Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Skill Development & Capacity Building

By Pratibha Sinha, Guwahati

Geetiswami Gokulananda, a thinker, social reformer and philosopher always thought seriously for the deplorable conditions of the Bishnupriya Manipuri people and the society at his time and said to his dear community fellows - “Aar aar jaator majhe shilpa bidya aache, aami koti hinpasilang amartat nei buliya”, it means - “we feel very sad seeing our fellow people do not have any art of skills while the other community people posses a classified art of skill”. It’s a dream of every human to live in a peaceful, healthy, balanced and developed society and the same was also a dream of Geetiswami Gokulananda.

A dream of a developed society can only be a reality and possible when the key elements of the society are harnessed properly. People have realized that if the key members of the society are kept paralyzed, then, dreaming for a healthy and developed society is of no avail. Youth power is one of the key energetic elements of a society who needs to be energized and nourished properly to build up a strong society and protect the society from evil power, social injustice & crime. Also in our patriarchal society, one of the long time paralyzed member is the woman who needs to be empowered for their active participation in all respect of life for self, family and social development.

Geetiswami always raised voice for social reformation, education development, skill development and capacity building. He tried to make people realize that it is the right time for our Bishnupriya Manipuri people to awake from sleep, the darkness of ignorance to light the lamp of knowledge. Youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Youth is the crucial stage of life when a person is young, energetic and ambitious. Woman has always been playing the role of an architect of the domestic life. Since, the woman in the society stay more at home with the children or youths, generally it is expected from her to play the important role to take care of children in terms of their diet, health, moral education and proper utilization of time in valuable work. But how much it would be correct to expect from an illiterate or uneducated mother that she will be capable enough to take proper care of her children, give good moral education and show the right path of success in life to her children.

In a socio-religious program addressing the audience, an intellectual in his speech said that “mor emaa lerik naw tampkoresego uhane hurkang kale mi emaarangto kittaw hikanirta naw pasu, jeta hiklang uta habbi babarangto hiklangta”, which means “my mother is illiterate, so in my childhood I could not learn anything from my mother, whatever I have learned, learned from my father only”. If a mother or a woman is illiterate in our society, who is to be blamed to keep her deprived from education, develop her knowledge, mental ability, different art of skills and ability to give proper guidance to her children? In many families it is very common to hear that when a child brings good academic result or do something good to make his parents feel proud, then the father will comment that his child has gone to him and takes the entire credit of his child’s success. But, when his same child do something wrong against his wish hampering his pride or bring poor academic result, then the entire blame & responsibility goes to the child’s mother. What does it mean? If a mother is uneducated or illiterate and unaware about the importance of education, how much she is to be blamed and make her answerable for the bad academic result or choosing a wrong path by the child?

Geetiswami gave due honour to the women folk and requested people for giving all rights and privileges to women to develop at par with men. In one of his drama titled “Matri Mangal”, he wrote – “Dharma sabha lakhe lakhe kathi bhikha korei, Koriya kittaw unnotti samman neibo, Nari samman je jaate nei.”, it means “perform hundreds or thousands of religious meetings by involving the masses but it would be of no avail where the womanhood is not honored”. In a Bishnupriya Manipuri family also, a working husband says to his wife - “baat kotogo raadani, kol kheri darani aar sow somalani eta kuno kaam nagoi, rupa kamani ehanei asol kaamhan...”, which means “cooking rice, washing utensils and looking after children are not the works at all, earning money is only the major work...”. But an educated Bishnupriya woman(BM) also proved her competence of shouldering all responsibilities of life - she earns, she spends, she invests and on top of that, she is independent in terms of being able to manage her own existence completely, including running of her own home and looking after her children and family. In spite of all these, some social drawbacks still exist which compel women to adopt the wrong path and unsocial activities due to lack of proper education and moral values. Men too are equally responsible for encouraging such unsocial activities by women as men hold a socially dominant position always  took the overall right to protect the society.

So, it’s high time demand of the society to strengthen our people in order to strengthen the society as a whole. When we recall our great leaders, their activities and messages, we recall their patience, courage, intelligence and selfless contributions which encourage and energize the people to work more effortlessly with dedication for the welfare of the society. Geetiswami Gokulananda is a source of inspiration for the new Bishnupriya Manipuri generation and encourages the people to follow a path with new ambitions and goals keeping the society a target, the actual need and demand of the society and self development. A well-established and successful individual or a youth can think and contribute some good efforts for the society but an individual or a youth with empty stomach cannot think for the social development. Well motivated and competent youths can take bold steps to remove social injustice and crime.

Youths of present Bishnupriya Manipuri society too are facing the problem of under-education, unemployment, economically backwardness, identity crisis, self-dependency, lack of self confidence and low self esteem. So, it’s the demand of Bishnupriya Manipuri youths and women for skill development and capacity building to develop and strengthen self in all respect - intellectually, economically, professionally and socially as a whole. Skills, capacity and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any nation or society. Society with higher and better levels of skills adjusts more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of the present time’s demand. Being skilled means the ability to adjust, to adapt in response to the changing needs and environment with the change of time. Skill implies capability, rather than competence and proficiency. Such skills require commitment, determination and application.

Skill Development means the capability to respond to the varying conditions and challenges posed by our situation and change of time which are determined by our environment to accomplish a goal or purpose. It can also be defined as the embodiment of acquired knowledge, experience and the ability to react and respond to changes in the environment with appropriate actions and decisions to achieve a desired end-product or a state of equilibrium. The type of skills may be negotiating skills, professional skills and political skills.

While Capacity Building is a process of building capabilities in individuals, groups, institutions, organizations and societies at all levels to effectively prepare for and respond to the challenging situations of time and demand of people’s needs. It reinforces or creates strengths and increases the capability of individuals to produce or perform. It involves acquiring knowledge, providing opportunities to make decisions and empowering to act. Humans with complex learning and behavior patterns naturally drive their capacity to do their jobs and carry out their responsibilities--whether those responsibilities encompass self, family, profession or society.

Skill development initiatives should be undertaken to develop skills to make the people employable and help them to secure their life. Skill development for unemployed and under-educated individuals will inculcate their dignity and create greater awareness towards occupational, environmental, safety and health concerns. Occupational patterns are changing; new jobs and job titles, job enlargement, job enrichment and new flexible work arrangements are emerging. Employment demands are shifting towards higher skill categories. Educated individuals generally prefer for jobs in government sectors or private sector organizations but jobs are very limited in numbers which cannot cater to a large scale population. So, many educated and under-educated youths compel to do business and self-employed as their career or remain unemployed.

In rural areas and in difficult areas mainly, infrastructure and programmes for skill development are particularly scarce. Specially the women are increasingly the main workers in rural households, as their husbands migrate but often equipped with only traditional and outdated skills and knowledge. Skill development in rural areas will contribute to improve productivity and working conditions in the agricultural sector while at the same time enabling rural workers, particularly young people, to access emerging employment opportunities beyond the agricultural sector. The outreach and quality of skill development in rural areas needs to be improved so as to enable rural workers to acquire and upgrade technologies; increase agricultural production; expand access to market and engage in off-farm activities which can generate supplemental income.

Village or block-based skill development centres needs to be set up to serve the needs of local communities. The skill development centres will help in identifying local employment opportunities and providing or organizing adequate training and post-training support according to the specific needs of local areas. Skill development for self-employment is an important component in these skill development efforts in rural areas. Training support, including mentoring for access to markets, credit and appropriate technologies, is an important part of skill development strategy for self-employment.

Equal access to skill development is essential for all social groups particularly women, unemployed and disadvantaged section of society, to help them in securing decent employment and moving out of poverty. The effort needs to be combined with a major initiative in raising awareness among the target groups about the benefit of skill development, employment and learning opportunities and also about support schemes that enable them to participate in training in various arts of skills. This will also help in empowerment of vulnerable groups.

Hence, our society should focus on the entrepreneurship skill development for youths in rural areas, unorganized sectors and also in towns. They should go for skill development in different sectors according to their ability and capacity like Agriculture, Food Processing, Textiles, Craftsmanship, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Information Technology and also go for various government or non-government Labour and Employment Training Schemes like Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Skill development of BPL, MSME [Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO)], Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Skill Development Programme (SDP), Management Development, Human Resource Development etc.

Unfortunately, today we find many youths are taking much interest in matters which are not useful to them as well as society and nation. They choose to spend their days with alcohols, drugs and spend their nights in partying and gossiping. They have no vision and if they do have dreams they do not have the capacity or drive to make any attempt at achieving them. In villages, food production is insufficient and no employment opportunities are available in the villages. Many youths in villages started brewing liquor to earn their livelihood. Such youths do not listen to philosophical ideologies nor think for the society welfare. Social change is not possible if people are haunted by the daily problem of making two ends meet. It is the role of every man and woman to motivate our youth and teach their responsibility & goal setting.

Bishnupriya Manipuri society is still a backward community in most of the sectors which need to be geared up to make our society people self-competent, productive, improve standard of life and attain sustainability. The emphasis should also be given on competitiveness, academic success, career goals, income and social mobility. It is imperative for the youths to move up the skill-ladder both in high skill services and high technology industrial production. Thus, skill development and capacity building need to be given high priority to build a better future and create a stronger society.

In memory of Geetiswami Gokulananda, on his birth anniversary, keeping his ambitious dreams in mind for making a better society and being a legend source of inspiration, we people need to think a step ahead to fulfill his pending dreams and visions. Let’s all pledge to work jointly with a mission and move forward with a spirit of commitment to achieve the dream of every common man and of the great philosopher, Geetiswami. A better today can make a better future.

Courtesy: SMARANIKA 2011

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Homage paid

Guwahati, Nov 26 – On the occasion of the 115th birth centenary celebration of Shri Shri Gokulananda Geetiswami, the members of Gokulananda Geetiswami Kala Kristi Kendra paid homage and respect to the social reformer, social activist and humanitarian poet, at a function held here today, stated a press release.

The function was presided over by Santanu Sinha of GGKK and organised by general secretary Ramsena Sinha of GGKK.

Published in The Assam Tribune on November 27, 2011

Chess tourney concludes

Participants at the Guwahati Chess Open Championship
GUWAHATI, Nov 13: The Guwahati Chess Open Championship organised by Guwahati Chess Association concluded here today with Bipin Singha bagging the first prize followed with Chiraranjan Bhuyan and Pradip Bhuyan, stated a press release.

Other results: (U-15) 1st Debanga K Bhattacharyya, 2nd Trinabh Chokhani; (U-13) 1st Simran Ahmed, 2nd Nitish Das, (U-11) 1st Bidisha Sarma, 2nd Prasurjya Das; (U-9) 1st Prithwis Das, 2nd Kunal Kalita; (U-7) 1st Manthan Kashyap Datta, 2nd Rishita Sinha; (Best Female 1st Shivangini Bhattacharrya, 2nd Shivani Deb.

Published in The Assam Tribune on November 14, 2011.


Chess tourney held
GUWAHATI, Oct 30: PC Borooah Chess Academy organised a chess tournament among the students of the academy in its premises in U-13 and U-9 age groups, stated a release.

The results: (U-9 boys) 1st-Dhritiman Bez (Assam jatiya Vidyalaya), 2nd-Manthan Kashyap Datta (Axel Public school), 3rd-Kunal Kalita (Don Bosco, Guwahati), 4th-Jigyashdipa Gogoi (Holy Home). (U-9 girls) 1st-Rishita Sinha (St Mary’s School), 2nd-Akansha Das (Axel’s Kindergarten), 3rd-Adit B Thekedath (Sarla Birla Gyan Jyoti). U-13: 1st- Amian Mahanta (KV IOC), 2nd-Simran Ahmed (Pearl Valley), 3rd-Prachurjya Gayan (Holy Home), 4th-Ankit Das (DPS), 5th-Ritwick Sinha, 6th-Rishav Deuri (both Don Bosco, Guwahati).

Published in The Assam Tribune on October 31, 2011.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Uttam Singha

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Uttam Singha’s activities to the Bishnupriya Manipuri-specific Internet world are awe-inspiring and encouraging. His contribution to the Bishnupriya Manipuri world in the webosphere would give an enriching experience to anyone who loves to understand the history and relevance of the (Bishnupriya Manipuri) development in the Internet medium.

Hundreds of Bishnupriya Manipuri newbies who have plugged themselves in the cyberworld in the recent past might not know him as a person and his contribution to the present enriched Bishnupriya Manipuri world that he has been associated with. It is due to his singular effort that in the fluid Internet world his work still stands like steel. And on this steel, it could be said that the present blocks of Bishnupriya Manipuri internet buildings are firmly based. 

Bishnupriya Manipuri Wikipedia
Internet minus Wikipedia is stale and insipid. Uttam Singha has been associated with the presence of Bishnupriya Manipuri language in the Wikipedia. The Bishnupriya Manipuri Wikipedia was created in August 2006. It was remarkable achievement for the internet identification of Bishnupriya Manipuri. Nevertheless, what is more important is the decision to put effort in the Wikipedia, since there have been tectonic shift of users with platforms. And Wikipedia was just another platform to play upon.

Presently to the dynamics of Internet, Wikipedia (read the Bishnupriya Manipuri Wikipedia) is untouched and secure. It is going strong and hopefully no Internet-based user-centric platforms could ignore it. Today, with the volume of Bishnupriya Manipuri article presence in the Wikipedia, it makes news vibes all over the world.

It could be said that any Bishnupriya Manipuri –centric Internet activities has its loci to Bishnupriya Manipuri Wikipedia. Here, Uttam’s role is monumental and futuristic.

Lohong— The Bishnupriya Manipuri Matrimonial
Lohong was another contribution by him to the enrichment of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Internet world. The website might seem inactive and give impression of being without any activity. But, it is not. It is serving its purpose brilliantly for which it was perhaps created: to give an identity which is ‘our’ own. Lohong breaks myths about Bishnupriya Manipuris. It gives an impression of ‘something’ which we have failed collectively. Lohong is one Bishnupriya Manipuri symbol that we have created in the due course of time. One fails to appreciate Lohong if one takes the primary function of the site into consideration. But Lohong has been a potent tool or a symbol propagated in the Internet that speaks many languages to its viewers.

These are two of the contributions from Uttam Singha from many of his effort to the enhancement of Bishnupriya Manipuri. For his contribution, Uttam has been felicitated with Ningor Khuttol by DILS Association.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Homage paid to Bhupenda

Late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika
GUWAHATI, Nov 16 – The Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum paid tributes to the legendary bard of Assam, Sudhakantha Dr Bhupen Hazarika, yesterday evening at Bishnumandir, Bishnunagar, Dakhingaon, stated a press release.

As part of the programme, earthen lamps were lit at every household and a Bishnupriya Manipuri naamsankirtan was arranged as a prayer to the Almighty for eternal peace of ‘Biswa Ratna’ Bhupen Hazarika. The naamsankirtan was lead by Senago Sinha, Sudebi Sinha and Sarojini Sinha.

Earlier, a condolence meeting was held under the presidentship of Akhil Kumar Sinha. Dils Lakshmindra Sinha, the president of writers’ forum, highlighted the invaluable contribution made by Sudhakantha to the world literature and culture.

His demise is an irreparable loss to the humanity in general and to different ethnic groups of the North-east in particular.

Among others, Pratap Sinha, Gopal Sinha, Amiyo Sinha, Arun Sinha, Kusumbabu Sinha and others spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the principal, staff and students of Kendriya Vidyalaya Khanapara paid homage to Dr Bhupen Hazarika on the auspicious occasion of his adyashraddha ceremony on Tuesday at the Kendriya Vidyalaya Khanapara premises, stated another press note.

Principal Anjana Hazarika, in her speech, recalled his invaluable works and contributions to humanity, and all present pledged to keep alive his rich legacy.

Another press release adds that Sudhakantha Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s adyashraddha was observed on November 15 at Shree Sankat Motion Ashram, near RG Baruah Road, with a day-long programme.

The programme included ‘Bishnu Path’, ‘Bhagabat Path’ and naam-prasanga of ladies. Many people of locality attended the programme and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Oja Kunjo Singha and team performance

Oja Kunjo Singha and team thrilled the audience in the Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur birth anniversary programme held in New Delhi on October 30, 2011. Through their brilliant performance of dakula chollon, they took the audience into a different world of enjoyment.  

The team members were: Oja Kunjo Singha, AK Sinha, HM Sinha, Th Brojen Singha and Konkona Singha.
Watch Oja Kunjo Singha and the team performance in New Delhi

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Oja Kunjo Singha and the team

Related article:

Konkona Singha mesmerises Delhiites with her performance

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

People continue to mourn legend’s death

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 7 – People continued to mourn the demise of Dr Bhupen Hazarika. On Monday, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) paid homage to the departed soul through different programmes held across the State. The student body offered floral tribute to the legend and lighted lamps.

The United Manipuri Association, Assam described Dr Hazarika’s death as an irreparable loss to the people of Assam and North East in particular and India in general and recollected the unparalleled contributions of the music maestro in the field of music, literature and film.

The Manipuri Development Council too has condoled the demise of the legend and said that his patriotic songs will continue to inspire unity and integrity in the region.

The members of Assam Roller Flour Mills Association have deeply mourned the loss of the legendary singer, poet, lyricist, and above all a great human being.

The Guwahati Baptist Church and the St Joseph’s Church have condoled the demise of the living legend and mentioned that his contribution to the culture and music world will remain embedded forever in the hearts of people.

Nua-Dristi, a Bishnupriya Manipuri and Assamese bilingual weekly has expressed grief at the passing away of an illustrious son of the soil.

The Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) has mourned the death of Dr Hazarika and said that the songs of the legend will continue to inspire the people of Assam.

The Asom Lekhika Santha, the Pub Silpukhuri Sarbajanin Sri Sri Durga Puja Committee, the Homoeopathic Medical Association of India, and the All Assam Homoeopathic Doctors’ Association too have condoled the death of Dr Hazarika.

Asom Sangha, Canada is an email condoled the death of the music legend.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Konkona Singha mesmerises Delhiites with her performance

It was her debut performance in New Delhi.

Scintillating performance by Konkona Singha

But 'first' didn't deter her to mesmerise the Bishnupriya Manipuri audience congregated at the Bipin Chandra Pal Memorial Hall, CR Park, New Delhi on October 30 to observe the birth anniversary of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur. With her awe-inspiring finesse dance, Konkona Singha left the audience to take notice of her talent. Konkana is the daughter of Kolkata-based Bishnupriya Manipuri dancer and teacher Kunjo Singha. (Read about Kunjo Singha) The programme was organised by Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samiti (BMNS), Delhi and NCR.

Watch in Slideshow Konkona Singha performance

Friday, 4 November 2011

Photo glimpses: Sadhu Thakur birth anniversary in Mumbai

Janmabarshiki Tithi of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur was celebrated in Mumbai with great enthusiasm on 30th October 2011.

Photo Glimpses

Sadhu Thakur birth anniversary celebration in Mumbai 2011

Sadhu Thakur birth anniversary celebration in Mumbai 2011

Sadhu Thakur birth anniversary celebration in Mumbai 2011

IITian Abinash Sinha's parents being felicitated 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Entertaining and Nostalgic: Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur utsav at Bangalore

By Namrata Sinha, Bangalore

It’s sure ‘wow’ to the celebration that took place on the occasion of 142nd birthday of the “Holi Bhuwaneswar Sadhu Baba” at Bangalore. Huge round of applause to the organisers who have come to such an extent of delivering immense entertainment and nostalgia to each and every Bishnupriya Manipuries present there.

The third year of the utsav was a tremendous success; I would rather say a step ahead from the past two years and hope that it matures in the years to come.

Though there was no involvement and participation from my side in the celebration, I could manage myself to witness the grand utsav and I wish many more would have joined it .But nonetheless it was a stupendous achievement.

The programme started with the opening speech of Mrs Sheela Sinha who is a versatile personality, I must say, she made the dormant crowd lively and caught the attention of each one of us very effectively. Her command over the languages — be it English or imathar — was such that she ruled the stage. Her expertise limits not only till anchoring but she is more of a scholar, singer and an orator. Her composition kumei kumei  was awesome. We all should learn and sing it.

All right, it would be a never ending essay if I go on describing about her, as I also wish to pour my thoughts on other activities too. The utsav was a blend of culture and the adhunik world. It maintained the balance between the conventional ideas and the contemporary interests of people. That factor was amazing. The bhajans and kirtans in imathar were presented in such a polished manner that we laymen could also managed to understand. For the first time Hindi bhajans were included, that was great. The beautiful young lady in a red-netted inaphi who sang the Hindi krishna bhajan arrested the entire crowd.

I would mislead my readers if I don’t mention about the 'Sankshipt raasleela”. I named it sankshipt because it was a half an hour pure nostalgic entertainment. The “bongis” of radha and krishna were awe inspiring, wearing so much of grace and dignity retaining the holiness and the original essence. I could not stop myself to go for a “prem”.

The utsav had its own significance, it was not only a platform for dance and music, but we ladies got the best chance to flaunt our traditional attire and accessories. I could meet my cousins, old friends, and nevertheless Orkut- and Facebook-made friends whom I have met only over the net.

Also not left to be untouched was the bhog, simply ‘wow!’. I wish I had my dinner too as well. Post lunch was all the more a fun. The dignity of the stage was raised by the Hindi numbers, oh my god! I can't believe that we people has such talents, when I saw my people flourishing so aggressively.

Both the sessions were well-planned, it was such that, I wish everyone had been a part of it. I wish this kind of a social circle, what was made on that day could be maintained back home to our natives, inculcating team work, selfless efforts and no “dola doli”. I would apologize if I have made any offensive statement in this piece of my writing, as I wish to see my society as a whole soaring in to the heights of glory and prosperity.
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