Jorhat, Dec. 7: The Sadiya chapter of Karsang Takars, an institute in Tinsukia district that completed 12 years recently, successfully trained 20 Mising school dropouts in community development and other vocational skills.
Karsang Takar, which means rising stars in Mising language, is a novel idea mooted by Father Thomas Kalapurackal, director of the Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), Bagchung, here, for which he received the Ashoka Innovators for the Public fellowship in 2002.
The programme is managed by and housed in the residence of Rajen Perme and his wife Indira, who is currently the panchayat president of Shantipurat in Sadiya.
Rajen Perme, director of Karsang Takar, Sadiya, said the institution has been serving the Mising community for the past 12 years.
“Every year the institution admits 20 young men and women between 15 and 25 years of age and puts them through intensive training in skills and practice for personal, community, social, cultural and spiritual development,” Perme said.
For training school dropouts, Karsang Takar invites different professionals and resource persons every week and they take sessions in teaching dance and music, street theatre, healthcare through both allopathic and herbal medicine, community development principles, and practical hands-on experiences in community interventions.
This continues for six months. For the next three months, the students are taken to I-CARD, the executive headquarters here, where they are trained by resource persons at the Assam Agricultural University, the North East Institute of Science and Technology, the Rain Forest Research Institute and Industrial Technological Institute and by various government departments.
Besides, they go for excursions to Meghalaya, Nagaland and parts of Assam. The last month is spent in Sadiya again, where they are given a review of what is taught the whole year through and the final preparation to step out confidently into the future.
After six months of the second year, these dropouts are given opportunities to undergo a vocational training of their choice. For this, I-CARD has started a vocational training centre in Sadiya which includes industrial and agricultural training-cum-production.
Fr Thomas said no other institution or NGO had rendered such yeoman’s service.
“It has trained 225 school dropouts so far, and made them cultural ambassadors and social activists. They have brought about a change in the attitude of the people in their village,” he said.