Thursday, May 30, 2024

In Conversation with Abu Naser Zelani – Social Worker and Animal Welfare Worker

Robin Bhuyan (Editor)

Hailing from Assam, Abu Naser Zelani is a social worker and animal welfare worker, who is working towards various kinds of social and environmental causes. Recently, Enigmatic Horizon had a conversation with him regarding his work. The interview is presented below.

EH: Tell us about your early life and your childhood.  

ANZ: I was born in Dhubri, Motirchar on 23rd March 1972. As a child, I never thought that I would be involved in social works as an adult. After completing my graduation from BN College, Guwahati University, I did my Masters from the same. Later from Monard University, I did my M.Phil. on the book ‘Guwahe ebar mur priyo bihongoni’.  

EH: Tell us how your career advanced.  

ANZ: Later on, I joined a junior college as a subject teacher. I became an ARG (Academic Resource Group member) of the Axom Prathamik Siksha Parishad, which has today become the Sarba Siksha Parishad. We also began alternative schooling and teachers training programs, where evening shifts were provided for students who are school dropouts. I became a Siksha Mitra teacher, and I used all forms of entertainment methods to pique interest of the student.  


EH: How did you enter the field of social work?

ANZ: In around 2010, I founded an organization named Udayan. Its goal was to provide shelter to the homeless. I also made a night shelter home at my own land, where around 15-20 people stayed every night. Eventually I was approached by NEVARD and they appointed me as a project director. I took care of the mentally ill children and adults who were kept at the shelter homes and I worked towards their rehabilitation.

EH: How did you enter the field of animal welfare?

ANZ: During Covid times, I felt the pain of animals like cows, dogs and monkeys. Since there was a lockdown, these animals had a hard time finding food. We got in touch with North East Animal Protection Society to take care of the animals.  We got in touch with Maneka Gandhi, who helped us set up a Dhubri Branch of this organization. Even in Guwahati, we made sure that the animals were being fed.

EH: It was really noble work. Would you like to talk further about similar activities that you have done?

ANZ: During Covid times, many people got mentally ill. We helped them receive treatment at NEVARD care homes. DC and SP of the district helped us immensely, in helping the migrant workers reach their state. We also have a huge success story. District Administration also helped us to establish a branch of SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in Dhubri, with the help of Maneka Gandhi. It was a grand success.

EH: Do you have any message for the youth of this generation?

ANZ: I believe that the youths of today’s generation should not drive rashly, as this can cause pain to humans as well as animals, in case an accident occurs. We are doing rehab treatment of drug addicts as well, and we strongly stand against drug abuse. We have conducted animal protection units in various colleges, so that youths of today can learn to take care of animals in a proper way.

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