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Tue, 07 Apr 2020

Northeast Today


February 23
11:24 2020

Chirasmrita Devi


Imagine you are in a social event interacting with people. You connect to a particular group and you realize that you are feathers of the same flock. Everything syncs and you all just start hanging out together. This is how a group of people in Assam met each other during heavy flood providing relief to the affected people. They connected and realized that they have a common motive in mind- to do something good for the society and thus The Ferns Society (TFS) was formed.

The idea of The Ferns Society was formulated by Sisir Kumar who also owns and runs Guwahati Foodie, the largest online food community in  the Northeast. Along with Sisir, some other like- minded people tucked-in in this venture to work for the society.

‘FERNS’ denoted by ‘Food, Employment, Rehabilitation, Nature, Sustainability’, the society will be covering all those aspects as mentioned in the areas of society where found it is necessary and have opportunity to demonstrate the rules. TFS also attempts to enable and empower farmers by way of arranging them proper market and explore new markets for local products and educating them. Apart from that TFS also aims to provide relief to the affected people, promote zero use of plastic, sustainable development and generate self sufficiency etc.

During the last season of flood, TFS provided relief to quite a number of affected areas in Assam including, Morigaon, Tihu, Nalbari, Jorhat etc. During their mission they went to the remotest places possible. There was one particular village in Chirang district whose condition was pathetic even after the flood season was over last year.

The houses of these unfortunate people were destroyed during the flood like many other flood affected areas in Assam. However, the catastrophe for these people didn’t just end there. Post-flood, their village was entirely covered with silt keeping them from recuperating their losses. Also, there was no possibility of cultivation due to silt deposit. Unlike many other flood-hit people who were gradually going back to their normal lives as the flood situation has subsided, these villagers were clinging to their lives for a long time in the relief camp situated around one & half kilometres from the affected area.

“There’s no way for us to return to our homes. Hence, we are living in this relief  camp  since two months. People, especially, the children are falling ill here. We are using temporary toilets which again are not hygienic if we keep using for too long”, said the village head.  Multiple  cases of skin infection have also been seen among the people of the camp.

TFS reached out to villages like this during the time of crisis. “If these NGOs and the private organisations had not helped us with food and other necessary items, I am sure many of us would have died by now”, the village head said expressing gratitude to the society.

Apart from providing relief, TFS also organizes plantation drives. On the occasion of Teachers’ Day last year, TFS distributed saplings to people for free. Also, whenever there is a any event organized under the banner of ‘Guwahati Foodie’ be it meetups, blood donation drives, picnics etc, saplings are again distributed as tokens of appreciation.

Anorther important aspect that TFS wants to promote is the concept of ‘grow your own food’ i.e the idea of cultivating vegetables and  fruits in available space or even terrace garden etc. Everything combined one can say that TFS wants a better society to live in.

In near future TFS is planning to generate self sufficiency and at the same time promoting local handicrafts. Starting with just a small team TFS wishes to achieve bigger dreams, the dream that reflects in the society.



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