Those who are passionate to reach their goals can even build a bridge of pebbles across the ocean, goes a saying. To our surprise people like this exist who turn this proverb into reality.
Armstrong Pame is one such person who has achieved the unthinkable.
Armstrong is a 2009 batch IAS officer who has created a 100 km long long road without any government assistance between Tousem and Tamenglong, two remote villages of Manipur. The road is known as Peoples’ Road. It connects Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam injecting a new consciousness among the people. This man raised Rs 40 lakh through a Facebook campaign and brought alive this dream.
About four years ago, two areas of Manipur were cut off because the region lacked proper roads. The daily lives of people became hugely troublesome and rains always made the situation worse. They were living in complete isolation from the rest of the country. People would either walk for hours or cross the fast-flowing river risking their life to travel from one area to other.
The villagers had to make bamboo stretchers to carry patient across the river to reach the nearest hospital. Son of the soil Armstrong has seen these problems since his childhood. For many decades, the villagers struggled with this problem of lack of concrete road; and Armstrong thought of doing something about it. He eventually decided to become an IAS officer and take matters in his hand.
In the year 2009, he successfully passed the UPSC examination and started his career as SDM. His deployment took place in Tousem district where people had paralyzed options for transportation. He decided that he would remove this problem from the root irrespective of whether he gets the support and help from the government or not. Not only that, he visited 31 villages of Manipur to know the lives of the people of these villages and understand their daily problems so that he could find an apt solution.
At first, he wrote a letter to the Manipur government asking for monetary help. But unfortunately, the government did not show any interest. Armstrong was disappointed by this attitude and decided to carry on alone. He decided to seek help from the common people and raised a campaign through social media to reach people for help.
The response was overwhelming and beyond his expectations. They wholeheartedly supported his mission. His brother also donated nearly Rs one lakh for this noble cause. After this, many people from India and abroad provided financial assistance through his campaign. He himself contributed Rs 5 lakh and his parents donated an amount equal to one month of their pension.
Millions of people appreciated his campaign on social media and he was able to raise Rs 40 lakh within just a few days. Apart from this, local contractors and citizens also gave a lot of support. People’s Road has become a reality through collaborative efforts of people only.
Armstrong is an example for all those people who leave everything to government and never bother to change the system. The responsibility of filling the gap in the system should be taken up by the people from every sector of the society only. If we all take a small step together to improve our society, then nothing will be impossible and its effect will be clearly visible.
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