ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday appealed the people of Lower Siang district to accept the decision of the state government on demarcation of its administrative boundary with East Siang and its permanent headquarters at Siji. Joining the Silver Jubilee Mopin celebration at Hime in Kangku circle of the district, Pema Khandu said that Lower Siang was created way back in the year 2013 along with Namsai, Kra Dadi and Siang but could not be developed at par with its contemporaries due to several issues.
“Enough is enough. We had to bring in a permanent solution with a decision, taking consensus of all involved and affected. Leaving behind all these issues now we have to focus on development of the district,” he said. Khandu assured that he is in regular touch with legislators – Kento Rina and Kardo Nyikyor -of the two assembly constituencies – Nari and Likabali – that constitutes Lower Siang. “In consultation with both the MLAs, we will ensure all-round development of the district. People here have suffered enough,” he said.
Acknowledging the hurdles face by the people in the foothills of the district due to the interstate boundary issue with Assam, Khandu assured that a permanent solution to the issue is not far away. “With active support of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the first round of meeting to resolve the issue has already been done. The second round will be held within next few days. This will be followed by ground visit by all stakeholders. Both me and Sarma are committed to hammer out a permanent solution to all our existing boundary issues,” Khandu informed.
He appreciated the gesture of the Mishing Autonomous Council leaders, who are just across the boundary in Assam, to attend the celebrations today. He said the very presence of Paramananda Chayengia, Chairman of the Autonomous Council, along with representatives of prominent Mishing organizations at the festival proves the bonhomie and brotherhood shared by people of both the states living along the boundary.
“Because of administrative compulsions we have to have a permanent interstate boundary. Otherwise we have been living peacefully for ages,” he pointed out. Appreciating the Galos for preserving their culture through thick and thin, Khandu reiterated the importance of celebrating indigenous festivals in its traditional sense. He emphasized that if not properly maintained and passed on to the next generation, indigenous cultures of the state would wane away in the future, which, he asserted, will discard off Arunachal’s distinct identity.
“One fine day we will leave this world. Therefore, we need to hand over our culture and tradition to the next generation so that even if we die, our culture never dies,” he emphasized.
Khandu hailed Paramananda for addressing the festival in his native dialect, Mishing. He said being able to speak in native language is the first and strongest step towards preserving culture. “Being able to speak in English or Hindi doesn’t enhance your status. Being able to speak your mother-tongue will grow your status in the society manifold,” he said.
He informed that through the Department of Indigenous Affairs and in collaboration with prominent CBOs of the state, the state government has so far introduced teaching of eight local dialects in primary level schools. Work is going on for introducing rest of the indigenous languages in schools, he said.
Advocating improving the rural economy, the Chief Minister called upon the villagers to avail government schemes like Atmanirbhar Krishi Yojana and Atmanirbhar Bagwani Yojana introduced last year. He revealed that Rs 200 crore- Rs100 crore for each scheme had been kept in the current budget and urged farmers, especially SHGs and FPOs to avail the schemes.
The celebration was also attended by Agriculture Minister Tage Taki, legislators Kardo Nyikyor, Gokar Basar, Kento Rina and Laisam Simai, representatives of Galo Welfare Society (GWS), representatives of various Mishing organizations and others.