The saying ‘Life skills cannot be taught but need to be caught’ set the tone for the orientation programme on life skills development of adolescents of the Mising and tea garden communities here on Sunday.
The programme was organised by Heritage Assam and supported by DIET, Jorhat, Titabar and UNICEF, Assam at the Jorhat Science Centre and Planetarium.
The chairperson of the Children’s Welfare Committee here, Bina Baruah, while addressing a gathering of juveniles of the tea garden and Mising communities, said that there were some unwritten rules of behaviour in the society which needed to be imbibed.
“The education you receive will not help you to adapt to these life skills which are required to take you ahead in life,” she said.
Citing the example of the fable of the ‘Lion and Mouse’ in which the lion let’s go of the mouse who disturbs his sleep after the mouse pleads with him and promises to help him in return if the need arises, Baruah said that from this story many life skills can be learnt.
The first was that the lion suppressed his arrogance of power and strength to let go of the mouse even when he thought that the mouse could be of no use to him.
The second was that the mouse which kept his word when he heard that the lion had been caught in a net and cut the net to free it. Third is that even if something is small and insignificant, it can be of great help.
Baruah cited several examples how to tackle or deal with a situation or problem which may arise in life.
Balin Khargharia, former joint director, Health Services, Jorhat and general secretary, HERS, gave a detailed presentation on health care of adolescents and what constituted a healthy being as defined by the World Health Organisation.
“When we speak about health this does not mean absence of disease, but as per WHO, it is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being,” said Khargharia.
Speaking about the adolescent state, Khargharia said that it is in this age that there could be perceptions of hormonal changes and aggressions and emotions, a searching for one’s own identity and moving away from family and more attachment to friends.
“Life skills in the context of holistic health had to do with adapting to hygiene, sanitation and shunning drugs and tobacco related products which could harm both physically and mentally,” Khargharia said.
The doctor specially stressed on how to keep at bay the innumerable water-borne diseases by washing hands and by not defecating in the open.
Sampreety Gogoi, assistant professor at College of Community Science, Assam Agricultural University, here gave a few practical tips on how to tackle ups and downs in life.
Among the ten points he mentioned were decision making, problem solving, critical thinking and analysis, creative thinking which had to do with one’s innate talent, interpersonal relations, self-awareness, empathy, coping with emotions and stress.
Gogoi spoke on why critical thinking was needed to prevent suicides which ultimately led to the taking of one’s life but did not solve the problem.
She further stressed on the need for communication and discussion to solve a problem. Gogoi pointed out how lack of empathy was a big problem in today’s society where people ignored those they considered lesser than them.
She also stressed on the right use of cellphones which were big distractions during study hours and exams.
Archana Bhattacharyya, academic principal, Kakajan College, Jorhat, spoke on the importance of holistic development and how life skills can help a student, no matter where they are located and to select career goals and contribute to the development of the society, nation and the world as a whole.
Thuleswar Nath, associate professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Jorhat Engineering College, delivered a talk on the skill development courses available for employment of the youth.
Santanoo Tamuly, president of Heritage Assam and Editor of Mouchaq, gave an overview of the organisation which had promoted story telling among tea garden and Mising children as a means to acquire Assamese language skills.
Parash Goswami delivered the objectives of the meet.