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Bodo, Mising youths exchange ideas

Jorhat, Nov. 27: A group of 22 Bodo youths recently stayed at the Institution for Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD) here for a week to mingle and share their culture with the Mising youths who train at the facility. Batches of Mising youths — mostly school dropouts from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh — are being trained at the Life Plus campus of I-CARD at Bachung here to “become agents of social change” for the development of their communities.

“The Mising youths who have trained here are doing a commendable job by contributing to the development of their community in rural areas. We want to expand these activities to other communities of the region,” an official of I-CARD told The Telegraph.

The group of Bodo youths came from Bongaigaon. They were educated about the various activities that the Mising youths do at the institute.

At the institute, the Mising youngsters are called karsan takars or rising stars. These school dropouts and marginalised young people from villages are given highly professional training at the institute so that they become agents of social change in their society and later go on to become cultural ambassadors for their community.

These karsan takars have performed in Calcutta, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and in New Delhi after being invited by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. In December, they have been invited to perform in Varanasi by the Regional Cultural Centre of Benares.

The Bodo team was taken to Eporia and Kakotichuk villages at Dergaon in Golaghat district for a practical demonstration of “probation” — the field operations through which I-CARD creates its rural base and recruits volunteers. It is in Eporia and Kakotichuk that I-CARD intends to set up its rural participatory tourism venue in the future.

“We taught the Bodo youths how to befriend the villagers. How awareness is created through street theatre and how youth groups and self-help groups are formed. They were also shown how the ARDA (Agency for Rural Development Action) development committee is selected by the team for future initiatives. The visiting team was also taken to ARDA Bhawan — the rural farm of I-CARD,” the official said.

The Bodo youths were told about the formation and activities about the Young Misings Associations (YMA).

YMA activists are the village volunteers working in close collaboration with I-CARD. There are over 350 such youth groups in the Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Bodo youths were also told about other activities of I-CARD, like vocational training, village business enterprises, professional development training under Jeevan Entrepreneurship Training Institute (JETI).

They were informed about the opportunities offered by I-CARD to promote positive employment for migrant youths from the Mising community.

“The Bodo youths seemed to be impressed with the activities of their Mising counterparts and were willing to launch such initiatives in the Bodo belt,” the official said.

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