‘Ethnic Village’ in Karbi Anglong Looks Like A Ruin

Death Of A Vision

The world-renowned ‘Ethnic Village’ located in eastern Karbi Anglong adjacent to legendary Kajironga wildlife sanctuary is no longer an adored tourist destination. It is steadily reducing to rubble with each passing day.

Young and dynamic IAS office M. Angamathu who was eager to fashion something incredible to showcase the astonishing ethnic mosaic of Karbi Anglong had to pull their resources including the Soil Conservation department to shape the project. Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council’s then Chief Executive Member Joy Ram Engleng extended full cooperation for the ambitious project including allocation of land.

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The ethnic village

The fundamental viewpoint of the venture was to build a model parish with living quarters in the mould of tribal homes, accordingly cottages on the mock-up of Karbi, Dimasa, Tiwa, Rengma Naga, Khasi, Kuki, Man Tai, Adavasi, Nepali were raised with facilities of modern toilets and kitchens.

The surroundings were landscaped with figurines, sculptures and statuettes depicting tribal legends and folklore of principal tribes of Karbi Anglong. The Soil Conservation department created magnificent precincts at the entrance of the village. The whole project setup at the backdrop of majestic lush green Karbi hills where during showery time of the year thousands of animals from Kajironga swamps scale up for safe refuge, crossing over national highway 39.

In 2008, work began with sturdy pace, arrangement for home stay with participation of local inhabitants and an ethnic food court was planned. Everything was done on the parameter of global measure with a simple objective which was to draw in the visiting foreign tourists of Kajironga to Karbi Anglong and the ethnic village would serve as a facsimile of the unique social life of nearly a dozen aborigine tribes living in this district.

On 3rd January 2011 the dream project was completed at a cost of nearly 2 crore rupees. The ethnic village was formally inaugurated by Joy Ram Engleng with great expectations of having accomplished a landmark step up on the course of making a robust start of hospitality industry in the hills of Assam.

Even the nastiest natured pessimist could not have imagined that this figment of the imagination, a project built with such passion and zeal would meet its precipitate fatality. After three years of the ceremonial installation of the project the KAAC authority has failed to decide who will be responsible for running the show. The whole venture is a guardian less and nobody cares to protect the brilliant edifices and the fine art fashioned to showcase the pride of tribal life of Assam.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.