Jorhat, Aug. 31: The Manav Jyoti Samaj, a non-governmental organisation here, which has been struggling for more than two years now to set up a destitute home-cum-orphanage, has decided to seek funds from chief minister Tarun Gogoi as a last resort.
The Samaj was founded in 1995 by a group of freedom fighters and comprises people adhering to the precepts of Mahatma Gandhi.
Secretary of the foundation Ratul Kumar Baruah said the chief minister was likely to visit Jorhat on Gandhi Jayanti and they would then approach him for funds.
Baruah said they had been forced to shelve their plans to make a home for destitute women and orphans despite having acquired a more than 3-bigha plot of land because of paucity of funds.
“The land was donated to us by the family of late Ananda Ram Baruah at Gohain Tekela Gaon in the western outskirts of the town, near the banks of the Bhogdoi. A plan for the destitute shelter and orphanage was prepared. But we could not manage to procure any funds,” he said.
The shelter would take in abandoned and needy women, widows and children who were orphans or were urchins.
The plan was to make the home self-sustaining by allowing women to take up weaving or any craft they wanted to so that they could have some means of earning.
“After establishing Ananda Ram Baruah Sevashram, we were planning to hand it over to the government after creating a board of trustees to take care of it,” Baruah said.
The Samaj has decided to hold an all-religion discourse for prisoners at Jorhat Central Jail. The chief minister has been invited to open the first discourse. “We decided to take up this programme as Assamese society is increasingly taking to violence and bloodshed at the slightest provocation and many of these law-breakers are lodged in jails. We may be able to make a difference in their thinking through prayers and preaching to them about Gandhi’s ideals of tolerance, truth, ahimsa and sacrifice. After they leave the precincts of the jail, at least then some of them may be influenced to change their attitude,” he said.
The Gandhian organisation recently printed and distributed 5,000 leaflets in a campaign against tobacco and its products and distributed books to five poor students.
Prior to this, about 200 blankets donated by Bishen Lal Agarwalla were distributed to underprivileged woman.