Transforming Remote and Border Villages in Arunachal Pradesh

08 May 2023

Arunachal Pradesh is set to benefit from the “Vibrant Village Programme” (VVP), which aims to develop 2,967 villages in 19 districts across 46 border blocks of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh, of which 455 villages selected are in Arunachal Pradesh.

The “Vibrant Village” programme is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, approved by the Union Cabinet under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to improve the living standards of rural communities across the country. The programme aims to turn villages into self-reliant communities through the provision of basic amenities and infrastructure, including healthcare, education, sanitation, technological advancements, skill development, and a clean water system.

The launch of the Vibrant Village programme in Arunachal Pradesh is a significant step towards uplifting the community and emphasising the importance of community-based development, as well as ensuring that every village in the state has essential infrastructure and facilities. This article will discuss the launch of the Vibrant Village programme in Arunachal Pradesh, the selected villages under the programme (in Arunachal Pradesh), and its implementation.

Vibrant Village Programme’s Launch in Arunachal Pradesh

The Vibrant Villages Programme was recently approved by the Government of India for implementation in Arunachal Pradesh. Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the pilot programme on April 10, 2023, in the Kibithoo village, Anjaw district, of the state to promote tourism and inclusive development along the northern borders of India.

The launch saw several enthusiastic programmes conducted by the locals, events addressed by important delegates, and stall exhibitions put up by Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of Kibithoo, supported by the Arunachal Pradesh Rural Livelihood Mission (ArSRLM). The Union Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah, also inaugurated nine micro-hydel projects of the government of Arunachal Pradesh constructed under the “Golden Jubilee Border Illumination Programme” as well as unveiled Indo-Tibetan Border Police projects to augment infrastructure and interacted with ITBP personnel during his visit at Kibithoo.

The initiative also aims to encourage reverse migration and provide the villagers with a solid economic foundation by improving job opportunities through skill-development programmes such as beekeeping, expanding crop production, and promoting handicrafts and local producers. Basic conveniences, such as modern healthcare and educational facilities, will also be prioritised. Another visionary focus of VVP is to reform Arunachal Pradesh’s tourism industry, which has benefited greatly from the local population’s cultural traditions and history.

Implementation of the Vibrant Village Pilot Programme

For the Vibrant Villages Programme, the government will be investing Rs 4800 crore till 2026, with the first phase covering 11 districts, 28 blocks, and 1451 villages and benefiting a total of around 1.42 lakh people in the selected villages. The program will be implemented in three phases to prevent migration from remote regions to urban areas and promote reverse migration by providing people with modern facilities and livelihood opportunities. In the first phase of the project, which will span over three financial years from 2023-2024 to 2025-2026, 662 villages will be developed, including Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh.

Selection Process and Selected Villages under the Vibrant Village Pilot Programme in Arunachal Pradesh

The selection process for the Vibrant Village Programme started with the identification of potential villages by the state government. The identified villages then went through a sequence of evaluations, consisting of a socio-economic survey, land availability analysis, demographic data analysis, and infrastructure assessment. The preference of villages was based on a comprehensive survey performed by a team of experts from various fields, including healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The villages were also evaluated based on their natural resources, cultural heritage, and tourism prospects. The final preference was made based on the villages’ potential for sustainable development and their willingness to participate in the programme.

Under the Vibrant Village programme, the government has selected five village clusters for development under its pilot initiative in Arunachal Pradesh. These villages are located across the state’s distinct regions, incorporating the foothills, the plains, and the high-altitude areas. They were selected based on their potential for agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, tourism, etc. The selected villages are:

  • Chayang Tajo, East Kameng District
  • Kibithoo, Kaho, and Meshai in Anjaw District
  • Taksing, Upper Subansiri District
  • Tuting, Upper Siang District
  • Zemithang, Tawang District

In conclusion, the Vibrant Village Programme is an important step towards the goal of building sustainable rural communities, ensuring that every Indian citizen has access to basic utilities and amenities, and encouraging eco-friendly and socially conscious tourism in the region. It has the possibility of bettering the lives and economic prospects of Arunachal Pradesh’s rural populace, with a focus on promoting sustainable development, empowering rural communities, and promoting skill development and entrepreneurship.

The successful implementation of the programme in Arunachal Pradesh will raise the standard of living in border villages, maximise livelihood opportunities, and expand the economy for villagers by allowing them to become self-sufficient and make a significant contribution to the state’s overall development, as well as demonstrate itself as a model for sustainable rural development programmes.

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