Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging ]
September is named after ‘Septem’, meaning seventh in Latin. Though September is the ninth month, it was originally the seventh of 10 months. September heralds autumn season, nearing winter.
The previous month was marked by North East India being ravaged by floods and landslides leading to many losses of lives and property. The Brahmaputra and major tributaries were all over the danger mark and the resulting floods created havoc in Assam and adjoining states. Flooding is not new in the region and it is an annual feature with most governments not paying adequate attention.
Personally having flown extensively in the region, during monsoons, the narrow Assam valley is transformed from beautiful flowing meadows to a huge ocean of water, almost 40-50 km wide at many places. During extensive flooding, most citizens, cattle, goat, etc perch themselves on bridges and roads to stay away from flooding waters. By now, common citizens have given up and most people just wait for the annual relief distribution. We should not go the Assam way and helplessly wait for the annual spate of floods, landslides, mudslides and road cuts.
Among the achievements, in the health sector, the Chief Minister’s Free Cancer Chemotherapy Scheme was launched at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences, Naharlagun. Under this scheme, 500 cancer patients will be provided the commonly used medicines for treatment of the disease free-of-cost with a ceiling of Rs 10 lakh per patient per year.
However, the Chief Minister’s Universal Insurance Scheme is still a ‘No Show’ and all Arunachali citizens are suffering.
The government also approved the establishment of a new Department of Indigenous Faith & Cultural Affairs to preserve and promote culture and faiths of the indigenous communities of the state, many of which are threatened by globalization, exposure and external influences. Many indigenous communities of the state are fast getting disconnected with their rich culture and languages that calls for specific steps to preserve and protect them from disappearing into oblivion. Many indigenous languages are already dying as many of our children prefer Hindi more than our own languages.
Other good news includes the inauguration of the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Lekhi near Naharlagun. Another indication of good civic responsibilities was the self demolition of structures by citizens to facilitate the construction of 4-lane highway in Itanagar. May this good act be emulated by other citizens by allowing major projects in the state without much opposition on land compensation and other issues.
However, the best news for all Arunachalese and the nation was the achievement of peace between India and China on the Doklam issue. Finally some common sense prevailed over jingoism and rhetoric with both sides deciding to de-escalate. War would have been disastrous for both nations and both budding Asian powers would have been pushed back by20-30 years. One must remember that there are no winners in any war.
Towards a bumper harvest, wishing all readers a Happy Solung! Agampe! (The writer is a retired Group Captain of the Indian Air Force)