Other States

In Assam’s Barpeta, a dual-purpose wall that provides

Barpeta wall for donors  


A popular eatery in western Assam’s Barpeta needed to plug a gap in the wall on its periphery. And a local NGO turned it into an artistic barrier of hope.

The dual-purpose wall has, in a month since its installation, provided clothes to 180 people, mostly women and children.

NGO Shubham had come up with the idea of adding value to the wall at the restaurant for helping people who could not quite recover from the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The eatery operators said they decided to become a part of the initiative as they had struggled to sustain during the lockdown phase like the sections of the people who needed a helping hand.

“We put up the 12x10 ft. wall adorned with an artwork and a protective tin cover. A couple of racks, a rail and hooks were installed on the wall for people to place clothes and anything else worth donating,” Shubham’s secretary Kuldeep Das told The Hindu.

Clothes collected at the wall being distributed

Clothes collected at the wall being distributed  

It’s ‘faint ray of hope’

Retired teacher Akshay Kumar Mishra named the wall ‘Ashar Rengoni’, meaning ‘faint ray of hope’ in Assamese. Sewali Das, a volunteer, executed the art that Guwahati-based artist Bijoyinee Sarma conceptualised.

“Our town needed a well-organised platform to help the needy. We hope this initiative is kept alive,” social worker Ranjit Kalita said.

Mr. Das said the response had been overwhelming. “Many do want to spread happiness. Apart from clothes, we are looking for shoes, books, stationery items and toys to be given to the underprivileged,” he stated.

A similar initiative has been undertaken in Kohima, about 470 km east of Barpeta, with Christmas in sight. Unknown donors have used a pavement in a busy locality of the Nagaland capital to lay out used clothes, bags, purses and other items for whoever needs them.

The donors have set a condition for anyone who picks anything: “Whisper a prayer.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 5:09:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/in-assams-barpeta-a-dual-purpose-wall-that-provides/article33167933.ece

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