Former Director General of Assam Police Nishinath Changkakoti is one of the highly esteemed citizens of Assam and has earned respect for his quality of head and heart from all sections of people. Changkakoti, a member of IPS cadre, served Assam for 35 years from 1957 to 1992 rising to the highest position of the Director General of Assam Police. He had earned the most coveted medals of police service namely, Indian Police Medal for meritorious service in 1980 and President’s Medal for distinguished service in 1986. Even after superannuation, his zeal to serve society, especially the under privileged sections, has not subsided. With a group of like-minded people, he formed an NGO – Karunadhara – a unique non-Government registered Trust dedicating it for promoting overall well-being of persons suffering from physical and mental disability and for enabling financially weak critically ill persons to avail of costly specialized treatment. In addition to providing required financial aid to such needy people, Karunadhara has also been taking up various measures to develop talent and raise social status of physically and mentally challenged human beings.
With the financial support from mostly, kind hearted people of the middle income groups of the state, Karunadhara has been able to financially help 340 numbers of poor handicapped persons for their better care and 472 numbers of poor people suffering from complicated diseases for their specialized treatment. The total financial implication for the above has been Rs. 2, 047, 3,122/-. The total number of people whom they have so far been able to help is quite insignificant in comparison to the need. He also hopes to be able to accelerate the pace as when fund flow improves.Reading an article about an acute suffering of a small talented girl Anindita Kalita affected him in such a way that Nishinath Changkakoti (IPS retd) along with Mr Homen Borgohain, eminent writer and Chief Editor of Assamese daily decided to form an organization Karunadhara – a movement for compassion on 28 March 2011 for persons suffering from physical or mental disability and in addition to provide required financial aid to such needy people. With the objectives to encourage physically/mentally challenged people to develop their talents and skills and to make them self-reliant as possible, to boost their moral and to make them feel that they are wonderful people.
The overall impact of the noble efforts of Karunadhara has been quite encouraging. He has not so far found a single person who has not thanked him and other members of the organization for the noble venture. The poor handicapped people suffering from complicated diseases are also finding a ray of hope that even though no help has been received from the Government, the trust Karunadhara will come to them for every possible help.
Along with the trust Mr Nishinath is actively associated with two Gandhian institutions and activities in and around Guwahati for more than two decades after his retirement as DGP of Assam Police. He is convinced of the validity of Gandhian approach to life and continues in his own humble way to promote awareness about Gandhian values and teachings. The articles of his can even be described as his inner exploration to understand the nature of Gandhian non-violence. He earned most coveted medals of police service namely, Indian Police Medal for meritorious service in 1980 and President’s Medal for distinguished service in 1986. With this background, he has examined non-violence as practiced and preached by Mahatma Gandhi. It is very important to understand how a life-long policeman has come to view non-violence.
Assam Police is charged with many of their merits and demerits. Amidst all odds, among the troops inside the khaki uniform there is a house of creativity and heart of unexplored potentials. Among all gems of Khaki Nishinath Changkakoti is the versatile one. He penned down many works in different journals and chronicles addressing the issues on public administration and administrative reforms, so that government can reach to the common people in Assam.
Changkakoti emphasized the importance of research on cancer in Assam and urged the Government to focus in this area with generous and uninterrupted funding.
Changkakoti believes that the trust Karunadhara is confined to Assam. He intends to expand the organization, not only to include other NE States, but also to other States of India. As a priority, they are thinking seriously to start a skill development center in Guwahati to impart some skills to some partially handicapped persons according to their talent to enable them to become self-reliant as possible. Chankakoti is planning to take up more activities for promoting the wellbeing and social status of the targeted population and making Government and the Civil Society fully conscious of their responsibilities towards them. Concrete suggestions from members of the public are solicited to make the efforts of Karunadhara more fruitful for fulfillment of its noble objectives.
Everyone may not be aware of the fact that against the total number of 5, 30,340 persons with various physical and mental disabilities in Assam as per 2001 census, the number of such persons has reportedly increased to around nine lakhs as per the (2011) census, though the exact number with breakup of various types of disabilities, have not yet been made public by the census department. The parents and Guardians of a large percentage of such persons are also not financially strong to ensure their proper care and upkeep. In addition to such unfortunate people, there are also a large number of people who are suffering from complicated diseases and are continuing to suffer as their financial condition does not permit them to take advantage of costly specialized treatment. Courtesy Karunadhara site.