The general body meeting of AFNA - Assam Foundation of North America was partly conducted by attendance and partly by calling in from different cities. In the podium, there were Mrs. Anu Borah, Mr. Partha Gogoi and Dr. Deva Borah. On phone, there were Mr. Satyajit Nath, Mr. Krishanu Kaushik, Mr. Pallav Saikia, Mrs. Enakshi Baruah, Dr. Binoy Bordoloi, Mrs. Pinky Pradhan and Mr. Siranjit Deka.
Anu Borah presented the annual report prepared by Satyajit Nath and Pallav Saikia. Mr. Nath gave a background of SHED (Society for Health, Education and Development) - helping physically and mentally challenged children in Guwahati, Assam. He mentioned, AFNA is in urgent need of funding to purchase land, construct building and install running water facility. There were discussions and ideas among the attendees how to raise funds for AFNA. Some attendees pledged towards the SHED project during the meeting. Earlier, AFNA raised $6,000 by calendar competition and selling them. Competition for 2013 calendar competition will be publicized later.
New office bearers for AFNA are:
President: Satyajit Nath
Secy: Pinky Pradhan
Asst secy: Hitesh Kalita
Terasurer: Pallav Saikia
Directors: Binoy Bordoloi, Anu Borah, Enakshi Baruah, Krishanu Kaushik, and Dina Ahmed
(Please read the full AFNA report in this issue)
A non-profit organization registered under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code with Tax I.D # 61-0994468
2012 Annual General Body Meeting (Sumary of Meeting Minutes):
The meeting was held in the Assam Convention 2012, in Calgary, Canada, on June 30, 2012 and was attended by 23 community members. Attendees comprised of AFNA members and public attendees who were either present in the room or attending remotely on the teleconference line that was set up for this purpose by AFNA.
After opening remarks and introductions by Satyajit Nath, current President of AFNA. The AFNA Annual Report was presented by Anu Borah. The main highlights of the report are as follows:
$30,000 was raised in donations and around $19,000 has already been disbursed in the first six months, outperforming the entire last year’s performance.
Another key highlight was the interest generated by the 2012 AFNA calendar among the non-resident Assamese community in North America. It was successful in generating 6,000 USD of donations to AFNA by the community, and also by their friends outside the community.
The discussion steered towards the Society for Health Education and Development (SHED) project, based in Guwahati. Satyajit Nath shared that SHED, founded by Lanu Aimol in 2008, supports physically and mentally challenged children. He informed that the current rented facility in Beltola lacks basic infrastructure and SHED is trying to build a permanent location for their facility. He further informed that SHED management has identified a piece of land in Sonapur where they can build such a facility for the children. The fund required to move to the new location needs to be raised in two stages. In stage I, the focus is to buy the land for $6,000, which is needed by August 31, 2012. Satyajit Nath appealed to AFNA members for their support.
Satyajit Nath requested that the members pledge a donation for the SHED project. The appeal generated pledges of $2,600 from the attendees of the meeting.
Anu Borah and Partha Gogoi proceeded with the next agenda item of the meeting and presented the nomination of office bearers and directors for the next term (2 years for office bearers and 1 year for director per the AFNA constitution). They also described the due process per the constitution followed by the AFNA team to gather those nominations.
Binoy Bordoloi, Anu Borah, Enakshi Baruah, Krishanu Kaushik (all re-nominated for a third 1-year term)
Dina Ahmed (new nomination)
President: Satyajit Nath (re-nominated for a second 2-year term)
Secretary: Pinky Pradhan (new nomination)
Assistant Secretary: Hitesh Kalita (new nomination)
Treasurer: Pallav Saikia (re-nominated for a second 2-year term)
Acceptance of the new committee was moved by Deva Borah, seconded by Partha Gogoi, and unanimously approved by members attending. The new office bearers thanked the GBM for their nomination, election, and the new responsibilities.
by Dr. Gautam Lal Baruah
The residents of Chicagoland were delighted to host a most dynamic entrepreneurial politician from Assam – the honorable cabinet minister of health, family welfare, education and implementation of Assam Accord- Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on April 26th, 2012. Dr. Sarma was in USA as one out of four state ministers representing the whole of India in a fact finding mission on American Community colleges as a model for vocational institutes in India. He accepted the invitation from Dipak Kalita, who organized the event with help from others.
Many of us have heard about the laudable developmental work and initiatives implemented in Assam under the stewardship of Srijut Tarun Gogoi and Dr. Sarma over the last decade. The minister was introduced by Dipak Kalita and Gautam Lal Baruah spoke about his achievements. Local residents Dibakar Sundi, Bibhash Barua and Jaideep Barua shared their experiences and perspectives. Enakshi Baruah, Arundhati Barua, Kabita Sundi and Deepika Barua felicitated the minister with gamosa, bouquet and gifts.
Chief Minister Srijut Tarun Gogoi and Dr. Sarma have introduced landmark reforms like VAT, Financial Reform and Budget management act and Assam Entry tax. Over the last decade this has meant a paradigm shift in Assam. Finances from the center and ADB have multiplied and with the increase in revenues, Assam now has erased the deficit. It is at the take off stage in major infrastructure development. Dr. Sarma’s contributions to health, education and family welfare have been stupendous. For example, NRHM initiative, Asha and Mamta plans have facilitated healthcare throughout the state. The hospitals have seen great improvement with respect to availability of medicines.
The minister gave an erudite presentation about the progress, challenges and his vision of the future of Assam. Tracing the history of Assam over the last three decades, Dr. Sarma emphasized that Assam has now become the focal point of the center’s “Look East” policy and is receiving greater attention and funds for rapid development.