A month long field work in Rural Volunteer’s Centre (RVC), Akajan in Dhemaji District of Assam was a great learning exposure. The field work gave an opportunity to learn about the organization, its programmes and projects, visit different people in different parts of the district, specially the people who are affected by flood almost every year in the past one decade. But these things seemed to be quite normal as we are informed of these things in our daily life directly or indirectly. When I say this, it sounds like I didn’t have any unique experience during the field work. That’s not true.
The interest, enthusiasm, and the motivation of an individual to work for the betterment of the society and the incident shared by him greatly impressed me. It’s the will.
Mr. Anil Taid, a 17 year old boy of Kulamua village in Dhemaji District, who is a differently abled person moving around in the wheel chair, is the president of the Central Body of Sissiborgaon Area Children’s Club. The main activities of the members of these clubs are to see whether the primary and the upper primary schools of that area function well or not, and always to be prepared to save themselves and others from flood situations. To check the functioning of the school, the members of the clubs visit the schools of the area periodically during class hours. They meet the students and ask about the regularity of the classes, serving of the mid day meals, providing of the books and stationeries, and even meet the School Managing Committees to interact on the same issues.
On 11th November, 2010, I got a chance to sit for ameal with Anil and interact for sometime. In the interaction, he shared about the incident that happened just an hour before. He said that he visited a school in a village called Oiengia at 11:00 am on the same day and found that the teachers were not yet in the school. Knowing that, he waited for the teachers to come. After a wait of one hour, the Headmaster of the school arrived. Anil asked the Headmaster why he did not reach on time and why he is not performing his duties well. The teacher was irritated with his questions and could not give a satisfactory answer to him. The teacher instead said that people like Anil did not know anything about this matter and being a boy from another village, he should not interfere in the matter. Anil said to the headmaster that they are working to make the schools function well and the teachers should co-operate to make the dream come true. The teacher did not understand him and at last they argued on the matter for sometime. Ultimately Anil was upset at the response of the headmaster and left the school and came to RVC. He spoke of the incident, expressing his unhappiness with the response of the headmaster to his approach in changing the present scenario of education in the area. Anil is focused and determined on the path he is moving today.
The interest and enthusiasm of Anil to work for the betterment of the society in spite of being a differently abled person impressed me greatly. The incident shared by him shows that the picture of real activism is seen in a person like him. He should be a model to all the aspiring social workers. It is a great challenge to all the aspiring social workers whether we can really be “DIFFERENTLY ABLED PERSONS” like Mr. Anil while working for the welfare of the people. If we can, we are ABNORMAL and this will give us unique power of understanding, skills of doing, courage to stand by the right and passion to work. This will change ME, YOU and the SOCIETY. (Bijuraj)