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Kaushik Das - A friend of the Disabled
KAUSHIK DAS - A friend of the Disabled, passed away on January 17, 2013 in Guwahati, Assam. "Atma Nirbhar - Ek Challenge" bagged the best community action award in Assam for 2012 . He was also awarded the 2000 Shell Hellen Keller Award.
"Atma Nirbhar - Ek Challenge", an organization started by him for disabled and battered women about 20 years ago in Guwahati ,was recognized nationally for its work and bagged the best community action award in 2012 from the Assam Chief Minister.
He was awarded the 2000 Shell Hellen Keller Award for his contribution to the economic rehabilitation of the disabled women.
Atma Nirbhar is an income-generating project, wherein tea and spices are packaged and marketed under the brand name ‘Nav Jeevan’ (New Life). A small unit with few workers, it employs people with mental disabilities. What is common to all the disabled employees working at Atma Nirbhar is that they are happy because they are making a useful contribution and working under stress free conditions. Today, Nav Jeevan products are also being marketed in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mumbai (http://www.ncpedp.org/
Kaushik was educated in Delhi Public School (DPS) on a resident scholarship from primary through high school and obtained his Master's in Social Sciences from Delhi University. He worked for Eastern Tea Brokers in Kolkata and Guwahati, before he dedicated his career as a full time social worker in Guwahati since 1995.
Jipu (dada) as we knew him, always carried himself with a smile, few kind and loving words for all and had a gleaming personality. He was often seen in various social gatherings, Rotary Club and other local association meets besides his untiring efforts to help retrain and self- employ the disabled, battered and poor women.
A good heart and a loving soul, he will be missed by his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace!
Ashok Medhi. Chicago, IL, USA