Assamese children learn non-violent ways of conflict resolution

January 14th, 2008 - 6:08 pm ICT by admin  

By Peter Alex Todd
Guwahati, Jan 14 (ANI): The first camp of its kind for children on conflict resolution through non-violent means was organised in the insurgency-hit Assam recently.
One-generation of Assam has been affected by militancy, which has affected the development and growth of the State.
Several people have joined hands to create awareness among children about the dangers of violence and to inculcate in them the principles of non-violence.
The objective of the five-day camp was to instill in the children the need for peace in society. Evidently, the camp was a success as students talked highly of non-violent methods.
Pragyant, a student participant, said: “Without conflict, we can respond in several ways. We can solve many problems through peaceful means. We should not use conflict in any manner.”
“Peaceful resolution of conflict means eschewing the path of violence to gain one’s demands. Non-violence then is the credo,” said Resikesh Burman, another student participant.
“To solve any problem through the path of non-violence means an egalitarian way of resolving problems that avoids bloodshed at any cost,” added Richa Balthakur, a student.
Camp organisers said that such camps are needed to tackle conflict, which has become pervasive.
Gargi Saikia, a camp organiser, said: “In today’s world, conflict has become all pervasive. And, violence has percolated to children’s psyche is amply evident from the Gurgaon shootout case (a student was shot dead by two of his classmates in Gurgaon). So many such cases have occurred in Guwahati.”
“To tackle these situations, camps are organised. In this particular camp, we are trying to highlight conflict resolution through simulation exercises to suit children of various ages,” Saikia added.
Noni Gopal Mahanta, a professor on conflict resolution in Guwahati University, said: “The main objective is to catch young minds and train them in the path of non-violence. If we don’t train the minds at the right stage in their lives, we may not be able to guide them later on.”
In the five-day camp, lessons were imparted to students to inculcate in them certain non-violent methods and conflict resolution techniques through simulation exercises and role-play.
Mahanta wants such a course is introduced in all the schools. (ANI)

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