ASER Team, Assam
“Bharat ke purab disha main sabse pehle suraj nikalne wala jo hai desh, ushi ko kehate hai Arunachal Pradesh.”
Arunachal Pradesh, a beautiful and heavenly place with all its varied culture, colourful clothing, habitations and languages. It is also known as the Orchid State of India or the Paradise of the Botanists. The people of the state trace their origins from the Tibeto Burman or Tibetan people. As time passes large number of people from various part of India has come and built extensive economic and traditional ties.
Monpa, Nyishi, Apatani, Galo People, Lare and Pegu, Ramo and Pailio, Adi, Idu and Mishimi, Tai Khamti, Singpho and Tangsa, Nocte and Wancho, Chakmas, these are the languages spoken and which are not at all similar to each other. It is unbelievable that Arunachal has 101 recognised tribes, which gives us a vast cultural landscape from which to learn.
Going to Arunachal is really a bone breaking journey. On the way to my visit to Lohit, Anjaw, Dibang valley and Lower Dibang Valley, I came to see the road and its difficulties. It’s now 65 years since independence but still the transportation is very poor. Buses are the primary mode of transportation, and also ferries. This might be because Arunachal is hilly and remote. Also it has a characteristic feature which is the frequent occurrence of natural calamities like heavy rainfall, landslides and floods etc. that make conveyance even more difficult. Though my journey was tough, it was a pleasing experience despite waiting for buses, running to get a seat… that boat journey where I was always afraid of getting drowned, those deadly tides of Dibany Valley river…
Here people have a tradition of artistic and craftsmanship manifested in a variety of crafts, such as weaving, painting, pottery, basket making, wood carving and cane and bamboo caps and furniture. Which made me decide to carry many and load my bag to its fullest! In spite of these beautiful memories I had to face six hours i.e. till 11:00 pm on the street in Khonsa, Tirap District which is approx. 350km from Tinsukia, Assam, because of non-availability of a hotel. This was my official visit and fortunately I had my staff friend who came and arranged a community hall to spend that night all alone. It was really a nightmare for me, I was only waiting for the sun to come up.
After spending three days I moved to East Siang district, where I found a village which is 120km from Pasighat (H.Q) and is situated on the mountain in the bank of Siang River. The place has eye-pleasing scenic beauty. Houses built very beautifully and arranged at the top, while on the base of the mountain they cultivate. Really it is blessed with the most breathtaking natural beauty. The journey to the village was not easy, I was taken by one of my staff friends on a bike and then had to walk or I can say climb house to house to get my work done.
I have yet to travel more and know more about Arunachal and its beauty. ASER gave me a chance to go deeper and deeper, reaching most villages and interacting with the lovely people of Arunachal. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes and I feel proud to be one of them.