Rangsapara, the cleanest village in Assam, on the fringes of Goalpara district bordering Meghalaya, has also not been spared from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) final draft publication fallout.
A report appearing in the The Telegraph stated that the village dominated by the Garo community was declared the cleanest village in Assam early last year by the State Government. But, eight of the indigenous inhabitants whose names have been dropped from the final draft are now moving heaven and earth to make their claims at the local NRC offices within the next 48 hours.
In the next 48 hours, the eight inhabitants, along with Robert John Momin, the village headman and Ratna Nath, the president of Rangsapara Gaon Panchayat, will head to the local NRC office to make their claims, rectify any spelling errors of their names and surnames, and provide more legacy data.
The report further quoted Nath as saying, “Eight inhabitants of Rangsapara have found their names missing from the final draft of the NRC. As they are not literate, it is a cause of concern for them. They are part of the State’s indigenous communities and it is not justified that their names should be excluded from the final draft of the NRC. I visited the village on Sunday and found that there could be some error in the linkage of legacy data, names misspelt or some documents submitted wrongly. The problem also could have arisen as their ability to speak Assamese is less,” said Nath.
Rangsapara is a 100-year-old scenic village of 88 households and has a quaint lifestyle. On the lines of Mawlynnong in Meghalaya, the people of the said village are also very particular about cleanliness and hygiene matters. Rangsapara shot to limelight in early 2017 when it got the ‘Cleanest Village’ tag and was awarded Rs 5 lakh.
But, the village’s brush with NRC has made Momin a worried man. “On August 8, I will visit the NRC office and ask what went wrong. I don’t know what happened. We are the original inhabitants of this village,” said Momin.
The village also has a strict code against habits like smoking, drinking, alcohol and others. The village imposes a fine of Rs 5,001 on those who are found smoking or drinking. The high point about Rangsapara is that for close to two decades, it hasn’t witnessed any crimes. Church leaders visit every house in the village and provide counselling to households to iron out petty issues.