Jorhat, Nov. 23: The seventh Young Misings’ Association summit held recently at the Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), on its Life Plus campus at Baghchung here affirmed the commitment of the Mising youths “to take their community forward like Barack Obama”.
In the four-day meet, 160 Mising boys and girls belonging to seven youth groups from four districts of Assam — Jorhat, Sivasagar, North Lakhimpur and Tinsukia and the East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh — participated with the aim of improving their community on all fronts.
These seven youth groups were selected for their performance during the local and regional level sports and other competitions from 349 groups working with I-CARD.
“We have been working for the last seven years to bring together unemployed Mising youths at the grassroots level. Today, 349 Mising villages have one youth group in each of these villages, which are networking with each other and working to keep their surroundings clean, better health facilities and improve their economic condition,” Fr Thomas, head of I-CARD, said.
He urged them to be beacon of hope for their villages and asked each of the youths to serve their community like Obama.
To foster a sense of social work, the Mising youths organised cleanliness drives at Lichubari and Bagchung here.
“Even before the town awoke, these young men and women were on the roads with brooms, shovels and spades for more than an hour. They cleaned every part of the town,” Fr Thomas said.
Father Thomas said the village youths were the backbone of any community and it was for them to work out their future.
“They have the capacity and the skills to make things happen. What they need is desire and hope in their hearts to carve out a successful future. Others may support them with money, but hope is their own making. The meeting was a great learning experience,” he said.
The youths were also given lessons on employability in media and insurance sectors as well as agricultural practices. The teams also participated in handball, volleyball, kabadi and tug of war.
The meet included cultural programmes like festival dances, the selloya (the first dance of Misings as they came down from the hills), modern dance, group song and Kaban (songs of melancholy).
The literary competitions included quiz, Mising poetry recitation, and a debate and an extempore speech.
H.L. Jain, a businessman, who had earlier in the year donated 100 footballs, gave another Rs 7,000 to I-CARD and assured the organisation of his support the vocational training of unemployed youths.