30th October 2008. That bright morning carried little indication of the events to come. Then it happened – over a ton of an explosive chemical cocktail burnt in thirteen devastating blasts across the region causing instant carnage and untold grievous injury. The incident has gone on to become India’s largest terrorist atrocity since several decades; the victims, ordinary people going about their daily lives. The United Nations Secretary General was prompt to condemn the atrocity. Excerpts: World Press Coverage: 30th October, 2008. Note: The JFA does not assume responsibility for the content or availability of external websites.
Typically, Assam hardly features in the world press. One wonders why. The annual flooding of river valleys displaces millions of people and claims thousands of lives, significantly comparable to the devastation in neighbouring Bangladesh. This oil-rich region also produces the world’s maltiest tea that fetches huge prices at auction houses. Over twenty languages and a thousand dialects are spoken here.
Natural wonders like Majuli (Mazuli), the world’s largest riverine island, lie here. Several insurgent groups with goals ranging from autonomy to independence to the establishment of radical Islam, actively operate. The list to justify a rich press coverage goes on and on. Yet you’ll find the world media cover Bangladesh floods, OPEC oil prices or the Amazon rain forest, but rarely Assam. Strange. But this time the media did take some note. True, coverage needed to be more than this, but given current trends, there was some coverage at least. Each bomb was a lethal cocktail of RDX, TNT and PETN – one of the most powerful explosives known – packed into a car’s boot, then driven to a site to wreak havoc on unsuspecting innocent people. Heart-rending stories followed. Five year old Moromi, the youngest victim, was the eighty-first to be pronounced dead.
We, JustForAssam.org, appeal to the world – for humanity’s sake – to express solidarity with the hapless victims. We must consider means to help survivors or next-of-kin of dead ones, so they get their lives back on track. This is why we are raising funds through our associate charity – The Alliance for Community Capacity Building in Northeast India (ACCB) – to effectively rehabilitate victims, so to hopefully complement the support provided by government and other organisations. In particular, we aim to fill in as many of the needs as below –
- We aim to address medium and long term needs of the victim’s family. An example would be sponsoring a training course for the next of kin of one who died.
- Families who lost their only bread earner would receive our support so at least one school-going child is able to study up-to a basic qualification level or be able to train others, or in some way set up a business.
- For victims who suffered grievous injury such as loss of limb, we aim to offer help with any restorative surgery and physical rehabilitation.
- We intend to help victims return back to work quickly or rehabilitate them in a new vocation with appropriate training and support.
- We will set up a support network of volunteers who will work through local Non Government Organisations (NGO’s) – the local term for independent charities – and the government, to ensure aid and useful information reach the ones in need.
[ Editorial Note – 26 Nov, 2011 : The Appeal appearing in this article – as below – is now closed, hence the text below appears struck out. However, we would be grateful to receive any Donations to our other ongoing projects where our appeals remain open. Please have a look at our Projects and Appeals page to find out more. ]
justgiving We will require substantial sums of money to achieve our goals. This can only be possible with the support of generous donors. So in partnership with the ACCB, we have setup a website on justgiving.com to collect donations for our cause and hope you will visit us there to place your kind donation. Click on the link or the justgiving logo below to make a secure donation. Please donate generously. UK taxpayers can also allow us to claim Gift Aid: this means the UK HMRC adds a 25% to the donation value. We regret we’re unable to recommend anything similar if you’re resident in another country, but hope you will still chip in to help make a difference.