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Senior Arunachal village chiefs pick up crayons for the first time

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School.

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It is never too late to draw, paint or write, a contest for senior village chiefs in Arunachal Pradesh has conveyed.

A local association of ‘gaonburas’ and ‘gaonburis’ (village headmen and headwomen) in Ziro, the headquarters of the State’s Lower Subansiri district, organised a drawing competition for their counterparts in and around the town on June 12.

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School.

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School.

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“There were many illiterates among the ‘gaonburas’ and ‘gaonburis’ who picked up crayons and sketch pens for the first time in their lives. The objective of the contest was to let them come out of their routine work of solving civil cases,” Yachang Tacho, the organiser, said.

The institution of ‘gaonburas’ and ‘gaonburis’, referred to as GBs, was set up under the Assam Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation, 1945. Arunachal Pradesh has about 9,500 GBs who deal with customary laws besides acting as a bridge between the traditional and the civil administration.  

“The contest was also an effort to instil the love for pens, pencils, books and the amazing world they create. If the eldest in society picks up pens and pencils, the youths will too,” Mr. Tacho said.

Of the 36 ‘gaonburas’ and ‘gaonburis’ who participated in the contest, 30 had never been to school. The other six had studied up to Class 5.

Mr. Tacho said the prices of the drawing competition would be given away during Dree, a major festival of the Apatani community, on July 5. The creativity of all the participants would also be displayed that day.

Adult literacy programmes

The local authorities in the Lower Subansiri district have also been organising adult literacy programmes under the Arunachal Pradesh Rural Livelihood Mission. Chief Minister Pema Khandu was particularly impressed by an octogenarian who began writing during such a programme recently.

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School.

The contest was held in Ziro’s Dutta Middle School. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Age is just a number! An old lady but young at heart is trying to learn… We all may get inspired from her passion & zeal for learning,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

In 2019, the association of GBs in Lower Subansiri district had organised the ‘Mr. Gaonbura’ and ‘Mrs. Gaonburi’ contest in the form of a fashion and personality show.

The association has also amicably solved 23 civil cases within their jurisdiction in the last six years, an official statement said.


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 3:41:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/senior-arunachal-village-chiefs-pick-up-crayons-for-the-first-time/article65525942.ece