Tinsukia: What does the chairman of a municipal board do? The answer may vary depending on who you ask, but chances are, settling family conflicts may not emerge as the top answer. Yet, this is precisely what Jayanta Baruah, the chairman of the Tinsukia Municipal Board did, ensuring that a family of four gets an electricity connection at the earliest.
Shakti Das, 58, and his family of four had been struggling to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) for an electricity connection from his younger brother Pranab Das for the past six months.
A few days ago, Shakti Das approached the office of Baruah to share his struggle of getting an electricity connection. “Hearing his painful story, and seeing his health condition, I was moved. I certified his residence and got a holding number allotted to him,” Baruah told EastMojo. “However, the Assam State Electricity Board asked him to submit a NOC from his younger brother, who was reluctant to give a NOC,” Baruah added.
“Merely cleaning the drains and roads will not clean the dirt in the society. And if, as a chairman, I cannot solve the issues of marginal persons of society, what is the point of being in power?” Baruah told EastMojo.
Shakti Das and Pranab Das are residents of Borpathar under ward number 15. They stay on a piece of land under their late mother’s name.
Baruah said he visited their residence and witnessed the brothers’ financial plight. “I spoke to both of them and found out that there were petty issues among the duo, which hardly have any graveness, and resolved it through dialogue,” Baruah said.
“Now that Pranab has agreed to give NOC to his elder brother (Shakti), I am hopeful that their struggle for electricity – a basic right – will end. I have committed to them a house each under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana with a promise of staying happily together,” Baruah said.
“It is normal to disagree with each other from time to time, and occasional conflicts are part of family life. Moreover, during financial stress, discontent over petty issues among family members becomes quite common. What is needed is a human touch to such petty issues. Negotiation and respect for the other person’s point of view generally lead to a peaceful resolution,” Baruah added.
Talking to EastMojo, Pallabi Das, daughter of Shakti Das, thanked the TMB chairman and Ward Number 15 commissioner Tarun Singh for taking interest and resolving their struggle. “This initiative seems to have set a stage for a new dawn for my family, which was under so much stress for months and living without electricity,” Pallabi said.
Sharing her story, Das said her uncle had given an electricity connection to their portion of the house from his meter, and both brothers shared the electric bill. “With my father’s health deteriorating, I had to leave my studies in a bid to earn an income. But countering the price rise of all essential goods and my father’s medical bills became a mammoth task, and soon, my younger brother too had to quit studies and join me to earn a livelihood. During these stressful times, several petty issues propped up in our families, and things went out of hand,” she said.
“Now, I wish my father and uncle take forward the peaceful resolution and live happily together,” added Das, who was a first-year student at the Commerce college before dropping out.
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