YLTP Inspires Free School for Children of Assam Tea Workers

Laduguri Kamrup, Assam: Most of the residents in Bordur Bagan, Laduguri Kamrup, Assam work in tea gardens. Geographically, the village is located on a hilly area and the roads are not safe. There is only one government school nearly two kilometers away from the village, and most of the children are not able to join the school or continue studies.

After Art of Living’s Madan Das conducted the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP), about 50 youth became volunteers and decided to start a school in the village. The organization is providing books, mid-day-meals and dresses to the students, along with imparting holistic education. The school now has 250 students, and some of them come from 10-12 nearby villages.

Madan Das, an Art of Living teacher and project coordinator said that about 150 habitants had participated in various Art of Living programs. They got together and acquired a plot at a centrally located place with the consent of the inhabitants of the village. After the land was finalized, the residents extended support to construct the school. The villagers brought bamboo sticks and offered free labor to construct the class-rooms. Several other volunteers from Guwahati came forward to support the project by donating construction material. The school was inaugurated in November 2010.

Narmeshwar Rabha, Village Pradhan, who is also president of the school board, says things have changed since the school started. Most of the children are going to school and their parents are more aware of the importance of education. They are interested in sending their children to school, and the school is providing better education than the other government schools of the panchayat.

Akash Ragha, a nine-year-old 4th standard student said, “We are enjoying going to school. Our wish is to invite Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to our village and school.”

Mrs. Rabha, Akash’s mother, said her child has changed a lot. “Earlier, he was naughty and shy but now he shares whatever he learns every day, and has become more responsible,” she said.

Madan Das said Roomi Purrwa, the Art of Living state coordinator, extended all the support and guidance to make the school a big success. She helped in coordinating with Art of Living’s Bangalore center and in completing the procedures and formalities re-quired to start the school. The volunteers who helped in constructing the school are Manalisa Bhatachrya, Sabita Butani and Sanmoi Borua.

Madan Das can be reached at +91 9577527519

Reported by Kumlin Engtipi