ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu emphasized the paramount importance of protecting, preserving, and promoting the rich indigenous culture of the state. Speaking at the valedictory function of the 8th Triennial International Conference and Gathering of Elders organized by the International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS) in Dibrugarh, Khandu outlined the government's unwavering commitment to ensuring that cultural activities encompass all tribes and regions.
Highlighting the significance of cultural traditions passed down by ancestors, Khandu acknowledged the elders as living encyclopedias of knowledge systems. He commended the efforts of Arunachal's forefathers in keeping cultures alive and instilling these values in the younger generation.
Expressing confidence in the success of the conference themed around reviving traditions, ecological knowledge, and collaborative governance, Khandu stressed the potential of knowledge sharing, research, and collaborative efforts in preserving diverse cultures worldwide.
Arunachal Pradesh, home to one of the world's most diverse cultures, has witnessed strategic allocations by the state government. Funds have been designated for the construction of Tribal Cultural Centres across districts, and Gurukuls for specific tribes. Khandu assured financial support for the celebration of local festivals, Indigenous Faith Day, and Indigenous Youth festivals.
The Chief Minister affirmed the government's belief in community involvement, allocating funds to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for strengthening cultural traditions. Additionally, sponsorship of education for 20 students annually at the Indian National Fellowship Centre in Pune demonstrates the commitment to nurturing cultural heritage.
The government has undertaken extensive documentation of tangible and intangible aspects of various indigenous groups, covering tribes such as Tangsa, Nocte, Wancho, Adi, Nyishi, and more. Noteworthy initiatives include the completion of documentation on the cultural heritage of several tribes and the development of books on local folk tales for use in classrooms.
Establishing the Department of Indigenous Affairs underscores the state's dedication to cultural preservation, with increased resource allocation showcasing a commitment to various projects under this department. Khandu praised the efforts of ICCS in uniting diverse cultures and extended an invitation for the organization to host its next conference in Arunachal Pradesh.