Amanda Rangsa markets as tourism spot

The woodwork of  artist Handum Marak’s ........

The woodwork of artist Handum Marak’s ……..

TURA, JUNE 17: Pristine, clean and green Amanda Rangsa village in remote  West Garo Hills has earned a name for itself. The unique

........the artist at work

……..the artist at work

initiative to promote and market the village as a “tourism destination” is slowly attracting visitors. The villagers are upbeat and are ensuring cleanliness of the village.

Located about 25 km from Tura far away from the humdrum of city life – Aminda Rangsa village is a perfect get away. Beautiful landscapes, rugged terrains and a dense forest are the hallmark of Aminda Rangsa, where the community has come together to make the village clean.

A small village with 39 households has a population of roughly 200 people, including children.  In 2011, the village bagged the Nirmal Gram Puraskar.

The award motivated the villager and they decided to come together to emulate Mawlynlong village of East Khasi Hills, which has the distinction of being Asia’s cleanest village.

Handmade dustbins are kept in different locations of the village.

Now, the villagers want to create an identity for themselves. An ambitious plan of the villagers is to set up a Garo heritage museum.

“In 2011, our village bagged the Nirmal Gram Puraskar. We have not received any support from the government to fructify our ideas but we are committed. We have conceived an idea to construct a heritage museum to attract visitors to our village”, said member of village development committee.

“In 2010, the Nokma of our village (village chief) and president, secretary of the village development committee motivated us to come together to ensure cleanliness and since than we have been making effort to keep our village clean”, said an elderly.

An artist Handum Marak’s creative visualization has given shape to a park at Aminda Rangsa. He is an excellent wood and stone-carving artist.

Handum, 41 years old, earns his living by giving shape to his expression on wood and stones. His creativity has earned him a reputation that Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma has also engaged him to build a traditional Garo house at Ballonggre village, near Tura, which will have several woodcarving works.

He says that people come to the village to buy his wood and stone crafts.

At the park, which was constructed with generous donations from different agencies and villager, Handum has etched his creativity on uprooted trees.

“I wanted to contribute to my village with my creative expression, so I decided to do wood carving in the park, so that people can come and see the creations. I feel that people will be attracted to our village, which will help us in different ways”, said Handum.

Handum says that he has a bigger plan to peg his creativity, so that Aminda Rangsa becomes a model community tourism destination. He is proud that his village is a winner of Nirmal Gram Puraskar.

Last year, the village bagged an award for their conservation effort from Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP), a flagship programme of the state government.

Aminda Rangsa is an inspiration and deserves a thumps up.-From Our Correspondent

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