They want a road. They are building it


 There are people who just wait for things to happen and there are people who bring in all the action. Here is a story of  people who are building their future instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

After seeing their  pleas being ignored by the administration for years, the residents of Tamenglong district in Manipur are building a main road to link the district to nearby towns of Assam and Nagaland.

There are such few roads in this area that a journey between neighbouring villages can take upto a day.

Even the National Highway connecting state capital Imphal to Tamenglong is desperately in need of repair, making health care and education a distant possibility.

The inspiration for the community that’s working on the road is a young civil servant, Armstrong Pamei, who himself had to walked for nearly 24 hours to visit his home during school breaks. Lately he has galvanized villagers and helped raise funds in social media forums. Another way villagers are contributing to this project is by giving something in return for a kilogram of salt, which the church distributes to the families.

Mr Armstrong is son of a primary school teacher who did carpentry to supplement his income.

More than 250 people have been working since August this year to cut through hills and impossible terrain in an attempt to connect these hills to Assam’s North Cachar Hills and  Nagaland.

So far, 60 kms of road, which once existed, has been repaired. 40 kms of new road is being built, based entirely on fund raised by people in the villages and  well-wishers on social media.

The government rates for the process would have been around 50 lakhs for a kilometre, but Mr Armstrong and his men have completed it for only 15 lakhs with some machinery being rented to them at no cost.

Let’s hope the grit of these people wakes up the authorities and motivates them to take up the cause.



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