GUWAHATI: Finally, a district magistrate (DM) reached one of Mizoram’s remotest villages and no surprise, the response was heartwarming. As soon as Bhupesh Chaudhary, the DM of Siaha, reached Tisopi village after a 15-km-long trek on a rainy day, the locals carried him on a makeshift palanquin and walked a distance of around 600 meters.
“They surprised us. They were very happy to see us in the village. No collector (DM) has ever visited them,” Chaudhary told this newspaper.
“By doing what they did, they basically honoured me. I could have refused but they would have been offended,” he said.
He said he was not tired after trekking 15 kilometers nor did he ask for arranging the palanquin. While making his way back to district headquarters Siaha in a vehicle, he used a different but longer route which passes through a different district.
Aizawl-based activist-turned-politician, Vanlalruata, said when someone is carried on a palanquin in hilly and land-locked Mizoram, it means he or she is being given a special honour. It implies great importance, he explained.
The non-descript Tisopi village has a population of around 400 and most of them are into farming. The distance between the village and Aizawl is around 400 km.
Chaudhary said he had visited Tisopi to take stock of the ongoing work of some projects including a 15-km-long road being constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
“The primary objective behind the visit was to review the progress of work of some projects. There is also a self help group that we provided assistance. We wanted to see what it is doing,” he said.
The DM said as the work for the PMGSY road was in progress, he and officials accompanying him had no option but to trek to reach the village. He said it was a good experience as it enabled him to have a firsthand knowledge of works that were in progress and also understand the locals’ problems.
“It was great to meet the villagers and see what is happening on the ground. Sometimes, we depend on secondary sources for information. These visits give us primary information on what is actually happening on the ground. We found some basic lacunas which we will now solve,” Chaudhary added.