A software engineer, a doctoral student and a tireless social worker, Ankur Bora of Dallas, Texas, has started a new Web site called SupportAChild-Assam.com with a view to helping children in Assam and Northeast India financially in pursuit of education. He has also started a group called SupportAChild-Assam@yahoogroups.com for the same purpose. According to the Web site, Ankur started the endeavor inspired by many examples of generous individuals who have taken initiatives in “embracing impoverished children, showing kindness and compassion, bringing back hope and joy in their little innocent hearts by opening their own.”
Ankur’s goal is to find individuals to support the educational cost of a child, which along side can also provide for emergency food and clothing, and medical and dental care. The initial plan will be to find between Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per child per year. The money will be used in meeting with their basic requirements like expenses of books, clothing and nourishment. The sponsor will enjoy being a visible supporter of the child by receiving photos, personal letters, e-mails, progress reports and the like. The sponsor will be able to watch the child grow and flourish, knowing that he or she is making it all possible. The sponsors will be encouraged to send letters, cards and photos from their country of residence which besides building a bond between them will make the child feel cared for and loved.
By providing help and guidance of a supportive adult early in their life, the sponsor will be making perceptible difference in a child’s life by
· Keeping a child off the street,
· Helping a child understand their future may be different from their parents
· Breaking the cycle of poverty,
· Visiting the child during trips to Assam and showing that someone successful cares.
According to the Web site, there are also other ways to contribute to this effort:
· Volunteering: An NRA or his or her children can volunteer to teach in one of the schools during vacations in Assam. The teaching can include areas of spoken English, basic computer training, art and music, computer animation using audio and video, and others. The long-term objective is to impart marketable skills to these children - enhancing their prospects of employability - hence guiding them on path to a dignified living and self-reliance.
· Leadership and Personality Development: For older students, one can also arrange workshops, training camps to be conducted by the visiting non-residents. These can be in the areas of public speaking, interpersonal communication, group discussion, the technique of power point presentation and interview techniques.
· Joyful Learning: An NRA can also donate storybooks, audio video CDs, coloring books and other resources to the school libraries. The Web site can also arrange art exhibitions by the participating non-residents and local artists. Ideas like “charity walk and run”, “art and craft auction” to raise funds for these schools can also be arranged.
Ankur Bora is working with many individuals and organizations in his selfless quest. It must be noted that Assam Society of America has had a similar program called “Adopt-A-Child” for more than a decade, spearheaded by individuals such as Vijeet Sarma (New Jersey), Geeta Chowdhary (New York), Jugma Bora (California) and Bonti Mahanta (Missouri). In this program, approximately $100 was given to schools in Assam to provide for educational expenses of each selected student. Winners were chosen from a pool of applicants after announcements and reports were published in newspapers in Assam seeking applications. The program was discontinued a few years ago due to non-receipt of timely records from schools on time. In addition, a few years ago, Assam Society of America, decided not to have its yearly convention and donated several thousand dollars to the Blind School for Children in Guwahati for educational and other expenses at the school.
Posoowa admires Ankur’s record in bring together people from various backgrounds, organizations and continents for exemplary philanthropic activities and wishes this endeavor great success.
Jugal Kalita, Colorado Springs