November - 22



Two Way Profit in North-East keeps policy makers in Delhi Happy

Dear Editor,

We have always been hearing of exploitation of natural resources in a colonial pattern in north-east region. Now a new resource has surfaced, the Emotional Resource. Reality show winners from north-east are helping two agenda setting sectors in India. They are as follows:

1. The mobile phone companies are cashing on this resource in north-east.  Person working in a renowned mobile phone company once told me that since the last few years, the bosses of these companies ask their area managers to ensure that at least one candidate from the north-east states are kept going on in reality TV shows like singing and dancing in Indian TV channels. The executive heads have discovered that the people of the region are highly emotional, so much so that emotional fools can be made of them.

A Tamil person singing in a Hindi film competition is not encouraged by fellow Tamilians as they are against the invasion of Hindi in Tamil Nadu. So, the TV channels see that a Tamil contestant is out of the show as soon as possible. He does not bring any revenue to the mobile phone company because people in Tamil Nadu do not SMS to vote for Tamilian contestant. The channel also loses revenue. So, a candidate from north-east states is always there since the last 5-6 years. But none of the winners through SMS voting from north-east has been successful once the show is over.

2. These Hindi song and dance competitions in channels like Colors, Sony TV, Zee TV etc. is making things easy for the Delhi ruler to spread Hindi language in north-east. In the name of showcasing talent, a silent and cunning Hindi invasion is taking place in north-east states one by one. First, the Assamese middle-class was highjacked by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) during such a show in 2005. This was followed by Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Manipur is unlikely to fall in this trap. Nagaland will never subject to this cunning tactic of spreading a Hindi culture through medium like these contests.

The fault lies with the unquestioning and docile public. The student union leaders are the ones who misguide people. Who told these student leaders that one has to win Hindi song and dance competition to have a presence in the national scene? Pakistan has sent many singers and performers to India. They are very successful in India and are highest paid in Hindi film industry. But what is the image of Pakistan in spite of these well-known entertainers?

Assam needn’t send Hindi singers and dancers to be well-known in India. First, Assam should clean up corruption to have a better image in India and the world. Same goes for other north-east states. How I wish the people of north-east were more rational and logical like the people in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala! Will the people of Assam show such maturity and reasoning power? God knows how many years that will take!


Vox populi, Guwahati



Nobody can gain knowledge by force

Dear Editor,

“A tale of a SSA Teacher”, 20th Nov 2010 by Taba Ajum was timely. The public should know that teaching is much different from other profession. Someone can be physical present in the class but in this circumstance it is anybody’s guess how will be his state of mind. It is a recipe for self deception. In this milieu the students will be the ultimate loser. After all nobody can gain knowledge by force. As any literate person know that it is a very delicate matter. For true dissemination of knowledge both side should be ready through heart and soul. No less. The leaders should ensure that facilities are provided to the teaching community and interfere only when situation go out of control. Certainly there must be a well established hierarchy to run the school. It should be best handled among the faculty with the headmaster as senior guide. I salute the brave who left for his duty leaving his ailing father in the care of his helpless mother. Enforcing discipline is good in its place. But circumstances like this are exceptional.


A citizen



A lesson for PDS accused

Dear Editor,

At last people will think twice to steal the rice of PDS at Aalo. When so called strong organization like AAPSU are silent on PDS Scam, Galo Student Union (GSU) boldly came out with rally against the scam accused in West Siang district. Although it seems to have not affected any thing to the accused, the people of West Siang will at least think twice to steal the rice of PDS in future. The slogans used during rally have got some social impact on the people in general. No body would like themselves to be shouted by young generations with those words.

It is better to live hungry than to be called CPO Rice theft by our own young students in the public. The other pressure groups and civil society should also organize similar rally so that at least people will think twice to snatch poor man’s grains in future.


Concern citizen of





SSA teachers should not be taken for a ride

Dear Editor,

I am appalled to know that the teachers in Arunachal Pradesh recruited under the SSA do not get their salary timely and always have to wait for months to receive their hard earned salary.  The authorities should remember that not even the daily wage labourers would work for such a long period without being paid.

Despite all this negligence meted out to SSA teachers, the dedicated tribal denizens of the state are not compromising with the future of our state. This is utter negligence and absolute irresponsible attitude of the authorities. The Education department should not take our teachers for a ride and if the authorities continue the present attitude, it will only demoralize the spirit of hard working teachers.

Such situation will definitely affect the education of our youths and children. And one should not forget that the desperate brains can be channelized in some destructive ways if this goes on.


A concerned citizen





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‘Improved Capital roads within two months’

No substitute to hard work: Tuki

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Unity, integrity, love and affection among the people essential for any kind of development, be it social or economic in the state, stated the PWD & UD, Minister, Nabam Tuki while addressing the gathering during the inaugural of the 38th annual school week celebration of Govt Higher Secondary School, Doimukh as chief guest at the school premise here this afternoon.

“There is no substitution for hard work” said Tuki and called upon the students to be focused more in their studies besides other extra curricular activities such as games and sports, cultural etc for the betterment of life.

Exhorting the students to exhibit their latent talents in various events during week-long celebration, Tuki said that the students should maintain discipline and sportsmanship spirit to excel in any field. “No subject is bad or good actually provided the students masters in that particular subject” said Tuki suggesting the students to take proper guidance and consultation while choosing subjects.

The minister also urged upon the teachers to keep contributing in  their services dedicatedly for the welfare of students.

While responding to various issues such as creation of state university, poor condition capital roads and RGU road by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, President, Takam Tatung, Tuki said that the demand of creation of state university was genuine and everyone should support it and the cooperation from every section of society was required for such demand. Regarding RGU road, he said that the department has already been instructed and the work would be starting very shortly. However, he expressed concerned over the natural calamity which usually caused lots of damage to the roads. On capital complex road, he assured that the road condition would be improved within two months as the work has already been started. He also assured to look into other demands such as teacher quarter for Doimukh higher secondary school, class rooms, Xerox machine etc.

Expressing concerned over transferring and posting system of teachers in the state, the guest of honour, AAPSU, President, Takam Tatung said that due to unsystematic transfer and posting of teachers lots of complicacies were coming the smooth functioning of academic progress of schools. “Few teachers remain in their posting place since they were posted whereas few of them are frequently transferred every now and then”, said Tatung urging the state govt to initiate a mechanism so that the balance can be maintained in transfer posting. For that AAPSU president, suggested the govt for soft and hard, categorized into A, B, C, D, posting according to the places such as urban, semi-urban, semi-rural and rural for stipulated time duration. He also urged the concerned authority to rectify the existing postal address of RGU which always create confusion among the people while communicating. He also raised the issue of creation of State University, RGU road, hostels for both boys and girls in various parts schools in the state. Expressing concerned over growing negative impact of mobile phones among the students, Tatung strongly urged the students and teachers not carry their mobile phones inside the classroom and confiscate if anyone found using it inside the classroom. He appealed the parents to educate their children about its bad impact and restrict them to from using it unless they reach college.  

While reiterating the pathetic condition of capital city roads, Tatung appealed the PWD & UD Minister to immediately instruct the department to start the road renovation work.

The school Principal, T Talo while briefing on the week long celebration, submitted a memorandum to the Minister urging him for more classrooms and teacher quarters.

Earlier, accompanied by Chayangtajo MLA Kaya Bagang, AAPSU, President Takam Tatung and other officials, Nabam Tuki formally inaugurated the 38th annual school week celebration of govt higher secondary school, Doimukh. During the week long celebration four houses namely Nehru, Subash, Gandhi and Bhagat house will compete in various cultural, literary and games and sports event.


CRC Silver jubilee celebration concludes

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: The three-day long Silver Jubilee celebration of CRC Naharlagun concluded today with the ceremonial blowing of Jubilee Trumpet which was led by the speaker of the concluding day Rev. Dr. D. L. Sanchu.

Chairman of the APB&OCWW Board Jalley Sonam in his short speech said that Christianity brings positive changes in the society. He encouraged one and all to upkeep the Christian values.

Special guest  of the valedictory function MLA Techi Kaso emphasized on prayer and requested one and  all to pray for each other and also appreciated the pioneers.

He also stressed on upholding of Christian characters from within by every believer. He urged all play important role in bringing discipline in the society particularly in the younger generation.

He also urged the people to inculcate forgiving attitude and to discourage the revengeful attitude. He further went on to say that Christianity has brought many good changes especially to the local populace of the state.

The day also marked with distribution of fruits at the Naharlagun General Hospital and Police Station which was led by Pastor Hillang Taya and the deacon board of the church and the installation of a huge church bell by Rev. Dr. Nyakdo Tasar in the church premises.

Besides these, community feast and cultural programmes were presented by youth and women groups.

Earlier, in the second day Rev. Dr. Nyakdo Tasar and Commissioner Industries Makbul Pertin attended the programme as speaker and special invitee. The services were chaired by Pastor Hillang Taya, David Pertin and Sudhir Kena. The Organising Secretary Rev. Dr. Takeng Taggu, representative of Nagaland delegates Evan. V. Avi Nguzhu, APCRCC Secretary Evan. Tai Ete and Tad Akin also spoke on the occasion.


ATKSSU  demands CO office, out post

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: All Tai Khampti Singpho Students union (ATKSSU) has expressed unhappiness over non-fulfillment of their 9-point demand submitted to chief minister when he had visited Namsai on 25th October after violence broke out during pro-PRC rally at Namsai town.

In a press statement ATKSSU stated that despite being assured of meeting their demands, state Govt has not taken any concrete steps.

Meanwhile, the union has demanded creation of permanent police outpost and setting up of office of circle officer at New and Old Mohong village at the earliest.

In order to safeguard the interest of local indigenous tribal of Old Mohong, New Mohong and Silatoo, setting up for permanent police outpost is very important, the union felt.  ATKSSU has also demanded deployment of CRPF at Dirak and Bordumsa gate.

Claiming that illegal migrants are moving into state through these gates, union has urged government to strictly monitor these gates to stop influx of illegal migrants. Union further  demanded  government job to the relative of late Chow Wisatha Mannow of Old Mohong village, who suspiciously died after violence broke out at Namsai.


Siram visits Tawang and Lumla

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Education Minister Bosiram Siram has undertaken 3 days long hectic tour to Tawang district along with Director of  Secondary Education T. Taloh, Director of Elementary Education cum State Project Director (SSA) P.N.Thungon.

During the tour, the team inspected a numbers of schools under Tawang and Lumla sub-divisions. He was also accompanied by MLA Jambey Tashi, DDSE Rinchin Phuntsok and PR members of the locality.

 The Minister expressed satisfaction over the education scenario of the sub-divisions and also lauded teacher's dedication, children's commitment, cleanliness of schools surroundings, civil work done under SSA and PRI's initiatives.

Meanwhile, Siram assured construction of additional classrooms to some of the schools.

On Nov 18, the Minister visited Lumpo Army Post with his team and paid floral tribute to the Martyrs of 1962 where he was honoured and briefed by the Col. S. Tiwari (Sena Medal), 4 Mahar Regiment of Indian Army, Lumpo.

During the tour, he addressed the joint meeting of local MLA, administrative officers, Govt. staff, representatives of several organizations and PR leaders of Tawang and Lumla sub-divisions.

While responding to the memorandum submitted by some organizations, he urged the teaching fraternity to keep the prestige of education department high by devoting themselves in teaching and learning process.


AAPSU urges Govt to start  capital roads renovation works

ITANAGAR, Nov 21:  All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has urged the state Govt to start road renovation works in Capital Complex at the earliest.

Expressing concern over the deplorable road condition in Capital region, AAPSU president Takam Tatung in a memorandum to PWD and UD Minister Nabam Tuki said that the road condition of Capital Complex is in complete shambles. The ordinary citizens are facing acute problem due to pitiable condition of the sector and colony roads, the Union said.

The memorandum further said the road condition of NH52-A from Banderdewa to Holongi is in complete mess. The poor road condition has lead to the numerous accidents causing loss of valuable lives. Innumerable number of potholes along national highway NH52 (A) has made this stretch of road a death trap.

Tatung said that the Capital complex being gateway to the whole state needs to have good road condition as it is matter of pride for Arunachal Pradesh. The appalling road condition of state capital will have negative impacts on tourists visiting from other parts of country and from abroad. He furher said despite public raising concern over bad road condition, till now no concrete steps has been taken by the state government.

It is seen that cities across the world usually has two ring roads that of inner and outer, AAPSU said.  To meet the need of future generation, AAPSU feels that state government should start carrying out feasibility survey of having inner and outer ring roads connecting Banderdewa with Holongi.  

Pointing out the dilapidated  condition of the sector and colony road, AAPSU president further said present road which connects Rajbhawan with SP Office, Itanagar passing through Doordarshan colony and another stretch of road starting from R K Mission Tinali passing through Division 4, Tadar Tang Mark are also in very bad condition. There are many other stretches of road within capital complex which need urgent renovation works at the earliest, it said.

AAPSU further urged the PWD Minister to improve the Gumto to Itanagar road passing through places like Doimukh, Yupia, Papu Nallah, Jully village. If this stretch of road is repaired, then all the heavy vehicles could be diverted which will ease traffic congestion along National Highway NH52-A, AAPSU emphatically said while pointing out that movement of heavy vehicles along NH52-A causes maximum damages to this stretch of road.

AAPSU also draws the attention of the minister towards dangerous road condition leading to Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU).  This stretch of road is very risky and basis design of this road is faulty, it said.


Dabi oversees development works

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Home Minister Tako Dabi today supervised all the development works being executed under Koyu circle, Nari ADC HQ in East Siang district.

He has also convened a meeting of all heads of the department of East Siang district to take stock of the development activities being carried out under Nari-Koyu sub-division in particular and entire district as a whole on Nov 22.

Earlier on Nov 18, immediately after reaching Nari ADC, the Home Minister met the fire victims at Nari township and distributed relief amount of Rs 10 lakh to them. The amount was sanctioned by the state Govt. He made a whirlwind visit in and around Nari circle and  supervised execution works of all the roads  including construction work of Seren village to NH-52, Pam village to NH-52 and New Deka to Talem village on Nov 20.


ALSU to protest car burning

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Arunachal Law Students’ Union (ALSU) has decided stage dharna in front of official residence cum office of the Home Minister (HM) on November 25 for failing to nab the miscreants involved in burning down of the car of ALSU general secretary on November 9 last at Lekhi village.

ALSU in a release further said that it was compelled to go for this democratic movement following expiry of the 7 days ultimatum served to the HM and for adopting dillydallying tactics in nabbing the culprits by the authority.  ALSU also demanded immediate termination of all the illegally appointed Inspectors under Tax and Excise department.

Meanwhile, ALSU vice president Lampoo Laa has assumed the post of President after the resignation of present incumbent P L Murterm on moral ground.

Meanwhile, All Kipa Welfare Society has described the incident as symbolic attack on the prestige and image of ALSU in particular and other students organizations in general. While condemning the ‘cowardice’ act, the society demanded the police to arrest the culprits involved the incident immediate,  Non-arrest of miscreants would encourage other anti-social elements to commit such crime in future.


Workshop on district planning conducted at Jairampur

JAIRAMPUR, Nov 21: Amik Matai Society, Tezu conducted a district level workshop on decentralized district planning for Panchayati Raj Members and Member Secretaries at IB Conference Hall, Jairampur on Nov 19 for the Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh.

The workshop was formally inaugurated by M.Roy, Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Jairampur. The participants included the Zilla Parishad Members, Anchal Samiti Chairpersons, and Gram Panchayats of various Panchayat Blocks of Changlang district besides Shri. Gautum Hazarika, Sub Divisional Officer, Nampong.

The participants were distributed Hand Books on “ Planning Guidelines for PRIs – Manual for District Planning Committee” after extensive training on the decentralized district planning.

The workshop is being supported by the Directorate of Panchayati Raj, Itanagar, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.


Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated

PASIGHAT, Nov 21: The 542nd Guru Nanak Jayanti was celebrated today with religious fervor and gaiety at the Pasighat Gurudwara.

The celebration was attended by LS MP Ninong Ering, Education Minister Bosiram Siram and Deputy Commissioner Onit Panyang.

In his message, Siram called upon the people to put in practice of peace, harmony and compassion in their daily lives. He hoped that this auspicious occasion would strengthen the bonds of brotherhood, communal harmony and amity.

Ering said that Guru Nanak has been an apostle of universal love, piety and spiritual faith, while Panyang said Guru’s teaching still inspire us to overcome religious differences and to fight against ignorance, hunger and diseases. DIPRO.


KKWS resolves to construct Dere

ITANAGAR, Nov 21:  Kargu Kardi Welfare Society (KKWS)  in its general body meeting held here today unanimously has taken decision to construct Kargu Kardi Dere and purchase ambulance of the society.

Addressing the gathering, KKWS president Dr. Rejum Ronya presented report on the poor medical service in Darak, Yomcha, Liromoba and Tirbin. Expressing displeasure over the lack of basic health awareness among the masses in remote areas, he proposed for organizing a medical camp in near future and to access the medical condition in grass root level.

KKWS secretary Dedu Poyom and publicity secretary Er A Potom also spoke on the occasion.


Awareness prog for farmers’ club

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Lower Subansiri Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) has organized an awareness and orientation programme for the newly opened farmers’ club at Tajang village for the development of farming community on Nov 15. The programme was sponsored by NABARD.

Mr. Bipul Kumar Kakati, Subject Matter Specialist (Fisheries), Dr. Primita Dutta Programme Assistant Veterinary KVK, Lower Subansiri acted as resources person in the programme.

The resource person Bipul Kumar Kakati, Subject Matter Specialist (Fisheries) encouraged farmer’s to the fish farming and Dr. Primita Dutta Programme Assistant Veterinary KVK, Lower Subansiri told about precaution measures of poultry and piggery diseases.   Another resource person was Dr. Pushpendra Saroj, Subject Matter Specialist (Agril. Ext.).

Dr M C Debnath, KVK Programme coordinator, highlighted on financial support  of the NABARD to the farmer’s club.

During the interaction session, farmers were found to be interested to know about the new farming technologies and some of them showed their interest in pig rearing and poultry.

Nigilyang  Nigilyang  and Nigilyang Mumpa have been elected as chief coordinator and general secretary of the Club.


Awareness cum orientation programme of Farmer’s Club

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Four Farmers Club under Khagam CD block  in Changlang district  have been formed under the initiative of AMYAA voluntary organization. The awareness cum orientation programme for the Farmer’s Club members was organized mainly to bring together the government officials and farmers so as to establish a common platform where there can be substantial sharing and interaction. Dr. M. Dirchi VO (Veterinary Dept.), S. W. Mishra AFA (Agri. Dept.), Purna Gogoi BM (Apex Bank) and M. Doyi (from BDO Dept.) were the resource persons of the programme. A total of 44 farmers from 4 villages under Miao and Kharsang circles were the active participants of the programme.

The resource persons shared relevant information, schemes and facilities that farmers could take advantage of from their respective departments. The participants were given ample of opportunity to freely interact and clarify their doubts pertaining to all ideas and information dissimilated by the resource persons. The representatives of the government departments assured the participating farmers of their co-operation and all possible support.


Supply of poor quality medicine alleged

ITANAGAR, Nov 21:  Seijosa-II, Anchal Samiti Member Gamja Langlang alleged  supply of  poor quality  and sub-standard medicines to the community health centres and health sub-centres in  Seijosa sub- division  by Arunachal Trade Centre, Banderdewa.

The ASM further alleged that most of the medicines supplied are found to be sub-standard, from non-reputed manufacturers with very short span of expiry date. He further said essential medicines have not been supplied yet.

The ASM claimed that complaints have been lodged before the authorities against the supply of poor quality of medicines, but no action has been taken yet.

He appealed the concerned authority to direct the supplier to supply best quality medicines manufactured from reputed companies as per the requirement re-placing the sub-standard medicines.

The ASM further demanded that payment of supplier should not be released till supply of good quality medicines.



My years in NEFA

Kong Silverine Swer

Sometimes, something unexpected' and inescapable happens in one's life; one may call it destiny. Setting foot in NEFA in 1953 and spending fifteen years of my life serving there was my destiny. This is the story only of some experiences during my first three years in this fascinating Region - the Siang District, with Pasighat as its headquarters.

I was happily passing my days in Shillong as a teacher of Pinemount School. On New Year's Eve 1952, the Principal and staff were invited to the New Year's Eve celebration at the Shillong Club and I went along with them. At the gathering I met Mr. N.K.Rustomji, ICS, who was the Adviser to the Governor of Assam and NEFA. He drew me aside and asked if I would consider taking up an assignment as Chief Social Education Officer on a three year contract service in a newly opened Community Development Project at Pasighat, NEFA. This project was one of thirteen pilot projects selected for the backward areas of different states in India for the integrated development of community life.

Rustomji, apart from being a highly efficient senior officer, was also a very kind and understanding gentleman. He briefly explained to me the nature of the job, also saying that with my precedent and experience as a trained teacher, a Girl Guide leader, and an officer of the government during the war years, I would be a suitable person for the post. He also added that I would be rendering invaluable service to the tribes, especially the women and children of this backward region. This sounded very challenging to me. It took me some days to make up my mind as I first had to consult my people at home. Some of them, including my mother, were rather apprehensive that I should take up a post in such a far away place about which they knew very little. But my elder brother, the Late Mr. Justman Swer, who was then the District Forest Officer, Assam, consulted his boss, the Late Mr. P.D. Stracey, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forest, a widely travelled person and an authority on wild life. Stracey told him that the place was nothing like the `Wild West' but very much accessible.

I accepted the offer of the Government with an initial bond of service for 3 years and left Shillong for Dibrugarh (en route to my new destination) in March 1953.

In those days there was no surface communication from Dibrugarh to Pasighat. The only means of travel was by air. I boarded a chartered plane run by a company, `INDAMAR'. That being my first flight. I experienced peculiar sensations and as the plane cruised forward through air pockets, there were frequent bumps which gave me enough trepidation. Through the window I saw the hills all bared by continuous bushes of white which I gathered later were the after effects of the devastating effects of the earthquake of 1950 when hills were ripped open and massive slides were created.

The plane landed on the air strip at Pasighat. I was received there by W.T. Harula, the Project Executive Officer and Mr. Daying Ering, the Language Officer. I was accommodated temporarily in the girls' hostel but later I settled down in my allotted quarters. On the same evening of my arrival, I was taken to a village called Yagrung where for the first time I witnessed the traditional dance of the Adis, the `Ponung'. It was an exciting event where all people, young and old joined in. I too was made to participate in the dance while my faltering steps were consciously ignored by the jolly company. Girls draped in bright red skirts, black blouses, conical capes on their heads with head necklaces covering their bosoms' formed a ring around a blazing bonfire, the glow casting a reddish glare on their faces: altogether a fascinating sight. The girls danced, sometimes swaying their bodies to and fro and sometimes moving along in a circle to the rhythmic beats of the Miri, a dance leader, who held upright a long sword which produced jingling sounds being caused by the steel rings loosely attached to the sword's hilt. There was a never ending flow of apong (millet beer) served in bamboo tubes and I was not exempted from holding one. The hospitality was so overwhelming and spontaneous and instantly I felt quite at home with them.

It took three months for me to familiarise myself with my mission and to prepare comprehensive training programmes for functioning at different levels. Incidentally, I had attended an intensive Training Course for CSEO's at Naini Allahabad. I made rounds of visits to all the villages of the project and occasionally accompanied by our Medical Officer, Dr. Miss Veronica Hmar, and the Senior Health Visitor, (Late) Miss T. Nonglait. During such visits, our task included village cleaning, hygienic preservation of drinking water points, women and child care, motivation for better quality of life and primary education. Participation in such grassroot level activities brought me closer to the people and the more I mingled with them, the more fascinated and charmed I was by their simple life style and instant open hearted hospitality.


During the summer of 1954, I was witness to the fury of the Siang river. So terrifying when it burst through the bank that it swallowed big chunks of land from the river sides in a massive surge of water. Within minutes it swept away the river banks. The entire road was tom and down went tall Simul trees, ripped away like matchsticks. Worst still, the huge swell started battering the strong wooden ramparts and tin C.I. Sheet barricades put up as an antierosion measure. It did not take much time for the swirling currents of water to complete the destruction; it was too overwhelming for all attempts to withstand its force. My house which was thought to be safe with a sprawling grass field at the front was immediately threatened. I had meticulously nurtured a flower garden and when the blooms appeared, it gave me much joy. When the threat became very real, some how the Khasi boys who were at the Agriculture Training Centre situated three kms. away got the information and rushed to my residence just in time. They evacuated all my belonging to the residence of the Political Officer, (Late) Major R.Wood. Within a few hours all that was left of my house was an outdoor toilet! I felt very sad, particularly at the loss of my beautiful flower garden. My next door neighbour Late Odam Ering, the wife of late Daying Ering, an arthritic patient, with her husband away on tour, had a harrowing time. She narrated the legend which was a strongly held belief of her tribe, that every fourteen years such a calamity would recur which would spell misery to the people.

It was an emergency when the Government decided to evacuate people from vulnerable areas and made arrangement for temporary shelters on higher grounds.

It was another agonising experience for the officers who were on a tour to the left bank of the river. They were frantically waving white cloth signals but nothing could be done as the river was in high spate and sending out a boat for them was out of the question. Later, they found a way out by walking over the Saikhowa ghat 30 kms away from where they went on to Dibrugarh to avail of an airlift back to Pasighat!

About 25 kms to the south-west of Pasighat is Mirem, a village projected as a model. The name Mirem' means `rich' in the Adi dialect, as clean water was plentiful, from three subterranean springs which gushed out water continuously throughout the year. The village was established as an initiative project by clearing a patch of virgin forest for the settle-ment of sixty families who had migrated from the upland areas after the great earthquake of 1950.

The village was planned as a model with certain innovative changes such as provision of smoke outlets, more inter-house space and location of houses on straight lines and broad pathways.

In 1955, a programme was made for the visit of K.L. Mehta, ICS, the then Adviser to the Governor of Assam and NEFA and a team of newly appointed officers in the Indian Frontier Administrative Service, to show them the aspects of a model village under the Community project initiative. To oversee the arrangement for the visit, I accompanied R.K. Patir, another Project Executive Officer, in his jeep. Besides the two of us, there were two orderlies, and we carried full loads of provision for the entertainment of the visitors. After covering a distance of 15 kms, the fair weather road passed through a marshy ground which allowed only a narrow strip pitched with boulders for the jeep to cross over. When the jeep moved forward, somehow the wheels skidded from the boulders and the vehicles sidled to the marsh. It was a nightmare as no one was nearby and every manouver made by Patir and the orderlies to lift the vehicle only made the wheels get bogged down deeper and deeper in the slush. It was already dark and the thought of going ahead leaving the jeep behind was impossible. We heard a shriek from a woman not so far away who presumably had been bitten by a snake but we could not be any help in the pitch darkness. To add to our predicament, the area was a beat of elephants and every sound raised an anominous feeling.

As luck would have it, a message conveyed through our orderly reached the nearest village, Miglung, that a jeep had fallen into the marsh. In no time there was a scene quite unforgettable, as large band of villagers (men) waving bamboo torches descended the hill and helped to pull out the jeep with a chorus of "ho, ho, ho, ho, hi, hi, hi". This was an event that had remained ever imprinted in my memory, reminding me of how Adi people in those days responded spontaneously to a distress call.

When the news went to Mirem that we were on our way, a big fire was lit up to help us keep warm. After our arrival which was like a pleasant homecoming, we were immediately served with hot tea to cheer us up. The villagers were agog with preparation for the visit of the official on the following day and there were rehearsals of Ponung and other performances. The girls sang an impromptu rhyme in their chant which was quite interesting:

"Village project, community project, village project

Ob Dolung, Mirem Dolung, Ob Dolung ".

During the summer months, communication became difficult, especially in the villages at the foot hills, because of the flood. Even a small stream could at times create a blockade. Near Mirem, the river Remi was so unpredictable that it changed course with each rush of water. It was harrowing experience for me when once sudden rain swelled up the river instantly. The river was fordable except during heavy rain, Two bamboo bridges which spanned the channels suddenly gave way except for a single foot-hold. When I stepped in delicately, balancing on my toes, the hand rest gave way and I was in instant danger of falling into the swirling waters. Somehow my assistant, Dhan Bahadur Sonar, the Social Education Organiser, who was ahead held a long bamboo pole and catching this, I managed to cross over.

In the community project, we had some excellent grassroot level workers who were fully dedicated to their work. One such person was A.T. Kharlukhi who was posted at a place on the left bank of the Siang river. He had that unbounded store of energy to work under the most adverse conditions. The left bank was backward region owing to difficult communication and it was left to workers like Kharlukhi to start the process of development. The soil was fertile yet people stuck to the primitive slash and burn method of cultivation and never knew what wet rice cultivation was. At first, no one was willing to adopt the system even for a trial as it was such an alien conception. Another person would have given up this effort out of sheer frustration but not Kharlukhi. When he failed to motivate the people, he took up the challenge himself. He got a plot of land and began to work on it feverishly. Every bit of work was done by himself. The people watched him from a distance, wide eyed at the job so foreign to them. A time came when a luxuriant crop of paddy covered the field and later yielding a bumper harvest. He did not stop at that but showed the astonished people the technique of harvesting with sickle, threshing, pounding and, finally, the collecting of grain. As the news spread, half the battle was won as slowly but surely, the villagers took up the practice. Once success was assured, there was no looking back. More and more areas came under wet rice cultivation. Today, it is of course history, as the left bank villages are known as the granary of Pasighat. Kharlukhi's contribution would, however, be remembered by posterity forever.

Kharlukhi totally identified himself with the people, so much so that he was hardly distinguishable from them. He spoke their dialect and adopted many of their customs. He married a Padam Adi girl from Siluk village and remained a happy man till his untimely death in 1994.

There was another such worker at Ralung, Peter Knowles Swer. A Khasi from Shillong, he too, had that zest for service and contributed no less in motivating the people for various development programmes.

My initial period of three years' bond soon expired. But I was so enamoured with my job that I opted for further continuation of service. In the meantime, the first phase of intensive development of the community project being over, I was transferred to the Education Department with a change of designation as Assistant Education Officer. By now, my job was focused on education, for supervision and opening of new schools. This again entailed extensive tours as the school were scattered away from the vicinity of Pasighat.

Once, on my way to Rotung for a visit to a School, I had to travel through a forest path winding across the hills. It was an experience to stay in such an isolated place like the vintage days Inspection Bungalow in the midst of the forest where many stories were circulated about the presence of ghosts. I was lucky not to have any such chilling encounter.

While going along the mule track, I was astonished to learn from my interpreter that this path had been constructed by two Khasi contractors, the Late Babu Kabu Singh and the Late Babu Pin Singh of Cherrapunji during the socalled Abor Expedition of 1911. These two indomitable pioneers must have worked under the most adverse conditions, braving the elements, but how many Khasis, comfortable in their own homes, know about them?

There were amusing scene when we opened a new school. At a place near Ledum thirty kms from Pasighat, people wanted a school but we imposed conditions that they should construct the building and, most importantly, that they should ensure enrolment of a sufficient number of children in the school. A father of a child, after much thinking, asked us how much we would pay him for enrolling his son in the School.

At another place, a father was so keen to send his son to school but the enrolled child would not come unless his father too sat with him in the class. It was an amusing scene that when the child was told to stand up, his father too would stand up as the boy would not allow him to sit by!

On a trail through the forest with Tarun Bhattacharjee, our young sub-Area Officer, to reach a school, we often found to our consternation that ahead of us was an elephant its fresh droppings still warm. The narrow foot track crossed many steams, sometimes with kneedeep water which we had to wade through. There were times when we had to put up in hurriedly erected sheds made of bamboo and roofed with banana leaves with leeches crawling by the hundreds and mosquitoes buzzing all around while we stayed put inside the mosquito curtains. It was an experience unthink-able for a town born lass, but somehow I managed to overcome all such inconveniences. The Girl Guide law, to sing and smile in all difficulties, came handy at such times.

From the far side of the left bank of the Siang river, an Idu Mishmi headman arrived at Pasighat, attired in his fantastic traditional gear. He had a strong rimmed cane hat and two swords, crossing each other, hung at the waist. He requested the Political Officer to open a school in his village. I fixed up a programme and went to the village which took two days of foot march along the left bank of the river. On our way, we rested for a while on the snowwhite sandy beach of a river which came down from the mountains with very cold crystal clear water, and we enjoyed the beauty of the restful Nature.

It was a fine sunny day and we were not in a hurry to reach our destination Aohali, just a few kms away. I was quietly admiring the scenic beauty of the place around me when suddenly my companion drew my attention to fresh pug marks of a big tiger next to where I was sitting. Instantly it sent a chill down my spine and in a hurry we moved away from the place and proceeded on our journey `Me scene changed completely when at the entrance to the village, Idu-Mishmi girls with rosy cheeks, smiling faces and half cropped black hair, lined up to welcome us with armfuls of fresh purple ground orchids. In the village itself there was an overwhelming reception, followed next day by the ceremonial inauguration of a new primary school, C.K. Borpatra Gohain, a trained teacher who also was well conversant with their dialect took charge of the school. I found the Idus of Aohali a most charming and hospitable people.

At Ngopok, a very far and lonely village on the left bank which I visited to meet the people, particularly the women folk there, a Sub-Area Officer, down with fever was lying on a chang bed (bamboo platform). Out of nowhere a tiger entered his camp, the officer panicked and jumped up to catch the ceiling pole but fell back on his bed with a tremendous thump. This made the big cat panic and rush out. Recovering from the shock, the officer wasted no time and straightaway landed at the head office at Pasighat to plead for an immediate transfer!

At the end of my term I came away from the land of the Adis. I carried with me only sweet memories and fine impression of the people and their land. I admired their compact community life; their congenial relationship with their neighbours, their arts and handicrafts which by designs and colour are unique and really something to be seen. The traditional community hall (mosup) at the centre of the village specially attracted my attention. Here all the unmarried young men of the village spent their nights together to protect the village from any harm; here they discussed all matters concerning their community and here they busied themselves making all kinds of tools and implements they needed for farming, hunting, fishing and others. My best impression, however, was of the unique institution of the Adis, the Kebang. It makes decisions on all matters concerning social duties of the community. The Kebang imposes certain rules and modes of conduct, such as that every household must send one male representative to the Kebang session and a fine (ajeng) for absence without justifiable reason. Everyone is free to speak and express his opinion. No one ever interrupts a speaker and there is an atmosphere of pindrop silence at the assembly. At the following open discussions, voices may often rise to a crescendo but fist fights never take place.

I was fortunate enough to witness some Kebang sessions and noticed the meritorious conduct of this traditional institution. In the community projects, many of our schemes and programmes were successfully implemented because of the Kebang as the people responded enthusiastically to proposals approved by it. I fondly hope that the Kebang with its democratic and disciplined character will never die even under the impact of development in modern times.

[This Article appeared in the `Reminiscences' Souvenir of Arunachal Pradesh Pensioners' Welfare Association, Shillong published in 1990.]







SC issues stay order

ITANGAR, Nov 21: While hearing the petition filed by  Tali MLA Markio Tado against the judgment of Gauhati High Court, the Supreme Court in its order issued on Nov 12 has stayed further proceedings of Election Petition No 1 (AP) of 2009 which is pending for disposal at Itanagar Permanent Bench of Gauhati High Court.

Earlier the High Court had rejected the counter petition filed by Tado against the petition filed by former Tali MLA Takam Sorang in the HC alleging double enrollment of voters in Itanagar and Tali and for calling of records of register of voters of Itanagar Assembly segment. The HC in its judgment on Sept 14 had also allowed calling of records of register of voters of Itanagar segment.

However, an aggrieved Tado approached the Supreme Court and the SC in its order said ‘By way of ad-interim relief, stay of further proceedings of election petition No 1 (AP) of 2009 pending in the Itanagar Permanent Bench of the Gauhati High Court is granted.’



ITANAGAR, Nov 21: The rank and file of Apatani Meder Nello Council, Itanagar and Naharlagun in a condolence meeting held today deeply mourned the untimely demise of Tage Diibo, founder and former chairman of the Meder Nello Council, capital complex.

The members prayed almighty to bestow strength to the bereaved family members to bear the irreparable loss and also prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.

The Apatani Cultural  and  Literary Society (ACLS), Ziro expressed deep  shock at the untimely demise of Lt. Tage Dibo, who was a scholar, an artist and a social worker.

In a condolence message, the Society said late Dibo was an embodiment of love for the society, its custom and culture. His contribution for the Apatani community and the state as a whole will not be forgotten so easily by the society. The ACLS prayed to Donyi Polo for eternal peace for the departed soul and also to give strength and solace to the bereaved family.


Tuki lauds Buddha’s teachings

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: PWD and UD Minister Nabam Tuki attended Kando Poi Silver Jubilee celebration at Buddha Temple complex Ledo, Assam yesterday.

Addressing the gathering, Tuki said that Buddhism is much needed in North East India and stressed on dissemination of Buddha’s teachings for the benefit of masses.

 “Buddhism is not a religion of command but it is a religion of demand. The demand of Buddhism is more felt throughout the world today,” he added.

He also called upon the Buddhist monks and followers of Buddhism to take strong initiatives to spread the message of love and peace propagated by Lord Buddha.


ICDS week celebrated

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Bokoring Anganwadi Centre under Sagalee ICDS project celebrated ICDS Week on 19th November. Various programs like rhyme and drawing competition for children below age of 3 years was organized during the day under the supervision of CDPO Oyam Panor.  Dr. T Nyodu, medical officer was chief guest for the day. Around 60 children and 65 Anganwadi workers participated in the programme.  


School health prog

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: District Health Society, Tirap organized School Health Programme at Govt. Secondary School, Lazu on November 18 last.  Resource persons including MO Wakka PHC Dr K Matey highlighted health education on RTI/STI, HIV and TB.


Paliament gherao prog on Dam

ITANAGAR:  15 activists from Forum for Siang Dialogue led by its secretary Ogam Mengu have left for Delhi to attend the Parliament Gherao programme scheduled to be held on November 24.

The programme is initiated by Akhil Gogoi and Medha Patkar under the banner of National People’s Alliance Movement Forum for Siang Dialogue.

During their stay at National capital, the team shall appeal the Centre, like minded activists, NGOs and other leaders to scrap the Lower Siang Hydro Electric Project.


New Parish at Kimin

ITANAGAR:  MP Takam Sanjoy, MLA Bamang Felix and MLA Nabam Rebia would attend as chief guest, guest of honour and special guest respectively in the opening programme of Parish of Kimin on November 28.

The Parish will be declared open by Bishop of Itanagar Rt Rev Dr John Thomas.

The chairman of the organizing committee Bamang Mangha informed that Holly mass, cultural show and community feast will also be organized to mark the occasion.


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