USTM, 21st March, 2017: It is said that “Women are the real architect of the Society”, they are the ones who raise the builders of a nation, they are the teachers, entrepreneurs, social activist and above all constantly fighting the odds to achieve and establish their place in the society. To salute this spirit the department of Social Work, University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) has chosen two eminent women activist to present the Social Work Excellence Ward 2017 on the occasion of World Social Work Day on March 21st 2017 at the techno city campus, 9th mile.
The award was presented to Smt Mrinalini Devi, an eminent Social activist, Author, Poet and Sister Bertha G Dkhar, the Principal of Jyoti Sroat School for the Visually Impaired, Shillong. Smt Mrinalini Devi is a renound social worker who has not only contributed for the development of the society but also in the field of culture and literature of Assamese society. She is the member of Axom Sahitya Sabha Central Executive Committee. Apart from being a social worker she is a proud mother of five sons and her constant inspiration and education reflected in her children and today all her sons are following their mother’s footsteps and serving the society. The Sadou Axom Lekhika Sangstha has honored her with ‘Adarsha Matri Award’ in recognition for her contribution. Another awardee of the Social Work Excellence Award 2017 is none other than Sister Bertha G Dkhar, the Principal of Jyoti Sroat School for the Visually Impaired, Shillong. Bertha G Dkhar was Born with an eye disease (Retinitis Pigmentosa), and completely lost her eyesight while pursuing her Masters in Social Work in Bangalore. Surrounded by insensitivity from the community, she decided to dedicate her life to provide educational opportunities to the visually impaired. She invented the Braille code in Khasi – a major tribal language of Meghalaya, and was awarded the Padma Shri for her unique model of schooling.
While delivering her speech after receiving the award Smt Mrinalini Devi said that she has fulfilled her duties as a mother of five sons who are over now serving the society in their own capacities. She has dedicated rest of her life for the development of the society and asked the students to join and contribute for the societal growth. It is worth mentioning that Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Minister for Education, Health and Finance, Government of Assam is one of the sons of Smt Mrinalini Devi.
Sister Bertha in her address urged that there should not be any seclusion of the disabled children. They should go to the same school along with other normal kids, everyone should treat them equally and not less than a normal child. Bertha said that, “I am proud to be a woman because my creator believes that the work I am doing can be done best by a female heart and I am proud to work for that belief”.
The awards was presented to them in a colorful program which was graced by the former Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University and Principal Advisor ERDF, Prof N K Choudhury, Shri PP Srivastava, former Member North East Council., Shillong and Prof Amarjyoti Choudhury, the Former Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University and Pro Vice Chancellor Tezpur University, Mr Jhon Borgoryary, the Regional Head NE, and UNDP along with the Chancellor of USTM Shri Mahbubul Hoque, Vice Chancellor Dr PG Rao, deans, faculty members and the students of USTM.
It is worth mentioning that the Social Work Excellence Award 2016 was presented to Smt Hasina Karbhih, the Founder of Impulse NGO Network and Luckose Cheruvale, Former Director Snehalaya, Guwahati. The Chancellor USTM and Chairman ERD Foundation, Shri Mahbubul Hoque on this occasion said that through this Social Work Excellence Award we want to encourage and inspire the women achievers and to present their example to our students so that they can also be encouraged and motivated to establish their identity in the society.