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Arunachal: Former Apatani director Koj Tajang passes away

A large number of well-wishers and relatives paid their last respects and offered condolences during the funeral.

ZIRO-   Former director and renowned Apatani octogenarian Koj Tajang Anthony passed away after a prolonged age-related illness yesterday and his last rites were carried out at his native village Dutta here today.

A large number of well-wishers and relatives paid their last respects and offered condolences during the funeral.

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Tajang had been a thorough gentleman, honest and upright first-generation officer from Apatani community. He was one of the visionary pioneers who always stood for the cause of the society from his youth days as a student leader.

Born on 9th April 1958 in Dutta village, Tajang started his schooling from the then Govt. Middle School Hija, passed Pre-University course from JN College Pasighat in 1976 and graduated from St. Anthony College Shillong with Economics Honours in 1978.

As founding General Secretary of Dutta Students Union, Tajang was among the pioneers who played a key role in the establishment of Dutta village school in the early seventies. He was recognised and felicitated during the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Govt. Dutta School in February 2024 for his significant contributions to Apatani society.

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Tajang also became the General Secretary of then Govt. Higher Secondary School Ziro during the undivided Subansiri District in 1972-73. During his tenure, he successfully led the remarkable movement against the discriminatory policy of granting hostel stipends to students based on illogical distances of villages from the school.

Koj Tajang also got the opportunity to attend the All India Youth Forum in New Delhi in the early 1970’s. Inspired by this event, he became the founding General Secretary of the Apatani Youth Association (AYA) in 1974. Tajang is well known for his contribution towards modernisation of Apatani society as the first AYA General Secretary.

He successfully led revolutionary campaigns and reforms including ban of child marriage and orthodox customs of defacing the faces with tattoos and nose plugs by Apatani men and women.  Tajang also initiated the widening of village roads and generated awareness campaigns on hygiene and sanitation through social services in the villages of Apatani plateau.

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After completing his higher studies, Tajang joined Govt. service as a Statistical Officer in 1978.  He served the State Govt. in various capacities for about 38 years with a distinguished service career record. He retired as the Director of Economics and Statistics Department in 2016.

Post-retirement, Tajang devoted his time to family and farming related activities. Though he left for his heavenly abode, Koj Tajang will always be remembered by his family, friends, and well-wishers.

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