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Ralph Marston once quoted, “See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective and unstoppable determination”. The same has been proven by the villagers of Manipur’s Tousem sub-division in Tamenglong district under the leadership of Armstrong Pame, the native and the sub-divisional magistrate of Tamenglong.
This young Naga IAS officer has initiated a project of building a 100 km road in the remotest area of this village without the help of government funding. The amount of Rs. 101 Cr was sanctioned by the center in 1982 but the project never took off due to unknown reasons, despite after several follow ups and promises. But as it is said, necessity is the mother of invention. There was an outbreak of tropical diseases in the area and in the absence of motorable roads the patients could not reach the hospitals and lost their lives. Most of the doctors were also not ready to visit the place to treat the patients. In such a situation, Armstrong Pame reached out in his friend circle and arranged the doctors who camped themselves in the village to treat more than 500 patients.
His determination became even stronger and he decided to build a road with the help of his family and villagers, without taking any aid from the government. The family members, who have been struggling since six decades in this remote village, agreed to support him. A sum of Rs. 4 Lac was arranged from his retired school teacher father’s one month pension, his brother’s and sister in law’s one month salary each, his younger brother’s entire first salary and Pame’s five months’ salary. The amount was sufficient to kick start the project but more money was still required. The facebook was used as a rescue tool in that situation. A page was created, seeking donations and the overwhelming response was received from all over the world and contributed Rs. 1.2 Lakh.
The villagers made their signification contributions based on their capabilities by providing food and accommodation to the workers, by supplying fuel for the earthmovers and also being a part of manpower for the project. The donation centers have been set up in Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Guwahati, Shillong and Dimapur and NRIs from Canada, USA and the UK have been sending their contributions for the project named as Tamenglong-Haflong Road. As a token of thanks and appreciation for the support received from world wide, a monolith will be erected on the completion of the road with the name of all donors.
This real life story is a landmark example of dedication, determination and the humanity that is still alive on this earth. The Logical Indian salutes the IAS officer and the villagers for their great work.
Columnist: Neha Rathi