Sanjay Hazarika’s Aalook Griha, a ray of hope for the abandoned and victimized children
She was only 12 years old when she was raped and she got pregnant. This poor little girl, who could hardly understand the hard terminologies of life were not allowed to stay anymore in the village. Instead of punishing the culprit the elders found fault in her. Another kid lost both her parents when she was very young and did not have anyone looking after her. Another small kid was separated from his family in a train journey, who could not even remember from where he came from or where his home is. All these kids could not have seen any brighter side of life anymore, if they were not rescued by a good Samaritan, Sanjay Hazarika. Sanjay Hazarika, the man from Assam is more than a savior for many kids whom he has given a new life.
An MSW from Indore, Sanjay has worked across all over India between 1987-1997. But, he was back to Assam in 1997 as an evaluator for CAPART and Action Aid, North Eastern region. In 2001, he went to Bangladesh to work with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. There, he received training on micro finance and later, implemented the same in many districts across Assam.
While working for social sectors for so long, Sanjay Hazarika always had it in his mind to do something for the benefit of the children and women. In an attempt to fulfill his long cherished dream, Sanjay Hazarika founded an NGO, Integrated Development Association (IDA) in 1998. Skill development training on poultry & piggery, agarbatti making, training on SHG promotion & management, agriculture, fishery, horticulture, food processing etc are few of the tasks handled by the NGO.
Along with these, IDA has worked extensively for the benefit of disabled and older person, organised many health awareness camps, and solved many domestic violence cases through reconciliation and family court, particularly in the remote villages of Kamrup and Sivasagar district.
IDA has developed more than 1200 self help groups so far. In the year 2010, IDA started Ujjwala Home, with an aim to rescue and rehabilitate the victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. ‘Aalook Griha‘, a children’s home was also started in the year 2012. Along with all other developmental works, children home is also run by the IDA.
The NGO closely works with Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Abandoned, orphaned and children in difficult circumstances who enter the juvenile justice system through the CWC who are in need of residential care and protection during the pendency of any inquiry and subsequently for their long term care are brought to the children home. So far, more than 300 children have been benefited through the noble initiative of Sanjay Hazarika.
At present there are 18 children in the children home. Right from the education to the nutrition of the children, all are being taken care at the Aalook Griha. Along with the education, children are also given vocational training to make them independent and prepare them as the good citizen of the society.
Hazarika has been closely working with many other personalities of the region, namely Mr Jesson S Kanneth (Chairman, National Alliance Mission), Mr Abhijit Sharma (Faculty Member of Indian Institute of Bank Management) and Mr Partha Sinha (Active social worker of Bilasipara, Dhubri), to bring social and economic changes to many districts across Assam.
Though it seemed easy, but Hazarika has faced many problems while rescuing the children. At times, he even had to fight with the negative elements of the society. But, nothing could deter the spirit of Sanjay Hazarika. He believes that all these abandoned and orphaned children are a part of our own society, and we, as a society has responsibility to look after them.