SANGHA GETS RECOGNITION FOR PRESERVATION OF ENVIRONMENT

Assam Mahila Samata Society (AMSS) Dhubri District Implementation Unit (DIU) has been working since 1995 covering 6 development blocks, 357 revenue villages and 35 gram panchayats for the empowerment of rural and backward women. After the implementation of the programme in the district a remarkable change has been noticed on health, education and economic sector. Organised in sanghas the rural women have become aware of their rights and duties.

The Nasib sangha (formed in 1999) of Phutkibari gram panchayat under Bilasipara block has recently got recognition for their efforts in protecting natural resources. All the 60 members of the sangha guarded the forest of Paraura hillock, stretching over 50 bighas of land at the edge of Bhoispara village. People from mainly Boro community who inhabited the other side of the hillock used to slash valuable trees ruthlessly from the forest for selling as well as to use as firewood. Concerned over that deteriorating condition of the natural resources of the locality the sangha women took decesion among themselves:

  • Any 4 of them would guard the forest of Paraura hillock on rotation basis from morning till evening.
  • Due to their preoccupation in agricultural activities during the rainy season they engaged 2 of them to serve as guard for 3 months against a payment of Rs. 300 per month for each, from sangha fund

Despite the sangha women's discussion with high level Forest Officials no departmental steps were taken regarding the matter. However, the sangha women have been doing their duty regularly in this regard. Besides, they make house to house visits in the neighbouring villages to discuss on evil effects of deforestation.

Last year Nasib sangha under the aegis of Dhubri DIU applied for the "Nabakumar Chetia Memorable Prize", which was offered by Tezpur Environment Awareness Association in Sonitpur District in the name of a former Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur District and President of the association Late Nabakumar Chetia, to encourage deliberate activists serving in the field of preservation of environment. Appreciating its exuberant effort the association conferred the state award to Nasib sangha amidst a select gathering at a function in Tezpur organised on the occasion of the association's completion of 10 years on December 17 '06. The award consisted of Rs. 7,700 and a certificate.