A film-Community School Project, Majuli -World’s largest river island | Milaap
A film-Community School Project, Majuli -World’s largest river island
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    Akash Das
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    from Ri Bhoi, Meghalaya


My name is Akash Das inam from Ri Bhoi ,Meghalaya .

I am an independent film maker and a research associate.
I am presently working on a project with the mising community of Assam based in Majuli .

This is a project on a village knows as patharichuk  in majuli ,where childrens needs to risk their life everyday for reaching an english medium school in majuli.

I have completed a detail research on the same and it's mentioned below.
Hence i wanted to make a film on the research and based on the film the issue will be sensitised and we can approach organisations to come forward and turn this dream into reality .

On 26th of June’19 morning around 6:00 am , five of us started our journey to the worlds largest river island Majuli ,this visit was mostly to participate in a community meeting organized by the village development committee of Patharichuck Village which is located in Lakhimpur District ,Panchayat Lohit Khabalu.Its easy to enter pathorichuck village from Majuli crossing two rivers over Brahmaputra & Subansiri .

Finally at 4.30 pm we reached Majuli. Soon we all gathered to discuss the topic for tomorrow and Mr Amiya Chirang and Mr. Haren Narah who was an Ex TMPK president joined the conversation.

Mr. Amiya Chirang is a local resident of Patharichuk village and a school teacher active in the cultural field too ,Mr. Chirang is also the librarian for our community space since Mar’2018.

Mr. Haren Narah is an entrepreneur and a popular person among the mising community ,his wife is from patharichuk village so we all gathered and tried to understand the whole agenda for the meeting and finally we decided to go start our journey at around 9.30 am.

In March 2018 we started our first education project in a River Island called Majuli , which was setting up of a community children library in a village known as Chitadarchuck which is like 3 kilometer's from Garmur centre in Majuli.

and soon the library became a platform for the children to express life in a different way building in confidence and freedom of expression .

There are a total of 80 children within a radius of 5 kilometers , in no time the community library laid down the foundations of a new journey and slowly we all started believing in this dream to set up a community children school in Majuli .

Here is the link to a film on the community library project :-

You can follow this link to know more on us .

While doing a research 6 months back and speaking to communities we came across few stunning facts .Majuli is surrounded by the mighty river Brahmaputra , on one side and Subansiri on the other hand, every year during summers , the river gets wild and almost 90 % of the villages which is situated next to Subansiri river gets flooded.

Few of the stories which we started digging out:-
School teacher who lost his life while he was brought to a hospital on a hand made cart crossing two rivers to majuli.

It gave a clear picture about the need to setup a sustainable community development initiative. With this thought we went to a village which was about 45mins away from Garmur which is the main center of Majuli. In 2018 there was a news, about a teacher who was from a village call Pathori chuck, he had a heart attach and while he was brought in a hand cart to the nearest hospital which is in Majuli crossing two rivers, but it quite a lot for him and finally he gave up couldn't survived the distance. This example made us clear that simple things in life is hard to get for few people and there is no one to stand with them and rise up.

This overall understanding of the situation gave us the way to follow a dream. it was 9.30 in the morning on 27th of June’19 ,it was raining and there was a little delay , Haren da called a local tempo driver to drop us at Khabolo Ghat where we need to take a boat which us make us reach the other side of the river .Finally around 10.30 am we all reached the Ghat , soon we observed group of children crossing over at regular intervals , we decided to halt for a while and try to observe the situation .The boats are customized local ones on which there is a wooden platform which helps to carry motorbikes and scooters and any other daily necessary items .The boat service is available from morning 6 am till evening 6.30 pm.

It was an exam day ,we spoke to a local person who will be crossing over to the side and will be going to a relative’s place , he told us this is nothing you come in the morning hours and the whole Ghat gets crowded with students who will be attending schools & colleges in Majuli and the same thing repeats when they go back home.

Very interestingly there is a rope tightly tied to both the ends of the river and the boatmen take the help of the rope which sailing the river for safety measures , there are no other safety equipment's and event the government is also not much interested in getting it organized.

Soon in just 5 minutes we reached the other side of the river where we were greeted by young members who are mostly students with motorcycle's to take all of us as there are no other means of local transport available and mostly people use bicycle to travel from one place to another .

We have to reach Patharichuk main block, Anganbari (primary school )where the meeting is going to happen and its roughly around 4 kilometers from the ghat.

Narrow road and green fields on both the sides welcomed us ,we were delighted to see the natural beauty of the village .This the first bridge we crossed while on our way ,every year flood takes away the bridge and a unique thing we learned from the community is the internal bonding between the young and the old ones so that the money which comes for village development from the panchayat committee they jointly keep a portion for the construction of two bridges and it shows a clear understanding of the joint effort on the development front .The other side of the bridge is Patharichuck main block ,we all received a beautiful welcome from different people of the village , professors , retired govt.officials ,President Village development committee Dipak Payeng ,local school teachers students and house wife , there was a total of 30 people who came for the meeting , we got a chance to sit down with the village development committee over a cup of tea , discussions started from floods and again interestingly we learned how the villagers have planted thousands of a particular variety of tree known as “Kadam” which helped in battling bloods and reduced soil erosion .

Deepak Da, Haren da , Momi Bow , Ganesh da all senior people invited us to start the formal meeting .Soon after the felicitation program Dipak Payeng set the agenda for discussion and they welcomed the idea about opening a English Medium School at patharichuck.

Everyone shared the plan about opening a school and finally villagers jointly took a decision to give land for the school and it was the beginning of a new journey for which we all have to really work on each parameters and build on a model which will be sustainable and at the same time becomes an identity.

Village name :- Patharichuck
District : Lakhimpur
Nearest Centre : Majuli
Po : Kambong
No of villages :33/ Nearby Village :14
No of Families -336
Panchayat : Luhit Khabolu

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