Hello, everyone! According to Indian people’s mentality, every politician thinks about himself before thinking about the general public. It became our tendency to see every politician with eyes full of doubt. You can take the example of Narendra Modi. Although, he is working very well, but people are unable to understand his working strategy. That’s why most of the people are busy in criticizing him. But if we talk about some politician, this mentality seems true. It seems like they joined politics to make their lives better only. Their only agenda is to make more and more money, whether there is any development is going on or not. This is the only problem of Indian politics.
But today Themedots is going to present you a story of an IAS officer of Nagaland who did a great job for the happiness of common people. His name is Armstrong Pame. He is an officer in Indian Administrative Service. He is the first IAS officer from Zeme Tribe of Nagaland.
A 2005 graduate from St. Stephen’s college in Delhi, Armstrong Pame is the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Tamenglong, his home district. After completing his graduate studies from St. Stephens College in 2005, he appeared from UPSC Indian Administration Service Exam. He has, of his own desire, begun the construction of a 100 Km “People’s road” road that would link Manipur with Nagaland and Assam. 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. After few months after sanction, Union Home minister P Chidambaram visited Manipur and asked what happened to the road. The state government declared that it would be done soon, but nothing moved on the ground. Then in June 2012, there was an outbreak of tropical diseases like typhoid and malaria. It took two days for anyone in the village to make it to the nearest hospital on foot in the absence of a motorable road.
Hundreds of patients had to be carried on makeshift bamboo stretchers, but very few made it to the town alive. Also, town doctors were unwilling to come to the village because of its inaccessible terrain. His one female doctor friend agreed to come there for the treatment of villagers. She treated over 500 patients and conducted quite a few minor surgeries. Many lives were saved in this way, but he realized how terrible the situation was in the absence of a road. That was the catalyst.
To construct an all-weather, motorable road in an area untouched by the progress made by Independent India in the last six decades was an uphill task. And when there was not any ray of hope coming from the government, Pame turned to his family and well-wishers.
He went to every near and dear ones of him for help. He convinced some of them to give their contribution in this project. His elder brother Jeremiah Pame is an assistant professor at the Delhi University. His brother and his wife donated their one month’s salary, Armstrong paid five months of his, their mother paid father’s one month’s pension of Rs.5000. Their youngest brother, Lungtuabui, donated his entire first month’s pay for the project.
The family together pooled Rs. 4 lakh to start the project. They hired a bulldozer and bought two earthmovers. But it was not enough, they needed more. So, they turned to Facebook. They created a page, seeking donations, and the response has been overwhelming. In the last three days, they have received Rs. 1.2 lakh from friends all over the globe, with contributions varying from Rs.50 to $1000. And they are willing to contribute more. The villagers, too have contributed as per their capabilities: some were providing food and accommodation for the workers; some are supplying fuel for the earthmovers. They have also provided manpower for the project.
Donation centres have been set up in Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Guwahati, Shillong and Dimapur and NRIs from Canada, USA and the UK have been sending their contribution for the project christened as Tamenglong-Haflong road. In a short span of time, Rs.40 lakh was raised for the road from Facebook.
The road formed a tri-junction with Nagaland and Assam over the Jiri River before entering the Dima Hasao district of Assam. Construction began in August 2012 but stopped midway due to the rains. It resumed in September, and so far, work on 70 km has been completed.
With his determination and spirit to do something for people, he completed the work of a 100 Km road that is now called People’s road that connects Manipur to Nagaland and Assam. Pame’s selfless work in a short span of time has earned him popularity and people now call him “The miracle man”.
For his efforts in building a road with donation and volunteers, he was invited to Facebook headquarters in California. In 2012, he was nominated for CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in Public service category.