Noble Souls Join Hands to Make the Most of Lockdown in Northeast

Members of the ‘SoNEI Cares’ project out in the streets of Guwahati for distribution of food packets to the families affected by the Lockdown.

While Taanishi Inam and Nazneen Zaffar promoted low-cost online courses for skill development, Professors Anjim Sabiha and Rameez Gazi shared their online classes experiences, and fashion designer Gazala Ansari created masks out of indigenous fabrics and made those available to the public through local pharmacies.

Clarion India

GUWAHATI — A group of people from Northeast India living in different parts of the world but together through a social media platform did some commendable job during the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

The Stars of North East India (SoNEI), primarily a social media platform for promotion of talent in the society with a membership base spread across the continents, converged the resources and skills of its members to make the best use of the lockdown situation in the last two months.

The group members did various works from providing food items to needy to providing low-cost online courses for skill development and creating awareness the Epidemic Disease Act, The Disaster Management Act 2005, Assam COVID-19 Regulation 2020.

“In a project named ‘SoNEI Cares’, under the supervision of Nazia Laskar, SoNEI distributed essential food items to over 200 needy families spread over Kamrup Metro, Bongaigaon, and Karimganj Districts of Assam,” said Nurul Islam Laskar, Founder of SoNEI.

Gazala Ansari, teacher of fashion technology, wears the protective mask prepared by her out of traditional Assamese fabric.

He gave details about how group members with different talents made contributions to help the people.

As soon as the lockdown began in March 2020, SoNEI organised a virtual meeting of its members hosted by Syed Mohsin Raja, in which guidelines were given to members to promote low-cost online courses for skill development, sharing of recipes and other skills, and ‘keep fit’ mental and physical exercises to combat the effects of the lockdown. Taanishi Inam and Nazneen Zaffar took the lead in this initiative, he said.

Anjim Sabiha, Assistant Professor at Christ’s deemed university in Bangalore and Rameez Gazi, Assistant Professor at North Eastern Hill University Shillong shared their ‘online classes experiences’ inspiring other teachers to take up similar initiatives.

A Sabur Tapader and Fauzia Khan took the cudgel to create wide awareness about the Epidemic Disease Act, The Disaster Management Act 2005, Assam COVID-19 Regulation 2020, and relevance of the IPC Sections in the current situation.

Dr Rezwan Hussain used his expertise to support the Government in the manufacture of hand sanitisers, COVIT test kits and PPEs for use at the quarantine centres.

Abu Zakaria, an IT expert, helped the administration in the formulation of apps for essential online stores for home deliveries, an effort that is providing employment to a large number of youths rendered jobless by the lockdown, said Laskar.

Khalid Khan (right), SoNEI member located in Shillong, offering warm food to a policewoman who is on duty on the streets of the hill town.

According to Nurul Islam Laskar, Intibah Murtafi’s ‘Access English Micro Scholarship Programme’ for the children belonging to BPL families won appreciation from the US Consulate in Kolkata.

Gazala Ansari, a renowned teacher of fashion technology, created protective masks out of indigenous fabrics and made those available to the public through local pharmacies.

On another front, filmmaker Mirza Arif Hazarika and PR practitioner Subhankar Banerjee organised a series of online creative competitions to keep youngsters engaged in constructive activities.

While Shah Md Farid utilised the lockdown time to complete the groundwork for the establishment of the North East India – ASEAN Chamber of Commerce in Guwahati, another enterprising SoNEI member and upcoming artist, Farnaaz Islam, organised an online art exhibition.

Some members of the group also helped the migrant labourers of the North East India who were stranded at different places in the other states.

Kismat Bano (Guwahati), Saddam Hossen (Bongaigaon), and Khalid Khan (Shillong) fed the impoverished and served packed food to frontline workers on duty.


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