| Boxer Shiva Thapa plays with children during the programme in Kokrajhar on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Kokrajhar, Oct. 19: The night goons broke into his house, took away his parents and killed them on suspicion of practising black magic, still haunts Manial Narzary, 20.
Fear forced Manial and his three siblings to take shelter in relatives’ houses. They returned to their home recently.
A BA first-year student, he was clueless how to run the family and educate his brother and sister, who are in Classes X and IV respectively.
That is when Manial came to know of the “Aashwas” project, which is run by Assam police in collaboration with the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, New Delhi. The scheme provides help to children who are victims of insurgency and violence and Manial and his younger siblings were able to continue their education.
Over 50 children affected by terrorism or ethnic violence in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts participated in an interactive and counselling session organised under the project at the Science College here today.
A campaign for the welfare of children and their parents, who were affected by the recent riots in the BTAD, was also launched on the occasion.
An interactive session with boxer Shiva Thapa, archer Prativa Boro and Guinness record-holder Abhijit Barua was held for children. The trio inquired about the children’s problems, gave them tips and motivated them to work towards a better future.
Lalit Kumar, secretary of the foundation, said their objectives were to provide assistance for rehabilitation of children affected by communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence and to promote communal harmony and national integration.
“We want to create greater awareness about the project so that the maximum number of affected people can benefit from the scheme,” he said.
“The foundation has provided financial assistance to about 12,000 children affected by violence in states like Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Around 800 affected people have already benefited from the project in Assam,” he said.
He said the foundation provides Rs 1,000 per month for students up to Class XII and Rs 1,250 per month for those doing graduation.
Inspector-general of police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, who is also the secretary of Aashwas, said the programme was launched to help victims of all kinds of violence.