Assam Environment Reel

“A Twitter Storm”: Student communities of Assam stir nation over Baghjan Fire issue, Tinsukia

-Anindita Das

The Cotton University Students’ Union (CUSU), in collaboration with the students’ community of Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University, Tezpur University, Assam Agricultural University, Assam Women’s University, Bhattadev University, and Madhavdev University carried out a campaign on social media platform Twitter for Baghjan.

Their initiative “A Twitter Storm” with the hashtags such as #SaveBaghjan, #SaveMaguriBeel, #SaveDibruSaikhowa on 11th June soon began gradually to trend, across the country.

“We realized that the Baghjan issue is not getting proper exposure in the national media. With the view to take it to a larger platform, we decided to launch the campaign. We contacted the other student communities of Assam, and they all agreed to support the cause.”; further adding, “It was between 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm yesterday that we all tweeted, and by late evening there were 19,000 tweets, and people are still tweeting,” says Abhilasha Neog, the assistant general secretary of CUSU.

Hrishikesh Goswami, the Editor of “Cottonian” remarks: “The devastating fire at Baghjan has posed a lot of issues to be addressed on an emergency basis, right from the environment to the rehabilitation of the people. Moreover, the people of the nearby areas are being supported by local groups and organizations at the moment, but they are in urgent need of clothes and sanitary pads.”

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He adds, “Our aim was to grab the attention of the people on the national platform. The government has to think of long term support to the people as the land has lost its fertility for which many people will be losing their livelihood.”

“Who will listen to their cries? Their life-long struggles just went in flames in seconds..” tweets Gargee Kashyap, expressing her anguish over the plight of the people of Baghjan.

It’s the angst of these students over the poor coverage in the national media that prompted them to come up with the campaign so that their voices can be heard at the national level. They have stood up for the victims of Baghjan, for the biodiversity of their homeland and are deeply saddened by the remarks made by politicians that, “We are in a better situation than Russia!.”

The students have done their bit, now it’s our turn to support them and stand in solidarity with the victims of Baghjan until the time their normal life is restored. “Why we should we pray for the attention, why northeast is always looked as a ‘region’, it is very much a part of India and should be treated as such”, remarks an erstwhile Cottonian.

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