Friday, 13 April 2012

Tezpur I Care ...

Exactly one month ago, on March 12, 2012 one more city got added to India I Care family.


TEZPUR I CARE.


Thanks to Mr. Om Bagaria, an activist, a philanthropist and a senior citizen of Tezpur who went all out to get the influential forces of Tezpur together to make the Tezpur I Care a reality.
The I of C Team-(L to R) Zooni, Dilip, Omji,Dr. Ravi Rao, Prof RR and Peno
The Initiatives of Change team comprising of Dr Ravindra Rao, Prof R Rajagopalan, Zooni Dash, Peno from Nagaland and I was invited to be in Shillong at the behest of Shri N K Kumar, IAS, of the Meghalaya Govt to create awareness about the environmental crisis and the India I Care movement, Mr Om Bagaria of Tezpur took this opportunity and invited us all to  extend our journey in Assam for creating the same awareness.

It is a matter of concern that not many Indians are much aware of the entire North East part of India.
In many ways it was a great learning experience for us. Four days in Shillong followed by about eight days in Assam were very exhilarating days.We had an opportunity to meet and interact with people of different sociological,cultural and historical background.

Mr Bagaria had fixed up our engagements with the students, staff and HODs at the University of Tezpur, the who's who and genaral public of Tezpur city, Students and staff members of IIT Guwahati, and the students and staff members of the Royal Group of Institutions, Guwahati.

Coming back to Tezpur, we had a good exposure of this little historical town in two days that we spent. We met a newly married couple at the Agnigarh Hill, a neat little tourist spot on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, who described Tezpur as the cleanest city of Assam, and in the same breath the husband coming from Guwahati  described Guwahati as the dirtiest.

The enthusiasm of Tezpurians to launch Tezpur I Care has perhaps something to do with its own little history. Mr Bagaria has captured it in the following words:


Sun set view from atop Agnigarh Hill

"Tezpur I Care, launched on 12th March, rekindles the initiative taken in August 1996 by Sri MGVK Bhanu, IAS, soon after he took over as the Dy. Comm. of Sonitpur District in Assam, to build an alliance between the district administration and the civil society for the public good. Concerned with the prevailing darkness on the Main Road—street lights having been switched off by the electricity board as a result of non-payment of dues by the municipal board—he entrusted the implementation of a street lighting scheme to the North Assam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NACCI). The local MLA had offered a grant of Rs. 5 lacs for this project but Mr. Bhanu wanted to ensure that the lights would be maintained and energy bills paid timely on a sustained basis. This, he felt, would dispel fear and insecurity, so deeply entrenched then because of the prevailing insurgency.  An agreement was signed with NACCI and the job was executed in under five months. For the last 16 years, the lights have been maintained and the system has been expanded to cover double its original length.
IIC team wishes the best and bids goodbye to Tezpurians
Mr. Bhanu’s next brain child was Project Jyoti, once again implemented by Tezpur Municipal Board and NACCI. By now, thousands of CFL street lights have been erected under this scheme to brighten distant lanes and localities. Advertisements on kiosks affixed to the poles generate the revenue for maintaining the lights and cables.
When he took up work on Chtralekha Udyan, he constituted the Tezpur Environment Society (TES), which has some district officials and many citizens playing key roles. Six parks are run efficiently by TES, kept clean and well-lit, adding to Tezpur’s charm as the city of eternal romance. Tourists from far and near now flock to Tezpur to enjoy the ambience of the Udyans.
Tezpur I Care was inspired by the India I Care Movement and its vision is a Clean, Green, Serene Tezpur. Already work has been taken up to decongest the roads and to ban the use of polythene bags. Many more activities are planned with active involvement of the citizens and NGOs."

We would love to learn periodically from Mr Bagaria about the progress they have made. We wish Tezpur I Care a great success.

Dilip    



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