Contents  
Chapter- 1: General
Chapter- 2: History
Chapter- 3: People
Chapter- 4: Agriculture & Irrigation
Chapter- 5: Industries
Chapter - 6: Banking, Trade & Commerce
Chapter - 7: Communications
Chapter - 8: Miscellenous Occupation
Chapter - 9: Economic Trends Part 1
Chapter - 9: Economic Trends Part 2
Chapter - 10: General Administration
Chapter - 11: Revenue Aministration
Chapter - 12 : Law & Order and Justice
Chapter - 13 : Other Departments
Chapter - 14 : Local Self Government Part1
Chapter - 14 : Local Self Government Part2
Chapter - 14 : Local Self Government Part3
Chapter - 15 : Education and Culture
Chapter - 16 : Medical & Public Health Services
Chapter - 17 : Other Social Services

 

Chapter - 18 :  Public Life and Voluntary Social Service Organisations
Chapter - 19 : Places of Interest
Chapter - 20 : Glossary

CHAPTER - XVIII

PUBLIC LIFE AND VOLUNTARY SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANISATIONS

(a) REPRESENTATION OF THE DISTRICT IN THE STATE AND UNION LEGISLATURES :-

Legislative Assembly : Prior to the creation of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district , the Mikir Hills Tracts in both the nowgong and Sibsagar districts used to form a Single Member Reserved Assembly Constituency. The First General Elections of Independent India were held in 1952. The United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district was divided into three Assembly Constituency i.e., Mikir Hills East,Mikir Hills West and North Cachar Hills . The seats from these Single Member Constituencies were reserved for scheduled tribe candidates only . Of these the Karbi comprised two constituencies of Mikir Hills East and Mikir Hills West and the whole of North Cachar Hills constituted one Assembly Constituency. There was no change in these constituencies in the General Elections of 1957, and 1962. There after the constituencies in the Karbi were delimited and increased to three in the General Elections of 1967 under the name Bokajan, Howraghat and Baithalangso. The whole of the North Cachar Hills continued to constitute single constituency and the name was changed to Haflong Constituency . All the four contituencies were reserved for scheduled tribes candidates only.

House of the people : Till the formation of Meghalaya in 1970, for the purpose of elections to the House of the people (Lok Sabha) , the whole of the district along with the district of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills formed a Single Member Parliamentary Constituency reserved for scheduled tribe candidates only. The present , autonomous District Lok Sabha Constituency covers only Karbi and North Cachar Hills area.

(b) POLITICAL PARTIES AND THEIR HOLD IN THE DISTRICT AS REFLECTED IN THE ELECTIONS :

Legislative Assembly : The elections to the Legislative Assembly indicates that the Indian National Congress has dominated the political scene of this district throughout. In the first two General Elections , the contest was between the Indian National Congress and Independent Candidates. In the Third General Elections , All Party Hill Leaders Conference entered the arena by putting up candidates in all the three constituencies. This party also contested the Fourth General Elections by putting up candidates in three constituencies out of four constituencies in the district but could not win a single seat in either of the General Elections. An analysis of the performance of political parties in different elections is given below :

In the General Elections of 1952 , of the three elected representatives, two belonged to the Indian National Congress and one was an Independent Candidate. All the three seats were contested but the Indian National Congress did not put up candidate in the North Cachar Hills Constituency and the contests in this Constituency was between the two Independent Candidates. One Independent Candidate who polled 3,674 votes i.e., 56.3 percent of the total valid votes, won seat. The second Independent Candidate polled 2,843 (43.6)% out of the total valid votes of 6,519. In the other two constituencies there was a triangular contest. The Indian National Congress won both the seats by polling 5,617 (56.7%) and 8,485 956.7%) votes out of the total valid votes of 9,895 and 14,839 polled in the constituenciesof Mikir Hills West and Mikir Hills East respectively. The two Independent Candidates in Mikir Hills West Constituency respectively polled 1835 (18.5%) and 2,443(24.6%) votes out of the total valid votes polled . The votes secured by Independent Candidates in Mikir Hills East Constituency came to 4,186 (28.01%) and 2,168 (14.5%).

During the Second General Elections held in 1957, two seats were bagged by the Independent Candidates and one seat was bagged by the Indian National Congress . In the North Cachar Hills Constituency there was a straight contest between the Indian National Congress Candidate and Independent Candidate. The latter won the seat by polling 5,135 votes (57.64%) against his rival who polled 3,773 votes (42.36%) out of the total valid votes of 8,909. The Mikir Hills West Constituency had three claimants, one Congress and two Independents. The Indian National Congress Candidate won the seat secured 6,485 votes (7.77%) of the total valid votes polled . The two Independent Candidates respectively polled 1,694 votes (19.01%) and 733 votes (8.22%). In the Mikir Hills East Constituency there were four candidates, one belonged to Indian National Congress and three Independents. Out of the Independent Candidate defeated his nearest Congress rival by a margin of 2,027 votes. The votes polled by other Independent Candidates were 1,392 and 1,137 respectively out of the total valid votes of 12,734.

In the third General Elections of 1962, All party Hill Leaders Conference entered the field but could not win any seat. All the three seats from the district were captured by the Indian National Congress. In the Constituencies of North Cachar Hills and Mikir Hills West , there was staraight contest between the Indian National Congress and All party Hill Leaders Conference . The former's candidates polled 5,708 votes (50.6%) and 10,020 votes (61.6%) against the latter's 5,693 votes (49.99%) and 5,169 votes (31.7%) out of the total valid votes of 11,401 and 15,189 in the constituencies of North Cachar Hills and Mikir Hills West . Like the previous election , Mikir Hills East Constituency again had four cornered contest. The Indian National Congress won the seat by securing 7,059 votes (39.6%) out of the total valid votes of 16,181. The votes polled by All party Hill Leaders Conference was only 2,163 (12.2%). The other two contestants were Independent who polled 4,750 votes (26.6%) and 2,209 votes (12.4%).

During the Fourth General Elections , the number of assembly constituencies increased to four and renamed as Haflong, Bokajan, Howraghat and Baithalangso. The whole of North Cachar Hills continued to comprise one constituency, only renamed as Haflong Assembly Constituency . The remaining three assembly constituencies fell within Karbi . In this General Elections ,Indian National Congress demonstrated its complete sway over the district by occupying all the four assembly seats. There were dual contests in all the four constituencies. In the three constituencies of Haflong, Bokajan , Baithalangso, the contest was between Indian National Congress and All party Hill Leaders Conference and the Indian National Congress Candidates polled 9,934, (65.18%), 12,255 (67.08%) and 11,930 (78.55%) votes against his rival who polled 5,307 (34.82%) , 6,015 (32.92%) and 4,291 (26.45%) votes respectively out of the total valid votes polled in the constituencies. In the fourth constituency of Howraghat, Indian National Congress Candidate polled 12,876 (70.96%) against 5,271 (29.05%) votes polled by his independent rival candidate.

In 1972, All party Hill Leaders Conference which was predominated by the Khasis , lost hold in Karbi and North Cachar Hills and none from this party contested the General Elections of 1972 for Assam Legislative Assembly from this district . The Indian National Congress proved to be the only political party in the district in 1972 and from Haflong Constituency, the Congress Candidate returned uncontested while all the Independent Candidates contesting in all of the three remaining constituencies in the district were defeated returning the Congress Candidates by overwhelming majority of votes.

The following table shows the results of the last five General Elections in the district :-

General

Elections

Name of the Contituency

No. of contesting candidates

No. of electors

otal valid votes polled in the constituency.

1

2

3

4

5

1952

North Cachar Hills

Mikir Hills West.

Mikir Hills East.

2

3

2

19,986

33,063

34,589

6,517

9,895

14,839

1957

North Cachar Hills

Mikir Hills West.

Mikir Hills East.

2

3

4

21,329

35,578

40,410

8,908

8,912

12,734

1962

North Cachar Hills

Mikir Hills West.

Mikir Hills East.

2

2

4

23,181

41,952

48,399

11,408

15,189

16,181

1967

Haflong

Bokajan

Howraghat

Baithalangso

2

2

2

2

27,645

38,383

35,644

37,753

15,241

18,270

18,147

16,221

1972

Haflong

Bokajan

Howraghat

Baithalangso

1

2

2

4

33,426

53,697

50,563

53,394

-

22,447

28,427

24,470

 

Votes polled by

Name of the party who gained the seat.

Congress

APHLC

Independents

Total votes

Percentage

Total votes

Percentage

Total votes

Percentage

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

-

 

5,617

 

8,485

-

 

56.7

 

56.7

Nil

 

Nil

 

Nil

Nil

 

Nil

 

Nil

(a) 3,674

(b) 2,843

(a) 1,835

(b) 2,443

(a) 4,186

(b) 2,168

56.3

4.36

18.5

24.6

28.01

14.5

Independent

 

Congress

 

Congress

 

3,773

6,485

 

4,089

42.36

72.77

 

32.11

Nil

Nil

 

Nil

Nil

Nil

 

Nil

5,135

(a) 1,694

(b) 733 8.22

(a) 6,116

(b) 1,137

(c) 1,392

57.64

19.01

 

48.03

Independent

Congress

 

Independent

5,708

10,020

7,059

50.06

61.6

39.6

5,693

51,69

2,163

49.99

31.7

12.2

-

-

(a) 4,750

(b) 2,209

-

-

26.6

12.4

Congress

Congress

Congress

9,934

12,255

12,876

11,930

65,18

67.08

70.95

73.55

5,307

6,015

 

4,291

34.82

32.7

 

26,45

-

-

26,45

-

-

29.05

Congress

Congress

Congress

Congress

-

15,981

20,119

15,726

 

71.19

75.76

69.00

 

'..

..

,,

 

-

-

-

 

6,466

6,438

(a)856

 

(b)4,587

(c)1,621

 

28.81

24.24

3.76 Lost security.

20.13

7.11 Lost security

Congress

Congress

Congress

Congress

At present there are 5 Assembly Constituencies in the bifurcated district with formation of a new assembly constituency at Baithalangso.

House of the people : As stated earlier, the whole of the district of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills along with the United khasi and Jaintia Hills formed one Lok Sabha Constituency termed as autonomous District S.T. Parliamentary Constituency. In the First General Elections there were three candidates for the seat, one each belonged to Indian National Congress, Hills People Part and Khasi Jaintia Durbar. The Indian National Congress won the seat and votes polled by the three candidates respectively were 59,320 , 17,350 and 32,987 out of the total valid votes of 1,09,663. In the next General Elections, the Indian National Congress conceded defeat to Eastern India Tribal Union whose candidate polled 58,428 votes (49.86%) out of the total valid votes of 1,17,177. The Indian National Congress and Hills Union respectively polled 40,580 (34.63%) votes and 18,169 (15.5%) votes. All Party Hill Leaders Conference wrested this seat in the General Elections also. Its candidates polled 91,850 votes and 1,12,492 votes against his nearest rival Congress Candidate who polled 56,701 and 70,819 in the General Elections of 1962 and 1967. From 1972 onward, the Lok Sabha seat in the autonomous Districts Constituency has been retained by INC and the APHLC lost its hold there. The following table shows the details of last four General Elections of the autonomous Districts S.T. Parliamentary Contituency :-

(c)NEWAPAPERS :

The habit of newspaper reading is not much cultivated by the people of the district . It is limited to a section of the people living in the town or serving in the government offices. This may be mainly attributed to the low percentage of literacy and poverty. Underdeveloped means of communication and lack of postal facilities in the interior areas of the district are the other hindrances in cultivating the habit of reading. Literacy which stands at 17.4 percent according to the Census of 1961 is the lowest among the districts of Assam. Moreover, most of the newspapers and periodicals, being published in languages other than their owm, the people do not feel encouraged to read them. So whatever papers are in circulation in the district are not sufficient to creat any political complextion among the people.

Almost all the newspapers and weeklies circulated at different places in the district are published outside the district . These papers are mostly in English and Assamese languages and a few in Bengali and Hindi. Prominent among the dailies are The Assam Tribune, The Natun Assamiya, the Times of India, The Hidustan Standard, The Statesman, The Amrita Bazar Patrika, Asom Batori, Jugantar , and Vishwamitra. Among the weeklies and bi-weeklies are Asom Bani, Blitz, Current Janam- bhumi, Illustrated Weekly of India, Ganatantra, Janambhumi, Jugadharma etc. The Assam Tribue and the Assam Bani have the highest circulation in the district .

There are no newspapers published in the district , only a fortnightly newspaper named 'Pirthe- Kimi' in Karbi dialect in Assamese script was published from Diphu but after a few months of its publication was discontinued. The Hmar literary Society at Haflong is also publishing a fortnightly paper named Palai (in Hmar dialect in Roman script).

(d) VOLUNTARY SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANISATIONS :

Inhabited mainly by tribal people at various levels of cultural and social development Karbi and North Cachar Hills provided a virgin field for philanthropic and humanitarian work. There are a few voluntary social service organisations working for the advancement of the tribal people and other backward classes in the district . Notably among them are the Mikir Hills Sevakendra, Sariahjan, the Shreemanta Shankar Mission, Nowgong, Presbytarian Mission , Haflong , and the Ramkrishna Mission, Haflong .A brief review of the activities of each of these social service organisations are as follows :-

The Mikir Hills Sevakendra Sariahjan :

The Mikir Hills Sevakendra was established on 3 rd February, 1969 at Sariahjan with a view to serve the kKrbi and other tribal people living in the district and othere adjacent areas of Sibsagar district and Nagaland State. The place is surrounded by a large number of Karbi and other tribal villages on the eastern slopes of the Karbi . The scheme was originally devised by Late Rev. Thakkur Bapa. The institute is now affiliated to the Bharatiya Adimjati Seva Sangha, Delhi and is managed by an Executive Committee of eleven members. Since the time of its inception it has expanded its scope of service undertaking manifold activities for tribal people such as spread of education, medical aid, and economic activities for raising the standard of living of the tribal people.

Since its inception 30 primary schools have been established in the interior of Karbi by the Sevakendra. After running a number of years these schools have gradually been transferred either to the State Education Department or the District Council of Karbi . In 1961-62 two basic schools with an enrolment of 127 tribal pupils including 41 girls were also established by the Sevakendra. A plot of 3 acres of cultivable land is provided to each of the basic schools for growing fruits and vegetables. The poor tribal pupils are also provided with free books, slates, and papers etc. The Sariahjan H.E. School organised in the year 1954, is now recognised by the Education Department of Assam. With the opening of class X, the school is now full-fledged H.E. School and is running with an average enrolment of 200 students.

The Gramodyog Vidayalaya (The Village Industries Training Institute) was started in 1959 with a view to train uptribal youths in village crafts to enable them to earn better living. About 20 students are undergoing training in different crafts like carpentry, Ghani and oil pressing and fibre and rope making etc. There are trained instructors and demonstrators in the institute and the trainees are helped with a stipend of Rs.25/- p.m. for whole time and Rs.12/- p.m. for partime. The sale proceeds from the centre amounted to Rs.840.26 p. whereas the total expenditure incurred on the centre during 1962-63 came to Rs.11,688.89 p. The grants received by Gramodyog Vidalaya from the various sources are as follows :-

 

1960-61

1961-62

1962-63

1.State Government.

2.Community Development Block,Bokajan

3.Directorate of Technical Education Assam

4.Cottage Industries Department , Assam

Rs.9,000/-

-

-

-

Rs.5,000/-

Rs.360/-

Rs.5,000/-

-

-

Rs.480/-

Rs.6,000/-

Rs.1,000/-

In 1962-63 there were separate hostels for boys and girls where over 70 students were living and prosecuting their studies in the different institutes. Majority of them were getting help from the Sevakendra, Rs.12/- per month as stipend besides other facilities. The Government grant from its various departments covered roughly about 50% of the expenditure for these educational activities.

To provide medical aid to combat diseases, paricularly leprosy, in this area , the Sevakendra is running one general Dispensary, one Leprosy Colony, one Preventoria and 4 outdoor leprosy Clinics. In 1962-63 a total number of 6,183 patients were treated in the Dispensary at Sariahjan. The new sub- centres of the Dispensary had been opened at Saphapani and Upper Deopani in 1961 and 1962. The Medical Officer of the Sevakendra attend these centres once a week. The Sariahjan Kusthanivas,the Preventoria and four Leprosy Clinics of the Sevakendra are rendering useful service in combating Leprosy in the adjecent areas. Kusthanivas (leprosy colony) was established in 1950. The average number of patients in the colony was 20. The total number of out-door patients treated in other centres came to 518 in 1962-63. The in-patients of the colony and the children of the preventeria are given free fooding and clothing, besides medical treatment. The Sevakendra has received from the State Governement of Assam under Art. 275 a grant of Rs.6,000/- and Rs.15,000/- in 1961-62 and 1962-63 respectively. A grant of Rs.10,000/- was also sanctioned by the Social Welfare Department, Assam, in 1962-63. A new leprosy scheme was approved by the Ministry of Health , GOvernement of India, for carrying out intensive survey and domiciliary treatment 1961-62. The scheme had been continued in 1962-63 also, with a grant of Rs.6,400/- received from the Ministry of Health, Government of India. An amount of Rs.1,734.20 P. had been spent on the scheme up to 31st . of March , 1963.

The Sevakendra took the initiative in persuading the Government of Assam, to deforest a strip of 6 sq. miles area of the Nambor Reserved Forest. Over 700 Karbi families of hill Jhumers have been settled in this area. Organised into big villages and settled in life they are taking to the plough and carrying on wet rice cultivation. According to size, each family has been alloted economic holdings and a separate plot of home-stead. Roads, schools, ring-wells and irrigation dams have been constructed in the area to improve the standard of life of the settlers

The following are institutions or centres run by Mikir Hills Sevakendra in the District of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills .

1. High English School at Sariahjan.

2. Gramudoyog Centre at Sariahjan.

3. Dispensary at Sariahjan.

4. Leprosy Colony at Sariahjan.

5. Preventoria at Sariahjan.

6. Leprosy Clinics at (i) Sariahjan, (ii) Saphapani, (iii) Upper Deopani, (iv) Balipathar.

The Shreemanta Shankar Mission, Nowgong : The Shreemanta Shankar Mission was founded at nowgong in January, 1950 and since then it has been working on humanitarian lines throughout the State. The Mission is managed by an Executive Committee of 13 members. It took up the cause of education in Karbi by establishing educational and cultural institutions. The Mission is running one Middle English School and one Junior Basic School at Ouguri since 1963. Each of the school is provided with hostels for the pupils hailing from distant places. They are provided with free food, free lodging and free clothing . There were 25 pupils in the M.E. School and 52 pupils in the Junior Basic School in 1962-63.

Since 1953, the Mission has been doing anti-leprosy and various other welfare works in the Karbi where the incidence of the fell diseases like Leprosy and Kala-Ajar is very heavy. The Mission is running 7 clinics with 12 sub-centres , One Leprosy Hospital a Ouguri and 3 charitable dispensaries at Ghilani, Tumpereng and Ouguri in Karbi . During the year 1962-63 1,006 cases and 18 indoor cases was treated. With the help of the grants-in-aid from the Central Social Welfare Board , New Delhi, a Preventoria to segregate the children of leprous parents was established at Tumpreng. Children in the Preventoria are provided with free lodging , fooding and clothing. There were 13 children in the Preventoria in 1962-63. Two colonies, one at Ouguri and the other at Satgaon were established for the rehabilitation of 10 patients whose diseases were arrested under the treatment.

The Mission is also running 3 Maternity Centres in Karbi at Diphu , Tumpreng and Ghilani through the services of one midwife and one female attendent in each centre. During the year 1962-63, cases attended were female diseases 603, delivery 170, houses visited 1,509 and infants treated 987 by the staff of these maternity centres.

The following are the institutions oe centres run by the Shreemanta Shankar Mission in the District of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills .

1.Middle English School at Ouguri.

2.Junior Basic School at Ouguri.

3.Cultural Institution at (i) Ouguri, (ii) Tumpreng.

4.Leprosy Hospital at Ouguri.

5.Charitable Dispensaries at (i) Ghilani , (ii)Tumpreng, (iii)Ouguri.

6.Clinics at (i)Amsoi, (ii)Umpani, (iii) Ouguri , (iv)Tumpreng, (v)Ghilani, (vi) Borthal, (vii) Kalonga. 7.Preventoria at Tumpreng.

8.Rehabilitation Centre at (i) Ouguri, (ii) Satgaon,

9.Maternity Centre at (i)Diphu, (ii) Tumpreng, (iii) Ghilani.

The Presbytarian Mission , Haflong :

The Mission as pioneer in the field of education in the district , began its activities with the coming of the Late Rev. Garland William to Haflong in 1905. He built the first Mission house and a tiny school where he used to teach a few boys. When he left, the work was supervised by Late Rev. T.W. Rose from Silchar and in 1912 late Rev. J.M. Harris took over the Mikir Hills District work. It is during his time that many schools were established in the interior of North Cachar Hills particularly in the Villages inclined to Charistanity. The primary schools established by the Mission in the early thirties of the twentieth century has already been described in the Chapter Education and Culture.

Many schools were established after this period but since 1951, the Mission Schools have gradually been handed over to the Governement for better running of the schools. In 1963, only 24 Primary Schools with the strength of 380 students were under the Mission . In the Schools where there were qualified teachers, classes were maintained up to class III and in some schools upto class II only. The Mission has also published some of the Bible Extracts and the Gospels in Zemi Naga, Biete, Hmar and Thado dialects. Following in the list of the Psimary Schools maintained by the Presbytarian Mission in 1963 : -

Name of School

No. of students

Name of School

No. of students

1.Bhangpiri

2.Vaitang

3.Jahai

4.Thalangpui

5.Chaptuk

6.Tuikim

7.Michikur

8.Asaiak Robi

9.La Kar

10.Mualsheng

11.Vongjoi

12.P. Hmar Lushei

16

15

23

14

17

9

17

10

14

12

23

20

13.Dolai Chunga

14.Malangpa

15.P. Kamphai

16.K. Kamphai

17.K. Hokkai

18.B. Haflong

19.Keloloa

20.K. Inpoi

21.Bolason

22.Taijoi

23.Naphojou

24.Donlon

10

22

15

16

17

19

20

17

14

9

14

17

 

 

Total

380

Shri Ramkrishna Seva-Samittee, Haflong : Shri Ramkrishna Seva-Samittee established at Haflong in the year 1950 with a view to impart instructions and promote the study and application of Vedanta philosophy and its principles among the masses as propounded by Shri Ramkrishna. A Residential Tribal Students Home on the lines of Gurukul teaching is being run by the Shri Ramkrishna Seva-Samittee, at Haflong. The boys are imparted moral, social and religious education along with their school education. There are three tailoring centres under the Samittee. One is located at Haflong and two are mobile centres imparting in the interior of North Cachar Hills .

Sariahjan Welfare Extension Project : It was inagurrated by the then Chief Minister of Assam, on the 30th of December , 1964, with a view to undertake multipurpose welfare programmes relating to women, children and the handicapped. The project covers an area of 90 sq. miles , a unit of 25 villages with an approximate population of 25,000. The programmes of the project are implemented by whole time village level women workers who are to work under the guidance of the Project Implementing Committee consisting of official and non-official members. The Deputy Commissioner , United Mikir and North Cachar Hills is the Chairman of Committee . Governement contributes 75% of its expenditure and the remaining 25% is raised from the public by way of matching contribution either in kind or cash.

The project opened 4 centres at Khatkhati, Rongagora, Tenglijan and Bhagajan Nambor Adarsha village. Another centre was opened at Dillai. The programme of the project is divided into threecategories of (i) daily , (ii) weekly and (iii) periodical activities. (i) The daily activities of a centre consist of Balwadi, first-aid, social education, general medical services, and allied services like art and craft, and recreational activities for women and children. (ii) The weekly programmes comprises sanitation, weekly washing of Balwadi childen 's clothes, cultural activities like Bhajan and Kirtan and formation of Mahila Samittes. (iii) Under periodical activities comes celebration of festivals, organising folk dances etc., and kitchen garden competition etc. Children attending the Balwadi classes at the project centres is over 200 daily. Balwadi class is meant only for children of 3 to 5 years of age. The project renders medical service and attend to delivery cases ranging from pre-nantal to post-natal period. The workers of the project attended over 300 cases and took care of over 100 new born babies in the year 1961.