SEPPA, 20 Mar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu, along with union MoS for Sports & Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju, on Saturday inaugurated a first of its kind school – Nyubu Nyvgam Yerko – in Rang village, situated atop a hill overlooking Seppa, the headquarters of East Kameng district.
The Nyubu Nyvgam Yerko is a formal institution for indigenous language and knowledge system. It literally means ‘nyubu’ (priest), ‘nyvgam’ (person having wisdom and knowledge), and ‘yerko’ (learning institution).
Describing it as a historic day, Khandu said the school would go a long way in promoting and preserving the indigenous traditions, culture and language.
He lauded the initiative of the Donyi Polo Cultural & Charitable Trust, and said it was the need of the day in view of rapid modernization. He also commended Pai Dawe, who donated the land for the establishment of the ‘gurukul’ type school.
Khandu suggested that the lure to build concrete buildings for the institution be avoided and traditional houses preferred.
“Need not have RCC buildings, except for teachers’ quarters. Let the kids learn in an environment that is their culture,” he advised.
The CM expressed gratitude to the elders of the society who have preserved and passed on the indigenous culture through generations.
“Now it is our responsibility. We cannot let go of our identity, which is our indigenous culture. If we do, Arunachal Pradesh will lose its identity,” he cautioned.
Reiterating that his government is committed to preserve the indigenous cultures of the state, Khandu said that the indigenous affairs department was established for this purpose.
He informed that friends and people from other northeastern states called him to congratulate on the decision.
“People from our neighbouring states called and congratulated me. Many of them have lost their indigenous identity and went off so far that it is impossible to come back. We Arunachalees have woken up at the right time,” he said.
He appealed to indigenous leaders and elders of the society to suggest ways for the indigenous affairs department to function for preservation of cultures and languages.
Khandu expressed belief that institutionalization of cultural education is the need of the hour.
“Being a Monpa, I follow Buddhism. My culture is safe as it is institutionalized. We learn and earn degrees in Buddhism. Therefore, we need to establish institutes that teach our kids their respective indigenous culture, heritage, language, way of living and take pride on it,” he said.
Khandu, however, emphasized that modern education cannot be ignored and should go hand in hand. He thanked the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya group for taking up the responsibility to impart formal education to the students of the Nyubu Nyvgam Yerko.
Assuring of all assistance to the school, he informed that a budgetary provision of about Rs 3 crore has been kept for its development and upkeep.
Speaking about developmental aspects of East Kameng, Khandu expressed concern over the long-pending Seppa-Chayang Tajo and the Seppa-Bameng roads.
Stating that the alleged fund misappropriation in the Seppa-Chayang Tajo road project is under investigation, he said that nevertheless work on the road should not stop.
“I have directed the SIT to fast-track the investigation, but meanwhile I will ensure that work on the road continues,” he said.
On the languishing road to Bameng, Khandu said funds would be sanctioned, and that he would see to it that work on it begins within this year.
Earlier in the day, Khandu inaugurated the newly established operation theatre, while Rijiju inaugurated the ICU of the district hospital in Seppa.
Present on the occasion were Indigenous Affairs Minister Taba Tedir, Sports Minister Mama Natung, local legislator Tapuk Taku, Nyishi Elite Society president Bengia Tolum, and others. (CM’s PR Cell)