| Tuesday, March 04, 2008 |
Australian to lead walk
A STAFF REPORTER
March 3: Come Sunday, a 79-year-old Australian will lead a walk to raise funds for underprivileged children.
The walk is being organised by Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS), a non-profit NGO, an international think tank which aims at providing an “inspirational energy and a motivating force” for the overall development of the region.
Australian Garvin Brown, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, will lead the walk, which will begin from Dighalipukhuri at 9am and end at Kasturba Gandhi Ashram later in the day.
“Brown came to know about Parijat Academy in Pamohi and agreed to help us raise funds for the school,” Jayanta Barman, convenor of the charity walk, said. The Australian runs an organisation, Mahatma Gandhi Awareness, in Queensland.
Parijat (meaning heavenly flower) Academy is a school for children of low-income families, living in Pamohi and adjoining tribal hamlets on the outskirts of the city.
The founder of Parijat Academy, Uttam Teron, said education is the birthright of every child and no child should be deprived of it.
The school has 478 students. Teron said educating underprivileged children in the neighbourhood is the first step in helping the community. “The walk will raise mass awareness and aim at helping the underprivileged. As the school runs on public donations and some help from NRIs, help from every quarter would be welcome.”
Barman said nearly 400 people are expected to participate in the walk. “We are expecting people to join us in our noble mission.”
Brown was born in New Zealand but has been living in Australia for the past 57 years.
“He has been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of service, non-violence and equality. Garvin always wanted to do something positive,” an official of Parijat Academy said.
Principles of non-violence will also be taught to the children. FASS is currently extending help to four schools — Parijat Academy, Pragyalaya in Jorhat, Asha Darshan in Tamulpur and Auxillium Umpohliew Jingstad in Nongpoh of Meghalaya.