By: Jhumur Nandi
Diphu (Assam): Sitalin Ingtipi, a class 11 girl student from a junior college in insurgency hit KarbiAnglong district aspires to become an IAS officer.
Like Ingtipi, there are many in her age group who have started to dream big in the insurgency ravaged areas of Assam. But, this thought of making big in life would not have even crossed the mind of a teenager in Assam’s biggest district Karbi Anglong. Decade old insurgency has a telling affect on the education system. The district has the highest school dropout record in Assam.
But, now with insurgency on decline education priorities among youths are getting priority and charitable educational institutes are setting up their bases in these insurgency ravaged area which is still now crippled by lack of communication.
“When we came here it was a barren land and there were no college in the area. We started our junior college with only 20 students. It was discouraging initially. But now we have more 350 students,” said Father V M Thomas , 64, an educationist and social worker for the past forty years, who was instrumental in setting up the the DonBosco Junior college in Diphu, the district headquarter of Karbi Anglong.,Father Thomas has been helping thousands of Assam’s violence-hit children to join the mainstream society.
“By providing access to education, skill development, training and jobs we are helping these children to pick up their pieces of life which have been hit by insurgency. We have many children in college whose family member were a former militant,” said Father Thomas, who is a Harvard graduate in Educational Administration, Planning and Social Policy.
Spread across 40 acres of land Rs 12.79 crore college building project a part of which has been constructed by charitable fund. “From current seat strength of 380 we want to grow to 2000. For that we need funds and are expecting state government, funding agency North Eastern Council will help us in this development project,” Father Thomas said.