GUWAHATI: Manipur IAS officer Armstrong Pame is in the news again, this time for helping a poor Mizo boy escape the ignominy of being born with a cleft lip.
The friends of 11-year-old Lalrindika would often jeer at him for his physical deformity. Pame took all the trouble to take the boy, hailing from the remote Lunglei town in Mizoram, to Imphal and get his surgery done at a hospital there.
It happened last month when the IAS officer was assigned election duties in Lunglei. During his stay there, he happened to meet Lalrindika at a village called Zehtet. On learning that the boy comes from a poor family, Pame offered some money to the parents so that they could travel up to Churachandpur in Manipur, located several hundred kilometers away. In between, he offered his official vehicle so they could travel from Lunglei to Mizoram capital Aizawl. When the boy and his father reached Churachandpur, Pame's men received them and took them to Imphal. Subsequently, the boy was operated upon at a hospital. The medical expenses were entirely borne by the IAS officer.
"We will forever remain indebted to him (Pame). We feel he was sent to us by God," Lalrindika's father Vanlalsiama said.
Pame, who is from Manipur's Tamenglong district, first hogged the limelight in 2012 when there were reports about him getting a 100-km road constructed with crowd funding.
Last year, he had invited 10 students from Class 5 to 10 for dinner at his home every Friday and also gave them a chance to observe the workings of the district administration.
In November last year, Pame had written a letter to industrialist Mukesh Ambani urging him to set up more mobile towers in the hilly and inaccessible areas of Tamenglong district for better connectivity. Subsequently, responding to the letter, Ambani agreed to give personal instructions to the officials concerned in this regard.