This weekend I along with one of my friend visited an orphanage in Rangaloo, in Nagaon district of Assam. The orphanage is maintained and run by Sri Chakrasing Milik a Karbi man in his seventies. I got to know about this place from one of my junior in my office and was very eager to know about the orphanage and see it myself. The place is around two hours car journey from Guwahati and only 15 minutes from Nagaon bypass roundabout. As I did not know the exact location of his orphanage, I called him before I started from Guwahati. We reached late in the afternoon and later I realized that we should have reached there at least an hour before. Milik was kind enough to come to receive us from the Rangaloo Bazaar.
As we started conversation with the man he revealed how he got inspired by the philanthropic service of mother Teresa when he was in Calcutta as part of the ASEB football team. This had so deep impact on him that he accepted Christianity and devoted his life to the welfare of poor and deprived Karbi children. He along with his wife, who is a Bodo woman, started the orphanage in 1993-94 after resigning from ASEB and devoted his life to the service of the needy. The Milik family is running and maintaining this orphanage for last 25 years selflessly like their own family and provided services to the Karbi children who are deprived of the basic needs of human life.
At present there are around twenty children in the orphanage all of whom are looked after by the Milik family and financed by donation received from generous donors without any regular support from government or local autonomous body. However, Sri Milik acknowledged that funds were received from the council and State government for construction of hostel and kitchen but both of them are pending due to further support.
As we discussed about his family, Sri Mirik took pride to say that the childrens are no less family than his wife daughters and sons are to him. He also took the opportunity to share with us that his wife is the motivating factor behind his sustained effort to keep the organisation alive. Smt. Milik looks after the daily needs of these children from bathing them, feeding them like a mother does for her children. Sri Milik has two daughters and two sons. Three of them are grown ups and offers their moral support as well as helps in taking care of the children’s daily needs and basic education.
We spent some time with the children along with Sri Milik’s youngest son Sri Bronson Milik in the yard in front of his home. Far from the madding crowd of the city, the innocent smile of a child happy with a piece of just received choco bar makes you smile too. But the grim situation raises so many questions in one’s mind regarding State’s development as Dima-Hasao lists as one of the most backward districts in India.
The Milik family however in their own style has put commendable efforts through the last twenty five years and continues to do the selfless service without for the welfare of these Karbi orphans. Named after his elder daughter, Ruplin orphanage registered as Elim Charitable Trust is a noble endeavour by a brave man who sacrificed his personal comfort for the well being of a underprivileged section of society.