The Srimanta Sankaradeva Bhawan which is located at A-14 /B, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi – 110067 has become the cultural hub of the Assamese people residing in Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR). There is long history in the construction of this dream project of Assam Association, Delhi.
Though Assam Association, Delhi came into being as a socio-cultural organisation way back in the year 1947, it was registered in the year 1967 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Since then Assam Association, Delhi had been constantly pursuing to get a piece of land in the Delhi NCT for construction of a permanent establishment of its own aiming at accommodating facilities temporarily for patients coming from Assam ,Assamese student coming for pursuing higher education and space for cultural activities organised by Assam Association, facilitating teaching Assamese language etc. On constant persuasion of few senor members of the Association, verbal assurance was received in 1985 from the Urban Development Ministry, Govt. of India to allot a piece of land at R.K. Puram area of New Delhi. Then immediately the Association decided to form a Trust naming “Assam Association Cultural and Educational Trust, Delhi” selecting 8 Trustees from amongst the senior members of the Association. Unfortunately the decision for forming a Trust had to be postponed because of non-receipt of consent from most of the selected Trustees and also for rejection of the proposal of allotment of the land by the Ministry of Urban Development. Till 1988 the Association could not make any progress on allotment of the land.
Then in 1988 few senior members under the guidance and leadership of Late Sri Dinesh Goswami (the then Minister in the central Government) took an initiative and after lots of efforts in this matter by perusing the file from table to table in the Ministry of Urban Development, the association could get an offer for allotment of a piece of land on 16th November 1988. We were asked to arrange an amount of Rs. 7 Lakhs for the land. Assam Association, Delhi requested the then Chief Minister of Assam, Sri Prafulla Kumar Mahanta for arrangement of the same. Assam Association, Delhi will always remain grateful to the Govt. of Assam and particularly the then Chief Minister of Assam for extending financial support of Rs. 8.5 Lakhs to Association for land and other initial expenditure for this project despite of the great financial constraint with the Govt. of Assam. Finally a piece of land measuring 835 Sq m was allotted in the Institutional Area, south of IIT and possession of the land was taken over on 8th Dec. 1989. A function was organised in the plot of land on 9th Dec 1989 immediately next day of taking over possession to celebrate the success of the initial requirement of the dream project where the Association also felicitated Sri Dinesh Goswami for his inclusion as the Cabinet Minister. After getting possession of the land the Association became the owner of a immovable property so it necessitated to form a Trust so as to look after its properties of permanent nature. The “Assam Association Cultural and Educational Trust, Delhi” was done vide letter dated 14/5/90. At the time of registration of the Trust following members were designated as permanent Trustees.
- M.N.Roy Choudhury
- S.D. Lahkar
- Bibha Goswami
- N. Sarmah
- Saiful Alam
However later on with the passage of time Trust deed was amended and structure of the Board of Trustees also modified.
The Association then takes up initiatives for construction of a building in the allotted land. Accordingly an Architect was also appointed and a fund raising events named “Harmony” was hold in Delhi and the fund raised from this event were transferred to the Trust account .The required formalities for construction of the building started , building plan and its design also started progressing. Application to the concerned department of Delhi Government was also submitted in Dec 1993. Approval of the building plan could not be obtained till Feb 2000th because many formalities required to be met up in different departments and final sanctioning Authority of building plan is the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi). However,on 6th March 2000 the approval of the building plan could be obtained from MCD. Then the very important requirement was the fund to start the building .In the meantime a group of members were engaged in collection of donations from the govt. department and public sector undertaking like ONGC, OIL, NEEPCO,GAIL whose area of operations are in North Eastern Region. The tender for the building, design and construction drawings were also prepared through the Architect already appointed by the Association but with the Trust at that time hardly Rs 7 – 8 lakhs were available. The Bhoomi Pujan was taken place on 12th March 2000. Then the Association took a daring decision to start the construction on 2nd June 2000 by selecting a contractor through tender invitation. The estimated cost of the project at that time was about 60 Lakhs, however till completion the amount has increased. For supervision and billing etc.a technical committee was also constituted with the following members:
- Mr. Hare Krishna Das – Convenor
- Mr. K.N.Saikia- Member
- Mr. Tridib Saikia – Member
- Mr. Hemanta Madhab Sharma- Member
- Dr. Nilamani Sarmah.-Member
- Dr. Hareswar Deka-Member
- Mrs. Rupali Dutta- Member
The structure of the four storey building with a basement was completed in 2003. During completion of the building itself a Mural was also prepared on the building’s front wall by Mr. Gauri Barman from Guwahati. He had taken lots of pain to do this task free of cost. For completion of all the ancillary and other utility works of the building and its complex it took some more time and finally the building could be made usable in 2006 and Griha Prabesh was done on 4/5/2006.
After completion of the building in all respect it has been handed over to the Trust for its operation & maintenance. Presently following is the Board of Trustee of AACET,Delhi.
- Madan Prasad Bezbaruah – Chairman of the Trust
- Dr. Bijay Madhab Hazarika – Managing Trustee.
- Dr. Nilamani Sarmah – Life Trustee.
- Sri Binoy Brata Sharma – Trustee
- Sri Nripendra Nath Gogoi – Trustee
- Sri Nityananda Saikia – Trustee
- Sri Hemanta Vijay Mahanta – Trustee
- Sri Trailokya Prasad Khound – Trustee
- Dr. Ranjeet Baruah – Trustee (Ex-Officio)
- Sri Hare Krishna Das – Trustee (Ex-Officio)
- Malaya Khaund – Trustee (Ex-Officio)
- Dr. Hareswar Deka – Trustee (Ex-Officio)
- Sri Pabitra Kumar Nath – Trustee (Ex-Officio)
The Building is named as Srimanta Sankardeva Bhawan after the Bashnavite Guru Srimanata Sankardeva.
The Bhawan has the following facilities:
Guest Rooms ( to accommodate 47 persons ) :
- Two Bedded Guest rooms: 9
- Three bedded Guest room: 1
- 10 seater Dormitory: 2
- 6 seater Dormitory: 1
Auditorium: One auditorium with proper acoustics , air conditioned having proper sound system .This has the seating capacity of 200 persons
Office Rooms: Office Room for Assam Association and the Trust
Lounge: A lounge with sofa sets and TV is also located at the first floor of the building. The lounge can be used for small meeting /discussions
Conference Room: A full furnished conference room is located at the 1 st floor of the building.
Canteen: The Canteen having Kitchen, store room and a dining room is available at the 1st floor of the building. In the canteen Assamese Cuisine apart from cuisine of other reasons of the country is available at a reasonable rate.
Library: A small Library with space for reading at the basement.
Basement Hall: One big Basement hall is at the Basement of the building. The hall is an air conditioned.
Amphitheater: In the back side of the building one permanent stage with open space for holding small gathering and events.
The guest rooms are booked on first cum first request basis giving the reference of one life member of Assam Association. Total 47 nos of persons can be accommodated in the guest rooms including the three dormitories. The tariffs of the rooms and dormitories are very reasonable and because of ambiance, silent location and availability of Assamese food people feel at home while staying at Srimanata Sankaradeva Bhawan.
The Auditorium, basement hall, conference room, lounge, amphitheater all are given on booking in same way as the guest rooms. Different reasonable rates are fixed for all these accommodation. All bookings shall be made through the managing Trustee of the Assam Association Cultural and Educational Trust. The Trust has two care takers also to look after the facilities of guest or any events allowed to hold in the Srimanta Sankaradeva premises.