‘No road, no vote’ finally connects remote Arunachal villages

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Some villages in Arunachal Pradesh have been on a ‘no road, no vote’ policy for a year now and it has finally borne fruit as a 65-km road has finally been sanctioned by the state’s rural works department under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, and the work is expected to be completed soon, said a report by The Times of India.

“This is a dream come true for us. We have suffered a lot because of the lack of connectivity. Things get worse when there is a medical emergency or inter-state disputes break out,” said Mikjom Taso coordinator of the “No Road No Vote” Central Committee that led the movement.

Road connectivity to and fro Arunachal Pradesh had always been a matter of concern. Road connectivity within 24 remote villages under the Kangku circle in the Lower Siang district of the state, which is 15 km away from Assam’s NH15 and 65 km away from Likabali, the headquarters of the district, had been a long standing demand.

After the state government ignored several demands of the villagers, they decided to resort to the ‘no road, no vote” policy. Under this policy, they simply withheld participation in the process of voting and electing anyone to power.

Earlier in 2017, before the by-election for the Likabali assembly seat, the campaign had taken off. Under the circle, five of the nine polling stations remained empty, and nobody turned up to vote. Educated elders, local youth, as well as members of the welfare societies of each and every village, decided to carry out the ‘no road, no vote’ movement.

According to the villagers, the success of Sissen, a small village in the Upper Siang district, inspired and motivated them to carry out a ‘no road, no vote’ movement. They believed that if a small village like Sissen could get a concrete road made by resorting to a ‘no road, no vote’ movement, so could they.

 

 

(Featured Image: The Wire)

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