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Young Misings get motivated on their Social Role at YMA Summit

By K.A. Thomas, SDB
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Kolkata, Nov. 14.    Jorhat:  ''It takes just one youngster to transform a village'', said Fr. Thomas, director of Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD) as he introduced the Young Misings Association Summit that began on 5th November, 2013 in Life Plus, Jorhat (Assam) and ended on 9th Nov. The five day youth festival is an annual event of I-CARD for the youth of Mising tribe in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The chief guest for the inaugural function was Mr. Ajay Basumatari, Marketing manager of LIC, Jorhat. His deputy, Mr. Manoj Baruah, was the guest of honour. In his talk, Mr. Ajay commented on the theme of the meet, ''It takes just one youngster to transform a village'' and added that any sector of the youth community can do marvels when sufficiently empowered.
All the five days were a mixture of cultural functions, social service activities, community celebration, discussions, training sessions, inter group competitions and a lot of familiar interaction with each other. There were literary, cultural and sports competitions dotting the timetable of each day.

I-CARD has over 350 branches of ''Young Misings Association'' spread out over as many villages. The movement which started in 2003, is entirely the work of school dropouts, who start such groups during their six months 'probation' after a one year training in Sadiya. I-CARD organizes meetings at a local 10 village circle, falling under Agency for Rural Development Action (ARDA), a subsidiary body of I-CARD. The outstanding performers of these local level meets came together for the six regional meets. The excelling groups from the six regions and the runners up of previous year attend the Summit.

During the Summit  Fr. K.A. Thomas guided a session for the participants on the role of youth in social development, particularly in transforming Mising villages. The discussion centered around primary education and hygienic environment, the two values I-CARD is at pains to instill in the rural community.

Miss Puspalata Mili, MCJ, media director of I-CARD, conducted a session on grooming and personal deportment, teaching the young the nitty-gritty of a professional lifestyle.

Fr. Jossy, the youth director of I-CARD, gave a hands-on training about using campaign as a tool for community mobilization for any  social cause. He focused on the theme of primary education to inspire the young people and to motivate them into action. They are expected to repeat this campaign in their own villages.

Fr. K.A. Thomas, director,  commented on the event saying , ''The all out effort of the management  of the Summit was to bind the entire youth community into a family bond, and enthuse them to social action. The sessions, the morning social work, the training in campaigning, everything helped in drawing up for the young people a programme of life.'' Each team had to present before the rest a report of their planned community involvement initiatives.

The Young Misings Association Summit looks forward to the next event in Life Plus, Ethnique Fest, to be held on 3-5 January, 2013. This is a food-music-culture festival focusing on Misings, during which many of these youth will return with their traditional talents. The Mising fashion show will be an added attraction of the January fest.


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