CM attends Sarok festival
BANA, Jan 12: Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the state government will establish an “Aka dialect and preservation centre” in order to preserve the Aka language and culture.
“The government is also equally responsible for preservation of the state’s rich culture and heritage,” the CM said in his address at the celebration of Sarok festival of the Aka community here in East Kameng district on Saturday.
Stating that “East Kameng will witness tremendous development in the coming days,” Khandu urged the government officers in the district to work with dedication.
Earlier, the CM, who was accompanied by Education Minister Taba Tedir, Sports Minister Mama Natung and MLAs Goruk Pordung, Mama Natung, Hayeng Mangfi and Tapuk Taku, laid the foundation for an ITI in Bana, an Eklavya residential school in Lumdung, an integrated water conservation plant in Naraba, an ecotourism park in Yarping, and the Syama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission of the Richukrong cluster.
Khandu urged the people of the district, particularly the Aka community, to preserve their rich culture, heritage and language.
He said the government is “specifically committed to support preservation of tribal dialects in Arunachal” through the indigenous affairs department.
Khandu also promised to have a festival ground developed here, besides assuring to develop a road network to connect all the villages in the block.
The CM informed that the state government is “seriously pursuing for enabling market linkages for farmers” in order to promote the horticulture sector in East Kameng.
On the shortage of administrative officers, Khandu said “the state government has identified new 48 vacant posts for circle officers (CO), for which the APPSC has been entrusted to conduct fresh recruitment, which hopefully will be completed by 7-8 months.”
He said the exam will be conducted “as per UPSC pattern.” Nineteen posts of COs will be filled through lateral entry, he added.
“Earlier, the APPSC had conducted exams to fill up vacant posts for 61 circle officers, which is now pending in the court. As temporary measure,” Khandu said, “wherever there is shortage, Group A officers will be given temporary charge of CO.”
He informed that as of now, “the state has 138 posts vacant for COs.”
Tedir, who also holds the indigenous affairs portfolio, urged the Aka community to help the government in protecting their endangered language from becoming extinct.
The minister was responding to a memorandum submitted by Aka Welfare Society of East Kameng (AWSEK) chairman Ashung Yame.
Tedir assured to provide every possible assistance from the education department to preserve the Aka language, and urged the Akas to “come up with a mechanism to teach Aka as third language in the schools in Aka inhabited areas.”
The Aka (Koro) language is listed by the UNESCO as one of the endangered languages of Arunachal.
“The government is committed to encourage and support schools such as JNV, Eklavya, etc, meant for the weaker sections of the society,” the minister said. He informed that the education department is implementing pre-board exams in all the schools, and urged parents to guide their wards in the right direction.
Tedir also spoke about the state government’s teachers’ transfer and posting policy.
Natung in his address said, “It is painful to see the indigenous culture and the Aka language dying, as noted by the UNESCO.”
“The future of any community is their youth. They should shoulder the responsibility to preserve their culture and protect their language from dying,” he said, and also pleaded with the CM to help protect the Aka language from extinction.
Earlier, Yame in his memorandum to the CM urged the state government to introduce Aka as third language in the schools in Aka areas.
“This is the only way to save the language from extinction,” Yame said.
The AWSEK also sought funds for “infrastructure development at the Sarok festival ground” and for construction of a Bailey bridge over the Bichum river to connect the EAC headquarters with Pochung Afaksung, Chijang, Sopung, and other areas. (With input from CM’s PR Cell)