This mother is on a mission to protect children and preserve the heritage of Arunachal Pradesh
Meet Rosy Taba Gongo. Her smiling face, her laughter, and her jovial nature will make you feel comfortable from the very first moment. However, let not her happy-go-lucky persona fool you to take her lightly.
She is the first representative from the North East of India to be a member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). That’s not all. Rosy is a lawyer and has also been a member of the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for women. What will surprise many the most is her passion for promoting and protecting Arunachal Pradesh’s native culture, language, and tradition.
In a candid conversation with LifeBeyondNumbers, Rosy shared what keeps her grounded and how she is living her purpose in life.
Her keen interest in Human Rights, especially Women’s Rights, manifested at a very early age. Witnessing the violations of Women’s Rights while growing up had always been a matter of concern for Rosy, and soon after becoming a mother, she realized that though there were various policies protecting women, the same was lacking when it came to children.
“There was close to nothing when it came to Child Rights in Arunachal Pradesh. I realized it when I was a member of the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for women and was called to attend a meeting concerning Child Rights. That’s when I realized that there is no representative for Child Rights here,” she said.
Being a mother and coming to terms with this grim reality, she decided to work for Child’s Rights and was selected for NCPCR. According to Rosy, the lack of awareness coupled with Arunachal Pradesh’s geographical location, such issues always got neglected.
“Coming from a small village, now people know that I have become a member of the NCPCR, and that helps in making people aware of Women and Child Rights,” she said with pride and a smile on her face.
The mother of a four-year-old daughter, Rosy emphasizes that a supporting family becomes a crucial factor in a woman’s life. She gives most of the credit to her father, who gave her the freedom to pursue her interest. At the same time, she can’t be thankful enough to her mother for being her biggest critic and her husband Chakter Gongo for all the support that has helped her pursue her passion.
Interestingly, while Rosy’s father gave her wings to fly, he also taught her the importance of being grounded. With success knocking at the door very often, Rosy acknowledges that staying close to one’s roots is a blessing. This was probably why after completing her LLB course in Bengaluru and becoming a lawyer, she chose to be back in her hometown in Arunachal Pradesh.
According to Rosy, her identity made her stand apart from the rest, making her feel proud. She realized that belonging to a native tribe Nyishi and a follower of the Donyi-Polo faith is a matter of pride and significance as India is a country that can boast of its rich indigenous tribal heritage. That’s when she decided to promote and protect the culture, tradition, and dialect of the 26 existing tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.
“The tribes of some other states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have become popular, but people know very little about the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Each tribe has a different dialect and tradition. They need to be preserved and protected,” added Rosy.
An indigenous group of Arunachal Pradesh has set up a school – The Nyubu Nyvgam Yerko, which Rosy and her husband support. The school imparts formal education and native cultural knowledge. Students are taught primary education in English and Hindi till Class 10. They are also trained to perform native rituals and get to know about the heritage. In addition, Rosy is also working towards preserving the native traditions and culture in writing for future generations.
According to Rosy, with modernization, native cultures like hers are under threat. However, modern education and traditional teachings can go hand in hand along with certain benefits from the community. More and more youngsters will not have to choose between mainstream education and traditional education in that scenario. This will also help the future generation to live a wholesome and balanced life of living modern life while being culturally rooted.
In the future, she plans to take up similar initiatives for other indigenous tribes as well. Still, Rosy is quick to add that her heart lies in her home Arunachal Pradesh and that once her home is taken care of, she will carry it forward to other parts of the North East.
“As an individual who belongs to a native tribe, I can say that we rely a lot on our dreams to help us understand what our future will be like. My dream is to preserve our indigenous tribes. That’s just who I am, and I am proud of it and always will be,” Rosy Taba Gongo said while giving us a sneak peek at an eye-catching picturesque landscape behind her.
This was story was first published on Life Beyond Numbers.