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May 13 , 2009

Sanjoy's Assam

Diaries and Writings of Sanjoy Ghose


A vision for progress in the North East through peaceful means On 4 July 1997, Sanjoy Ghase, head of the non-governmental organizationAVARD in the North East, was abducted. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) claimed responsibility for this act. Sanjay never returned, and mystery still shrouds his disappearance. This exceptional collection of Sanjoy's writings and diaries, put together by his wife and colleague, Sumita Ghose, vividly portrays his journey of self-discovery as an activist. It speaks of San joy's early commitment to social work, which found expression in his pursuit of rural management studies at IRMA, Anand, and led to his setting up the Uttar Rajasthan Milk Union Limited (URMUL) in Bikaner. After nine years in Rajasthan, in April 1996, Sanjoy moved with his family and seven like-minded colleagues to live and work in Majuli, Assam, the world's largest river island, situated on the mighty Brahmaputra. Despite being Assam's spiritual centre, Majuli is plagued by extensive and rapid land erosion, dismal communications, and lack of employment opportunities, health care and educational facilities. The group's success in providing the people information, flood relief and in mobilizing over 30,000 women, children and men to protect a 1.7 kilometre stretch of their island from erosion drew grear public support, much to the discomfort of the ULFA and the local contractors. While he analyses the problems of the North East-ranging from the alienation of the educated unemployed youth to the tensions created by the influx of Bangladeshi immigrants-Sanjoy also evokes the incredible richness of the society and culture of the region and of Assam in particular. Sensitive and insightful, Sanjoy's Assam affirms the groundswell for constructive and dynamic social action, and becomes an indictment of the use of terrorism as a means to achieve social justice.
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