Assam NGO wins Children’s Champion Award 2023 

Based in western Assam’s Pathsala, Tapoban has been working for special and autistic children 

Published - March 26, 2023 06:31 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Kumud Kalita (right) with the Children’s Champion Award 2023. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kumud Kalita (right) with the Children’s Champion Award 2023. Photo: Special Arrangement

An Assam-based NGO that cares for special and autistic children has won the Children’s Champion Award 2023 in the health and nutrition category.

The award, instituted by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights in 2022, recognises individuals and institutions championing the cause of children in education, justice, health, nutrition, sports, and artistic expression.

The Commission had received 1,100 nominations from organisations and individuals across the country.

Justice S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court, presented the award to Kumud Kalita, founder-president of Tapoban, in New Delhi on March 25. The award carries ₹75,000, a certificate and a plaque.

“The children brought to Tapoban are taught daily living skills, ways of communication, and music apart from academics”Kumud KalitaFounder-president, Tapoban

Functioning out of Pathsala, a town about 100 km northwest of Guwahati better known as the hub of the Bhramyoman (Assamese mobile theatre), Tapoban focuses on the needs of special and autistic children. The NGO is also called the Students’ Welfare Mission.

Quality care

Tapoban, established in 2005, was chosen for the health and nutrition category award, for its “consistent efforts to provide quality care to children with special needs”.

Mr. Kalita said he was humbled by the award that reflected trust in his organisation, and hoped such attention would entail endowments to serve the special children with renewed zeal and vigour.

Special children at Tapoban, a care home in western Assam’s Pathsala. Photo: Special Arrangement

Special children at Tapoban, a care home in western Assam’s Pathsala. Photo: Special Arrangement

His NGO provides speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, music, and other skills for specially abled children apart from creating awareness about their needs. “The children brought to Tapoban are taught daily living skills, ways of communication, and music apart from academics. They interact with each other in a child-friendly environment,” he said.

Tapoban also runs a care home that houses 18 specially abled and orphaned children. The NGO has helped more than 700 children so far.

A political science teacher at a junior college in Pathsala, Mr. Kalita received the State Teachers’ Award in 2021. His NGO received the Chief Minister’s Best Community Action Award in 2011.

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