the Society for Indo-German Cooperation at Frankfurt before concluding at the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg.. Each presentation was followed by an interactive session.. This was the first time that such an extensive programme on the North-east was organized by the Boll Foundation in Germany.. Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction.. Managing Trustee Sanjoy Hazarika spoke on understanding Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) issues and the different roles of media in DRR at a workshop on “Main streaming media into disaster risk reduction” organized by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority on 9.. April 2012 at the Assam Secretariat, Dispur.. The Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Tarun Gogoi, the state Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Shri Prithvi Majhi was present at the workshop along with Shri Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman, NDMA, Delhi.. Over 90 media professional from both print and electronic were present.. The workshop emphasized on the role of media in covering disaster events, recovery and mitigation initiatives and establishing effective interface between disaster management agencies and communities at risk.. The role of media in informing the people and the authorities during emergencies becomes critical, especially the ways in which media can play a vital role in public awareness and preparedness through educating the public about disasters, warning of hazards, alerting Government officials, helping relief organizations and public towards specific needs.. Highlighting the role of the media Hazarika said “As journalists, we are in the business of public information; we should give information to people about which the government does not want to give people.. ” He said that in all disaster natural or human induced, humans have had the worst role to play and that those who are vulnerable and poor are more affected by natural disasters.. He suggested offering media fellowships to journalists to study disaster management which found good response among the participants and the organizers.. Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi at the workshop.. Sanjoy Hazarika addressing the workshop.. Training for Laboratory Technicians.. A five day induction training for Boat Clinic laboratory technicians on Human Immuno Deficiency Virus Infection/ Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS) was held at the seminar hall of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) organized by the Department of Microbiology, GMCH from 12.. to 16.. March 2012.. Fifteen laboratory technicians from the Boat Clinic units participated in the training held to give basic awareness, detection and control of HIV, a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus.. The illness interferes with the immune system making people with AIDS much more likely to get infection, that do not usually affect people with working immune systems.. This susceptibility increases as the disease worsens.. HIV/AID is a major health problem in many parts of the world and is considered a pandemic.. As of 2010,  ...   working to lower the alarming figures.. But the latest challenge they face is climate change.. Healthcare for islanders.. Murari Yadav is paddling his boat on the Brahmaputra River.. He navigates through the early morning traffic on the river.. Boats pass by with people eager to get across to the land for their day’s work.. Yadav is also helping people get to work.. He’s ferrying a team of doctors and supporting medics from the C-NES to an island about 40 kilometres from Tinsukia, a commercial town in upper Assam.. They are heading upstream on the river to get to a remote island called Amalpur.. Today, they will be setting up a camp there for villagers of the Missing tribe.. Floating clinics.. Sanjoy Hazarika, founder of C-NES, came up with the idea of delivering medical aid to the needy along the Brahmaputra River.. Once while he was travelling on the river, he heard a story about a pregnant woman on an island who died while waiting for transport.. “This is really unacceptable in this day and age that people have to die for lack of care.. So I thought, instead of people going for the service, why not take the service to them?” Hazarika says.. Today the boat clinics, which began in 2005, work in 13 districts in Assam along with the government organisation, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).. Poor infrastructure.. Back on the river, the C-NES boat has reached the bank.. It’s taken two hours on two boats.. But the journey isn’t over yet.. The team has to endure an arduous tractor ride to reach Napun village, where they will be setting up camp.. Villagers, most of them women and children, are already queuing up at the clinic.. Narintari Chantalya is eight months pregnant.. She remembers the last time she gave birth.. “I was in labour for four days.. It was very difficult.. They finally took me to a hospital far away,” she says.. Maternal mortality.. Narintari is still scared by her experiences and so are many others.. They have all heard of women dying while giving birth.. Assam has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, at 393.. The doctor presiding over the camp, Dr Ritesh Kalwar, says Narintari’s haemoglobin levels are very low.. “She is anaemic,” he says.. “I’ve prescribed her iron tablets and hopefully they should do the work.. She is due to deliver the baby in a few weeks, so she should be careful,” Dr Kalwar adds.. Once the patient leaves, he says, awareness among villagers about their health is very low.. “They have myths about some things.. For instance, they believe that taking iron tablets will make the baby too big causing complications during delivery,” he says.. On that day, Dr Kalwar treats 110 patients at one go.. Environmental hurdles.. But illiteracy and logistics are not the only problems faced by the boat clinics.. Their growing concern now is climate change.. In the past couple of years, the boats have not been able to reach many islands due to lowering water levels on the Brahmaputra River.. As he ferries the medical team across the river on land, Murari Yadav, the captain of the boat, says he’s seen the river change a lot.. “I’ve been sailing boats since I was 13.. But I can tell you the river is not the same these past years.. The water levels have gone down and the river has grown wider,” he says.. He’s right.. The Brahmaputra is widening at an alarming rate of five metres every year.. If the trend continues, saving lives on the islands will become more and more difficult for the boat clinics.. The link:.. rnw.. nl/english/article/lifeline-a-river-assams-boat-clinics.. Radio Netherlands at CRS.. Dheera Sujan sharing her ideas at BCRS, Dibrugarh.. Dheera Sujan from Radio Netherlands visited C-NES’ Community Radio Station – Brahmaputra Community Radio Station (BCRS) at Dibrugarh’s Maijan on 24.. May 2012 and interacted with the coordinator Bhaskar Bhuyan, the reporters and staff of BCRS.. She shared her ideas on radio programming -the need for a good script, how to write a good script, the need to start a programme with a story and following it up with information and analysis.. Tips on good presentation, conducting an interview, presenting an issue with the right emotion and expression were also given for programmes to have maximum impact on the community.. These were valuable information for the young team.. Interaction with the Binns at Dhubri.. Earlier the same week Sujan travelled to Dhubri district in west Assam, bordering Bangladesh, where she met with members of the Binn community, a fishing community originally from Bihar.. The Binns were earlier active river dolphin hunters.. The dolphin blubber was used by the Binns as fish bait for which the endangered species were ruthlessly killed till C-NES intervened and converted the hunters into protectors through a Ford Foundation supported project on river dolphins linked to livelihood.. The conservation, through participatory efforts and weaning poachers away from hunting was one of the major successes of the project.. The Binns adopted conservation because they found a benefit in conservation: their catch improved nearly three times, so have their incomes with an alternative developed for dolphin oil: the fish gut oil.. The river dolphins,.. xihu.. in the local language has since been declared the National Aquatic Animal of India.. Sujan interviewed members of the community.. Corrective Surgery.. Year old Mamoni after the corrective surgery.. A corrective cleft lip surgery was performed on one year old, Mamoni Khatun, from Islampur village in Barpeta district in June 2012.. The District Programme Officer, Barpeta Unit noticed the child’s condition when she was brought to a health camp at as a nine month infant.. The DPO noticed how worried the mother was and informed her about Operation Smile,the corrective surgery performed free of cost at Guwahati’s Mohendra Mohan Hospital.. After getting relevant information and motivated by the DPO the parents took the child for surgery helped by the Asha and Asha facilitator.. Her happy parents expressed gratitude to the health team.. Family Planning initiative.. The Barpeta Boat Clinic Unit II was successful in conducting 3 IUCDs insertion on 19.. June 2012 as part of family planning initiative.. The Boat Clinics in each district have been giving awareness on family planning.. The beneficiaries- Sarala Begum (28 yrs) with three children Amela Nessa( 30 yrs) and Lal Bhanu (28 yrs) with five children each are residents of Uttar Sukherjar village in the district.. Along with reducing the high Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR- 390 per 1,00,000 live birth) Infant Mortality Rate (IMR- 61 per 1000) in Assam, reducing the high Total Fertility Rate (TFR- 2.. 6) in the state is an important focus area of C-NES’ Boat Clinic health initiatives under NRHM.. After constant awareness sessions by the health teams in thirteen districts across Assam, the people are becoming aware of the importance of FP (family planning) and have started using different methods, observed the health team members.. Many women show interest in inserting IUCD to prevent unwanted pregnancies.. Awareness campaigns on health and hygiene, family planning, safe drinking water and sanitation are regularly organized.. Motivating isolated communities under the influence of superstition and religions which do not encourage family planning is not an easy task for the health teams working, as they are, under challenging conditions.. AMC doctors assist Tinsukia Boat Clinic.. The NRHM Tinsukia district unit collaborated with Juniors Doctor’s Association (JDA) of AMC Dibrugarh to assist the Tinsukia Boat Clinic in organizing two joint health camps at Laika sapori and observed the Mother and Child Protection week on 16.. and 17.. The team reached Phasidiya river bank at 2 PM and loaded the medicines and other logistics in a bicycle and walked from the boat to Phasidiya village.. The camp started at 2.. 45 PM and continued till 4.. 20 PM where 124 patients were treated.. Intern from Germany.. Josephine Goldner (extreme left) with the team at Guijanghat, Tinsukia.. Josephine Goldner, a student from Bielefeld School of Public Health, Germany visited the Boat Clinic camps at Morigaon and Tinsukia in April 2012 to get an insight of the health outreach programme.. She visited Nepal and India to observe outstanding Public Health Programs in these countries, as part of an internship programme in a public health.. She also attended a Summer School on “Contextualizing Social Determinants of Health“at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in March 2012.. While her stay at Nepal and India was promoted by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and “International Public Health Partnership” between universities in India, Turkey, Nigeria and Germany she would be writing a report about these field trips by focusing on the aspects of social and geographical determinants of health.. At Morigaon’s.. Pithakhaity char Josephine interacted with the community as well as ASHA and AWW of the char village and enquired about the kind of services people have utilized from the boat clinic.. Art Contest for sapori children.. The Jorhat Boat Clinic has started organizing art contests for children dwelling around the islands- Baruah Chuk, Ghuria and Subidha sapori.. The first such competition was held on 26.. March at Baruah Chuk where 21 children took part.. Local school teacher Dipa Pegu helped the team.. In May 2012 they were held at Ghuria and Subudha sapori.. Excited at getting drawing papers and color pencils, the initially hesitant and secluded children, open up to their creative best.. They also perform traditional dances and sings at the group’s request.. Most regret not being able to attend regular schools, given their physical isolation.. Even where schools exist, they are in dilapidated conditions, teachers seldom take classes.. That has not however deterred them from aspiring; most aspire to become doctors naturally, the boat clinic doctors being the perfect role models to serve their community.. Children from Subidha sapori at the art contest while their guardians watch.. A young boy sings a devotional song while his friends listen.. Intern from UC Berkeley, California.. Arunava Sarma with the Bongaigaon health team.. Arunava Sarma, pursuing undergraduate degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology and Public Health with a focus on infectious disease at the University of California Berkeley interned at C-NES during May- June 2012.. Through her studies of Molecular and Cellular Biology she learnt about the biological aspect of disease, the underlying causes of malaise.. Public Health has given her a human perspective on disease: the importance of making care available to people in the most convenient manner to them, the importance of primary care in preventing disease, and the incredible need for education to prevent the spread of disease.. After her visits to and observation of health camps at Nalbari, Bongaigaon, Kamrup and Jorhat she feels that the Boat Clinic program is the epitome of public health as they go to isolated area, provide health services, and most importantly provide information about disease and how to prevent their incidence.. Arunava in addition her studies, also volunteers at the long established Berkeley Free Clinic.. The clinic provides free care especially with regards to general care, tuberculosis screening, and STI/HIV testing.. She was impressed with how the Boat clinic teams were able to create a trusting bond in rural populations in a short period of time that provides them the ability to better outreach to the community.. Also, as a hopeful future physician, she learnt about the diseases prevalent in specific areas and the methods of care adopted by the Boat clinics.. Boat Clinics in rescue operations.. Dhubri : Medartary.. Pharmacist Dhubri Boat Clinic, Ahad Ali Mollah attends to an injured girl, a victim of mishap.. The Dhubri Boat Clinic Unit I took active part in the rescue operation of the tragic boat mishap that took place at Dhubri’s Medartary, on 30.. April 2012.. Medartary lies in the border of two districts- Goalpara and Dhubri with regular ferry service between the two.. The ill-fated vessel carrying people and goods between Medartary ghat and Dhubri ghat was overcrowded even as it started journey in the afternoon.. Nearing Medertary ghat, the vessel faced a strong storm, lost balance and capsized.. Over 200 lives were lost.. As the incident happened in the evening and the weather was bad, the boat clinic team could not take part in the rescue operation the same day, but the next day (1-5-2012), the team sailed on vessel SB Rustam early morning to the site and took active part in search and rescue operations.. The team also carried medicine from the District Health department and transported them to the nearest State Dispensary for providing necessary aid to survivors.. The health team treated some of the survivors too.. Bongaigaon: Oudubi.. The Bongaigaon Boat Clinic team took active part in the rescue operation of a boat packed with passengers which capsized at Oudubi in the Champawati, a tributary of the Brahmaputra on 15.. of June 2012.. On village.. haat.. (fair) days many people travel to and fro from the Chapar.. bazaar.. through the route.. The DPO received a call from one of the Community workers in the evening about the incident After getting instruction from the C-NES regional office and district authorities the Bongaigaon Boat Clinic team reached the incident site the next morning to take part in the rescue operation.. The boat clinic MO and paramedics helped the Block PHC authorities at Boitamari BPHC.. 15 passengers were admitted at the Block PHC out of which 2 critical injured were referred to the civil hospital Bongaigaon.. After the boat reached the incident site the Deputy Commissioner asked the boat clinic staff to make a night halt as medical standby and help the rescue operation team the next day.. The army personal reached the spot at 7.. 30 am.. After searching for over 2 hours the capsized boat was recovered by the National Disaster Response Force, few kilometers away from the accident site.. Fortunately no casualties were recorded by the end of the search operation.. Water Resources Minster at Bongaigaon Boat Clinic.. Rajib Lochan Pegu, the State Minister for Water Resources accompanied by local MLA Chandan Kumar Sarkar and media persons boarded the Bongaigaon Boat Clinic on 25.. June, 2012 for a nearly two hour survey of erosion affected char areas around Dogasipara, Kheluapara pt I II, and Gaspara starting from Oudubi, under Boitamari Block PHC, Bongaigaon.. The Boat Clinic team led by the DPO and the MO discussed about the functioning of the Boat Clinic and the char areas covered with the Minister and the local MLA who assured the health team of all support while conducting camps.. **************..

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  • Title: C-NES Newsletter (January – March 2012)  : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: C-NES Newsletter (January March 2012).. | April 22, 2012 |.. By the Brahmaputra (Vol: 17).. (For the quarter January – March 2012).. My dear friends and colleagues: Twelve years ago, on a cold January day in New Delhi, my CA, Praveen Jain, and I, having received the support and signatures of a Board of Trustees, headed by the distinguished economist and institution-builder, Dr.. VA Pai Panandiker, for the creation of a Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, got the formal legal registration of C-NES.. What a long time ago it seems!.. It was just yesterday – when with hardly any staff, few funds and no offices but the goodwill, cooperation and support of our Trust members and Advisory Council, we began our work.. For nearly a year, we functioned out of a small room near my home in Delhi provided to us by Swaminathan Aiyar, the editor and economist.. Then, slowly projects, partnerships, plans, programs and people as well as funds started trickling in.. We moved to our first modest office in Delhi while in Guwahati, the Rashtriya Grameen Vikas Nidhi, then headed by Dr.. Mahfuza Rahman, agreed to provide us space as our first permanent staffer, Sanjay Sharma, joined in the North-east.. Today, we have an office in Delhi and a regional one in Guwahati with 15 smaller offices for our flagship programme, the Boat Clinics of the Brahmaputra; our work encompasses and enhances the opportunities for health care of the poorest and most vulnerable and marginalized of the saporis – and it goes beyond that with the community radio station which has been established at Maijan Ghat and which I think is one of the most exciting developments in our work over the past decade, education for children on the islands, solar power and veterinary care outreach to name just a few.. And these initiatives are focused on the socially and geographically excluded, the populations which have lived for generations on the islands of the river, and have been outside the reach of government programmes and private philanthropy.. From a team of three, we are nearly 300 today.. From a tiny budget, we have grown extensively.. And from the 12,000 island residents in Dibrugarh’s saporis that we first covered, we now have reached over 700,000, or about 25 percent of the total island population of Assam in 13 districts.. These are significant milestones and we shall go further.. Of course, we have other programmes – a whole range of them:.. Environment.. Our environmental work on protecting the highly endangered river dolphins (xihus) which became the State Aquatic Animal in 2008 directly as a result of our advocacy.. Indeed, what was truly satisfying was the transformation of the poachers who became conservationists as a result of their inclusion in the programme.. Our partners continue to work in the field of dolphin conservation adding the focus of livelihoods and tourism (eco-tourism).. A study of vehicular air pollution in Shillong (Meghalaya) and Guwahati (Assam) and its recommendations which have been shared with media and policy makers.. We have organized a number of fellowships and workshops for media practitioners, including awards funded by the UNHCR.. We produce the North East File which functions as a quarterly compilation of news of significance for the region and its neighbourhood for subscribers in the region and outside, including diplomatic missions (I would urge all to press for more subscribers!).. The print and visual media have been a consistent support by giving extensive and detailed reportage of our programmes, long-term work and carrying our views and concerns.. Today, we have our own Community Radio Station in Dibrugarh which is expected to start broadcasting later this year.. Indeed, senior figures of the media are also prominent members of the Board of Trustees (Ms.. Patricia Mukhim, editor of the Shillong Times) and Advisory Council (Mr.. Arnab Goswami of Times Now, Mr.. Pradip Phanjoubam of the Imphal Free Press, Mr.. BG Verghese, the acclaimed scholar-editor-author, and Mr.. Sanjeev Majpuria, editor of Whispers in the Corridor).. In addition, we have made two films, one on the river dolphins (Children of the River: the xihus of Assam) directed by Mr.. Maulee Senapati, and the second one was ‘A Measure of Impunity’ on the impact of conflict on women in the states of Nagaland and Assam.. These have been widely appreciated and screened at film festivals and at public events.. Maulee and I will be collaborating on a new set of short documentaries on health this year.. In addition, I write columns regularly for the Sunday Guardian (www.. sunday-guardian.. com) and the Assam Tribune.. Governance and Conflict Understanding.. Since our very inception, C-NES has worked at different levels to help various civil society groups from the states of our region to better understand each other’s perceptions and concerns.. We are privileged to have such stalwarts of the democratic movements in our Trust such as Niketu Iralu of Nagaland and Ms.. Patricia Mukhim, Mr.. Chaman Lal, Lt.. -Gen.. VK Nayar as well as, in our Advisory Council, Devaki Jain, Mr.. Verghese and Dr Sandi Syiem.. They are, in addition, warm and wonderful friends, who have stood by me and all of us in difficult days and times.. Our work on conflict is tempered by the sensitivity and concern of colleagues such as Preeti Gill, editor of Zubaan, the feminist publisher, and our teams in Nagaland and Assam who have help put together an extraordinarily powerful and moving document in ‘Bearing Witness: the impact of conflict on women’ in the two states, the film by Maulee and the exhibition by Kausiki Sarma.. Unless the voices of the most vulnerable reach the most powerful, how can we bridge the caps in our ‘democracy’?.. We visualized, designed and developed the Vision 2020 Peoples Document of the North Eastern Council, through a rigorous and challenging exercise which drew together 20 partner groups and 120 members to conduct surveys, workshops and analysis of what people ‘wanted’ in a Vision Document – that has formed part of the final report released by the Prime Minister in 2008.. It was perhaps the biggest survey conducted in the region, covering 40,000 households in eight states.. Parts of it are being implemented by the Centre and various states – but clearly not enough is being done to ensure truly inclusive growth.. The gaps remain visible and are far too extensive.. I have been privileged to be a member of various major official Committees to review Government policy – these have included the Committee to Review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Advisory Council of the National Disaster Management Board, the Planning Commission’s Task Force on Development of Himalayan Hill Regions, the Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution and earlier the first National Security Advisory Board.. I was most recently on the Planning Commission’s National Steering Committee on Health to mandate and prioritize the focus areas for the 12th Five Year Plan.. At every forum, I have sought to bring C-NES’ focus and priorities to bear on the discussions and decisions, sensitizing national policy to regional concerns.. In addition, I also am a member of the Executive Board of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the Governing Board of the Society for Development Communications which publishes the pioneering and bold environmental magazine Down to Earth and most recently of the Population Foundation of India’s Advisory Council.. We also have conducted an international study for the Institute of Developing Economies of Japan on trade prospects between the NER and its neighbours.. We did a detailed study on a similar topic for the Ministry of Commerce, Govt.. of India.. , some of whose recommendations are now part of official policy.. ‘Towards a Greater Asia’, designing the architecture for a New Asia, with a focus on the NER, was a report which resulted out of the visit of Dr.. Surin Pistuwan, then an Opposition lawmaker in Thailand and currently Secretary-General of ASEAN, who led a team of scholars from South East Asia to the NE.. Research and Institutions.. I direct the Centre for NE Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, a position that takes up time, energy and focus as we design and develop a major research and documentation institution which will bridge the intellectual gaps, address and shape policy imperatives and drive key research on a wide range of subjects.. The University and its leadership has been an enduring source of support to our work.. Partners.. C-NES’ partners represent a diverse and expanding base for projects, priorities and philanthropy.. They include international funders and institutions such as UNICEF, the Freidrich Ebert and Heinrich Boll Foundations of Germany, the Ford Foundation, Irish Aid, domestic support from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (which backed our very first project on livelihoods by the Brahmaputra), the Planning Commission (Govt.. of India), well as the National Rural Health Mission, Government of Assam.. There are others which cover a growing interest such as solar energy and research.. But funds remain a challenge which we need to meet.. Logo.. As you may have noticed, we have developed a new logo to represent our ideals and the amazing complexity of our region: the rich yellow and green Bodo weaves on fabric that are vibrant with colour and fabric and synergize hope and opportunity.. Trust and AC:.. I am delighted to inform you of the expansion of the Board of Trustees to include the following distinguished figures in public service and publishing: Mr.. GK Pillai, former Union Home Secretary, Mr.. MP Bezbaruah, former Tourism Secretary, and Ms.. Preeti Gill, editor of Zubaan.. With regret, we have accepted the resignations of Ms.. Mrinal Pande, editor and writer, and Lt.. VK Nayar, former Governor of Manipur and Nagaland.. We deeply appreciate the support of the latter and are sure it will remain with us in the years to come.. Milan Baruah, friend, adviser and deeply committed health care giver to the urban underprivileged, has agreed to join our Advisory Council.. The presence of the new Trustees and Dr.. Baruah in the AC will enrich our work and give it depth, inner strength and greater purpose.. New CEO:.. And finally the news that all of you are aware of but which I have held back from formally announcing: Dr.. Dipankar Das, distinguished epidemiologist who has worked extensively and with great intensity at the state, regional, national and international levels – but who remains deeply committed to his homeland of the NER – will be joining C-NES as its CEO (NE) with special focus on health and other connected programmes from Feb.. 1, 2012.. These include the Hospital Ship which is being funded by the North Eastern Council.. As far as my own role is concerned, I shall be on a process of rediscovery! I believe it will continue to be in the fields of visioning C-NES’ growth in new areas and sectors, looking at a greater regional and international role in these fields as well as striking strategic partnerships.. I hope to also look at the research and documentation aspects of our work and how I can best help the team on this crucial front.. Films and media networking will continue to be part of this aspect.. Fund raising will be another major focus as will be a look at rural innovation and growth, using the enormous experience of the past decade and more that all of you have brought to bear.. In the words of the greatest Assamese of many centuries and one of the greatest human beings it has been my privilege to know:.. Xagor Xongomot.. Koto Na xatiurilu.. Kintu hua nai klanto.. With good wishes and with deep appreciation for all that you do, and for your unstinting support and understanding – to the next years of the adventure and the work we have undertaken.. Managing Trustee, C-NES.. Solar power at Sarikholia village.. The new year, 2012 started with a regular camp at Dibrugarh’s Sarikholia village attended by the Managing Trustee of C-NES , Sanjoy Hazarika (on 3rd January 2012).. The Dibrugarh Boat Clinic team along with the Managing Trustee met and interacted with the villagers who gave a positive feedback on the health camps, they also appreciated the initiatives of C-NES in bringing electricity to their village through solar lamps.. It may be mentioned that every household has at least one set of solar lamp provided by C-NES through Eco-Solutions, an NGO based at Mumbai at a subsidized rate.. Over 100 such lamps have been distributed.. The Government has also provided solar lamps.. The villagers said that the solar sets are of enormous help to them, helping in their children’s study and education as well as providing recreation to families who are able to watch TVs run by the solar sets.. The daily routine of villagers has undergone a change- earlier they would retire and go to bed early; children could not study after dark.. Now children study till late evening after which they eagerly look forward to watching TV.. Most importantly it has reduced the consumption of kerosene to a great extent and the resultant pollution from the smoke emitted from kerosene lamps which often resulted in respiratory ailments, a common trait observed by the Boat Clinic health team in the area.. Children studying under solar lamps.. A happy family posing in front of their solar.. powered home  ...   Club on family planning issues.. Fifteen representatives from the winning clubs were present.. Chandana Borah, State Coordinator,FP,C-NES handing over the prizes to the winning clubs.. Boll Team Visits Akha and C-NES Offices.. A team from the German Henrich Boll Foundation (HBF) led by Dr Axel Harneit-Sievers, Director, HBF India visitedthe North East Indian states of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya from 4th – 15th March 2012.. The visit was in order to gain an insight of the region and visit the organizations project partners on site.. The team also interacted with academics, media and activists and visited C-NES offices in Guwahati and Dibrugarh.. C-NES was involved with the Boll Foundation in conducting a year long study “Impact of conflict on Women” the focus of which was on the suffering and trauma of women at times of conflict and the extent of Post Trauma Stress Syndrome (PTSS) and Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD).. Three districts each, in Assam and Nagaland were selected for the field research.. Sibsagar, Dhemaji and Kokrajhar in Assam and Kohima, Peren and Tuensang in Nagaland.. From Dibrugarh the Boll team was accompanied by the Research team, Mirza Rahman and Ritu Rekha Baruah who had conducted the Boll Foundation supported study released in September 2011.. At Lakili in upper Assam’s Sibsagar district, once a flourishing capital of the Ahom dynasty and culturally rich, where filming and interviews for the study were done, the Boll team interacted with members of the community, most victims of armed conflict.. Each household here has a sufferer.. In the community constructed hall where people got together, staged plays and organized community functions, there was a spontaneous gathering of people, both men and women, in large numbers, to interact with the team and share their feelings of anguish and the ordeals they went through during times of conflicts.. They could do so with ease, having reached a comfort level with the researchers while they were conducting their study here.. Appreciating the community effort in the construction of the hall, Dr Axel also made a personal donation to develop it to villager Pushpa Konwar.. Social activist and an opponent of the local insurgent group, villager Pabitra Phukan who was subsequently blacklisted by that group pointed out the futility of armed struggle while addressing the gathering.. The Boll team with the researchers also visited Bokota village in the same district, this being one of the main areas from where cadres for the insurgent groups were recruited.. The film was screened here a day before the Boll teams visit.. The team interacted with the victims of armed conflict Phulprabha Mohan and the couple- Jogamaya Mohan and Priyaram Mohan.. The Boll team with the researchers at Bokota and Lakili.. CEO chairs session on women health.. Dr Dipankar Das, CEO (centre) speaking at the conference.. Dr Dipankar Das, CEO, C-NES attended the Regional Conference for NE states on convergence for Empowerment of Women at Shillong on 7th-8th February 2012 organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt.. Dr Das chaired the session on Women s health and Nutritional issues where the focus of discussion was on preserving nutritive values of locally available vegetables through proper cooking procedure, the essence of the ultimate thrust being on women s education to create awareness on for up keeping health through attitudinal changes.. Dr Das also co-chaired a session on Women s Education: issues and efforts for convergence where the problem of school drop-outs was addressed and a suggestion for combining formal education with informal education at the household levels through a kitchen table cabinet was put forth.. In the open discussion Dr Das raised the good examples of some positive approaches by certain sections of women from NER.. C-NES’ tribute to the Bard of the Brahmaputra.. The India International Centre (IIC) and C-NES brought together singers and musicians from the North East in a musical evening to pay tribute to the legendary Dr.. Bhupen Hazarika, perform some of his repertoire as well as their own compositions on February 18, 2012 at the IIC main auditorium.. Introducing the evening, Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee of C-NES, spoke of how Dr.. Hazarika’s music transcended the region and South Asia and that this was represented by the three performing groups.. The performers included Mayukh Hazarika, nephew of the great singer, his wife, Laili Dutta-Hazarika, with a team of musicians from Guwahati and Rabindra Kalita, Executive Director Marketing, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd.. , who is a well-known amateur singer in Assamese.. From Nagaland come the remarkable Nagaland Singing Ambassadors under Lipokmar Tzudir, who have performed across India, singing 19th and 20th century choral compositions.. From Manipur was the ‘father’ of the Naga blues, Rewben Mashangva, who has revived the musical traditions of his Tangkhul community, accompanied by his son, 11 year old Saka.. The program was supported by the OIL India Ltd and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and is part of C-NES’ sustained efforts to bring different aspects of the NER, including its cultures, to the knowledge and understanding of larger audiences across the country.. The performance at the India International Centre had been preceded by an open air performance the previous evening to 600 persons, mostly youth and students, at Jamia Millia Islamia, by the Nagaland Singing Ambassadors directed by Lipokmar Tzudir and Rewben and Saka.. That programme was organized by CNES at Jamia which is directed by Sanjoy Hazarika who holds the Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair at the University.. The programme was launched by Mr.. Hazarika and Prof.. Rashid, Pro Vice Chancellor; the performances included dances and music from Manipur, Sikkim and the vigorous Bihu of Assam.. (left ) Mayukh Hazarika, nephew of the great singer, his wife, Laili Dutta(right)-.. Rewben Mashangva, , accompanied by his son, 11 year old Saka performing at the musical evening.. Delivery by Barpeta health team.. A baby boy was delivered on 16th February, 2012 at Barpeta’s Sargaon char under the supervision of the Barpeta Boat Clinic Unit II.. Majeda Khatun informed the health team that a pregnant woman Ramesha Khatun was undergoing labour pain.. The health team went to her as she was unable to come to the camp site and helped her deliver the child, a baby boy.. BCG “0” dose with hepatitis B was given to the baby.. This was the first such experience for the Boat Clinic Unit-2 team.. The Boat Clinic health outreach programme reaches out to the state’s vulnerable population who live on islands on the Brahmaputra with a special focus on women and children, who are the most vulnerable in difficult conditions.. Providing ANC, PNC checkups along with advocating institutional deliveries has been priority with all the health teams especially crucial for a state like Assam which has India’s worst Maternal Mortality rate at 480, higher than Bihar or Uttar Pradesh, and a high Infant Mortality Rate.. There have been nine successful, safe deliveries conducted on the boat clinics till date – Four in Dibrugarh, two in Dhemaji, one in Barpeta, one in Jorhat and this one in Barpeta.. Awareness camp at Lotibari Char.. Asha facilitator Hasina Khatun speaking at the awareness session.. An awareness camp was organized in Lotibari Char, on 5th December 2011 under Lakhipur, BPHC Goalpara.. Hasina Khatun, ASHA Facilitator helped the Boat Clinic team in conducting the session along with Sahinur Islam, pharmacist who briefed the gathering on various issues like health and hygiene, malaria, RI, ANC, PNC check ups and how to prevent oneself from different diseases and the symptoms.. Hasina Khatun, ASHA Facilitator, spoke on Family Planning methods.. DPO Hingulas Khakhalary conducted an interactive question answer session to ensure better understanding on the topics that were dealt with and also spoke about the importance of education for a society to progress.. Annual Review Meeting at Kaziranga.. A two and a half day C-NES Annual Review Meeting was organized at the world famous Kaziranga Wild Life sanctuary in Assam, along the banks of the Brahmaputra in an equally picturesque backdrop- the Wild Grass Resort, Kaziranga from 29th February to 2nd March 2012.. Over 70 C-NES staff comprising of Medical Officers, District Programme Officers, from the 15 Boat Clinic Units along with the organizations education, family planning, community radio team and members from the Regional Office, Guwahati attended the Meeting led by the Managing Trustee, Mr.. Sanjoy Hazarika and the newly appointed CEO of C-NES, Dr Dipankar Das.. Eminent Trustees of the organization including Dr VA Pai Panandiker, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr Jayanta Madhab, Economist Mr GK Pillai, former Union Home Secretary, Mr MP Bezbaruah, former Union Tourism Secretary, Ms Preeti Gill, editor, Zubaan and Mr Niketu Iralu, social activist from Nagaland were present.. The resource persons for the Meeting included Ms Jeroo Master, Chief, Field Office and Dr PN Borah, State Progarmme Manager, NRHM, Assam.. “Time has come for the people of the North East to take things in your hand’ said Mr Pillai, delivering the special address on “Perspective of the region and India: views and vision from Delhi “ at the meet adding further that the region must learn to “solve its own problem and not expect Delhi to come and solve it”.. People have to decide for themselves, he said and that the 10% allocation the region is entitled to now will not last for too long.. People from the region therefore, should keep pace and take advantages as they come, as global citizens.. People from the North east are already making a name for themselves in the rest of the Indian cities, more so in the hospitality sector.. He said that issue such as misgovernance in the grass root level common in the region was because at the lowest level there are not to many trainings conducted to train people.. Trainings for Block Development officers, clerks, constables are vital in order to make them more responsive on the field.. “I cannot imagine an India without North East India” he concluded revealing his obvious fondness for the region.. Earlier the welcome address was delivered by Dr Das and the introductory session saw the Trustees being felicitated with colorful ethnic.. gamochas (.. towels) and wooden rhinos as mementoes- the latter symbolic of the meeting venue at Kaziranga which is famous for its one horned rhino.. The opening remarks where made by the Managing Trustee, Mr Hazarika who said that he was happy to have everyone together “I think of how we stated 12 years ago and how slowly over the years we have worked in different fields.. We had a staff of 4 then, now we are over 250, from one district (Dibrugarh) we are now in 13 districts.. We have to be clear that our goal and mission is constantly to reach the poor and unreached.. We have to keep our minds open- to each other and to the issues around us”, adding further that “You should think of yourself as extremely privileged as people with a special calling, to served the needy and the unreached”.. Speaking on the occasion Chairman Board of Trustees Dr Pai Panandiker said that he considered HEE- Health, Education and Employment as most important for any development.. “If we do not have all the three, no individual or family can grow” he said.. He asked the C-NES team to contribute in their own area in their own way in the lives of children and women.. “We as Trustees will ensure that you will get all possible help.. Make sure that every penny you spend is equal to quality of health.. Our main effort should be to enable you to have every capability to be able to offer the best you have to the people you serve” Trustees Dr Madhab, Mr Bezbaruah, Ms Preeti Gill and Mr Iralu also appreciated the services provided by the C-NES team assuring of all possible support.. Mr Ashok Rao Programme Manager thanked the trustees and the staff for attending the meet.. Soon followed a panel discussion on “What do the people we serve really care about” which saw active participation from all panelists and the participants.. The second day, (1st March) dawned early with an hour long elephant safari for the participants including the Trustees right through the sanctuary to view the one horned rhino, wild buffaloes, hogs, herds of deer and migratory birds.. This was followed by a lively cricket match at the nearby Dhansiri resort with almost everyone joining in.. The afternoon session saw short presentations by the 15 Boat Clinic Units sharing their experiences and challenges moderated by Dr Das.. Presentations were also made by the Education, Family Planning and CRS teams.. The guest lectures was delivered by Ms Jeroo Master from Unicef and Dr PN Borah from NRHM.. After hectic presentations, it was time for some relaxation, with a quiz session with Mr Hazarika as the Quiz Master.. Four Teams were set up.. Questions were a wide range- from current affairs, business, music, books and health compiled by the MT.. This was followed by cultural performances by the C-NES team members.. Melody flowed with good guitar back up by Ashok Rao and Dr Aaron Momin.. The review meeting concluded on 2nd March after a break out session, presentation of accounting procedure by Accounts Manager Faizul Haque and summing up by the MT and the CEO, Dr Dipankar Das.. C-NES team poses with the Trustees at the Review meet at Kaziranga..

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  • Title: By the Brahmaputra (Vol:16) : Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES)
    Descriptive info: By the Brahmaputra (Vol:16).. | January 6, 2012 |.. (For the quarter October – December 2011).. China backs off the Brahmaputra.. The Bard can rest peacefully – China backs off the Brahmaputra Bhupen da can rest in peace – at least as far as his beloved Brahmaputra and Lohit are concerned.. That is, if we are to believe the Chinese.. In quick succession, first at Beijing in October and then barely two weeks ago at a conference on River Waters in New Delhi, China has declared that it will not divert the waters of the Yarlung Tsangpo (also known as the Upper Brahmaputra) in Tibet to quench the great thirst in Northern China.. First, the Vice Minister of Water Resources, Jiao Yong, in the Chinese capital on Oct.. 12 and then a senior Chinese hydrologist and scholar at New Delhi on declared in similar language that “technical difficulties, environmental impacts and state relations” were responsible for the decision.. This was a part of its Great Western Diversion Plan and the Water Resources Ministry has opposed major hydro-power projects on the river’s ecologically fragile upper course, as it starts it great journey to the Bay of Bengal.. Chinese state power companies appear unfazed by the declarations: they continue to advertise plans for a huge power plant near the Great Bend of the Namcha Barwa gorge and a clutch of hydro-power companies have wanted to launch 28 dams but these appear uncertain after the official announcements.. The figures are staggering: in its giant drive to slake its great thirst, China has tapped over 3,000 rivers and water courses.. It plans to harness another 2,000 – or a total of 5,000.. The country’s hydro-electric capacity doubled from 100,000 MWs in 2001 by 2010 and now is scheduled to hit 350,000 MW by 2020.. China has tapped already.. half of its existing hydro potential while that is expected to go up to 81 percent by 2020!.. So, before we heave a huge sigh of relief about the Brahmaputra’s future, let’s look at the fine print and see what the Chinese officials actually said: that the technology for such a project does not exist as of the present and the funds required were of too great a.. magnitude (now since when did the latter ever stop Beijing from implementing its gigantic projects and grand designs?).. Which could mean that if they get the right technology and the funds, they could steamroller it through? What is required is a clear and categorical statement, without ifs and buts, from Beijing: that China will not build any dams on the Tsangpo, barring the 510 MW hydropower project at Zangmu.. Zangmu was a small town some years ago when I visited, while filming the river and its people and their cultures.. Flanked on either side by the towering plateau, there is a beautiful bend where the Tsangpo is broad as it froths and skims over unseen rocks, scouring its way through Tibet, catching pace as it rushes toward the Great Bend.. This is the deepest cleft on the face of the earth, home to an extraordinary range of tropical forests and alpine terrain.. It is from there that the great river makes its way, leaping effortlessly over international (and yet disputed) borders, thundering through the valley of the Siang, joining the Seyom and the Lohit as they merge into the Brahmaputra.. And here’s the contradiction: we are opposed to the Chinese building dams on the river – but we are determined to dam every river in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam, not to forget Manipur (Tipaimukh) and Tripura! This surely is an extraordinarily hypocritical way to handle both external affairs and internal issues – if our position is that the Brahmaputra is an international river, then surely it does not cease being so the moment it flows into Indian territory? So, we can harm the Brahmaputra and its great tributaries but want to stop the Chinese from doing so? What kind of logic is that – the impact of the large dams on the Subansiri and the Seyom and Lohit will dramatically affect not just ecology downstream but also the farmlands of Assam and the millions who are dependent on them.. Part of the problem is that India, China and none the countries of South Asia have not signed the 1972 International Convention of River Courses which, without being binding, at least provides an international forum to discuss issues of mutual or regional concern.. All of us prefer the bilateral path which can’t work when there are three or more countries involved – the Brahmaputra flows through China, India and Bangladesh.. China has similar problems with other rivers which have their origins in its Southern belt, near the Himalayas – the Irrawaddy, Mekong and Salween, to name three.. I’ve been lucky to travel on all and they are truly great rivers – but they are also international rivers, flowing through two or more countries.. China has been building dams and various projects on all of them, with few discussions with the downstream riparian.. It has unilaterally, after representatives from the Association of South East Asian Association, made representations and visited several project sites, to cancel one project.. Just one out of several.. Its aggressive unilateral approach has drawn a blunt response from Myanmar, seen as one of its greatest supporters and allies.. Today, Myanmar, eager and hunger for international recognition and assistance and to get out of the Chinese grip on its economy, has replied with unique unilateralism: it has cancelled the largest Chinese dam in Kachin State, citing people’s opposition to the project, displacement issues as well as ecological concerns and that Myanmar stood to gain little since, as in most Chinese power projects in a different country, most of the energy was to be exported to China.. The move has stunned the Chinese, coming as it did from a nation that Beijing had given political, economic and military assistance since the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in the 1990s.. In the space of a few months, Myanmar is moving fast out of being a pariah state to one which is about to receive the US Secretary of State in the first trip by such a high-ranking American official in half a century.. Myanmar is opening up in an unprecedented manner; in the space of barely six months, it has enabled Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy icon, to embrace a political career with her now-recognized National League for Democracy, released political prisoners and opened fresh air to blow through the country; its neighbors, surprised by its ability to taken on the Chinese and move towards opening up, have rewarded it with the chairmanship of ASEAN, something that would have been inconceivable last year when the UN Rapporteur for Myanmar had delivered a stinging rebuke to its human rights record.. The reason for the Myanmar example is simple: the strength for the resolve to confront China over the dam came from the internal processes of change and freedom that the former generals, who continue to run Burma, had gathered.. A united front on the issue of the use of rivers that flow from Tibet into India’s North East and South East Asia may not be politically possible.. It took nearly a quarter century of negotiations to get the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty with Bangladesh.. But surely it is not impossible to start a dialogue and develop a common platform on basic issues if not an alliance before the Chinese announce another round of water unilateralism.. This is the only realistic and critical approach if we are to protect the water towers and courses of Asia, a continent which receives less fresh water per capita than any other part of the world despite being home to three-fifth of the earth’s population.. (From his regular column in Assam Tribune, 30th November 2011).. Boat Clinics presented at International Conference.. Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee of C-NES, presented the work of the Boat Clinics in Assam at an international conference in Delhi on Sunday, Nov 20, 2011.. He spoke on ‘Waters of Hope: Health Innovations and Interventions on the Brahmaputra’ at the conference, the final presentation of the final session ‘The Way Forward’ at the Conference: ‘River Waters: Perspectives and Challenges for Asia’ organized by the India International Centre and the Foundation for Non-Violent Alternatives.. Experts from China, Tibet, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and different parts and institutions of India were presenting, including specialists from IIT Guwahati, Guwahati University.. Other speakers are from the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, France and Finland.. Workshop on disaster management.. A meeting of India s top seismologists and earthquake specialists, which discussed issues arising from the Sikkim earthquake, has strongly recommended that northeastern states set up their own state disaster response units instead of being dependent on centralised forces like the National Disaster Response Force.. In addition, the national workshop on Housing, Resilience and Rehabilitation on Nov 11-12 at Jamia Millia Islamia, which saw senior level representation from the governments of five states Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim suggested several innovative steps such as extensive use of ham radio operators and community radio stations in every district to respond to crisis where normal telecommunications are knocked out, including mobile phone networks.. The father of earthquake engineering technology in the country, AS Arya, and others emphasized the critical need to develop quake resistant technology and use bamboo applications wherever possible.. They said that most urban centres in the northeast faced major disasters in the event of a severe earthquake: retrofitting of existing buildings, especially lifeline buildings such as schools and hospitals was crucial.. Other specialists called for campaigns using SMS and new technology to sensitize and train people to how they could respond to earthquakes.. Another suggestion made was for a community based participatory monitoring system to track the progress, implementation of technical guidelines, grievance redressal on the lines of existing processes in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.. Launched on Nov 11 by Jamia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung, the programme began with a minute s silence to honour the late Dr.. Bhupen Hazarika and listened to his legendary song, Buku hom hom kore.. The workshop was organized by Sanjoy Hazarika of Jamia s Centre for.. North East Studies under the auspices of its Sikkim Studies Programme with collaboration from the National Centre for Peoples Action and Disaster Preparedness in Ahmedabad of Rajendra and Rupal Desai.. Presentations were made by GC Khanal, joint director, Department of Land Revenue and Disaster Preparedness, Biswajit Sarma, head, Centre for Disaster Preparedness, Assam, TP Khaund, Principal adviser to the Mizoram Chief minister, PP Shrivastav, member, North Eastern Council, Suhel Akhtar, Manipur s principal secretary for disaster preparedness, and Pankaj Jain, government of Meghalaya as well as Jemino Mawthoh of the Department of Continuing Education at NEHU.. Family planning initiatives by Boat Clinic Teams.. Barpeta II.. The regular boat health camp conducted by the Barpeta Boat Clinic- Unit  ...   needed two more ASHAs and the population of 3200 was difficult for a single ASHA to manage.. They also had an interaction with the members of Village Health and Sanitation Committee (VHSC) which included the AWW, ASHA, Ward Member, School teacher and other general members.. The village Head man was not present as he belonged to the nearby village.. They were asked about the role of the VHSC.. They replied that they have to organise Village health and Sanitation Day every Wednesday and speak to the mothers and the villagers about nutrition to PWs, RI and matters related to development of health of the community.. Dr Rakesh Kumar suggested the AWW to advocate and implement on nutritional supplement to the PWs.. Ashok Rao highlighted on the need for Solar ILR, MOs, and solar lighting on the boats to which Dr Kumar said that he would take this in the district meeting and also at the state level.. On the visitors book Dr Rakesh Kumar wrote that he was most impressed by the efficiency and quality of RCH services being provided by the Boat Clinic “ SB Rustam”.. He further stressed on supplementary nutrition, counselling for family planning services and hygiene issues.. Awareness camp at Bongaigaon.. Along with the routine camp a special awareness camp on immunization and family planning was organized on immunization and family planning at Bongaigaon’s Kabaitary on 24th September, 2011.. The team was accompanied by the BPM (Block Program manager) NRHM and BEE (Block Extension Educator) from Boitamari BPHC as resource persons along with one ASHA facilitator and two ASHA workers from neighboring villages.. The purpose of the camp was to make people understand the importance of vaccination as most community members were reluctant to provide vaccines to their children due to prevailing superstitions and ignorance.. After a brief introduction by the DPO the BPM started the meeting wherein he spoke about the importance of Immunization of the child within 12 months to prevent them falling victim to various diseases.. The BEE imparted education on family planning and the various methods to be adopted by couples which the government has provided free of cost through various health institutions.. The MO appealed to the people to cooperate with the health team and bring the children for timely vaccination of children.. Boat Clinic Task Force Report.. The report of the Task Force on development processes for Himalayan Hill States set up by the Planning Commission, Government of India, and which was handed over to the Planning Commission in December 2010 talks of the importance of the Boat Clinics initiative.. The premier agency mandated to conduct the study was the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, based near Nainital, Uttarakhand.. The Report of the Task Force can be accessed at.. Planningcommission.. nic.. in/aboutus/taskforce/task_hill1009.. pdf.. Given the repercussions of the major earthquake recently in Sikkim, the report is extremely relevant as it has specific recommendation on many issues including earthquakes in this highly seismic zone, classified as Zone Five or the most vulnerable of all parts of India to tremors.. C-NES Managing Trustee Sanjoy Hazarika was a member of the Task Force.. Awareness camp at Nalbari.. An awareness camp was conduced on RNTCP at Garighat on 10th August, 2011.. RNTCP members from Nalbari Dr.. Kalish Deka (District Programme Officer, Nalbari), Grindhra Chakraborty (BCG Technician, Nalbari), Hiren Kalita ( Labrotory Technician, Nalbari), Mazammil Haque ( STS, Mukalmua), Dipak Barman ( STLS, Mukalmua), Sahabuddin Ahmed ( TB Health Visitor) and Mainul Haque ( LT, Mukalmua) accompanied the team.. ASHA Margina Begum was present.. About 150 people attended the camp.. Leaflets on TB were distributed.. Kalish Deka (DPO, RNTCP) spoke about the symptoms of TB – that if a man suffered from cough for two weeks he must go for examination in DOTs laboratory.. In some cases it may be referred to relevant centres after the investigation of Medical Officer.. The referred cases of Boat Clinic Nalbari must go to the Bhangnamari DOTs centre for investigation.. All categories of investigation were totally free of cost.. If any positive cases came out, DOTs centre gave them 6 to 8 month courses of medicine which was totally free of cost.. He requests all to visit DOTs centre without fail if they suffered continuous cough.. SBI supports C-NES.. Mr A Krishna Kumar, Managing Director, SBI handing over the car keys to Sanjoy Hazarika.. State Bank of India on Monday extended its corporate social responsibility.. arm to C-NES by donating a multi utility vehicle (Mahindra Bolero).. Handing over the vehicle to Mr Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee, C-NES, at an official function held on 29th November, 2011 at the Banks headquarters in Guwahati, Mr A.. Krishna Kumar, Managing Director , SBI Corporate Centre, Mumbai, present on the occasion along with a number of senior SBI officials, lauded the efforts of the C-nes Boat Clinic health initiatives adding that the Boat Clinics were providing yeoman s service to marginalized river island communities.. Community Radio Station at Dibrugarh.. The freshly recruited community reporters for the CR station.. A new radio station Brahmaputra Community Radio Station (BCRS), on the banks of the Brahmaputra – is being set up by C-NES in collaboration with UNICEF, Assam at Maijan ghat, Dibrugarh as part of an effort to democratized mass media, with reporters and writers from communities of the area.. Community radio across the world is popularly defined as a “radio for the people, of the people and by the people”.. A BCRS stakeholders meeting was organized on November 30th, 2011 at the BSRS office , Dibrugarh.. The meeting which was originally planned to mark inauguration of BCRS and its introduction to scholars, intelligentsia, professionals, business sector, media and government circles of Dibrugarh was quickly converted into a moving memorial meeting and stakeholders discussion, to remember the brilliant contributions of cultural genius and icon Dr Bhupen Hazarika and writer-thinker Jyanpith awardee , Dr Indira Goswami, popularly known as Mamoni Raisom who had expired only the previous day, attended by Unicef Chief Field Office, Assam, Ms Jeroo Master, eminent writer- columnist Sanjoy Hazarika, the Managing Trustee C-NES, academics, members from the local community and BCRS management committee members.. Sanjoy Hazarika speaks at international conference.. Sanjoy Hazarika was invited to speak at the inauguration of an international conference on the North-east followed by the screening of his film, ‘A Measure of Impunity,’ on 15th December 2011 at the University of Göttingen, Germany.. He participated in the workshop titled Performing Identity: Ethnicity and Ethnonationalism in the South-east Asian Borderland region of North-east India to be organised in Göttingen from the 15th to the 17th December 2011.. The workshop was organised by the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology in co-operation with the Centre for Modern Indian Studies.. at the University of Göttingen, and co-ordinated by the Competence Network on ‘Dynamics of Religion in SE Asia’ at the University of Göttingen.. Other prominent speakers are Prof.. Kalyani Club Awards.. The award giving function for the five Best Kalyani Health Clubs in Assam which was held at Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati on 29th November 2011 was telecast on 5th December, 2011.. This is the second award function, the first was held on 25th February 2011 where seven clubs were awarded.. C-NES has been the state representative of Population Foundation of India (PFI), in the PFI Kalyani Doordarshan programme in Assam.. Kalyani, a popular health series in India,.. Awareness session at Goalpara.. The gathering at the awareness session.. An awareness camp was organized at Goalpara’s Kistomoni Char under the Lakhipur BPHC in the village L.. School on 22nd November 2011.. The meeting commenced with electing a president for the program from amongst the community to encourage popular participation in the programme.. An elderly villager Ajahar Ali, an active community member was selected.. A brief introduction to IMR, MMR, (specially critical for a state like Assam which as the highest MMR in the country at 390 per 100000 live births) TFR, FP and prevention of common diseases.. was given by the pharmacist.. The DPO Hingulas Khakhalary conducted a feedback session and spoke about the importance of education and putting children to school since illiteracy is widespread here in the nearly three hour long meeting.. Over 125 people attended the program.. As the program was organized in the school the Boat Clinic team organized games for the school children for their entertainment.. Cleft lips corrected under operation smile.. Before and after the surgery.. The guardian of a two and half year old girl with cleft lip from Sonitpur districts Lanke char was motivated by the districts Boat Clinic health team led by the DPO to get the child operated under the corrective surgery “Operation Smile”.. along with details and objectives of the schemes.. Accordingly the DPO contacted the district administrations and requested help for the child.. The screening test was done in September 2011 at Bihaguri PHC and the child was sent to Guwahati on 9th Oct 11 where she was successfully operated upon.. Capacity Building training for ASHAs and ANMs.. The Ashas and ANMs with Moushumi Borah, DPO Sonitpur, Chandana Bora, State Coordinator for PFI and Bonobithi Das Family Planning counsellor.. A two day capacity building training for 11ASHAs and 2 ANMs of Sonitpur Boat Clinic on family planning and reproductive health was organized by C-NES at Bihoguri BPHC on 14th and 15th December 2011.. The objective of the training was to impart clear concepts on family planning methods involved, effective counselling skills for better community response and to make the participants more confident in community discussions and dealing with challenging topics.. The training was supported by the District Health Society (DSY) Sonitpur including providing resource persons, venue and accommodation for the outstation ASHAs.. At the end of the training the newly recruited ASHAs were provided free uniforms, bicycles and Identity cards by Mr.. Porag Saikia, DPM,Sonitpur and Mr Ruprekha Khatonia, BPM, Bihoguri BPHC.. Training on neonatal care for Medical Officers.. A two day training programme on Nawajaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram(NSSK) for C-NES’ Boat Clinic Medical Officers was held on 29th and 30th November 2011 at the District Training Centre of Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh.. The training supported by UNICEF, in collaboration with District Health Society and with Dr B Barooah and Dr D Sahu as facilitators, was held to offer basic knowledge of neonatal resuscitation and newborn care to Boat Clinic doctors across 13 districts of Assam.. The basic aim of the programme was to provide essential knowledge to doctors so that they can offer optimum attention to newborns to prevent complication of infection, birth asphyxia, complications related to premature birth and low birth-weight babies thereby reducing infant mortality rate.. Most of the neonatal deaths can be prevented with simple, cost-effective solutions that do not depend on highly trained provider or sophisticated equipment.. Such trainings are crucial for a state like Assam with a high infant mortality rate at 67 per 1000 live births and an equally high maternal mortality rate (390 per 10,00,00)..

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