Ground Reports of Vijoynagar by Tongam Rina

The Editor of Arunachal Times, Tongam Rina, visited Vijoynagar Circle recently. She has been releasing several highlights of the various problems faced in the area. The problems are not just Panchayat and Settlers issue, they are much more ranging from medical, school, roads, anganwadi, water supply, non-appointment of GBs etc.

  1. 5 Jan: A patient being carried on a bamboo stretcher in Vijaynagar, Changlang district on 4 January. The entire circle with a population of about 6,000 has just one PHC with two nurses and a nursing assistant in the circle headquarters. The sub-centre in Gandhigram (Shidi) is not functional. -Tongam Rina
  2. 6 Jan: An Anganwadi in Dawodi village, Vijaynagar circle, Changlang district. The author did not elaborate on this topic. But the pathetic condition of the child care centres of the area cannot be ignored. All the child related supports had to be carried headload to villages from Miao. And all reporting takes place from Miao. There is not one officer overseeing anganwadi centers in Vijoynagar.
  3. 7 Jan: Lisus question police allegation of foreign element in Vijaynagar violence. “The Arunachal Pradesh Police’s (APP) allegation that there may have been involvement of foreign element in the Vijaynagar violence has not gone down well with the Lisu /Yobin community.” [only one correction of fact: in the entire Yobin community, there is only one govt-appointed GB, that is the Hazola GB].
  4. 8 Jan: A Mizo family in Vijaynagar. “Thanmawia was barely nine years old when his father, an Assam Rifles jawan, flew the family to Vijaynagar in 1969.” [Good highlights of Settlers’ plight. Some people wanted to claim Settlers equal Gorkha which has been misleading].
  5. 10 Jan: The Assam Rifles ex-servicemen of Vijaynagar.
  6. 14 Jan: Water crisis in Vijaynagar circle. “As there are no water pipelines reaching most homes, villagers in Vijaynagar circle in Changlang district are dependent on muddy streams or nearby rivers. Water is untreated. Most Gandhigram villagers fetch water from Shidilo, the river adjacent to the village, while in Mazgaon, villagers are dependent on a nearby muddy stream that passes through paddy fields. In the Vijaynagar market area, people are dependent on a few public water pipelines.”
  7. 26 Jan: The helicopter landing pad in Gandhigram (Shidi) in Changlang district is yet to be made operational months after its completion. A village of more than 500 houses, Gandhigram is not connected by road or air. Circle headquarters Vijaynagar is five hours’ walk, while Miao, the nearest town, is four days’ walk from Gandhigram. (Photo by Tongam Rina).

8. 1 March: Channel 5: Where the whole village listens to conversations (AP Times)

He pointed to his constant companion. Someone was planning to sell meat and had conveyed it on the walkie-talkie. Till I was in Vijaynagar, I had no idea that a walkie-talkie could be used as mode of daily communication. In the absence of phone connection, it’s the only way one can communicate.

The whole village listens to the conversation if they are tuned in, so they know where pork is being sold, who had a child, and who was waiting for whom!

29 March 2021: Large cardamom replaces jhum in Gandhigram

The villagers of Gandhigram have abandoned jhum cultivation altogether in favour of large cardamom, which they say has changed the economy of the area.

AP Times, 29 March 2021

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