Children growing up in Assam in recent years have been brought up on gruesome headlines of militant strikes and counter-attacks by security forces. Two decades of bloodshed brought about by secessionist movements and ethnic clashes have orphaned or traumatised thousands of boys and girls. Deka, shaken by all that he has witnessed in these years, has started a programme to sensitise the Assam police as well as the public to the fragile emotional space inhabited by children in violence-prone areas.
Initiated in collaboration with UNICEF and launched two years ago, the programme called ‘Aashwas’ (assurance) aims at developing and creating a humane approach towards children and, most importantly, towards those living in conflict situations. One of the things Aashwas does is to identify the families of the victims of violence and call in experts to help in their socio-psychological rehabilitation. It also attempts to create public opinion against all kinds of violence.