Where Arunachalees dare

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

Some Arunachalees have charted pioneering paths to succeed in varied fields. When most of the state was underdeveloped, without basic facilities like electricity, roads and communications with very few schools and colleges, these pioneers toiled and persevered to venture into previously unknown fields. Many of these pioneers had to walk for days to reach school and were the first in their families and villages to study in schools and colleges. Many had to travel to far-flung places in the Northeast and other cities of India for further education like graduation, medicine, engineering, law, etc.

Readers may recall my previous article on daring Arunachalees, including the first IAS officers, IPS officer, engineer, doctor, teachers, army, navy, air force officers and national award winners.

This article enumerates a few other pioneering Arunachalees. Recently, Major General Jarken Gamlin retired from the army becoming the first from Arunachal to reach the coveted rank of major general. This list also includes Surgeon Captain Marak Pertin, who became the first to get to captain’s rank in the navy.

Social achievers include Lobsang Phuntsok, who is a Padma Shree awardee and established the internationally acclaimed Jhamtse Gatsal children’s community in Lumla. Another achiever is Sathyanarayan Mundayoor, popularly called ‘uncle Moosa’ who has played a seminal role in spreading education in Arunachal for the last 41 years.

Pioneers include Taka Tamut, who successfully climbed Mt Everest, helped in the search and recovery of the crashed An-32 aircraft, and was recently awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award. International achievers include Dr Alai Taggu, who has been made the head of department, critical care medicine in a multi-specialty international hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Nixon Bui, a Denmark-based entrepreneur who is making a mark in fashion and liquor internationally.

Daring women include Anshu Jamsenpa, who climbed Mt Everest five times – an Indian record. Another is Aini Taloh, whose voluntary organization AYANG has rendered yeomen service in blood donation for many years. There is a group of mothers called Women Against Social Evils (WASE), which has come together to help tackle the menace of drug abuse in the region. WASE is playing a leading role in fighting drug and alcohol addiction. The list also includes Ponung Doming, the first lady officer to reach the lieutenant colonel rank in the army.

Some of the major contributors to Arunachal are the Ramakrishna Mission Schools, the Sharda Mission Schools and the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas. These schools have played a pioneering role in grooming and training our youths.

Today Arunachal has super specialist doctors, scientists, top engineers, professors, doctorates, top lawyers and many more. Many young Arunachalees are doing well in sports, business, entrepreneurship, agri-horticulture, etc.

Yet there are many more fields to be conquered by Arunachalees. We need more top pilots, astronauts, chartered accountants, managers, entrepreneurs, progressive farmers, sports persons, etc. To be pioneers, one has to persevere and work hard to succeed.

Any more Arunacha-lees willing to dare?

(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)