An eyewitness account of the GWS awareness programme in Likabali

[ Tomi Ete ]

The other day, on 23 February, I was privileged to have a ringside view of the awareness programme organized in Likabali by the GWS Women’s Wing, in collaboration with the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW), and in association with the local hosts, the APWWS, Likabali.

I must admit that the event was rather impressive in terms of the number of participants, quality of resource inputs, involvement of local administration and participation of local women, probably with their spouses at the back.

On the evening of 22 February, Likabali ZPM Senbom Taipodia and his wife hosted a dinner at their house in the windy Liru village (Lwwru village) for the members of the APSCW, the GWS, the resource persons and the local organizers. The poka and the food served were excellent. A part of the pleasant memory of the evening was a couple of songs presented by Mijir Riba Taipodia (Mizwr Rwbaa Taipdia), a leader of the APWWS there. As a layman, I consider her voice a hidden potential for a greater audience.

The breakfast on the 23rd for the outstation participants was hosted by Ngubi Taipodia Tao (Qubww Taipodia Tao), the owner of Hotel Tao Porup, Likabali. With not too well-versed staff, she supervised the service herself to ensure proper care of the visitors.

The APSCW was represented by its Vice Chairperson Heyomai Tawsik, member Hoksum Ori, Member-Secretary Mabi Taipodia, and legal advisor advocate Karmu Chotton. Chairperson Radhilu Chai Techi and member Techi Hunmai Doyom were back in Itanagar on some official engagement.

MLA Kardo Nyigyor (Kardo Xwgyor), Lower Siang DC AK Singh, and SP KP Singh briefly attended the function. The ADC, the EAC, COs, and many HoDs also attended the awareness programme with other staffers of the district.

In his brief speech, the MLA emphasized the need to strengthen the traditional institution of justice delivery. He also suggested that more such awareness programmes be organized in other places.

The short address made by the DC was equally impressive and informative. He also made a commitment to appoint gaon buris wherever possible on receipt of recommendations.

The event was held in the Donyi-Polo Gamgi (Dooxi-Poolo Gaqgww) hall in Likabali. In spite of many constraints, the gamgi authorities put in all efforts to make the event possible. The visible presence and support of the elite male members also appeared to be a mark of the shift that the society is making.

The level of participation was also impressive. The crowd spilled over to the ground outside. Beside the GBs, anganwadi workers and ASHAs were also present. However, not many PRI members were said to be present.

Presentations made by the resource persons were very impressive and informative. I was particularly impressed by the speech of Mabi Taipodia Jini (Maabw Taipodia Jwwnw) on the roles and functions of the the APSCW and compulsory registration of marriages. It was indeed an easy-to-digest informative capsule on the difficult subjects.

One thing that really impressed me was the schoolgirls-like enthusiasm of the GWS team of ladies who travelled together from Itanagar in one bus and shared rooms and blankets brought from home. Senior members like Yabin Dabi Zirdo (Yabin Daabw Zwrdo) also showed their commitment to the cause by making the long arduous trip to the place.

I understand that more such awareness programmes were also held at Kamba under the aegis of the GWS Women’s Wing, and at Aalo, Bagra, Basar and Mechuka as efforts of the local APWWS bodies in collaboration with the APSCW. These events were also told to be highly successful. It is also learnt that many local well-wishers hosted dinners for the visiting teams and participants as a mark of goodwill and support.

Our kudos and thanks to the APSCW team for sponsoring and orchestrating these programmes. Congratulations to the members of the GWS Women’s Wing and the APWWS for the successful conduct of the events. Kudos also to the people who made these efforts possible through their contributions in cash and kind.

One could suggest that more such awareness campaigns could be held in other places yet to be covered. It may also be mentioned that in future important subjects like sanitation, etc, could be included among the topics covered. (Tomi Ete is a retired technocrat. The impressions and observations above are his own.)