Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said, “Change is coming to Arunachal Pradesh and the change is for prosperity, growth and development”. He said this while citing how Arunachal has grown from NEFA days with just 5 districts to 21 districts today on the occasion of Pongtu Festival Celebration at Khonsa on Tuesday.
Lauding the colourful traditional attires and dances of the Tutsa Community presented on the occasion of one of its major agriculture festival, Mein also said that Arunachal is a symbol of unity in diversity with people from diverse cultures and traditions dwelling together in oneness. He said that our state is very rich in cultural heritage which need to be thoroughly research and preserve through documentation.
He informed that a sum of Rs 5 Crore has been kept under Research Departments in the Budget for carrying out audio-visual and documentary research for the living heritage of various tribes of Arunachal Pradesh to capture the oral traditions, customary laws and unique socio-cultural practices.
Mein further stated that this year the state govt has presented the best budget and practical budget so far in the history of Arunachal Pradesh while saying that even the elected representatives from the opposition bench have lauded this year’s budget.
He also called upon the people not only to confine on traditional methods of agriculture but take up tea and rubber cultivations as the provision has been kept under Chief Minister’s Flagship Programme to provide good quality seedlings and planting materials at affordable price to the farmer.
He also informed that smart classes will be introduced in secondary and higher secondary classes from this year onward and assured to introduce Science Stream in Wangcha RajKumar College at Deomali for which fund has been kept in the budget.
Mein further assured to provide fund for construction of Khonsa Stadium under RIDF/NEC, fund for 1 km Concrete Cement road in the main entrance of the Khonsa township and also for construction of an alternate road from the backside of the DC Office Khonsa to State Bank of India as it was informed that the main road to the bank passes through the DC Office complex causing congestion in the office premise.
Minister of Education, Honchun Ngandam who was the guest of honour on the occasion said that festival is the flowery parts of our culture which adds beauty to our age old culture that had been inherited from the forefathers since evolution. He called upon the people not to dilute it by mixing religion with culture. He further said that we must work in unity and in the spirit of Team Arunachal for development of the state and for the welfare of each other.
Minister of Agriculture and DoTCL, Wangki Lowang said that the Pongtu festival is celebrated to spread brotherhood and happiness. While calling for preservation of culture, he said that culture is identity of every tribes.
Wanglam Sawin, MLA Khonsa East also spoke on the occasion and called for preservation of culture and local language.
Pholin Lowang, President of the Tutsa Pongtu Festival Committee while highlighting the mythology of the festival informed that the Pongtu is the important and oldest agriculture festival celebrated by the Tutsa community on the eve of rainy season. The festival is celebrated in the month of April or May every year before the harvest of Millets to welcome the New Year. It is observed to offer prayer to supreme God (Rangkhothak) which is believed by the Tutsa Community as the divine Goddess for both benevolent and malevolent for bumper harvest and prosperity and also to escape from the destruction by natural calamities and epidemic.
On the occasion, Pongtu Traditional dances, Lakrek dance performed by girls and Samton by boys, Ronghon bong, War dance (Ramui bong) and Tutsa Modern dances were presented at Festival Ground