Change agents: Those who have the willpower to make a difference


The very reputed college of India, St Stephens, recognised on Friday (7/12/2012) that one of it’s students “get-up-and go“ attitude has spelt development for hundreds of villagers in the hills of Manipur (a prominent state in north east India).

Mr Armstrong Pame joined St Stephens in 2005 with Physics Honours. The felicitation by his alma mater after all these years was a proud moment, as quoted by the -“Hindustan Times”-.

After joining the much sought after IAS (Indian Administrative Services) in 2009 his foremost aim was to work on the development of the village which he hailed from– Impa village.

Pame told the Hindustan times that this village sadly had no roads or electricity and it was his dream to provide “a basic road” so that in times of emergency at least a four – wheeler vehicle could pass through. Reading this, I felt we are actually so privileged!

After Pame joined the IAS, plans were under way for the deep corners of north-east India. As the sub-divisional officer of the Tousem Sub division (Manipur) he made every possible effort to pool in resources for the construction of a 100 km long road in this district .

While 60 km was in need of intensive repair work. Mr Pame told HT, that a 40 km stretch had to be constructed afresh. He got in touch with the people inhabiting the village and together they did a lot of brainstorming, after which they came to the conclusion that they would work to build roads in the area. As a result about 150 villagers agreed to provide firewood, manpower and other resources that they were able to. He requested his acquaintances to provide bulldozers and other necessary equipments at an economical rate.

Even though financing this outstanding project was a hindrance, fortunately it didn’t prove to be a deterrent.

According to HT, Pame told the villagers that he would pay a basic salary to the villagers from whatever he saved over the months. His family also actively contributed for the project. His mother pooled income from his father’s pension and his brother and his spouse also joined in. But they got a major boost when they put this initiative on, Facebook.

Now they have generated almost Rs. 16 lakh which undoubtedly is commendable. In future, this young turk has requested the Government of India to assist them.

One final thing one can infer from this in my view is that those who have a desire, do make a difference. We all should learn from this and try to use our knowledge and education to -“”make a difference””- and let it not go in vain. Think about it: can you make a difference just the way Mr Armstrong, a civil servant, did?


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