Beyond the call of duty – the Assam story

If you ever believed in angels, this would certainly renew your belief. One of the many things that keep us going is that despite of all the evil, there is still some good in the world. One such good Samaritan, Dilip Das, the headmaster of a school in Tripura travelled all the way to Assam to submit documents that ultimately led to a woman being freed from the detention centre and being declared a citizen by a Foreigners Tribunal.
Image Courtesy: Times of India

It was reported that Dilip Das, Headmaster of Charilam HS School in Tripura used up 10 of his annual leaves to travel to Nalbari in Assam and stayed to make sure that the 61 years old Gita Rani Sarkar is freed based on the school’s documents where she had studied for a brief period.

The brief background of the case

Gita Rani’s name was excluded from the NRC even as her sons and other family members were included as being citizens by birth. She had failed to produce any authentic documents dated prior to 1971 that would establish her birth year as 1958. Documents like citizenship certificate issued by Tripura government in 1960s were rejected and even sub-divisional magistrate of Bishalgarh was unable to verify her school certificate in absence of a corroborative record.

The ultimate good deed

When she claimed that she studied in Class VI in Charilam HS School in 1970, the tribunal summoned the headmaster to verify her credentials and so Das dug out almost 50 years old school records to find Gita Rani’s association with the school. He could have simply sent the records he found, by post, to the Tribunal but being aware of the plight of many people in Assam who were suffering due to being excluded from NRC, he did not wish to take any kind of risk and wanted to ensure that the documents reach the Tribunal and are accepted by the Tribunal.

When he failed to locate Gita Rani after reaching Nalbari, he himself remained present before the Tribunal and submitted documents such as the school’s merit list and the Tribunal was convinced. Few days later Gita Rani was declared a citizen by the Tribunal and her name was removed from the detention centre’s list.

Not only that, the education department in Tripura, in recognition of Dilip Das’ humanitarian act, offered to convert his leave of absence into official duty.

The actions of both Dilip Das as well as Tripura education department have just reinforced our hope in humanity. We are sure many such individuals selflessly help people in Assam by going out of the way but only few such stories reach us. We hope more such heartening stories reach us, so we can bring them to you.


Towards Strengthening Women Leadership at the Grassroots
CJP works towards release of detainees in Assam
Lives shattered by NRC, CJP reaches out and intervenes
CJP helps Detention Camp victim’s son resume education



Related Articles