The uneasiness of children of trouble-torn zone in Assam

By Staff Reporter,

Baksa (Assam): With the death toll rose up to 40 of the carnage in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) in Assam, children are to found to be highly affected. So far 14 bodies are of children and as of now 10 are still missing which could be dead as well. Even in the camps at Narayanguri in Baksa district, children are the worst sufferers.

Some kids who have seen the violence directly have been also disturbed to be normal. If some of them have stopped behaving normally after witnessing the people being killed in front of their eyes, a few are stunned after losing their parents.

Afreeda with her child Moromi inside the camp
Afreeda with her child Moromi inside the camp

The school going children are also suffering as they are away from their schools for more than a week now. On top of that there is no possibility of them joining the school anytime soon.

Though the district administration is trying their best, it is still tough to meet the need of the hour. Out of the 200 minors at the camp, 85 are in the category of 0-6 years. The relief camp houses 498 people.

“We are trying our best to do the needful. We understand that the children and women are the soft target of the attackers. I hope we can be able to do the needful for the kids,” said Baksa deputy commissioner Vinod Sesenk.

At the ground zero, in an open field where the makeshift camps are made on the bank of river Beki, it is getting tougher for the mother to console and maintain their kids. The time to time rain is adding more worries to the camp inmates.

“My last hope remains on her. I have lost a son,” Afreeda told at a relief camp at Narayanguri which is under Gobardhan police station in Baksa district. Afreeda pointed towards her four month baby girl named Moromi who is sleeping on the ground on a mere piece of cloth under the plastic roofed make shift tent.

Now, Afreeda is worried for her daughter’s future after she found her son’s dead body on the other day from the river Beki. Besides, the 200 odd minors who are in the camp are facing a different sort of shock in the very early part of their lives.

“We can understand that this is very critical stage but we want that the district administration should take special care of children. I have felt that the condition of the children is very deplorable. Their mental status is very vulnerable and sensitive. They needed to be treated very carefully,” Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) Runumi Gogoi said after visiting the camp. She also said of providing counselling to the kids by UNICEF experts.

Children in the camp.
Children in the camp.

Further, she has asked the district administration to transfer children who lost their parents in the carnage to the state homes for children. The Commission has also urged the state government to ensure that the children affected by the latest wave of violence in the BTAD continue their studies by providing them free books from the Sarva Siksha Abhijan (SSA) and taking steps to send them to schools immediately.

The ASCPCR has asked Baksa DC Vinod Sesenk to put the missing cases of children under the Child Tracking System so that they can be tracked effectively by various government agencies. “There is probability of these children to trap in the hands of miscreants who will try to traffic them in various parts of the country. So, here everybody needs to be careful,” Gogoi added.