Sachin Tendulkar extends aid to minor Assam Buddhist group

Sachin-Tendulkar12-Times Media 24

Applauded widely for his values as a human being and charity work, former cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar has given Rs.25 lakh from his MPLAD fund to a tribal Buddhist community far away in Assam’s insurgency-ravaged Karbi  Anglong district for the construction of a boys’ hostel.

Karbi Anglong Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate), Mukul Gogoi, told Express  that a letter, along with a cheque  of Rs.25 lakh, was received recently from the DM, Mumbai, who sent it on behalf of  Tendulkar. Accordingly, he said,  the money was disbursed.

“The hostel will be built near Manja (around 10km away from district headquarters  Diphu). The project site (at a  Buddhist pagoda) has been identified and the construction work will begin soon,”  Gogoi added.

The two-storey hostel will be built for the benefit of students belonging to the  Man-Tai or Shyam community. The  Man-Tais are Buddhists by religion with roots in Thailand. The estimated around  20,000 Man-Tais in India are scattered  mostly in Assam’s Jorhat, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong districts. They migrated to the  state in the 16th-17th century  crossing the Patkai hills. They have been recognised as Scheduled Tribes (Hills) and  are listed as Man-Tai speaking  people by the Assam government.

Earlier this year, a delegation of Man-Tai Cultural Development Society met  Tendulkar in New Delhi and sought his help  for the hostel’s construction.

“The hostel will have around 50 to 60 boarders. It will be looked after by the Manja  Monastery Management Committee,”  said Bhogeswar Shyam, who belongs to the Man-Tai community and is a senior Assam  government officer.

“We are delighted that he (Tendulkar) is helping a small community like us. We will  remain indebted to him,” Shyam  said. He also said that several state governments and individuals from outside Assam  had expressed their willingness  to help them for the construction of a Buddhist cultural centre, watch tower,  library etc in the district.

Karbi Anglong is an autonomous district, which was once the hotbed of insurgency.  Barring one or two insurgent  outfits, most others are lying low following their signing of ceasefire agreements  with the government.

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