This militant-turned-social activist is uplifting the lives of people in Assam through various social initiatives
A former militant of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), and a resident of Tingkhang town in Dibrugarh district, Moni Manik Gogoi leads the Sasoni-Merbill project, the state’s first big-budget eco-tourism project.
A former militant has used a second chance in life to do good for society. Moni Manik Gogoi, a former militant with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), and a resident of Tingkhang town in Dibrugarh district, Assam, is now an active social activist working towards various causes.
He was a representative of all CSR initiatives of OIL India that led to the formation of several self-help groups that have helped thousands of families.
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Currently, Moni leads the Sasoni-Merbill project, touted as the state’s first big-budget eco-tourism project, centred around Merbill lake in Sasoni in Naharkatiya. This project is a result of the request made by villagers to Moni at a public meeting.
The 50-year-old activist visits various parts of the state to speak about issues and delivers lectures on change and reform.
Speaking about his days in ULFA, he said,
“I never pulled a trigger on a man. Just because you have the power to use a gun, doesn’t mean you should,” reports Indian Express.
For instance, in 2005, he raised funds to improve the government-run health centre at Naharani.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Moni said,
“There was no electricity, no beds, no rooms, and no water supply. The villagers asked me to do something about it. For the redevelopment, the villagers contributed, some gave beds, some built rest halls themselves.”
Besides, he also started the Tingkhang Kala Kendra, reports the Metro Saga, where kids could learn singing, dancing, and drawing. At present, there are more than 100 children in this school that also provides a cultural stage for locals to perform songs, learn theatre, and take part in other cultural activities.
The reason behind Moni’s love for social causes stems from his childhood where he witnessed poverty. His mother had to beg on the streets to feed her family.
He joined ULFA in 1987, but instead of weapons, he chose to fight legally, as he was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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