GUWAHATI, Jan 11 – A number of concerned individuals and more than a dozen organizations are coming together for an emergency meeting tomorrow to decide on a civil society response to the ongoing Garo-Rabha conflict in Meghalaya and Assam. Participants will prepare an action plan to facilitate speedy relief and aid to those who have been enduring lack of food, medicines, and clothing. The meeting to be held at Dighalipukhuripar from 11 am has been called by people appalled by the pain and suffering of those affected by the violence. They believe that the meeting will enable people to come together to collect and send relief to people of both the Rabha and Garo communities, many of which have taken refuge in inhospitable terrain.
Among those participating in the meeting are ActionAid, Anwesha, North East Network, members of the affected communities, social activists and other people of eminence.
Monisha Behal of the NGO North East Network expressing concern over the tragic situation said that apart from food, people who have been displaced from their homes require clothes, blankets, and medicines.
She told The Assam Tribune, “The ongoing Rabha-Garo conflict is most unfortunate and disturbing and we should do everything possible to stop this immediately and offer relief to the victims.”
She added that responding to an appeal made by several organisations, members of the Rabha and Garo communities will be present in the meeting. This has been perceived a positive step as they would be able to suggest ways and means to achieve sustainable peace.
“Tomorrow’s discussions will set in motion a longer process to help provide not just material aid to the people, but also pave the way for sustainable peace among the neighbouring communities, which have lived in peace for a long time,” she remarked.
It is now emerging that baby food and medicines are beyond the reach of many who have been displaced. According to the organizers of the meeting, there is an urgent need to collect the items and send them to the violence-hit people as soon as possible.
Those interested in donating food, medicines and clothes to the strife-hit people would be able to pass on the materials to Students Dale Girls’ Hostel situated at JN Borooah Road, Jorpukhuri till January 20, an organiser of the meet said.