Armstrong Pame nominated for CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2012

A young naga IAS officer Armstrong Pame’s initiative to build a 100-km motorable road involving the local community, without any government funding has been nominated for the prestigious CNN-IBN Indian Of The Year 2012 in the Public Service category.

Passed out from St Stephen’s College, New Delhi in 2005. Armstrong Pame is the sub-divisional magistrate of Tamenglong, his home district in Manipur, and the first IAS officer from the Zeme-naga tribe.  He has, of his own volition, begun the construction of the road that would link Manipur with Nagaland and Assam.  The road will reach Haflong in Assam, connecting via Tamenglong – Barak River – Azuram – Makhu River – Tousem – Phoklong – Katang Nam -Chari River – Hereilua – Laisong – Mohur.

The villagers clearing away a thicket with their machetes and daos. Photo by Armstrong Pame

Incidentally, the Centre had sanctioned Rs 101 crore in 1982 for the construction of this road, but for some unknown reason the project never took off. In June-July this year, there was an outbreak of tropical diseases like typhoid and malaria. It takes two days for the villagers of  Tousem in Tamenglong district, to reach the nearest hospital on foot in the absence of a motorable road. Hundreds of patients had to be carried on makeshift bamboo stretchers as the town doctors were unwilling to come to the village because of its inaccessible terrain.

Pame turned to his family and well-wishers for donations and began the “Tamenglong-Haflong Road” construction in August this year, but ceased midway due to monsoon rains. It resumed in September and now, only 20km left to give the villagers the “best christmas gift ever” they have been waiting for long many centuries.

A bulldozer on duty at the road construction site in Tousem. Photo by Armstrong Pam

He started a Facebook group to raise money for the project and slowly donation poured in for the project from all around the world. A monolith will be erected with names of all donors written on it once the road is completed.

Vote for him win CNN-IBN  Indian of  the Year (here). The nation need such inspiring young role models like him to be proud on. To send your contributions for the project, contact +91-9953029135 and don’t forget to join them on Facebook group.

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