Inspiration is something that gives us the boost to achieve our goal. The year 2020 has been rather de-motivating that has cast a pall of fear and gloom around the world. Amid these uncertainties, there were also stories of aspirations, resilience and inspiration that surely give us a ray of hope. In an attempt to spread some positivity, NorthEast Today handpicks some of the inspiring stories from the region that gives us a boost to begin the year with some much needed inspiration.

Educator & Environmentalist: Lomas Dhungel from Sikkim

 

Mathematics is a subject that students often refrain from calling it their favourite subject. However, it’s not the same for the students of Makha Senior Secondary School in Sikkim. The credit for this goes to Lomas Dhungel, a school teacher from Sikkim, and one among the 47 teachers from across the country, conferred with the National Teachers Award 2020, who are known for some of their amazing contributions and innovations in the world of education.

In his own words, Dhungel who teaches Mathematics at Makha Senior Secondary School explains “Mathematics is often considered to be a tough subject. This misunderstood idea not only makes the subject terrifying but also boring and uninteresting thereby preventing the students from exploring its hidden beauty. To counter this problem there is the need of developing local innovations best suited to our requirements.”

Some ideas experimented by Dhungel are cited below:

Difficult areas in Geometry are broken down into smaller concepts which are taught with the help of poetry. This helps in the easy retention of concepts that make studies easier. Introducing the concept of shading or the use of colourful sketch-pens with multiple diagrams helps in distinguishing between similar geometrical shapes.

Chapters containing multiple formulas like Mensuration & Surds are aided with imaginative short stories that are given local names. This ‘Localising the example’ methodology makes the concept look familiar and hence easy. Some activities with chart papers also help in the work.

A ‘Mathematical Sensitization’ class is organised at the end of each chapter where few basic concepts from related higher classes of 11 & 12 are discussed. This will reduce the fear of mathematics and ignite the curiosity of students who are interested to take science and mathematics at Class 11 & 12.

Students are also encouraged to develop additional skills like paintings, poetry and story writing in different languages. They are asked to display all skills in their mathematics copy itself. This multi-purpose presentation displayed in a single copy make it colourful and enjoyable in learning.

Another idea known as ‘Grouping & Re-grouping’ helps in dividing the class into heterogeneous groups with all learning abilities. The initial attempt of this idea is to uplift the slow learners into average learners. Once this is achieved two or more groups are again re-grouped. This process is continued until all students clearly understand the concepts.

A ‘Special Audit Team’ is also selected from among the students who would search for difficulties among themselves. This is helpful for students who are reluctant to ask the teachers but are open to their classmates. This idea saves a lot of classroom time. If the problem still persists then it is brought to me after which it is again discussed in the class, informed Dhungel.

Apart from adopting innovative methods in teaching mathematics Dhungel has initiated some exemplary efforts in terms of protecting the environment. Dhungel is the Founder cum Developer of the ‘Hariyo Makha’ project that consists of around 10 socio-environmental initiatives.

In the locally spoken Nepali language “Hariyo” refers to the colour ‘green’ which is the colour of nature, and “Makha” is the place in the east of Sikkim. The project of Hariyo Makha started in 2015 for the protection of the environment with the help of students and local intellectuals. It works on the areas of Solid Waste Management, Proper Resource Utilisation and Sustainable Development. It also generates small revenues that are completely utilised in helping needy and drop-out students for getting admissions to NIOS and IGNOU. Until now 10 students have thus been helped.

After two years of research, the idea of “Plastic Up-cycling Initiative” was developed in 2015. Scrap plastics like wrappers of Lays, Kurkure, etc were used to prepare book covers after following a healthy and hygienic mechanism. It was the first successfully experimented idea under the Hariyo Makha project. “The idea adopted by us was very cheap, simple, pollution free and with zero by-product emission. The ugly looking scraps were thus converted into beautiful book covers,” said Dhungel.

Under this initiative, all the books and copies of a nearby school Adarsh Vidhya Mandir located at Singbel, East Sikkim were covered by Dhungel’s team in 2017. This led to the earning of Rs. 14,000 which was immediately utilised in helping one of the students in getting admission to a BA course under IGNOU. He is duly to become a graduate by 2021, informs Dhungel.

Soon after, this idea was donated to the Ajambari Self Help Group (SHG) also located at Singbel. Plastics were donated by 14 schools across the East and South districts of Sikkim that was utilised by the SHG in making 2100 book covers. A revenue of Rs. 21,000 was also earned. “The most remarkable part of the work was that a part of the revenue is also going to be utilised in helping at least 2 female SHG members in their education. Thus this idea worked in the area of Women Empowerment not only in terms of finance but also in areas of cleanliness, skill development and education as well,” added Dhungel.

In all, a total of 85,000 plastic pieces have been upcycled into 6100 book covers earning a revenue of Rs. 35,000.

Another initiative was the “Clean Paper Initiative” which works on Paper Waste Management. More than 9,00,000 pages of all sizes have been collected from more than 30 schools (across East, North & South districts), organisations and individual donors. Out of it, 6,50,000 pages have already been reused as rough copies.

One initiative led to another and it not only contributed to the education of the needy but also towards the environment. This initiative further led to the “Volunteer Paper Workshop” where clean semi-used A4 pages were converted to notebooks and sold.

“For every 100 copies sold one student was sponsored for admission. Half of the money was earned from selling notebooks, and the remaining was voluntarily contributed by me. So far 1,00,000 copies have been sold by converting it into 1000 notebooks and a revenue of Rs. 20,000 also obtained,” asserts Dhungel.

Informing about some other initiatives Dhungel sad that one idea known as “Reverse Entropy Mechanism” that works on converting small plastic pieces into solid blocks is in its initial phase. Another is the “Lukeko Paisa (Hidden Treasure) Initiative” which works on the idea of converting the exam papers into resources. The “Outsource Recycling Initiative” works on reducing air pollution by collecting and sending small cartons for recycling that are otherwise burnt into fumes. The “Golden Rupee Initiative” works on the segregation of waste materials at the source in the village. The scraps are then collected, segregated and donated to local scrap vendors for a ‘Value Price’ of just One Rupee, hence the name Golden Rupee.

The “Mero Khata (My Copy) Initiative” works on generating awareness on the loss of writing area caused by traditional Ruled Copies and motivating students for using Plain Copies only. The “Pyaro Mauri (Dear Bee) Initiative” works on the conservation of declining bee species in the region. As a part of the initiative, every year in the month of December students, teachers and local volunteers come together for an extensive mustard seed cultivation in and around Makha.

The Hariyo Makha project also gets suggestions from the Education Department, State Pollution Control Board, ENVIS Department and RDD Department from time to time. “We are presently trying to convert the initiatives into livelihood and vocational works. This can generate employment at each and every corner of India with almost zero dependence on raw materials. We are working with the above departments to train more of SHGs, NGOs and interested volunteers for the process,” said Dhungel.

In his message to the people of Northeast, Dhungel expresses, “The North-East region includes areas with God-gifted natural beauty. Being brought up in this region, we are naturally sensitive towards the environment as it is deeply inculcated into our culture. Additionally, we are very friendly, caring and with a high degree of hospitality. I have come across several organisations that are very active towards social and environmental issues. Our team of Hariyo Makha also gets motivated by them. Any attempt, however small, made by anyone would surely contribute towards the protection of Mother Nature. Let us work together in all possible measures.”

 

The Yellow Crusader: Trinity Saioo from Meghalaya

 

Recently, Meghalaya’s Lakadong Turmeric was recognized on the international platform when it was launched in the United States of America (USA) through Nutraceutical Company, Mt. Meru Medicines via Video Conference (VC) by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and representatives of the Nutraceutical Company.

The turmeric farmers group in Meghalaya collaborated with Mt. Meru Medicines, a company from San Diego to market Lakadong Turmeric in Nutraceutical form for the US market. It will be the first company in the world to use Lakadong turmeric in its formulation.

Known as the Golden Spice of Meghalaya Lakadong Turmeric is known for its medicinal values.

The farmers of Lakadong village and nearby villages have been cultivating and producing this well-known spice extensively. However, one person who is responsible for the cultivation of the Lakadong Turmeric is Trinity Saioo. Known as Turmeric Trinity she is one of the 118 recipients of Padma Shree Award India’s fourth highest civilian honour for 2020. The 52-year-old from Meghalaya is credited with spearheading the women-led turmeric farming movement in the state. Her initiative has allowed the women farmers to triple their income.

After discovering the fact that Lachein, one of the variants of turmeric cultivated in Meghalaya has less market demand and poorer curcumin content, Saioo experimented with the Lakadong turmeric and saw her earnings double.

Meanwhile, the Spice Board took cognizance of her efforts and collaborated with her in educating the farmers of the region.

A teacher and a tribal farmer by profession Saioo notes, “It was in the year 2003, the Spice Board of Shillong visited us and inquired if there were any cultivators of turmeric. They informed us that there are schemes available for the cultivation of the Lakadong turmeric, especially for the farmers. It was here that I understood, and made a promise to re-cultivate turmeric because of the availability of the schemes.”

Initially, she began with only 25 women framers in 2003 and now it has grown to around 800 women farmers in Meghalaya all of who farm organically and cultivate Lakadong turmeric. The movement has allowed women, farmers to triple their income.

She educated the farmers in the Jaintia Hills regions to cultivate and boost the popularity of the indigenous, high curcumin content Lakadong variety of turmeric. She has also assisted the women with organic certification, marketing and documentation to avail subsidies.

The Spices Board (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India) has also hailed this “progressive” farmer who has now become a symbol of women empowerment. “Trinity Saioo a progressive farmer who led hundreds of farmers in Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya to cultivate & boost the popularity of indigenous high curcumin Lakadong variety of turmeric”, the board wrote in a tweet.

She started a co-operative society known as “Ieng Skhem Spice Producer Industrial Co-operative Society” in order to organise the production and marketing of this spice. She also associated her Society with “Life Spice Federation of Self Help Groups of Laskein CD Block in order to revive this federation.

It was under her leadership the federation now exports Lakadong turmeric across the Northeastern states and as further off Kerela and Karnataka. She helped the state further the mission of Lakadong, mobilizing growers and expanding the area of Lakadong Turmeric farming. What started with 800 farmers, now has 100 turmeric SHGs in her federation.

Being recognized for initiating the women led turmeric farming movement in Meghalaya Trinity Saio was also felicitated and honoured for her valuable contribution and innovative work by the Union Ministry of Agriculture for ‘Excellence in Horticulture’ during the celebration of Mahila Kisan Divas 2018.

 

Chasing Dreams: Kekhriesilie Rio from Nagaland

 

 

Northeast India has earned a name for itself in the sporting arena. However, unlike other sports the Equestrian Sports is not much popularized in the region. India has a rich heritage of Equestrian Sport and the sport has a long history in the form of horse games and other equestrian activities in the country.

The sport has its presence in the states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh which has a state equestrian association affiliated to the Equestrian Federation of India. However, Nagaland’s Kekhriesilie Rio has put the Northeastern Region on the Equestrian map of India.

Of late he became the first equestrian from the region to be selected for Equestrian Indian National Team to represent India at the International level and has now ranked World 2nd by the Federation International Equestrian, making him the first ever Indian to achieve this highest rank. Rio has garnered a name for himself both in the national arena and is now aspiring an international feat through the Asian Games and the Olympics.

Coming from Touphema village in Nagaland, Rio was introduced to the sport in his boarding school the Assam Valley School in Tezpur, Assam. Recently he won the FEI (Federation Equestrian International) World Jumping Challenge 2020 (South Zone) in category A in Bangalore.

Apart from these some of the major acclamations that he has achieved so far in the National Circuit includes: He gained the third position in the junior endurance national championship held in Dibrugarh 2015; he has also won the Junior national equestrian championship held in Kolkata in 2018 in the show jumping discipline, and was adjudged the best rider of the year 2018;  he was in the runners up category in the Asian equestrian federation young- junior rider show jumping challenge 2019 held at Bangalore.

Sharing his first stroke with the sport Rio says, “Equestrian as a sport was something new to me, having a soft corner for animals I enrolled for the sport in my school. With time I started to enjoy the sport and started competing at inter and intra school levels. During my time at school, the exposure at the Delhi horse shows, a national event held every year in Delhi gave me an opportunity to compete with the best in the country and gave me an idea as to where I stood in the national circuit. Delhi horse show was also an entrée for me into the show jumping discipline. It was from there that I continued my journey into the equestrian sport.”

Rio who has a better knack at show jumping than other disciplines informs that his selection in the Asian Games will depend on the trials conducted this year that will determine his qualification for the upcoming Asian Games where he will represent India.

“As for the Olympics, it is a dream for me to represent my country. However, this will depend on my performances in the national circuit and the upcoming Asian games 2022. With that saying, I am in preparation mode for the Asian trials under my coach Mr. Nitin Gupta, who himself is one of the top rider/ trainers in India,” added Rio.

Speaking about his coach Nitin Gupta, Rio says, “It is under his guidance and dedication that today I am on this pedestal. All thanks to him.”

Rio is also a part of the United Riders Barn a private club in India that produces top riders across all platforms from national to international level. URB is fully dedicated to only the show jumping discipline. In URB, each member owns their private horses and there is no concept of a club horse there. Rio currently has 2 horses- Zala and Claudette, both the horses are imported from Europe specifically for show jumping. “Not many people are fortunate enough to own two horses. I am thankful to God and my parents for giving me this opportunity,” asserts Rio.

A student of the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts in Pune, Maharashtra, Rio is currently a third-year student pursuing political science as his major. Even though at times it becomes for Rio to focus both on studies and sports but the determination of excelling in both areas he has managed to come up with a structure that he religiously follows. “Time management is one of the integral aspects. I believe in the concept of “when there is a will there is a way”. This naturally narrows down any excuses or doubts that arise in my head,” expresses Rio

Passionate about travelling Rio loves to play different kinds of sports including soccer and racket games.

Being involved in the game for a long time now, Rio observes that the northeast has a lot of talent in equestrian sport. However, sports like cricket and football are at the forefront because there is mass publicity, sponsorships by various multi-crore companies endorsing their brand, unlimited facilities provided by the government, which makes it easy for these sports to be famous and well known.

Expressing his views on the popularization of the Equestrian Sport he says, “Equestrian being an expensive sport, there are only a few people who are able to take it forward in the professional level. In hindsight, there are very few equestrian establishments that have been created by the union and respective state governments for the youths to be involved in the sport. Hence more sponsorship from large multinational companies in the sport for the creation of equestrian institutes will help in the long run for the youth in the northeast.”

He further adds that Equestrian sport in the northeast is only limited to schools and some small-scale equestrian establishments which are limited to only a few people. For the popularization of the sport, the respective state governments should provide facilities for the youngsters, that would give them exposure to the sport and it will also promote the sport amongst the general public. “One of the best ways to popularize the sport in the northeast is by hosting shows in every state by the respective state equestrian associations. This will make people aware of the nature of the sport,” suggests Rio.

Sharing a word for youngsters Rio concludes, “One has to remain committed to their aspirations through hard work, dedication and goals. There will be many ups and down on the path to the top, but one has to be patient and focused on their goal.”

 

Spreading love: Love Brigade from Mizoram

 

Mizoram has seen a surge in the rise of HIV/AIDS cases in the state. Earlier in February 2020, State Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana in the Assembly informed that Mizoram has topped the list in highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country followed by Manipur and Nagaland.

Quoting the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) records, Lalthangliana said as many as 21,538 people were infected with HIV positive in Mizoram from October 1990 to December 2019 making the State the highest AIDS prevalent state in the country.

Data with the MSACS show Mizoram’s HIV prevalence among people aged 15 to 49 years by October 2019 was 2.04%, almost ten times the national average of 0.22%. The States’ annual new HIV infection rate was 1.32%, about 20 times the national average of 0.07%, which is a grave concern for the state.

Eventually, the state has ramped up its efforts in curbing the menace by adopting various measures. The state has been promoting the use of condoms since 2018. Strategies include installation of free condom pull-out kiosks in busy market areas and displaying 30-foot inflated condom balloons.

Recently, on World Aids Day on December 1, the MSACS in collaboration with the Delhi based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Taxi Association launched the ‘free love condom’ campaign named ‘Love Brigade’ in Aizawl.

In the first-of-its-kind initiative, the campaign has involved taxi drivers and bikers not only to spread awareness about the so-far incurable disease but also easily make available condoms free of cost to passengers and the public to help check its spread. The idea is to distribute them free of cost to their clients in a non-stigma approach while riding with them.

Dr. Lalthlengliani, Project Director of MSACS said the Love Brigade campaign was a collaboration between the society and the bike and taxi associations for distributing free condoms to their clients in a “non-stigma approach” while riding with them. Mizoram was one of the first States in India to start two-wheeler taxi service.

“The Love Brigade will be trained in HIV/AIDS counselling, would give out the details of free HIV testing initiatives of MSACS and share pamphlets with prevention messages to create awareness among the masses,” Dr. Lalthlengliani said in a statement. “To begin with, 500 bike taxi riders and car taxi drivers will be selected and branded as Love Brigade and they, in turn, will distribute the free love condoms to their clients.”

As per reports, the drivers who will be distributing the condoms will be wearing red jackets to identify themselves for the campaign. The condoms will be kept for anyone to pick them up from the back pocket of the vehicle’s front seat.

The love brigade drive is aimed to be a collaborative effort between the public and the riders association so that a delicate health issue can be discussed without any stigma attached to it.

 

Handling Tourism amid Crisis and the Plans Ahead in Arunachal Pradesh

 

The global pandemic came as a big blow to the tourism sector worldwide. Some of the tourism dependent economies sulked in a snap. Amid all the dark phase, Arunachal set an amazing example in front of all the other northeastern states as well as the nation. The state presented a wonderful and praiseworthy show with their digital campaigns during the lockdown as well as in the post-lockdown phase.

One of the most striking features of the campaigns was the tagline- Dream Now Travel Later. The tagline well aligned with the situation that was prevailing in the world a few months back. It connected with the audience who were stuck due to the pandemic as travelling and vacation came to a halt. But with the tagline, people were able to think of post-covid ventures. It was like one could dream of the scenic posts to explore and then travel later to those once the night of covid has passed. As the pandemic cast a shadow of gloom over everyone, people yearned for something to look forward to. The state tourism campaigns catered to that need. It gave the people a push to plan, to keep their backpacks ready. To keep up the spirit, an art competition was also organized on the occasion of World Tourism Day in the month of September. The submissions were made online and the winners were facilitated by the department. The competition saw a huge participation as per reports.

The official social media handles of the state tourism executed various information as well as lesser known facts about the state throughout the lockdown period which gained exceptionally positive feedback. Right from the scenic beauty of Aalo to the traditional cuisines of different tribes, the netizens got a flavor of various sides of Arunachal.

Now that the nation is at the reopening phase, the state government is curating different ways to make the best of it and generate revenue.   Chief Minister Pema Khandu had already directed officials of the state tourism department to explore innovative ways to boost tourism in the state and which can be carried out at the earliest. The state has been garnering quite a large number of tourists in the past across the country as well as from abroad. Hence, to maintain the reputation, the state is aiming at doubling the tourist inflow. This will not only help in recovering from the covid-loss but at the same time, it will lead to revenue generation.

In this regard, Deputy Chief Minister of the state, Chowna Mein recently convened a meeting with the Minister of Tourism, Nakap Nalo, Secretary Tourism, Sadhana Deori and Director Tourism, Abu Tayeng to discuss the promotion of Arunachal Tourism. Mein said that in today’s world Tourism is a big industry and it can employ lots of educated youths. Citing the huge potential of tourism in the State and the big employment it can provide, he opined to consider Tourism as one of the priority sectors in the upcoming budget for the session 2021-22. “To promote Arunachal Tourism worldwide while citing that it is through tourism activities, we can increase the economy of the State and attain sustainable development. He, however, suggested developing assets in feasible areas citing that many assets/infrastructures of the tourism department are lying unused which is a wastage of the State Exchequer. Minister of Tourism, Nakap Nalo said that there are lots of assets under Tourism Department in the State and we need to bring them into utility. He apprised that the department has prepared to conduct many tourism activities last year in order to attract tourists to the State but due to the Covid 19 pandemic, all those plans could not be materialized. He sought the support of the Deputy Chief Minister in order to implement those plans in the coming year and to promote Arunachal tourism across the globe. He said that the assets will be developed where there is utility and in feasible locations.

The popular festivals from the state including Tawang Festival, Ziro festival have been evident of pulling a huge crowd in the past. In the previous years, the Tawang Festival had emerged out as a huge success with an average of about 40,000 visitors per year. Hence the state is also planning to make use of the festivals this year to bring back the crowd.

In the coming months, the state is likely to come up with various schemes to develop more localised tourist circuits in the State which will bring back the state on its feet and give out more to the people.

 

Tryst with Bamboo in Tripura

 

The workmanship and uniqueness of Tripura have been extensively reflected in the handlooms and handicrafts of the state. Owing to the existence of different communities in the state, it can boast of a melange of crafts. Cane and Bamboo craft are the main crafts of Tripura. Ethnic groups in Tripura make a wide variety of handicraft products using bamboo and cane. Some of the well known craft products from the State include table mats, floor mats, room dividers, decorated wall panels, attractive furniture of cane and various gift items. The handloom industry is the oldest industry in the State and artisans produce cloths with elegant designs, unique color combinations and lasting texture. Cane and Bamboo occupy a distinctive place in the life of Tripura. A wide variety of wonderful objects is made out of Cane and Bamboo. A variety of items are produced, including Furniture, and Table Mats & other Mat products, Lamp Shades, etc.

Out of all the products, Tripura has shown tremendous intricacy in bamboo and cane products recently. Taking the tryst with this wonderous natural resource, Tripura delved into a unique venture to create products from bamboo. During the lockdown period, this tryst with bamboo reached an unbelievable height. The products created by the people grabbed the interest of the nation as well as the international crowd. People throughout the country, including celebrities, started placing orders for these local bamboo products from the state.

One of the most popular on the list was water bottles made from bamboo. This attracted the attention of the people nationwide not only because of its beautiful design but also for the fact that this could be a very strong alternative for plastic. Although the Indian market had already been flooded with similar bamboo bottles mostly exported from China, these ones are definitely a better choice as they do not store water directly on the columns. The ones from China are usually made from cheap bamboo columns and hold water directly which leads to the building of odour and fungi. Also, the ones from Tripura are made by very own local people! Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation’s (TRPC), flagship Van Dhan bamboo bottles come in two major variants now – copper containers or thermal flasks, both encased within treated bamboo columns. They are customizable for bulk orders.

The next big thing from the bamboo list is bamboo cookies and rice. The bamboo cookies are the brainchild of the Bamboo and Cane Development Institute (BCDI) in the state. The cookies have been made of the shoot of a thin variety of bamboo locally called muli. It is rich in nutrients, mainly proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fibre and is low in fat and sugar.

“The bamboo cookies have the capacity to empower rural people. Since the government is focused on providing self-reliant platforms to young people in Tripura, these initiatives will encourage more people to choose innovative ways of doing trade,” said Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb during a media interaction. The cookies are being made from Shoots of muli bamboos which are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, digestive fibres and have less fat content. However, they have a short shelf life. Using them to make cookies is one way of extending their shelf life, and also add value to local products.

While launching the bamboo rice in the state, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said the bamboo flower-rice will be an “economically profitable product and people can become self-reliant with it”. Claiming that the bamboo rice is beneficial in boosting immunity and has high protein content, the Chief Minister has expressed hopes that it would go a long way in boosting the state’s entrepreneurship. Then to make our celebrations eco-friendly, Tripura came up with eco-friendly candles. The candles, as well as diyas, have been made in such a way that they won’t catch fire. Also, the hollows can be reused. The diyas were made by an all-women self-help group in the Sepahijala district. The idea of the diyas was floated by a BDO and cluster coordinator. The proposal was accepted soon after and then the result has been gaining popularity far wide.

These were just a few products that recently drew our attention to the versatility of bamboo. The products are not only eco-friendly but also are giving a big boost to the local artist of the state. In the coming times, we can hope to see some more unique and innovative bamboo products from the wonderful state of Tripura.

 

 

The Clover Amid the Leaves:  Masi Topno from Assam

 

Inspirational stories are not just stories but a reminder to all of us that even when you are surrounded by darkness, chaos and even anarchy; there’ll be a way out of it. All you need is that little rope of hope to hold on to. And if you have been successful in doing that, pass on that strength to others. That’s exactly what the story of a young man from Assam taught us who cracked the Assam Civil Service examination. At first, it may appear that what’s the big deal in clearing an ACS examination? Although it is tough, it is yet conquerable. But not everyone is born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Let us know more about this man and his inspiring story of success.

Masi Topno secured the 98th position among the 135 candidates who got selected from Assam. Topno has done his post graduation from Cotton University and hails from a tea-workers family of Sycotta Tea Estate of Mariani under Titabar civil sub-division of Jorhat district. Topno ‘s father passed away last year and his mother has been toiling since then to get ends meet especially for his education. According to reports, Topno expressed that he and his family has faced many difficulties to get him to this position. Hence, cracking the examination comes as a great achievement for him. Topno owes his achievement to his mother because he believes that this achievement would have been impossible without the support of his mother who worked beyond her regular job by rearing pigs and goats to arrange extra money for his education.

What makes Topno’s story even more inspiring is that he even gave tuitions to ACS aspirants. He started the job to earn some extra bucks to help with his expenses. Later he started working as a faculty member at an IAS coaching institute in Jorhat. Now here comes the interesting part. Along with him, ten of his students made it to the ACS category. And as a teacher, the cherry on the cake was that one of his students secured a position ahead of him in the merit.

So, Topno not only shined as a successful son, a meritious student as well as a successful teacher. If this is not inspiring then what is. We can hope that Topno shall shine even more in the future emitting knowledge and positive changes in society.