Ering takes oath, becomes MoS for minority affairs
17 new faces in Team Manmohan
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Much to the delight of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, Member
of Parliament (MP) from Eastern Parliamentary constituency, Ninong Ering today took
oath as union minister. He was given the charge as Minister of State for Minority
President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ering at
a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan which was attended, among others, by Vice President
Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi,
Cabinet Ministers and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj. Born on January 3, 1959
at Pasighat in East Siang district, Ering was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha in 2009.
Son of late Daying Ering, the Nahru’s cabinet colleague, Ering was the Deputy Speaker
of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 2002 to 2004.
With the induction of Ering in the Union Cabinet, the North Eastern region gets two
new ministers of state in Union cabinet, another being Lakhimpur (Assam) MP Ranee
Narah who was given the charge of tribal affairs ministry.
In a major reshuffle Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inducted 17 new faces in his cabinet
and altogether 22 ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy.
Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Governor General (Retd) J.J. Singh and Chief Minister
Nabam Tuki today congratulated Ninong Ering for being inducted in Union Cabinet.
Governor said that induction is a matter of pride for people of the Frontier State.
The Governor expressed his confidence that with his years of experience and wisdom,
Ering will live up to the expectations of the common people and continue to serve
the State and Nation.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who is presently on his tour to Tawang said, “It is a
dream come true”. While expressing his gratitude to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan
Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress Youth leader Rahul Gandhi for selection
of Ering, Tuki said the Centre’s soft corner for Arunachal Pradesh has been testified
by this noble deed.
The CM hoped that Ering with his vast experience and acumen will prove his mettle
with so many innovative ideas to uplift the minority section of the country. In context
of Arunachal Pradesh, the CM said that with Ering’s induction the state will benefit
a lot. “I am confident Ering will live upto the people’s expectations”, Tuki added.
Former MLA Nani Ribia also congratulated Ninon Ering for his unduction in the Union
council of Ministers.
“It is not his achievement but it is a glorious day for every people of North East.
He has created a new chapter in the political history of Arunachal Pradesh in particular
and North East in general,” said Ribia. Ering has to play a major role in all round
development of state and nation, the former MLA said.
PTI Adds from New Delhi: Salman Khurshid was today named the new External Affairs
Minister and Veerappa Moily given Petroleum portfolio in the major reshuffle of the
Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The much talked about revamp of the government that has been facing criticism over
perceived policy paralysis and corruption allegations saw Pawan Kumar Bansal getting
Railways while S Jaipal Reddy lost the high profile Petroleum and moved to Science
and Technology and Earth Sciences.
With the coming Winter session of Parliament expected to be stormy, Parliamentary
Affairs, which was handled by Bansal, has also been given to Congress veteran Kamal
Nath who will continue to have the Urban Development portfolio. Water Resources,
which was also handled by Bansal, goes to Harish Rawat in his elevated rank as Cabinet
Shashi Tharoor, who had to quit as Minister of State as External Affairs in April
2010 in the wake of allegations of wrongdoing in buying stakes in an IPL team, has
made a comeback as MoS in Human Resources Development.
The new faces brought in included actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi who has been
made MoS with Independent charge in the Ministry of Tourism while Manish Tewari has
been given I&B, a portfolio held by Ambika Soni who resigned yesterday.
Former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman and veteran leader from Karnataka K Rahman Khan
made a re-entry into the government as Minority Affairs Minister, a portfolio held
by Khurshid. In UPA-I, Khan was a Minister of State.
Surprisingly, Khurshid, who also held the portfolio of Law, got the high-profile
External Affairs Ministry despite the controversy surrounding him over allegations
of financial bungling by a trust run by him and his wife in Uttar Pradesh.
Dinsha Patel was promoted as Cabinet Minister in Mines Ministry in the reshuffle
and expansion that raised the strength of the Council of Ministers to 78 from 67.
Rahul Gandhi, who was earlier speculated to join the government, kept away with the
Prime Minister saying the young leader wants to strengthen the party, notwithstanding
his request to become a minister.
The exercise, which the Prime Minister said was "hopefully, probably the last" before
next Lok Sabha polls, was confined to Congress party barring the inclusion of Tariq
Anwar of NCP as a Minister of State.
Significant changes have also been made by upgrading three young Ministers of State,
considered close to Rahul Gandhi, and giving them independent charge.
They are Jyotiraditya Scindia who has been given Power and Sachin Pilot Corporate
Affairs, both of which were held by Moily in Cabinet rank. Jitendra Singh, who was
MoS in Home Ministry, has been given Youth and Sports Affairs.
The Prime Minister took away portfolios from ministers holding more than one charge
and filled in the vacancies created by exit of six Trinamool Ministers, death of
Vilasrao Deshmukh and resignation of eight Ministers including S M Krishna, Virbhadra
Singh, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and Subodh Kant Sahai.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal shed HRD portfolio to M M Pallam Raju, who has been
promoted in the reshuffle. Earlier, Raju was Minister of State for Defence.
Another significant promotion has been made in the case of Ashwani Kumar who has
been upgraded to the Cabinet rank and given the charge of the Law Ministry held by
Yet another upgradation has been made in the case of Harish Rawat, who was overlooked
for the post of Chief Minister of Uttarakhand earlier this year and had revolted.
From MoS in Agriculture Ministry, he has now been made a Cabinet Minister for Water
The other promotions are Dinsha Patel from MoS to Cabinet Minister in the Mines Ministry
and Ajay Maken, who has been shifted from Sports to Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
Veteran Congress leader and MoS K H Muniyappa has been shifted from Railways to Micro,
Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Bharatsinh Solanki from Railways to Drinking
Water and Sanitation with Independent charge.
The other Ministers of State who have been shifted are D Purandeswari (from HRD to
Commerce and Industry), Jitin Prasada (from Road Transport to Defence and HRD), S
Jagathrakshakan (from I&B to New and Renewable Energy), K C Venugopal (from Power
to Civil Aviation) and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla who gets additional
charge of Planning.
MoS External Affairs E Ahamed has shed the additional charge of HRD while R P N Singh
has been shifted from Petroleum to Home.
Cabinet Minister Vayalar Ravi retains Overseas Indian Affairs, Kapil Sibal Communications
and IT, Jairam Ramesh Rural Development while Selja has been shifted from HUPA to
Social Justice and Empowerment.
The new faces who have been inducted as MoS are K Suresh (Labour and Employment),
Tariq Anwar (Agriculture and Food Processing Industries), K J Suryaprakash Reddy
(Railways), Ranee Narah (Tribal Affairs), Adhir Ranjan Chowdhry (Railways), A H Khan
Chowdhry (Health and Family Welfare), S Satyanarayana (Road Transport and Highways),
Ninong Ering (Minority Affairs), Deepa Dasmunsi (Urban Development), P Balram Naik
(Social Justice and Empowerment), K Kruparani (Communications and IT) and Lalchand
Railways portfolio was being held by C P Joshi as additional charge since Trinamool
Congress quit the government last month. PTI
Inside story of Arunachal media
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Often people in Arunachal complain about local media being not
so effective like their counterparts from rest of the country. In this regard, various
reasons could be attributed for this ineffectiveness of the media in Arunachal Pradesh.
By virtue of working as a journalist in the state for the last 3 years, I had done
my own assessment in this regard and zeroed down some reasons for ineffectiveness
of the local media.
The first and foremost deterring factor which puts off journalist is hostility towards
media persons. The July 15 attack on associate editor of this daily Tongam Rina is
one prime example. During recent various protest rally organized by civil society
against attack on Tongam Rina, I had the chance to speak with many budding journalists.
Majority of them told me that incident had deeply affected their psyche and they
do not see a future for themselves in media.
“I took up journalism against the wishes of my parents. But attack on Rina has shaken
us and we are having second thought about taking up journalism as a career,” told
a young mass communication student. The second reason is fear of backlash from government
agencies. Majority of young journalists have their family members working in various
government departments. In most occasions it is seen that whenever any journalists
exposes the corrupt act, the government agencies give punishment posting to their
relatives as a retaliation. Besides many budding journalist fears that in future
if there is any opportunity to join the government service, they may be victimized
for writing against the corrupt system. Because of the meager salary and insecure
nature of private job, many young journalists do not foresee long future for themselves
in media industry. “Majority of us had joined media with the aim of contributing
something for the society. However constant threat, abuse and adding to it the job
security issue deter us from becoming a hardcore journalist,” shared a young journalist.
Unlike other profession, media industry is very different and it needs to be professional
run by someone with proper journalism background. But in our state, most of the newspaper
owners who are either businessmen or politicians themselves become editor or designate
one of their family members as editor. On and off, conflict between journalists and
owners of media houses takes place over the content of news. In the past many bright
journalists left media because they could not bear the interference of their unprofessional
owners who wanted them to work breaking the ethics of journalism. And if the media
owners do not mend their way of working, no hardcore journalists will continue working
in the state. In such situation, left with no choice, the journalists usually join
government service and become part of the system.
Roing-Anini road reopens
ROING, Oct 28: After days of work, the Border Road Task Force (BRTF) has reopened
the 232 km long Roing-Anini highway after it remained closed following landslides
and damages to bridges at several points along the route caused by heavy showers
The last phase of road repair work was completed today at 11 am after BRTF forces
under the command of Brigadier Arjun Rawat, Chief Engineer, Project Udayak successfully
cut down a diversion route to bypass a damaged bridge at 6km point from Roing.
BRTF Officer Commanding 62 RCC B Kishan said it took 13 days to repair all the major
damage points along the highway to finally open the road for traffic, after the last
spell of monsoon rains ceased on October 13.
“It is a record that we could reopen the road weeks ahead of the schedule,” he said.
While it could have taken months for repair, the reconstruction work took a slow
pace following unhindered flow of men and machineries for fixing the damages. For
the task to be accomplished within short time, AK Mishra, Commander, 752 BRTF gave
the go ahead for diverting all the resources engaged for Damroh-Etalin road, Hunli-Desali
road and Roing-Bhismaknagar NH52 highway to Roing-Anini highway, the BRTF sources
said. “About 400 labourers supported with 3 proclains and 8 heavy earth moving
vehicles were simultaneously engaged at Roing, Hunli (90km), Ryalli (133km), Angolin
(169km) and Anini (232km),” OC BRTF said.
The road connectivity from Roing to Anini had remained cut off since June, after
mid monsoon rain washed mud, rocks and debris onto the road at several points along
the highway. Further, the three waves of heavy monsoon rains in September 12-24,
October 2-6 and October 10-12 left a trail of devastation along the highway triggering
food crisis in the hills. "Besides support from senior officers in BRTF, the organization
also received encouragement from local authorities," said Kishan. On Thursday, Roing
MLA Laeta Umbrey and Anini Deputy Commissioner Tamune Miso had visited the damaged
bridge at 6km point to inspect the final phase of work done by BRTF.
Seminar on Purvottar Ki Loksampada: Lok Aur Sambhavnayein
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: A two-day national seminar on “Purvottar Ki Loksampada: Lok Aur
Sambhavnayein” organized by the Department of Hindi, Rajiv Gandhi University was
inaugurated at the Rono Hills today.
In a first of its kind, six books were released during the inaugural session which
included “Tulsi Ka Adhunik Sandarbh” and “Bhasha, Sahitya aur Sanskriti” (collection
of essays) written by Dr. Harish Kr. Sharma, Associate Prof. Dept. of Hindi, RGU,
“Manipur: Hindi Ke Vimarsh” (critical analysis) and “Kshitij” (translation of Manipuri
stories) by Dr. E Vijayalaxmi, Asst. Prof, Dept of Hindi, Manipur University, Imphal,
“Sakshi Hai Pibal” (collection of stories) by Dr. Joram Yalam Nabam, Asst. Prof,
Doimukh College, Itanagar, and “Dadu Panth: Sahitya Aur Samaj Darshan” (critical
analysis) by Dr. Oken Lego, Head and Asst. Prof. RGU.
Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Devraj stated that folklore originated and
still survived with the occupation of cultivation. Folklore was a properly designed
system for resolving day-to-day problems in terms of administration, medication,
and cultivation and as a whole to survive balancing the relationships among human
kind, animal species and the environment and forests. Folklore is the constitution
of a full form of education. Only getting education does increase our literacy but
education along with knowledge of folklore make educated individuals that reflects
a sound behavior.
Prof. Devraj said that while there was a critique of Asia not having a tradition
of classical documented history, folklore has always been a way of documenting history
as examples from Assam and Manipur reveal.
He hoped that the seminar will break the myth of folklore as just consisting of five
elements and said that we need to question if we should neglect the richness of this
whole body of knowledge, because in folklore we find a whole system of values and
not just a collection and passage of information. Pointing out the rich body of
research done by the AITS, he expressed hope that the University would consider the
collaboration of the AITS and the Department of Hindi in the translation of this
documented knowledge so that there is wider access to it.
Prof. Tamo Mibang, Director of the Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS)
in his speech as Chairperson of the function said that indigenous knowledge system
originates from our cultural heritage. To regain knowledge, wisdom and old civilization,
one has to revisit to the villages.
RGU Vice Chancellor (Acting), Prof. K C Kapoor attending as the Chief Guest congratulated
all the writers for the books released today on various issues pertaining to tribal
communities during the release ceremony. He also urged to improve the quality of
research on the occasion.
Dr. Oken Lego (HOD), Dept. of Hindi welcomed all the dignitaries who came from different
Universities across India and hoped that the deliberations would prove fruitful to
the cause of folklore. The program started with lighting of the ceremonial lamp by
Prof. K C Kapoor and Prof. Tamo Mibang followed by welcome song performed by a group
of students from the Department of Hindi.
Cash reward stands
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The cash reward of Rs 2 lakh announced by the Arunachal Pradesh
Police for giving information or clue leading to arrest of the assailant/s of Tongam
Rina, Associate Editor of The Arunachal Times still stands. The identity of the informer/s
will be kept secret. The informer/s may contact Capital SP at tele. numbers : 09436040006
Eminent writers inspire VKV students
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The high achievers of class VIII students got a chance to meet
the eminent writers of Arunachal Pradesh Tokong Pertin and Yamuna Binny during Prachodaya
Shibir of 2012 yesterday. Both the writer duo guided and motivated the students of
VKV in creative thinking and writing by their charming speech in the lecture session
of the camp.
They invited the students to meet them on any second Sunday in their literary society
for further discussion on the composition of poems, short stories etc, according
to a VKV, Itanagar release.
Wrestler Riba wins gold
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Budding Arunachalee wrestler Dada Riba won a gold medal in the
Inter BSC (Boys Sports Centre) Army Competition held in Pune from October 24 to 26.
Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Wrestling Association president Ruto Techi and general
secretary Dari Lokam lauded the consistent performance of Riba.
Gaon burahs allege wrong demarcation of Bhutan-Arunachal boundary
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: All Arunachal Pradesh Goan Burah Welfare Association (APGBWA) claimed
that 22 Arunachal villages along Arunachal-Bhutan border fell unknowingly within
the territory of Bhutan due to wrong demarcation of boundary. The fact was revealed
by the villagers before the visiting team of the Gaon Bura Association in Tawang
on October 25 last, APGBWA claimed in a release and urged the state government to
look into the matter seriously,
The Association also opposed the temporary appointment of Goan Burah of Tawang only
for three years by the District Administration. It claimed that Gaon Buraha should
be appointed for lifetime on the basis of his/her merit and Assam Frontier Regulation
Act of 1945.
The Association further urged that State Government to provide all facilities to
GBs of Arunachal Pradesh, especially to Tawang district, as per provision.
EUDSBA to conduct legal awareness campaign Prafulla Kaman
PASIGHAT, Oct 28: The first ever general conference of East and Upper Siang District
Bar Association (EUDSBA), which was constituted on July 10 this year with the objective
to unite the serving advocates of the two Siang districts, was conducted at Pasighat
The meeting chaired by the its president Tony Pertin, discussed on various laws
and legal issues, including ethics of serving advocates and Advocates Act-1961. The
importance of codification of local customary laws in Adi societies was also discussed
in datails. Stressing on creating legal awareness among masses, the meeting further
decided to organize legal awareness campaign in various places of the two Siang districts
The meeting was attended by representatives from Bar Association of Itanagar Permanent
Bench of Gauhati High Court.
Two houses gutted at Ziro
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Two houses were completely gutted in a horrifying fire accident
at SP Colony, Hapoli today.
The fire that broke out from a SPT labour barrack at around 12.10 pm spread to the
house of one Hage Khoda, a Work Charge staff of Power Department and gutted it too.
No possessions could be retrieved from both the Houses as occupants were not at
home when the fire broke out. Hage Khoda is stated to be out of station during the
The timely intervention of fire service personnel prevented the fire from spreading
further to the nearby houses. The cause of the fire is being investigated and the
losses of property assessed. There is no report of casualty, the report added.
Solve public grievances: JYSU
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Jigo Yego Students Union (JYSU) has urged the concern authorities
to ensure regular state transport service on Gensi-Likabali road.
The state transport department had introduced the bus service 10 years ago on this
road but instead of giving solace, the irregular service adds woes to already suffering
people of Gensi area. The people are now travelling by Sumo which charges exorbitant
amount of Rs 250 per head as bus fare.
The union also urged the authorities to post doctors to Gensi CHC and ensure regular
supply to electricity to the Gensi town. It further appealed the local MLA to redress
Parents must know value of culture : Sonam
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Parents must realize the values of arts and culture and should
encourage their wards to take participate in cultural events and competitions, said
Jalley Sonam Chairman Arunachal Pradesh Building and Others Construction Workers
Welfare Board while inaugurating the Dance Arunachal Dance (DAD) Little Master on
Saturday at Nikim Niya Hall.
Sonam also said that young kids should take advantage to expose their talents. First
ever DAD little master was sponsored by Dawblit Public School Rono Village Doimukh
and Rose Valley Happiness Unlimited. Sonam was accompanied by Soni Degio, Vice Chairman
Arunachal Pradesh Medicinal Plant Board.
105 days have passed. The culprits involved in the July 15 attack on The Arunachal
Times associate editor Tongam Rina are still at large.
(This letter is dedicated to ailing Sir Moge Doji.)
Sir, it has been one of my greatest desire to spend a few valuable moment with a
singing icon of Galo songs like you. Since when I start listening songs, you are
the one whom I heartily believe as a singing icon of Galo Modern Songs. Even though
some of your mesmerizing songs are out of my reach to feel its actual metaphor, but
my longing to know about it is fortunately fulfilled by some village folks. And when
I come with a meaning, it really heart touching.
Some of your evergreen songs like :- "Dinyi e nyile la..", "yegap hika mabe dola.."
and lot more which I think is not enough to enlist here, are the songs that I still
do keeps on listening. And when you combined with other icons like Marto Kamdak,
Jomnya Siram etc, it's a fire set on rain.
On your tough and uninvited circumstances, my words seems to be fruitless attempt
to beguile an icon like you. But as a fan, I can't refrain myself to bewail on your
But still I heartily believe that you will make a way out of it and will add few
more ballads on your musical library.
I, on behalf of all your fans, pray almighty god to spare your valuable life for
all of us.
Pakli Lombi and fans
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Let development takes place
Through the columns of your esteemed daily, I would like to draw the attention of
the authorities regarding payment of compensation to the land affected people of
on-going Hollongi-Itanagar four lane highway road project.
Majority of land affected people have welcomed the four lane road project for better
communication in state Capital and they are supporting such development activities.
As per the Govt order, public hearing was done in Oct last year, one month notice
served regarding claim and objection, high-level committee formed, therefore, there
is no question of seeking extra time again for claim and objection.
Therefore, I would like to suggest the DC that any individual complaint or grievance
regarding payment of compensation should be investigated in individual level instead
of making it a public issue which may hamper development process. Such cases should
be taken up separately for solution so that development work goes on smoothly.
SRPL Colony, Chandranagar
Education and employment
There is a need to enhance participation of Muslims in governance to increase their
participation in the education space, says a recent report - Education And Employment
Among Muslims In India by the Observer Research Foundation.
The report finds that as compared to other religions, Muslims nurse a deeper feeling
of being meted out unfair treatment and this sense of discrimination is especially
strong in the employment and education spaces. Participation of Muslims is relatively
low in the education space, but has improved in recent years. However, the situation
is particularly poor in urban areas, especially for Muslim males.
The participation of Muslims in higher education is particularly poor but once they
cross the threshold of school education, and other factors that affect participation
in higher education, the deficits for Muslims decline significantly. Therefore, a
focus on eligibility is as critical for Muslims, if not more, as it is for other
marginalized groups: Consequently, the links between secondary and tertiary education
are quite important for the Muslims, especially because the drop-out rates are quite
high after middle school;
While limited access to schools and discrimination is not ruled out, household endowments
along with location play a critical role in determining the participation of Muslims
in the education space. There is some evidence to suggest that the community does
not fully appreciate the rewards of education. Muslims are predominantly engaged
in self-employment and their participation as regular workers, especially in the
tertiary sector (that has grown in recent years) in urban areas is low.
Ajay, Siram meet ailing Doji, plead for support
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The Arunachal Cultural Society chairman Kipa Ajay along with deputy
director art and culture, Govt of AP Jomnya Siram today paid a visit to ailing singer
Moge Doji, who is admitted at a hospital, Dibrugarh.
The duo appealed members of civil society and state government to come out and support
Doji in this hours of need. “We have lost many popular artistes like Abe Perme, Taruk
Ngukir, Taken Ngomdir and Tanyum Haji in the past. These artistes entertained us
whole life but died without getting any help and recognization,” stated Kipa Ajay.
He further added, “Moge Doji had sung song in various dialects. He had immensely
contributed in the popularizing tribal culture and tradition. It is time everyone
should come forward and help him.” He was felicitated on 29th February by Arunachal
Guild For Cultural Society during legendary artiste felicitation function held at
Moge Doji hailing from West Siang district is very popular figure in the field of
music. He graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat in 1980. He recorded
song like Modi Tolok kose kole and Takar Tesinm for AIR Dibrugarh in 1975. He had
rare opportunities to sing in tandem with late Dr. B. Hazarika in 1974 at Aalo. His
popular songs include Si gi moko si Kuena, dinyie nyilela, lune bane, tani sisang
yenam si, siang ane. Besides Galo, he has sung for other tribes including Nyishi
and Adi. Moge has recorded around 140 songs till date.
Holy mission from a holy place
TAWANG, Oct 28: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki this morning flagged off the Clean Arunachal
campaign at the Galden Namgyal Lhatse Monastery, popularly known as Tawang Monastery.
“We are starting holy mission from a holy place. This is a pious beginning and we
should ensure success of the mission,” he said while giving a clarion call to the
people of Arunachal to religiously follow the mission of clean and green Arunachal.
In his address to the students of Tawang based schools-Little Star, Govt Middle (PWD
Colony), Govt Middle (Khremthang), Govt Middle (Kakaling) and activists of Environment
Protection Society and Eco Wildlife & Pollution Control Society, Tuki said that the
message of the mission should be followed in letter and spirit by all and sundry.
He asked the educated youths to involve their parents and neighbours in the clean
and green mission and to emulate practices of developed countries where people themselves
take part in cleanliness drives without government’s aid.
While stating that tourism in Arunachal begins from Tawang, Tuki urged the citizens
to preserve their innate quality of hospitality along with cleanliness to attract
Tourism Parliamentary Secretary Passang Dorjee Sona said cleanliness and tourism
are two sides of the same coin and exhorted the youths to take lead role in the clean
Earlier, welcoming all Tourism Secretary Sonam Chombey said that the Chief Minister
is taking personal interest in promoting the clean Arunachal mission and not limiting
it to tokenism kind of campaign.
Later, Tuki administered the pledge of clean Arunachal to the students, environmental
activists and all present.
The students and activists then carried out a social service by cleaning the premises
of the 400 hundred years old monastery.
A Government of India initiative under the name ‘Clean India Campaign’, the mission
is being implemented all over the State. The mission has already been launched in
Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri and West Kameng districts.
UD Minister Rajesh Tacho, Parliamentary Secretary for Art and Culture Tsewang Dondup,
Parliamentary Secretary for PWD T N Thongdok, OSD to CM Dr Hatobin Mai, DC Kemo Lollen,
SP S N Mosobi attended the program among others.
Governor pays courtesy visit to the family of Late Khandu
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh General (Retd) J.J. Singh made
a courtesy visit to the family members of former Chief Minister Late Dorjee Khandu
at Lemberdung, near Tawang today.
In a traditional Buddhist way of paying tributes to former Chief Minister, the Governor
offered ‘Khandha’ and lighted butter lamp at the under construction memorial of Late
Interacting with Late Khandu wives and children including State Tourism Minister
Shri Pema Khandu, the Governor stated that Late Khandu was a one of the most beloved
sons of the State, who had a vision for development of the State. Most of important
developments in the State in term of power, tourism and road communication were initiated
by Late Khandu. He added that onus is on all Arunachalees to carry forward his good
work and Raj Bhavan will do everything to make his dreams come true.
Joined by the immediate family members of the Late Khandu ji, the Governor offered
prayers for eternal peace of the departed soul. (PRO to Governor)
Draw of 3rd Yaja Waii Memorial T20 Cricket C’ship 2012 held
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The drawing of lots ceremony for the 3rd Yaja Waii Memorial T20
Cricket Championship 2012, which will be held in Seppa in East Kameng district from
November 21, took place here today.
All the 12 participating teams are divided into four pools of three teams. Four teams,
including defending champion Pacha Higlanders, champion of first edition of the championship
The Gorkhas, Runners up of second edition of the Championship Papu Vikings and Semifinalist
Pare Rangers made direct entry into the championship through wild cards.
Meanwhile, a formal pre-match meeting of the organizing committee on logo, jersey
and kits and flags etc was held under the chairmanship of Championship Commissioner
Dahey Sangno in a city based hotel today.
The meeting was attended by the captains of all the 12 participating teams and organizing
committee members Raju Gyadi, Akhiya Pordung and Takar Yangda.
ACA observes first foundation day
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The first foundation day of Arunachal Carrom Association (ACA)
was observed at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun today.
The function was attended by Local MLA Techi Kaso, Director of Sports and Youth Affairs
DK Dinglow, APYC vice president Nyamar Karbak, Arunachal Weightlifting Association
(AWA) president Abraham K Techi, general secretary Daniel Teli, Arunachal Karate
Association (AKA) general secretary L Marik, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Kaso advised the ACA to make efforts for promotion of the
sport in the state. While responding to the request of ACA president Dikbi Gangkak
for providing help to the association, Kaso advised him to make an estimate to be
routed through sports directorate on the basis of which he will approach the authority
concerned for early release of the necessary fund. In case of any delay in releasing
the fund, Kaso assured to extend all possible help from his own side for conducting
the proposed state Carrom Championship scheduled in December next.
SYA Director Dinglow suggested the ACA to submit the budget estimate to the Sports
Authority of Arunachal (SAA) for necessary financial and other assistance.
APYC vice president Karbak, in his brief speech, informed about initiative taken
by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki for all round development of games and sports sector
in the state.
Earlier, ACA president Gangkak described the poor financial status of the association
and urged the dignitaries present on the occasion for extending help to the association
by contributing generously to whatever most needed.
Women Empowerment and Leadership training program
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Itanagar Diocesan Empowerment Association (IDEA) organized a ‘Women
Empowerment and Leadership’ training program at Don Bosco School, Ziro.
The day-long program was divided into two sessions.
Sr. Mercy while emphasizing on women empowerment in the morning session dwelt at
length on the women’s rights enshrined in the Constitution. The resource persons
Sr. Mercy along with Sr. Prema Tirkey screened documentary film and movies on women
empowerment successful woman like Kiran Bedi which motivated the participating women.
The afternoon session on Leadership was conducted by Sanjit Basumatary, IDEA Project
Coordinator. The resource person encouraged the women to come up with the spirit
of leadership with qualities. He stated that women are not deprived by the Govt.
But it is the society which deprives them, Basumatary opined. Women can do a lot
with the same competency as their male counterparts, he said. Documentary film on
women empowerment and good leadership quality were shown to the participants.
Fr. Xavier Mushahary also attended the program and encouraged the women of Ziro Valley.
All together 85 participants took part for the program.
‘In search of youth talent’
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The Four-day long Youth Meet with the theme “In search of Youth
Talent” conducted by St. Mary Parish Youth at St. Mary Church Itanagar came to an
end with MLA Techi Kaso giving away the prizes to the participants from Itanagar,
Jollang, Chimpu and Gohpur.
Speaking on the occasion, Techi Kaso said the power of young people should be the
channelized of peace and forgiveness. Citing example from his personal life he said,
forgiveness is the key to living a happy and prosperous life. The state capital would
be much more beautiful if young people could shed away the elements of exorbitant
fine and other demands in cases of accidents and conflicts.
Tok Botum, the President of All Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Union (APCU) said “Today’s
young people are shying away from their culture and tradition. He said young people
are reluctant to speak in their own dialect which will cause serious erosion of traditional
Fr. Tom Karthik Parish Priest St. Mary Parish speaking on the occasion said the parents
and elders need to spend valuable time with young people in order to shape their
The valedictory function was attended by S P Hibu Tamang, S P Kime Aya, General Secretary
APCU Taw Tebin, and Executive Members of APCU from East Arunachal Pradesh, parents
and well wishers of St. Mary’s Parish.
St. Mary Parish Youth Meet 2012 was organised by Catholic Youth of Capital Complex
comprising of Itanagar, Jollang, Chimpu and Gohpur. It was a four-day program filled
with sports, literary and cultural events.
Earlier, the Youth Meet 2012 was inaugurated by D.K. Dinglow Director Sports & Youth
Affairs, Chimpu, Itanagar along with Nabam Vishal.
Bamin Nime, EAC Sagalee, Arun Panye General Secretary ANSU and N. Pingkup Protocol
Officer Arunachal Pradesh were some of the dignitaries, who attended various cultural
Yumlam Kaha, ACR chairperson Taring Mama and FCI officer Yumlam Achung were other
leaders of the society, who played important role to bring the youth of Capital region
for unity, peace and integrity.
The inaugural function was presided over by Rt. Rev. John Thomas Bishop of Itanagar.
East Siang DC takes stock of flood damages
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: The East Siang deputy commissioner R K Mishra along with additional
Deputy Commissioner S C Debnath, ZPM Namuk Taloh and HODs conducted an extensive
survey to assess the quantum of damages caused by recent flood triggered by heavy
downpour in Yagrung area recently. The heavy rain led to the huge loss of agricultural
and horticultural fields, besides loss of livestock and properties.
Later in a public meeting organized by the villagers at the village Dere (community
hall), DC Mishra interacted with the local officers, leaders, GBs and villagers.
In his address the DC stated that many ongoing projects have also been adversely
affected by the abrupt monsoon rains and cloud bursts in the district. He advised
village representatives to forward need based proposals for larger interests of the
common people and sought wholehearted cooperation and participation in restoration
works and other development activities being carried out by the district administration.
He sanctioned one lakh as a special relief package to the flood affected people and
assured to take initiative for maintenance and extension of the Dere from the MP
and MLA local area development funds.
Reacting to the memorandum submitted to him in the meeting, Mishra assured to entrust
one Circle Officer soon to ensure smooth and prompt administration in the area.
While strongly coming against the bandh culture the DC appealed the organization(s)
not to jeopardize the social fabric. Referring power supply management and utilities,
he stated that people should be more cooperative and extend their helps in power
supply generation, development and its distribution systems for a better future.
They should welcome outside investors voluntarily donating their lands for infrastructure
developments and industrial growth etc. Considering vast fertile lands in the area
he emphasized on tea cultivation for self prosperity in particular and economic growth
of the state as a whole.
While advising the teachers Mishra said they must have sense of responsibilities
to make the students worthy citizens for the state as well as for the nation and
exhorted the students to fully utilize the ample opportunities and facilities being
provided by the government urging to imbibe a sense of patriotism and concentrate
in studies, stated the DC Mishra in his speech.
Earlier Namukh Taloh in his brief deliberation highlighted various problems of the
locals and historic background of Yagrung village where the great warrior and freedom
fighter Matmur Jamoh was born who fought and killed the British officer Dr. Noel
GSU lambasts Govt, gives 15 days to fulfill demands
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Galo Students’ Union (GSU) has expressed strong resentment over
Govt’s alleged lack of interest in addressing the various problems and demands of
The union lamented that though it had been demanding the government for fulfillment
of its various demands since 2009, the issues were never taken up seriously. The
chief minister has failed to keep his words given to the union in January last by
not raising the issue of creation of Lower Subansiri district in the last Assembly
Session, GSU alleged in its memorandum to the Chief Miniser.
“We are extremely sad to state that you did not keep your word given to us by not
raising the issue for creation of Lower Siang District in the September, 2012 Assembly
Session,” a memorandum submitted to the chief minister by GSU said. GSU further said
that a one-point memorandum was submitted on September 19, but the Lower Siang issue
was never tabled for discussion on the floor of the house.
Besides the early creation of the Lower Siang district, GSU has been demanding for
up-gradation of District Hospital Aalo to General Hospital, infrastructure development
of various schools, multipurpose community hall at Donyi Polo Government College,
Kamki, NEC Road from Paka Rijo to Gogamukh, establishment of Sainik School in West
Siang District, revival of Nigmoi Fruit Processing Industry etc.
Meanwhile, GSU served 15 days ultimatum to the Government for fulfillment of the
demands in the greater interest of Galo Community in particular and Arunachal Pradesh
as a whole failing which GSU would be compelled to launch series of democratic agitations.
In another memorandum to education minister, the union also demanded construction
of auditorium at Donyi Polo Govt. College, Kamki, Reconstruction and Renovations
of Infrastructure of Various Government run Schools, including hostels for both girls
and boys of Govt. Hr. Sec. School, Aalo, Boys hostel of Govt. Sec. School, Maro of
Upper Subansiri, Construction of Teacher Quater at Govt. Primary School at Rikpu
Ronya Village, Posting of sufficient teachers at various schools of Galo inhibited
Arunachalee woman weightlifter Menu Tajo to represent India in Asian Weightlifting
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Arunachalee woman weightlifter Menu Tajo would be leaving for Yangon,
Myanmar to participate in the 19th Women Asian Weightlifting Championship representing
India on November 7.
Menu would compete in 53kg weight category instead of 48 kg as her weight category
has been raised before being selected for National Coaching Camp at NIS Patiala by
Indian Weightlifting Federation. Vidyavati Channu from Manipur is the other weightlifter
of her weight category participating in the championship which is beginning from
November 8 to 13.
Hailing from Chayang Tajo and presently staying at Naharlagun, Meno is the daughter
of Tanung Tajo and Damsap Tajo.
She won 3 silver medals each at Dirang NE Games and National Weightlifting Championship
in 2011, Arunachal Weightlifting Association general secretary Daniel Teli informed
in a release.
Baptism into Indian Forest Service
Nyalleescopy By Nyali Ete
A day in Jhajra Forest Range
It was the first ever field visit to Forest Range for 2008-2010 IFS (P) batch, our
batch. Surely, every one of us was really excited, elated and pretty curious as well,
ostensibly because, for many of us, it was a maiden visit to the forest and the fact
that we would finally trek the dense, woody vegetation, and might possibly encounter
some fauna filled us with moments of anxiousness, apprehensions and delight. Dressed
in dark-olive colored field dress, which we got stitched recently, all of us started
from our hostel at 8.30 o’clock in the morning. The IGNFA bus steadily meandered
through the Chakrata road. Also, Cameras started flashing at short intervals inside
Jhajra Forest Range falls within the administration of Dehradun Forest Division.
It’s located at a distance of 8 km from Dehradun. We reached the Guest House of the
Range at around 9.00 am. This Guest House was constructed way back in 1885, the remnant
of the colonial era; but the legacy as well as the witness to the beginning of scientific
forestry in India. In about 15 minutes, Sir Rabi Kumar briefed us as to why and for
what purpose the visit to the forest was important. He succinctly explained to us
what we were supposed to do. Basically, now onwards, he convinced us that we should
observe and feel forest closely: observing it by its crop composition, crown structure,
stratification, types of branches, stems, kinds of soil, and so on. They were very
essential to get into the nitty-gritty of forest management, and an inevitable knowledge,
Resource managers like us must be sufficiently acquainted with. Thereafter, Mam Anu
Nagar added some more inputs.
Now, we were there inside the forest, beginning with observation and identification
of plant species, including various management practices and anything that is unique,
fauna, etc. The entire batch was divided into 6 small groups. So, members of each
group would do the task together, though moving beside other groups. We entered the
forest through 4th compartment and walked ahead. The forest was predominantly of
Sal (Shorearobusta). It was a moist deciduous forest.
In the junction between 4th& 2nd compartments, we turned left. Just across the road,
along the boundary of the 2nd compartment, a cattle-proof trench had been dug and
Agave sp. in staggered manner had also been planted in the ridge/raised portion of
the trench. It had been done so for protecting the regeneration in the 2nd compartment
from cattle and wild animals. Towards the end, near a fire-line, which moves almost
perpendicular to the road, Dendrocalamus sp. had also been planted along-with the
Agave sp. The fire-lines clearly demarcated the compartments into smaller units.
They’d been created to arrest the spread of forest fires from one compartment to
another, a proven fire management practice.
The upper canopy was occupied by Sal crown. The close associates of Sal such as Terminaliatomentosa,
Terminaliabellerica, Mallotusphilipensis were also present; but they occupied the
mid-storey and in lesser density. The Sal at some patches, particularly in some portions
of 5th compartment was attacked by the notorious borer, Heterocerambyxspinicornis.
However, it wasn’t easily identifiable. The tree remained healthy from outside, and
it required close observation of yellow-colored secretion on the trunk, a manifestation
of response of Sal to the infestation, to ascertain its infestation. Further ahead,
the density of Mallotusphilipensis was more and taller too, while the Sal density
decreased, and whatever number was present, they looked weak and stunted. It was
obviously because of attack by the Sal borer on the Sal, and consequent increase
in the incidence of solar radiation in certain portions as a result of death of these
infested Sal individuals that the Mallotusphilipensis was more and taller. Wild turmeric
plant, bhalukaja, Maleciaauriculata predominantly occupied the ground vegetation.
Maleciaauriculata was a woody climber; but it looked like a shrub with woody stem
standing straight on the ground, at least until the tip of the plant gradually metamorphosed
into climber and beginning to lean towards the adjoining trees for support. Besides,
at some places, all of the bhalukaja plants were dead, while new shoots were coming
up from the old stumps. Rabi sir explained that it was because of controlled burning
done some time prior to summer season during which they had been burned and subsequently
We then trekked along a rivulet. It contained no water, even though it was rainy
season. Nevertheless, there were ample evidences of the characteristics of the rivulet.
The velocity of the flow of water must be really high and turbulent as was vividly
visible from the damages done to Gabian structures- spurs constructed along the banks
of this rivulet to streamline the direction as well as velocity of flow of the water.
The associates of Sal along the bank of the rivulet slightly changed. We encountered
more of Syzygiumcumini (Jamun tree) and Terminalia sp. Mallotusphilipensis was nearly
absent. In addition, the forest would give the look of a mono crop of Sal to a layman;
but many other plant species were also identified. Though a scientifically managed
forest, it certainly was no less than any natural forest. Some of the other major
plant species found were: Murrayakoenigii; Albizia-procera; Costusspeciosus; Kydiacalycyna;
Glycosma-pentaphyllum; Cassia tora; Jatrophacurcas; Sepiumserviferum; Lantana camara;
Acacia pinnata; Vitexnegundo; etc.
Last but not the least, mention of the foot-prints or pug marks of some wild carnivores
spotted on our trek is important. We couldn’t identify them; however, some of us
were excited about that. Well, the exhaustive tracking of about 10 km in about 5
hrs was the highlight of our first field visit. Our association with the forest and
its realities and management has already been begun. The experience was awesome and
would linger on in my memory through the times.
Field Visit to Barkot Forest Range
We visited Barkot Forest Range of the Dehradun Division as a part of practical for
Silvicultural practices course and also to equip ourselves with the first hand exposure
of the field situation in the management of Silvicultural practices. We reached Barkot
Rest House around 10 am. After a cup of tea, the day’s program began. The Divisional
Forest Officer, Dehradun, Gangte, an IFS officer of 1996 batch joined us.
In the beginning, Rabi Kumar Sir gave a brief idea about activities we were all
supposed to do: close observation of the tree, its phenology; forest floor, including
the soil condition and litter; natural regeneration; evidence of wildlife; etc. Thereafter,
we boarded the bus and proceeded slowly through the Tropical moist deciduous sal
forest. The sal trees were profusely flowering.
The very first patch of the forest was Compartment#1, also called Sail Kot, which
derived its name from the local name of Terminaliatomentosa, which might have been
sufficiently distributed in the past along-with the sal in the area. Even today,
we could see quite a few number of Terminaliatomentosa individuals there. However,
as per the erstwhile working plan prescriptions, the entire range had been worked
upon and managed under the Silvicultural system of Conversion to Uniform. Naturally,
the trees were fairly similar in height, bole and perhaps age and quality also, and
predominantly of sal obviously.
Within a distance of about 200 m from the Rest House, a large-sized pit with a dimension
of 20 ft × 20 ft ×10 ft had been dug up just beside the right-hand side of the road.
Mr. Gangte informed us that the pit was being used for preparing compost. Leaves
of sal would be collected from the forest floor from the entire area and dumped into
the pit. A good amount of Farm Yard Manure (FYM), earthworms and water would be added
and then left as such for about 5-6 months. Through anaerobic conditions in the pit,
the leaves would decompose and, thus would produce the compost.
From the initial experience, the compost so obtained had been of very high quality.
The pit of that dimension would produce around 50 quintal. He further informed that
this activity had been leased out to private individual, who, in turn would give
the department a nominal fee of Re 1/quintal, though the private individual would
sell at Rs. 4/kg. Anyways, he said, “It is helping the department in controlling
the forest fire. The litter which readily serves as the fuel for fire is removed
without much cost and labor to the department by these contractors. The department
is able to use its man-power in various other works. So, it’s good only.”
From here, we went ahead and stopped at the tri-junction of the forest road and a
100ft fire line. Along the road, we found a strip of teak plantation on the right-hand
side of the road. These teak trees weren’t so vigorous and many were infested by
leaf skeletonizer. We got off the bus at the tri-junction and had a discussion for
sometimes. We discussed about the consequences of teak being planted there. Rabi
sir told that teak being a strong light demander, so was the sal, the two wouldn’t
co-exist. One would always be detrimental to the proper growth of the other.
We trekked through the fire line: very well-maintained and properly managed to prevent
any fire-hazard in the forest. We also stopped briefly at a Research plot of 50 ha,
fenced all around and dedicated to study the natural regeneration of the sal, being
funded by the World Bank. The study was being done under the supervision of Silvicultural
Division, headquartered at Haldwani. Thereafter, Mr. Gangte showed us the works being
done under the Integrated Forest Protection Scheme, a centrally-funded scheme, in
which the Dehradun division had taken up ‘Lantana Eradication Program’ 3 years back.
He told us that the lantana should be cut below the collar region so that new shoots
wouldn’t emerge again; otherwise, many new shoots would come up vigorously, if cut
above the collar region. “It’s better not removing lantana than cutting them above
the collar region to eradicate”, he reiterated. Further ahead, he showed us the place
where the lantana had been completely removed recently using the same technique,
which until last year was full of lantana. He sounded pretty satisfied narrating
the eradication activities and expressed hopes that lantana wouldn’t come up again.
We came to an old, dilapidated, erstwhile Rest House constructed during 1892-94.
It remained useful till 1992, until the terrorists of Khalistan movement occupied
it and destroyed it. Mr. Gangte had taken an interest to renovate it, and also got
Rs. 12 lakhs sanctioned for the same.
From this point, Mr. Gangte left for attending other official works, we continued
our march through the forest. We reached the Bibiwala compartment, where 50 ha area
had been identified for Aided Natural Regeneration, the work had already commenced
from 2005. Various management activities were undertaken to assist the natural regeneration
to come up like demarcating the area by digging cattle proof trenches along the boundary;
soil and water conservation measures; seedling coppicing; singling of shoots for
vigorous growth of new shoots; fire protection measures like control burning; inspection
lines; etc. Rabi sir informed that physical enumeration of each and every individual
tree had been carried out in the beginning. The works were periodically monitored
and treatment plans prepared accordingly. Yes, we could observe lot of natural regeneration,
many of them were already established. Surprisingly, in this 50 ha area, I could
hardly find any Mallotusphilipennsistree. Even the sal trees were less in number,
and instead lots of Pterospermum individuals were present, including great number
of its seedlings on the ground along-with sal seedlings. In fact, sal seedlings were
far and few in between compared to Pterospermum seedlings. I discussed it with Rabi
sir. He told that not only top canopy of sal; but also the middle canopy should be
removed to ensure proper penetration of sunlight to the forest floor for natural
regeneration to be successful. He added that since the area was absent of Mallotus,
which forms the middle canopy in the sal forest, the natural regeneration was successful.
Hereafter, we had our lunch by the side of a small river. Our program ended here.
After debriefing session, we returned to IGNFA.
3 months of Foundation Course (FC) in LBSNAA got finished by the 2nd week of December.
So, we were back to our Academy, IGNFA for the Professional Training. Prior to going
to Mussorie for FC, we had already stayed in IGNFA for almost a month, 19 days precisely.
So, we felt so relieved; a tremendous peace prevailed upon all the senses, a feeling
of at-home. Yes, it was, as if, a home-coming after successful completion of years
of ordeal in the world of uncertainties. By the way, stay in LBSNAA was pretty good;
we have beautiful memories to keep alive the experiences there. As and when we stepped
out of the bus, our Course Director, Ms. Anu Nagar was waiting outside the New Hostel
for IFS Probationers. With a beautiful, big smile on her face radiating elderly,
tender and caring love, concern and well-being welcome us. “Long time; how are you
all? A very warmth welcome back to Academy! How was FC? I hope everything was fine
and you all have lots of good memories, isn’t it?” she greeted us.
We barely settled down, not even a week since we
returned on the evening of 12th December, 2008, and the professional training was
looming large right ahead. Many of our luggage was yet untied; they were still lying
on one of the corners of our respective rooms and hadn’t occupied the cupboards till
then. Meanwhile, we were up for a new task. Well, no one was really of know of
what was coming our way. Within days, we were ready yet again to move out for ‘Introductory
As the name itself suggests, Introductory tour aims to further acquaint as well as
equip us with the elementary knowledge of forestry practices so as to develop a solid
foundational perspective of the natural resource management. Naturally, this tour
introduced us to the forest and vice-versa, and in the process helped establishing
an impeccable bond between the forestry profession and the nature. Poanta Division,
Himachal Pradesh had been chosen for the Introductory tour. Situated on the foothills
of the lower Himalayas, right across the holy river, Yamuna on the immediate western
boundary with the Uttarakhand, Poanta Division is not very different from Dehradun,
either in physiognomy or in climatic conditions. In fact, it lies on the western
most flank of the ‘Doon’ valley. This Division falls within the administrative jurisdiction
of Nahan Circle. Our Course Director, Ms. Anu Nagar herself accompanied us for 6
days of stay in the forest. The place where we were put up was hardly 4-5 km from
Poanta-sahib town, the Head-quarters of the Poanta Division. 20 tents, with facilities
of 2 easily, portable beds, made of light-wood; 2 tables and 2 chairs each, and electricity,
had already been pitched nearby, rather in the immediate neighborhood of the Forest
Rest House. Between the Rest house and the tents, there was a wide-enough space,
where we would play games, mainly cricket, football, badminton as and when we got
free from day’s works in evenings. Just by the side of the Rest house, a big and
hugely branched, and numerous supporting roots emanating from these branches, apparently
to provide support to these aging branches, Banyan tree still stood stoutly.
Since it was December, understandably, winter was in its full bloom. As the night
fell in, darkness began to reign. Daily hasty life started disappearing and silence
engulfed the surrounding. Birds were already safe in their nests, so were people
in their homes with sheer rest.The night sky was very clear; innumerable stars dotted
all across the space, calmly twinkling and illuminating nature’s grace upon million
of its creatures for peaceful co-existence and co-operation. In the midst, the blooming
moon- shinning as a boon- partly wiped the darkness showering endless joy and happiness.
With the place still enveloped in deep darkness; the literally biting chill in the
air outside; the echo of trickling sounds of the dew-drops, seemingly producing a
symphony of an orchestra, as they hit on the tents, and the tired, fatigued body,
due to previous day’s rigorous physical activities, still wrapped under the warmth
of quilt, sleeping was unavoidably pleasing and intoxicatingly luring. Waking up
early, waking we must, seemed a torturous punishment; if I could have it my way,
I would have foregone or exchanged anything for a little bit more sleep. Alas, it
wasn’t to be! But once we were out of the bed, howsoever much reluctant we might
have been though, a new day had knocked on the door. The sun hadn’t yet arrived on
the horizon, but the surrounding was all-visible with the illumination of the dawn.
The air was filled with immense freshness; everything around seemed lively; birds,
monkeys and little squirrels restored their energy; village emerged with activities
from the dead-end and stillness of previous night; village-folk began untying their
animals and their women started cooking.
During our 6 days stay, important and inevitable it was, the schedule had been designed
very tight; through the day, we were kept busy. Dressed in olive-green uniform, camouflaging
with the dark green background of the dense forest, we would assemble underneath
the crown of the banyan tree right after breakfast for day’s works. The batch would
be divided into small groups of 4-6 members each. Initially, speakers, either faculty
or invited guest Resource person, would succinctly brief us regarding the main points
or steps to be followed for any particular job. It would then be followed by foot-march
through the forests with necessary instruments and equipments until noon when we
would return to the Rest house for meal. After lunch, similarly, we would go inside
the forest again for the remaining exercises. In the night, just before dinner, we
would again gather for de-briefing session in which each group would share the observations,
experiences and other works of the day. Sometimes, the sessions dragged little longer
and our dinner got delayed consequently. Right after dinner, sitting round the bonfire,
Antakshiri and other gossips would enliven our spirit and ease our troubled mind.
Faculties namely Professor C. Bhaskar, Associate Professors Alok Nagar and Saurabh
Gupta visited us. Our Director, Dr. R. D. Jakati also came. Bhaskar sir told about
the general structure of the forest department throughout the country. He also dealt
with the elementary forestry terms of daily usage like compartment, compartment map,
compartment history, plantation journal, boundary pillars and the like. He led us
to one of the boundaries between forest and agricultural land to show boundary pillars
and also to demonstrate how to make measurements of bearings (Forward as well as
Back bearings) between consecutive boundary pillars to ensure the continuity of the
boundary on the ground. Thereafter, he took us into the forest, trekking through
rain-drained, undulating forest road, which also functioned as both fire line and
compartment boundary, for botanization.
Alok sir and Saurabh sir had especially come to tell us about the basics of map reading
and hands-on experience of handling GPS (Global Positioning System), compass and
measurement of bearings. In order to assess our understanding, we were put to test.
The batch was divided into three small groups, and instructed to move through the
forest and reach a point in the ridge following a definite compass bearing assigned
to each group. Of course, they were accompanying two groups respectively; yet they
wouldn’t guide; but only trek. So, those two groups would have to determine the path
themselves using the map, compass and GPS. One of the groups would proceed on their
own. This trekking was the most trying and the interesting event of our Introductory
With packed-lunch, water bottles, other eatables all-ready in respective kit bags
hanging behind our back, we set out for the trek. First few kilometers were low-lying,
though undulating, banks of the streams, which no longer possessed water. Saurabh
sir came along-with the group in which I was there.
He said, “Observe the vegetation and its gradual change from the river banks towards
the forests. This is called the Riveraine Succession of sal.” Also, while moving
up, he told us to carefully observe vegetation, the status of regeneration, wildlife
and so on. As we moved forward, the going got tougher and tougher, obviously because
the forest was denser, slope grew more and more steep, as we climbed up the hills;
the path became all the more ambiguous, lot more rugged and rocky, and, all of them
combined, inevitably, rendered any small forward movement very difficult. We were
undeterred, for we had to climb it anyways. We continued climbing, though slowly
and steadily, and, thankfully, managed to reach the point in the ridge eventually.
In fact, our group was the first to reach the summit. We waited and waited for the
other two groups, which got entangled in the maze of dense forest. After more than
2 hrs of anxious wait, they resurfaced. Anu mam, certainly, looked much relieved.
She hadn’t accompanied any group; but she climbed from the other side and was waiting
for all of us at the ridge. The two groups started narrating their trek. It appeared
that they got lost off the track completely; their climb was much worse than our’s.
Nevertheless, they too overcame the ordeal all fit and fine; no casualty, nothing.
Certainly, it was definitely an experience worth remembering always and repeatedly
being mentioned or cited as and when needed.
By then, darkness was lurking. So, we began climbing down-hill on the other side
of the ridge. Yes, a lot more walking still remained. Climbing down was relatively
easier; so, we could reach the forest road in less time. Meanwhile, 4 km of trekking
lay ahead before we could find our bus. It was already dark; the road was not properly
visible. While we all increased pace, the pain in joints, knees and thighs and backache
were, as if, pulling us back. Thoroughly exhausted and physically fatigued, we found
our bus waiting: everyone’s only wish at that time; really a great piece of delight
to our eyes. When we reached our base camp, it was slightly fast our dinner time.
From Wildlife Institute of India, Dhananjay Mohan, 1988 batch IFS from Uttarakhand
cadre came, exclusively for bird watching session. So, we woke up early and reached
the Simbalwara Wildlife sanctuary situated in the Shiwalik hills on the side of Haryana.
He said, “For bird watching, early morning is the most appropriate time because birds
and, for that matter, animals, make a move for their daily search for food. Like
human beings, lives of the ‘maximum’ number of birds begin with the break of the
dawn. So, we must wake up early for bird watching.” Our Director visited us later
in the day and led a trekking through the Simbalwara Wildlife Sanctuary. While walking
through the forest, he stopped by frequently to identify the plants, trees for our
benefits. Even at the age of 50+ years, he didn’t look tired at all; he was walking
quite smartly all through the trek: at least 5 km. “Isn’t he Inspiring?” I murmured
to myself. I became his great fan then onwards. We reached a Forest House situated
atop a hillock right beside a river. We had lunch here. Thereafter, a single dog-squad
of the patrolling and search unit of the Haryana Wildlife wing demonstrated the skills
of the dog- German shepherd, to track the remains or pieces of wildlife flesh, skin
or other articles through its strong inherent smelling ability. It was one of the
only two dogs employed by the Forest department of Haryana. In fact, no other forest
department had employed even one yet. We were told that it was still in the experiment
stage. Later on, we trekked back all over again through the same road.
Our Introductory tour concluded successfully after 6 days of close interaction and
association with the forests. We were more aware of our profession; developed better
appreciation of the forest and wildlife; and greater commitment to the cause of forest
management and nature conservation. Though we felt so fatigued physically as mentioned
previously, we thoroughly enjoyed this experience. With this, initiation of the process
of the Baptism into the Indian Forest Service began in full swing.
Generally, forests are located at remote areas without much of, rather minimal infrastructure,
deliberately so in many instances so as to preserve them as they are, to keep it
away from human interference and so on. As of now, these forests are confined to
hilly-mountainous tracts. Hence, they are inaccessible more or less, and Foresters,
however, should reach these areas, no matter what! As a matter of fact, the natural
resources, particularly forests are dwindling rapidly and the natural scenery as
well as the wildlife diversity is being progressively destroyed. In such emerging
circumstances, the foresters as the primary custodians of the natural resources have
multiples of role. Presently, the word ‘forester’ has diverse connotations, notably
guardian, manager or soldier of the ‘Ecological Security’ of the country. It’s not
a bluff, I believe. The majority of the citizens are still ignorant about the roles
and responsibilities of the foresters in making the goods and services derived from
our natural resources available to the nation as well as the entire mankind.
Forests being the hot-spots as well as the repository of knowledge and the raw-materials
required for every human activity, including modern economic system like industries,
they are being looked upon with very exploitative, greedy and lustful intentions.
Truly, the remaining forests are the last frontiers of the human civilization. There
is, therefore, a sort of explosion of illegal activities in these areas of late.
These activities range from petty offences like lopping of trees to organized crimes
like multi-million dollar poaching, timber-mafia and so on. Coincidentally, the much-talked
about Naxalism labeled as the biggest threat to country’s internal security, and
acknowledged by the honorable Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, also finds safe-haven
in our country’s forests.
Evidently, the foresters have now myriad of problems to deal with. In view of the
ever-increasing complexity and consequently, to well-equip forest managers with requisite
attitudes to deal these realities; to acquaint and develop us physically, mentally
and emotionally, apart from professional core-forestry training, various special
modules are conducted where inputs are imparted to Indian Forest Service Probationers.
Weapon Training, Indian Military Academy
In our neighborhood, there’s a very old, yet prestigious Institution, obviously like
our own IGNFA, considered the ultimate epitome of excellence, perseverance and patriotism
for ages. Undoubtedly! I’m mentioning about none other than the Indian Military Academy,
IMA popularly called. Three Modules: Weapon Training, Horse Riding and Swimming for
the benefits of the IFS probationers are conducted in collaboration with the IMA.
I, for sure, was very excited about it. Actually, prior to joining IFS, I always
aspired to join Indian Army. In fact, my eyes still glow with exuberance, pride and
honor whenever I see any armed personnel; for once at least, I want to don the olive-green
uniform. The selection process for Defense Forces in India is one of the toughest
in the world, and therefore, only truly able-bodied, eligible and genuine people
can get through the selection process. I’ve also been recommended by the Service
Selection Board, Allahabad; I also cleared the selection. Fortunately or unfortunately,
I couldn’t eventually join it. Because of some dental problem, I wasn’t eventually
included on medical ground. That time, it was a big blow, really! Nevertheless, I
recuperated soon enough. So, that’s how I know sufficiently enough how meticulous
and tedious is the whole chain of selection. Also, during college days, I took active
part in NCC activities and attended many camps: Annual Training Camps, Pre-Republic
Day Parade Camp, etc. I got ‘C’ certificate as well. It’s one of the highest certificates
in NCC senior division; but it doesn’t come easy. Candidates have to sit for written
examination followed by practical, physical and personal test. The assessment is
made all of them combined together. Naturally, I was pretty aware of, not only march-fast
or parade, which is essentially what is commonly taught or imparted; but also little
exposed to weapon training like information about various arms, weapon-drill, shooting,
map-reading, section formation and so on. It came very handy during weapon training
“Savdan, visraam; dahinyemurr, bayeinmurr” echoed through our ears. Standing in a
line of 3s, we were anxious and were little perplexed as the ‘Ustads’, Army-trainers
commanded us for the first time. Very disciplined, perfectionist and tremendous themselves,
they expected the same vigor in us. Alas, we were all novice, raw and less-enthusiastic
lot, if I may put it that way to describe our ignorance, innocence and lack of zest,
zeal and confidence right then. Having briefed us about the basic principles of handling
any weapon, i.e. to carefully handle it; not to play with it; to respect it; to keep
it clean; to check it for its working condition, so on and on, they took us into
the weapon room. All of us stood in queue outside it longingly waiting, while only
one person was allowed to enter. Respectively, we all got one arm each- INSAS Rifle,
one of the latest weapons which the Armed as well as Para-military forces are commonly
using. “Aabtohmeinbhi Gun chalanasikjawunga”, excitedly uttered Dilraj. “Right, right…me
too!!” joined the chorus.
Understandably, all of us were behaving like children, touching each part curiously,
wondering frequently, and the like. It was a great sight, too good to miss! Yeah,
I’ve no doubt in my mind that the memories of IMA weapon training attachment have
been imprinted in our respective memories for ever. That’s how weapon training began
and continued for next 6 days. By the end of the week, thanks mostly to the hard-works
and genuine interests shown by the Instructors, and yeah....our child-like curiosity
rather than interest really, we managed to learn to shoot, though it’s different
matter and obviously funny and interesting that many of us missed the target altogether.
Just kidding….we did pretty well.
In olden days, when there was no modern transportation system like today; when traveling
from one place to another used to consume days-together, horse-riding was one of
the popular modes of transportation. Though it was a bit unaffordable for common
people, bureaucrats and government servants were, invariably, required to know the
art of riding a horse. So, it was a necessity then. Of late, its usage has reduced
as a result of wide-spread development of different modes of transportation. Nevertheless,
it hasn’t really become obsolete; though confined to few, mostly affluent, it has
its own charms. In fact, horse-riding is a very thrilling experience. It’s pretty
adventurous, wonderful and daring as well. That’s why we still find horse-racing,
polo in the domain of sports, and necessarily as a part of training in various well-known
Institutions like Armed forces, Para-military forces, Police, Administrative, Forest
and other Civil Services.
Truly, as a part of customary practice or traditional training regime for Forest
Service Probationers, IMA has been organizing the Horse-riding Module. Our batch,
being one of the dynamic batches in recent times, eagerly, yet anxiously waited for
this module. Our anxiousness was more to do with our enthusiasm. By now, IMA wasn’t
unfamiliar to us; already, we had done weapon training not very long ago as mentioned
already before. So, as we reached the equitation section, we found horses in different
shades like brownish-black, black, white, etc. lined up ready to taste our courage
With their very tall, imposing stature; stout built; bright, glaring, staring eyes;
restlessly waging beautifully grown, long tails laden with bunchy, dark, long hairs
at the tips; occasionally punching feet on the ground faking anger or really unhappy,
might be; and naughtily sneering aloud at times, almost jeering at us, the horses
were undoubtedly looking like robust mountainous task. I don’t know it’s even proper
to compare poor, innocent horses with unfriendly, rough, tough and undulating mountains
(hey, don’t get me wrong…………mountains are equally exquisite, and provide a terrific
picturesque view. I know for sure; I’m from one such place: Arunachal Pradesh, the
land of rising sun); but I guess in both the cases, climbing, taming and conquering
them are definitely no easy achievement. That was exactly what we were trying to
Many of us have had experienced horse-riding in LBSNAA as part of Extra-curriculum
Module (ECM). Certainly, they were pretty confident about themselves. Understandably,
also, they had some necessary kits all-ready from before. Why to name them only,
in fact, I too got a boot ready especially for horse-riding. Yeah, for those of you
out there, let me give you this bit of information that for horse-riding, the sole
of the boot should be plain or flat. Many a times, people fall-down from the horse;
in such cases, shoes having uneven sole get stuck in the cradle. Obviously, the horse,
either excitedly or out of fear or both, keeps running around, and in the process,
keeps dragging the rider. It’s quite dangerous. It may be fatal at times. So, flat
sole is a kind of prevention against being dragged and hurt. In addition, the boot/shoe
should ideally have a long extension, preferably as long as the knee-height. Otherwise,
a big, thick, greenish, bandage-type, flat rope, made of jute is inevitably wrapped
around the leg from knee downward up to top portion of the shoe. Besides, the trouser
is also especial one, stretchable and comfortable. While riding horse, helmet is
necessarily required for precaution against any unforeseen incident like falling
down to ground. It prevents any head injury. Now, a person is fully ready, at least
in terms of get-up, to make the horses subservient to him/her.
It’s almost a ritual that something funny or unforgettable incident accompany our
first encounter with any new module or session. Well, there was nothing so funny
about what I’m describing right here; it would normally happen with every first-timer.
Seeing the horses, our ever-excited, Gubbi, goaded by unrealistic compliments from
his close associates and of course his own bubbling self-confidence rather self-illusion
of real competence in controlling horses to put it appropriately, walked quickly
towards them, ignoring all others. Among us, he was the only one fully, properly
attired. In relative sense, his tiny body along with his hoarse, husky voice pretending
loud and enormous, still looked so unmatched to the huge sizes of the horses. I wondered
it would be really amazing to see Gubbi taking control of the most notorious one
and immediately riding it around. Yes, he did exactly that. The trainers took a sigh
of relief as he successfully boarded one which was seemingly very smart and obviously
restless too. “Bahutb-adiya, bahutbadiya…… Gubbi,”every body applauded.
To rest of us, the trainers asked to just hold the Rein, the leather belt fasten
at the mouth of the horse, and to walk rounds within the equitation ground. Alem,
nervous and tensed as always, came to me and said, “Hey, I’m too scared to even go
close to these horses; I don’t know how I will board and ride. As usual, I tried
to console and pacify her uneasiness, “Look, they are very well-trained ones; moreover,
these horses are the most docile in the lot. So, you don’t be worried.” In fact,
I was trying to calm down my own anxiousness through these apparently soothing words.
Apt came her reply, “Yeah, I know riding; I did horse-riding in LBSNAA; but these
horses seem to be more big and fearsome. Anyways, I’ll manage it somehow, yet I’m
still very worried. I don’t want to fall down.” Seating far away from the horses,
and evidently relaxed, my comrade, Naidu added, “Come on guys, take it easy. Why
unnecessarily troubling your own mind. See, Gubbi has done it easily. If he can do
it, every one can surely do without any problem.” At this, everybody burst into laughter.
But our Kathikeyan took it literally. He dared to go ahead. Now, everybody cheered
him more vigorously. Naturally, he was all the more emboldened. His initial reluctance
gave way to enthusiasm. He held rein more firmly and, with his new-found energy,
pulled the poor horse closer towards himself little too much.
This definitely irritated and annoyed the horse. “One, two, three and heisa, heisa….,”
murmured Karthikeyan as he put his leg in the cradle and trying to mount atop the
horse. It was no easy job; every time, he failed, at least for quite sometimes. “Hurray,
I’ve done it, I’ve done it,” he proudly announced loudly. He deliberately began showing-off.
By the way, his buttock landed on the saddle little heavily. “Oh, it must be very
painful for both Karthikeyan and horse too,” I genuinely opined seeing him taking
seat on the saddle. While mounting, he still held the rein very firmly. Consequently,
it pained the horse too much. It repeatedly screamed aloud. The horseji seemed to
be really unhappy. Obviously, our Kartikeyan’s sense of delight and accomplishment
was short-lived. He was really struggling to hold himself atop the horse. He was
holding the horse’s neck tightly with his both hands. Horseji began running hither
and thither. It was already out of his control. Now, only the inevitable was left,
and it happened right immediately. Bum! Suddenly, an enormous sound echoed through
the air. Yes, our poor Karthikeyan fell-off. This time, his neck landed. That was
a big, terrible, painful fall! He was sitting idle, almost unconscious. Everyone
rushed to him quickly. Thankfully, there was no serious injury. Karthikeyan turned
gloomy; everyone suggested him to take rest. So, he decided to sit aside. After few
moments of anxiety on everyone’s face, it was routine as usual.
Let’s see what was happening with our lady officers. Honestly, our lady officers
are no less; they are pretty adventurous, courageous and risk-takers. Tripti also
did horse-riding during LBSNAA. Undoubtedly, she was aware of the basics. Though
it would be exaggeration to say she was really excited to mount, she definitely wanted
to start riding. Sounding mildly complaining, she quipped, “Kyayaar, abtoh ye lagampakrekechakkarkatna
bas bhikaro. I want to mount and begin riding.” And immediately mounted and began
strolling. Three cheers, Tripti! Walking just behind her were Padma and Sreelakshmi.
I felt some kind of thought: blended with a little envy, quickly crossed their head
like we could also do similarly; it wasn’t that difficult or something like that.
Rightly so, they too tried, but of course without success time and again. Nevertheless,
their effort and will was inspiring. Though they had to walk round and round along
with their respective horses in the first day, by second day, they also could eventually
mount and ride on their own.
There were many other interesting incidents, yet I’ve chosen these major highlights
of the first day of our horse-riding module. We knew we wouldn’t get horse-riding
again during our rest of the probationary time in the Academy. Hence, we just wanted
to enjoy to the fullest. Yeah, there were some hurts, some initial failures; but
we were never lacking in enthusiasm and interest. Every time it was thorough fun
and laughter; we couldn’t realize how fast times passed by, and a week was just over.
By the end of the module, all of us learnt enough to not only mount and ride, but
also to tame and control the horse; we actually improved our riding skills; many
of us were effortlessly cantering and even galloping their horses. Horse-riding module
was one eventful experience.
Swimming Pool: Ripples of Emotions
I was taken aback by the amount of curiosity and enthusiasm among my colleagues with
the very mention of swimming. I didn’t know, rather never imagined that swimming
was such a great fun, until, of course, Swimming Module began. It’s not to say that
I never did swimming before. Yes, in my childhood, in the midst of friends, I very
often frequented the ‘Hipu’, a small and beautiful river; but full of ecstasy, meandering
through the small valley which, in turn, gives rise to a sufficiently large tracts
of plains, far and wide enough on either sides of the river; which support the agricultural
fields of my village, ‘Darka’.
Honestly, the swimming that made my colleagues so excited about and anxious for is
actually an integral part of childhood of every Arunachalee. The childhood days revolved
round my nostalgia. Momentarily, the eyes got moistened; but tears were too small
and ephemeral. I felt, as if, the soul was devoid of any more emotions that it (Soul)
didn’t even dwell enough in the good old days of childhood, at least virtually. It’s
helpless; it’s been imprisoned by the realities around.
Then I decided to check my Spirituality Quotient (S.Q.). Spirituality is not always
detachment from reality. I know reality bites, but spirituality, in my view, is more
about dealing with the different facets of reality, and it, therefore, is the manifestation
of the urge buried deep-within towards physical, mental and emotional enlightenment,
rather than only being in sync with the virtual reality or mysticism. Spirituality,
so, is the ultimate positioning of one’s own self in the endeavor of life.
Coming back to swimming, I must appreciate the unbounded child-like enthusiasm and
unique sense of fashion and creativity of my friends: draped in a variety of swimming-costumes
in different colors, designs and styles. Gubbi, with black swimming goggles and a
headgear, dressed in dark, tight-fitting shorts, resembled an amateur swimmer from
West Indies. Bhutia cried, “DarrkeAageJeetHain”, as heovercame his anxiety and phobia
for the deep water, while taking a plunge from the 5m height. Yes, he did it! Naidu
was sinking still with floater tied around his back; Badola’s hands were flapping
faster than that of humming-birds, yet he remained where he was: zero displacement,
as Gajju put it in lighter vein. Real fun, truly! (Concluded)