The Mising tribe is the single largest community (> 40%) on the Majuli Island District with a population of over 1,70,000. Majority of them are subsistence cultivators. Bipin, who had left his job in Singapore had been volunteering in a school in Upper Majuli since January 2016. During this time, he was introduced to the Mising Village of Kulamua in interior Majuli. Kulamua and the surrounding villages had no functional school in a 5 km radius. The village is in a flood affected region, they had nothing from roads to even a shop. It was the community’s dream that their children study in a good school. The village community requested Bipin to help them start a school for the children. Mobilizing the support of the community members of 19 villages, The Hummingbird School was built and it started operating in January 2017 with 70 children. The community donated land, wood, bamboo, and even built the school with their own hands. Along with this, a small hostel for children who are orphaned or from the most destitute backgrounds was started with 26 children. From the small beginnings, the school has 225 children in the current academic year, of whom 70 are in the hostel.
Once the school started functioning, we got requests from all around the island to open more schools. However, with over 900 schools on the island already established, we realized we can partner with these schools in school improvement. In the process, we realized that to be productive in a major way it would be more efficient to register an NGO for activities not directly related to the school, and thus we registered 'Ayang Trust' in November 2017. Ayang, which means “love” in the language of the Mising tribe endeavors to work towards the transformation of the marginalized communities of Northeast India through the areas of education, healthcare and livelihood. From working along with the community in creating a sustainable eco-tourism project to providing exposure to sustainable menstrual hygiene in women, Ayang envisions co-creating a sustainable future for the communities we are a part of keeping “love” at the center of everything we do.