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Village Study/Village Stay Reports

An extravagant experience, Tirtharaj Gohain, Executive Trainee

If you have lived your whole life in hostel, always jumping from one city to the another for better education, keeping in mind to study hard and to earn a good life, and the meaning of a good life is what we see in a movie and dream about that fantasy to turn in to reality, then it becomes near to impossible to imagine the living standard of the rural people in the hilly district of Karbi Anglong.

SeSTA gave me this opportunity to know about the people of Karbi Anglong, I was asked to stay in a village, for 25 days with a local family and it turned out to be an extravagant experience, which I will remember till death separates me from this big blue marble. When I received the appointment letter(mail), it stated that I have to join at Lumabajong sub-divisional block at Karbi Anglong. Seeing the alphabets that together makes the name Karbi Anglong, it sends me into a dilemma, whether to or not to join there and becoming a catalyst to my thoughts, my mother poured more doubts on it. This happened because people from other parts of the state do not feel this hilly district to be safe enough for outsiders as frequent mishaps takes place here. Adding to it is the media, in media theories we call it cultivation theory by George Garbner, which says that- frequent exposition of a human mind to a particular type of media, cultivates perception about it and believes it to be the reality. Karbi Anglong is frequently presented as a disturbed area and over exposition to this kind of news have cultivated a pessimistic image for this place.

But I backed myself to go and see and explore the place, because to know the reality one has to come out of fiction. On 8th of July I reached Diphu and from there I was taken by one of my senior to a village called Mesebdainya, a Dimasa community inhabited village, in Dimasa dialect Meseb means – Buffalo and Dainya is – To cut, which means this particular place was used by the Dimasa Kings to cut buffalos during festivals and feast on it.  It is 10 km away from Diphu to the east.The people living here are of the Dimasa community, who follows the Hindu faith of worship, particularly to Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali and therefore have two temples for the respective Gods.

This village amidst mountains and vast greenery’s is settled in a very scattered pattern, with only a single house in top of one hill and varies very little. People here are farmers, they cultivate sesame, rice, ginger, betel leaf and nut. Leaving there I experienced and adopted their style of living, i walked 100 to 150 meters each day to fetch water for drinking, took bath from the mud wells, and the first sight of these wells will give a shock to any person who has not experienced drinking water from a well, it is filled with various kinds of insects and tadpoles climb up to the  bucket while I drew water from it.

Staying there for 25 days I got to know about a new community, their culture tradition and most importantly their humbleness and humility, they made me feel at home, I got a sister a brother, amai(mother), baba and two little girls as nephews. The people here even after being deprived of basic necessities like electricity and water are very hardworking, one can see a balance between the sharing of work, women are not just limited to kitchen and in return males too do not wait for the female to cook food for them.

As per the assignments given, which is to study the village till depth, to know about its demography, livelihood pattern, its institutions, I found out that there is a huge possibility of intervention in horticulture and livestock (primarily pig), and the nearby  Dimapur market promises the intervention to be fruitful, as there is a high demand for the goods produced in this places.