SIVASAGAR, Feb 12 - The Jyestha Nagarik Sanmilan, Asom (Senior Citizens’ Association) is an important socio-cultural organisation of the state with 270 branches in different districts and over 30,000 members.
The Sanmilan is all set to organise its eighth biennial session in the historic temple town of Sivasagar with a two-day programme on February 16 and 17 next.
A big chunk of the Sivasagar chapter of the Sanmilan consists of retired ONGCians. The reception committee formed for the purpose, therefore, approached the leading Sivasagar-based PSU of the country, ONGC for granting them permission to hold the open session of the meeting at the Open Bihu Pandal within the ONGC Colony at Sivasagar.
The GM (HR) of ONGC Sanjay Goyel, who is the competent authority to grant permission in such matters, received the delegation from Jyestha Nagarik Sanmilan cordially on January 3 last and granted verbal permission for the proposed meeting and also offered to provide the minimum available facilities.
Accordingly, the reception committee went ahead to finalise the programme at the Open Bihu Pandal as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and many other dignitaries are expected to attend the function.
Incidentally, the GM (HR) of ONGC met the reception committee delegates again on January 17 and had a detailed discussion on the matter and agreed to help and cooperate on behalf of ONGC for the important meeting. But for reasons not yet known, the same person who is a responsible executive of the Navratna company, telephonically informed the reception committee on Friday last that their prayer for the use of the venue has been rejected citing some official decision of not allowing outsiders to use ONGC facilities.
Obviously, the reception committee of the senior citizens’ forum at Sivasagar on Monday at a press meet severely criticised the decision of ONGC not to allow them use of the open pandal.
President Deben Chandra Baruah and secretary Jogesh Rajkhowa of the reception committee while addressing the media, raised questions about ONGC’s CSR policy, especially when there are no large auditoriums available to hold a state-level conference in the town and when the Chief Minister is due to attend the same as the chief guest, ONGC could have at least shown minimum courtesy to the senior citizens’ payer.
Put in a queer situation, the organisers hurriedly shifted the venue to Marowari Milon Mandir, despite acute space constraints.