A community needs two ingredients to move ahead for the benefits of its members – motivation and institutions. Assam Association of North America (AANA) is an institution for the people having origin or interest in the naturally and culturally rich state of Assam in India.
AANA is an association of rules and procedures, and thus it has survived, and stayed on course! Beginning with a modest membership, in 1980, we have come a long way. We provide consistent outreach and an active platform to an increased number from our community. Assam Foundation of North America (AFNA), our non-profit fund-raising wing, and Asom Sahitya Sabha, North America (ASSNA), our literary wing are leaders in their respective fields. Together, we look forward to more fruitful achievements.
Our children, for whom this Association is dedicated, have now become adults and it is refreshing to witness the eagerness on their part to come forward and take on responsibilities. It is incumbent upon them to protect, preserve, and further this great institution. They should be the natural new members!
It is aptly said that you need a village to raise a child! Like a child, AANA needed the support and blessings of many to survive. Our organization has benefitted from the hard work and far-sightedness of many. We are proud to recognize our own strengths, achievements, and of course our purposes -- our successful Conventions speak for themselves. Onward we march on!
Please Click here for the current AANA Constitution
Like any other Association or Organization catering to respective Diaspora, Assam Association of North America (AANA) too has its objectives and goals. In a few words, those are:
- To help us, the Assamese Diaspora, help ourselves;
- To help our younger generation preserve, protect, and advance our cultural heritage;
- To help serve Assam in her efforts to move ahead along with the other Provinces of India.
Beginning in 1980, AANA has successfully carried out its efforts towards achieving its objectives and goals. Its non-profit wing, Assam Foundation of North America (AFNA), has endeavored to provide financial and material help towards Assam's multifaceted developments; its literary wing, the Asom Sahitya Sabha, North America (ASSNA), has provided a literary outlet for Assamese and Assam related writings and projects, and has worked closely with the Asom Sahitya Sabha, the crown jewel of Assamese literary scene. On its own, AANA has provided a platform for all of us, like-minded people, to formally meet and share our views and concerns regarding us, the Assamese Diaspora, and about Assam, and things impacting us and her. The Annual Convention (called the Assam Convention), organized during the 4th of July weekend, also provides the General Body Meetings (GBM) for each of these three wings, to assess its plans and programs and biannually elect new office bearers in accordance with the respective By Laws and the Articles of Incorporation.
- by Dr Monoranjan Bezboruah, Past AANA President
Briefly, (caveat: as I remember it) here is our story:
Affected by the developments back home, in Assam, the Assamese community living in Houston, Texas under the initiative and leadership of Dr. Lohit Datta-Barua had formed a national organization on January 18, 1980 as there was no national organization in North America at the time. So, Assam Association of North America (AANA) was born with Dr. Parul Hazarika as the first president of the organization.
The support to the appeal made to the at-large Assamese community of North America was overwhelming. As suggested by many across this vast continent, a national conference was planned in August of 1980. Many individuals residing in various parts of this country came to Houston for this meeting to discuss as to what we can do. Dr. Lohit Datta-Barua once again took the lead in organizing the meeting. This was the humble beginning of the Annual Assam Convention for the Assamese Diaspora of North America. Dr. Lohit Datta-Barua has been a paid Life Member of AANA for many years. However, recognizing his contributions, the General Body Meeting recently, by acclamation, conferred upon him the Life Membership of AANA. For that 1st convention, many people came from various parts of the country to Houston.Dr. Amiya Das came from Florida, Dr. Atul Sarma from Louisville, Mr. Himen Barthakur from Massachusetts, Mr. Mahendra Baruah from Oregon, Dr. Hirak Patangia from Arkansas, Dr. Monoranjan Bezboruah from Washington, DC, and Mr. Barada and Nandita Sarma from Austin, Texas.