Assam Association of Deaf Raise Funds for COVID-19

Assam Association of the Deaf has done a fantastic job of contributing to fight against COVID-19. Watch our latest video to learn about their efforts.

Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 PM Modi issued a lockdown to contain COVID-19. This has led to the suffering of many poor individuals due to loss of income and unemployment. Across India many have come forward to raise funds and distribute food to the poor. The Assam Association of the Deaf (AAD) has come forward to raise funds and feed the poor in Assam. 

AAD was founded in 1960 and their President is Pramila Rani Bharma and General Secretary is Tapan Kumar Sarma. The AAD is also affiliated with AIFD. The AAD has also founded the AFWD who’s President is Swarnalata Pezu and General Secretary is Nikita Kumari. They even have a Youth association AYFD and their President is Champak Das and General Secretary is Jintu Chakraborty. Since 1960, the AAD have been involved in various activities like advocating for job reservation, accessibility and various issues for the Deaf. During 2018-2019, a flood had caused massive destruction in Assam. The AAD along with AFWD and AYFD decided to support those suffering. Funds were raised to support those who lost their houses in the flood and food and essentials were distributed. The AAD, AFWD and AYFD also organised a Blood Donation Camp for a hospital that was facing a shortage of blood. 

COVID-19 has spread all over the world. In India, there are more than 20,000 cases. Looking at all the problems faced by the poor in India due to the lockdown, the AAD contacted many Deaf individuals on WhatsApp to raise funds for COVID-19. More than Rs 35,000 was collected. With this money they purchased rice, dal, potato, onion,oil, biscuits, etc. The General Secretary along with a few deaf members equally distributed food into packages and gave it to the poor. Each box weighed 9kg and 102 such boxes were distributed. The food was distributed on 13th April which is celebrated as Bihu a cultural festival of Assam at a Deaf school owned by AAD. The Chief guest was a AAD social worker who is also an advisor to the AAD. 

The food packages were distributed to deaf, blind and people with other disabilities. The entire affair was efficiently planned and all precautionary measures against COVID-19 were practiced. When hearing poor people turned up the AAD did not turn them back and gave them the food packages as well. Traditional Gamochas will be distributed to all as well. 

The AAD had planned to distribute more food on 14th & 15th April, but PM Modi extended the lockdown til 3rd May. All after working hard and convincing the police, they secured permission to distribute food on 19th April. After receiving permission from the police AFWD, AYFD and AAD drove to a village named Hajo in ASSAM and distributed 86 boxes of food. This is because there were many people with disabilities that were suffering in the village of Hajo.

The AAD also donated funds to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund of Assam. The money collected as membership fees from its members for the month of January to March after discussing with the board was donated to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. A total of Rs 22,222 was raised with the collective effort of the AAD, AFWD, AYFD and all deaf members of Assam with the intention of helping those suffering from COVID-19. The aim was to hand over the cheque to the Chief Minister of Assam but due to his busy schedule they met the Health Minister Dr. H.B. Sarma and handed over the cheque.

Between 1979-1985, there were protests in Assam. The Health Minister and Tapan Kumar Sarma were part of the All Assam Students Union and they protested against the Bangladeshi immigrants.

The Minister was also the Ex-President of AAD. Mr. Sarma and the Minister have a good bond. We are very proud to see the AAD support people with disabilities and fighting to eliminate COVID-19.