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Young Misings Engage in Social Service

By YMA Reporter
The YMA youths getting ready for their social involvement at Paultry farm in Bagchung Veterinary Campus.
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Dimapur, May. 1.      Jorhat, Assam:  Within the three days, 52 members of ''Young Misings Association'' (YMA) from Jorhat, Sivasagar and Golaghat districts of Assam, surprised the people of Jorhat with their social engagements as never seen before in the town. These lively youth were participating in a training programme for youth leaders of Mising tribe, conducted by Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), Jorhat, from 28th to 30th April, 2013.
On 28th April the young enthusiasts were in Lichubari, cleaning the streets at 5.30 AM. Bystanders were amazed to see young tribal faces engaged in cleaning their streets and alleys with brooms and spades. In the 90 minutes of nauseating experience, the young people from villages had put their hands to the rubbish, like scavengers, working on decaying filth.

As the second day dawned, the young people were marching towards Nirmal Hriday, the orphanage and children's home, run by the Mother Teresa nuns.   Some girls were engaged by the nuns to swab the floor of the baby room, while other girls washed baby clothes. The boys cleaned the campus and the drainage, besides making boundary fence. For the young people, this was their first face to face encounter with the work of Mother Teresa. Binua Doley of Kakotichuk said, ''I am proud to associate in some way with the work of the internationally famous Mother Teresa. I have heard much about her work but never seen it in action. Today, thanks to I-CARD, I am privileged to be a part of such noble service.'' The youngsters were only too happy to entertain the invalids and babies of Nirmal Hriday with a well prepared cultural show at 7.00 PM, on 29th April.

On the third day, the members of the YMA swarmed into the veterinary campus of Baghchung, into the government run poultry farm. Within 45 minutes, the fifty plus young people with bamboo twigs, spades and grass cutting knives, gave a new look to the campus. Cutting grass, removing stubbles, gathering the rubbish, putting away the waste and cleaning the windows and doors kept the young busy and happy. The authorities were approached the previous day for necessary permissions. They were only too willing to cooperate with I-CARD, as they had already heard of its activities.  

These three days of social engagement was part of the training for the presidents and secretaries of Young Misings Association. 26 groups were represented out of the total of 349 youth groups started by Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD). In every village of its operation, I-CARD has a youth group that works for the personal development of its members, for community transformation and promotion of ethic values and civic sense.

During the inauguration of the training programme on 27th April, Fr. Thomas said, ''Village development is like irrigating arid field for cultivating paddy. The YMA members must become the channels and pipes to bring to the villages the development dreamt by I-CARD.''  Fr. Surjit Kujur, the youth director of I-CARD, gave an introduction to the members on the philosophy and mission of the association on Sunday, 28th April. Fr. Thomas took over the second session challenging the young participants to prepare a dream village in the lawn with newspaper and bamboo sticks. ''Mising villages need to have a facelift'', Fr. Thomas told them. Unfortunately, the members were stuck in their traditional thinking, till Fr. Thomas invited them to look further, by planning toilets, bathrooms and stables behind their stilt houses, and including a flower garden in the front. Hygienic villages will invite tourists to visit the villages, they were told, to enjoy the traditional culture of Misings.

In another interesting session, Joseph Kawa and Anand, both Social Work teachers, offered the participants hints about leading a youth movement in the struggles and challenges of today's frustrating life situations.

Mr. Pathar, a professional trainer of the National Institute of Social Education, took a two hour session on personality development for the young people, giving them clues on how to meet people, introduce themselves and become professionals.

The training concluded at 1.00 pm on 30th April, with lunch, after Fr. Thomas gave them three lines of action : 1) put up notice boards in each villages announcing activities of the Young Misings Association groups; 2) restructure Mising houses with separate kitchens, including a flower garden; 3) to ensure that nobody, especially women, will bathe in front of their houses open to the public.

Jayakanta, one of the enthusiastic participants of the programme, said, ''Coming to Life Plus, meeting the I-CARD team and knowing their action plans is like a heavenly experience. We have no words to express our thanks for whatever I-CARD has conjured up for the progress of the Mising tribe!''
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