Assam: Bodoland Territorial Council to kickstart ‘Happiness Mission’

Happiness Mission

The Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) of Assam which was hit with a decade-long insurgency problem, has now started its mission to create a peaceful environment.

The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), the local government, has taken a unique initiative to introduce peace and happiness subjects in some schools in the region.

Pramod Boro, Chief Executive Member (CEM), Bodoland Territorial Council said that peace and happiness are two important aspects for building a positive environment in the region. Without peace and happiness, no society can think of anything in day-to-day life, he said.

Boro said, “In this Happiness Mission, we will invite all the communities, organizations and former militants whether it is Bodo, Adivasi, Gorkha, Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) to discuss various issues, to listen to their pain, their anger, and frustration and to heal these issues so that we can make a healthy and peaceful society in coming days.”

“But there is no institution where the subject of peace and happiness are taught. In our government, we are starting one mission this year. We plan to establish some schools, where there will be particularly human-related subjects. Peace and happiness subjects will be taught in these schools because this is our priority,” he said.

He said that the BTC government is going to start the unique mission in April this year.

After more than four decades of violence-torn journey, now in the Bodoland region, some people are in trauma. He said some people are still in a hopeless situation.

“So we are trying to rebuild the hope and confidence in the minds of the people. We want to build a positive atmosphere,” Pramod Boro said.

Recently, the Bodoland Territorial Council has organised the first ‘Bodoland International Knowledge Festival’ and the thematic area of the festival is the achievement of social development priorities and key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 in contemporary BTR and the world.

The Bodoland Territorial Council member said that the government in the Bodoland Territorial Region is committed to changing the life of 3.5 million people in the BTR after a four-decade-long violence-torn journey.

Pramod Boro said the priority of the local government is peacebuilding and giving security to each and every citizen in the region.

“Before coming to power, our team worked very hard to bring back peace in the region. We had a long negotiation with the Government of India and the Government of Assam and after that in 2020, the peace accord was signed. Immediately after signing the accord, our whole focus was on sustaining the peace. To sustain the peace, we started discussions with stakeholders, discussion on many other issues related to underground groups who came into the mainstream. That started a political movement and we just forwarded the issues to the centre and state government to address the issues,” Boro said.

Now, he said the response of the Centre and State government is very positive. There is a huge gap in terms of infrastructure and socio-economic development, but the BTC has limited capacity, he emphasised.

“We are trying to do whatever we are assigned, reach out to the people and fulfil the expectations of the people through the governance system. We are trying to resolve their issues and problems. We have started so many social, educational, peace-building and farmers programmes and will continue them,” Boro said.

Talking about the rehabilitation programmes, the Chief Executive Member of Bodoland Territorial Council said, “Most of the former militants got the rehabilitation package and few are remaining on the list and they will be provided with this as earliest as possible.”

He said the list has already been sorted out by the government.

“I think within a short period of time they will get rehabilitation. Case withdrawal of the former militants is also included in the accord and many cases have already been withdrawn. But some heinous crime cases are there. We have a team of legal experts who can pursue this. We are hopeful that these cases will also resolve at a point of time,” Pramod Boro added. 

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