Arunachal Pradesh, situated at eastern most part of India and amidst the high Himalayan ranges is one of the most beautiful places in the country. It is bounded by Bhutan to the West, Tibet & China to the north and Myanmar to the south. The state is inhabited by 25 major tribes and 87 sub-tribes, each having their distinctive identity, dress, ornaments, costumes and even languages but still they live harmoniously. Among all this diversity, we find a fine thread of common culture flows among them. Their culture and value system is greatly linked with the rich cultural heritage of the larger Indian culture.  Because of its’ immediate proximity with the three international countries and having experienced infamous Chinese aggression in 1962, the state assumes greater importance from the security point of view. At the same time, the large scale unchecked infiltration from Bangladesh, rampant religious conversion activities, lack of infrastructural growth and lack of employment opportunities has given rise to anti-social and anti-national elements. The loss of cultural pride and advancement of alien religion has caused divisions in social unity and destroyed the social fabric of the tribal communities. The situation becomes very much detrimental to the national security, while standing at the longest international border.

The languages of tribal communities have no script. They follow oral traditions and customs. The wise and elders of the society strongly feel, in the absence of record and documentation, their culture will simply evaporate and vanish away. Their cultural prideful stories will become a tale-tale stories, their dress, ornaments will become museum artifacts, their values will be encased in cupboards and their heritage will become unknown in their own land. It is with this background, the RIWATCH – Research Institute of World’s Ancient Traditions Cultures & Heritage came into existence.

The RIWATCH is established in Roing, Lower Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, under the auspices of International Center of Cultural Studies (ICCS) USA, with the twin objectives. (1) To research and document the rich cultural heritage of North East of India in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular and find out the commonalities among the different ethnic communities from all over the world. (2) To provide common platform to build Arunachalee societies from within, empowering them socially, economically and culturally.

There is spontaneous and active participation of the people of Arunachal Pradesh in this noble cause. They have contributed 10 hectors of land free of cost to establish the RIWATCH. A guest-house with all latest facilities has come up. The state level and project level committees have been formed. Presently the RIWATCH has been registered as Society under Societies Registration Act 1860. The first scholarship has been awarded to a native girl student to research and document the commonalities of dances in Arunachal Pradesh with that of ancient Indian dances. The research departments of all the seven states have agreed to contribute a set of research books and papers to the RIWATCH library. A student exchange programme with US universities and schools is being worked out.

We are here with the patronage of ICCS USA to create awareness about Arunachal Pradesh among the Indian community. At the same time we look forward their logistic support, support for greater linkages with different institutions, agencies, schools & universities working in the field. Also motivate them to contribute their might for the overall development of the region as envisaged by the RIWATCH and thereby nurturing the unity and integrity of their motherland. The effort will also help the land and people of Arunachal Pradesh to have a place at international platform.