GUWAHATI, Aug 17 – Located on the outskirts of the capital city, Garbhanga, Pahamjila and Natun Garbhanga, three forest villages amongst many, are gradually waking up to a new dawn. Deprived of all basic amenities of modern life, children of these three villages did not know what a school is until the intervention of Parijat Academy, an institution in Pamohi that has now attracted global attention because of its relentless contribution towards the development of the society. Parijat Academy, founded by Uttam Teron for the underprivileged children, has set up a Parijat Children Education Centre each in these three villages which have education provision from Class I to IV.
Dominated by tribal people belonging to the Karbi community, these three villages had not the slightest idea about the world that has been changing rapidly outside their impoverished settlement.
Dependant on jhum cultivation for their livelihood and selling vegetables now and then in the Lokhra market, these people are now realizing that there is a big world outside and this awareness has come since their children started attending the Parijat centres.
"It is unbelievable that these villages are totally cut off from the outside world even at this age," said Uttam, adding that Parijat is keen to bring positive changes in the villages.
"It will take not less than two decades to see the desired changes in these villages," said Uttam.
The remoteness which has come from lack of basic amenities and not from distance has been an impediment in generating awareness amongst the villagers. These villages are just 20 kms from Lokhra Chariali.
What has been happening since Parijat's centres started functioning from 2008 is a perceptible change – the beginning of a new chapter. Parijat has extended micro loan to the needy under a project supported by the Najmun Nisa Trust founded by Wahid Saleh. Through the loan, some villagers have started ginger and turmeric cultivation in organic way, and a few have started broom cultivation to increase their income. What is encouraging to Parijat is that most of them have succeeded in returning the loan.
"We are considering turning these villages into a model village and ensure sustainable income generation," said Uttam adding that solar light and a hostel to accommodate students of the remote villages are immediate needs of the villages.
Apart from disseminating various ideas about improving their way of living, Parijat has also been promoting the ideas of nature conservation and saving the trees amongst the villagers.