Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a low-cost housing initiative launched by India's central government in 2015, more traditional flood-resilient houses called chang ghors will be built in the state of Assam, where floods are frequent and intensifying. Raised by bamboo stilts, chang ghor is a traditional dwelling of the indigenous Mising tribe. The higher elevation has allowed the Mising, who have lived along the bank of the Brahmaputra river for centuries, to cope with floods year after year. “The Assam government is trying to adopt this in all Mising dominated areas. It is disaster-resilient and does not get submerged during severe flood situations and it can be dismantled during soil erosion or riverbank erosion crises. This concept is now replicated and scaled up by other communities and families who are living in severe flood-prone areas along the river basin,” said Tirtha Prasad Saikia, joint director of North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS), a volunteer-based NGO. With its many positive features like portability and ease of re-assembly, it is hoped that the government and local agencies will work together to make this traditional Mising architecture sustainable, durable, and disaster-proof.

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