A video has gone viral on Whatsapp, which we have received on our tipline, purportedly showing a village in Arunachal Pradesh that is unconnected by railway or roads. The video shows what appears to be the locals of a mountainous area navigating difficult terrain to go about their daily activities, some with their children in tow or carrying them, with just a steep staircase and ladder being the only modern amenities to get to the settlement.
Here’s how the viral forward reads-
No railway, no roads …! A village from Arunachal Pradesh..! See how people still manage their work..!
Newschecker first noticed a watermark reading “Lotus Coffee” on the video, which prompted us to run a keyword search for “Lotus Coffee Arunachal Pradesh”. This led us to the same video posted on a Facebook page called “Lotus Coffee”, titled “Wonderful Life on High Mountain” and dated April 11, 2020.
While scanning the comments, we came across this CNN news report, dated May 15, 2020, about Atule’er, a 200-year-old village located atop a remote 800-m (2,624-foot) cliff in Sichuan province in southwest China. According to the report, the place made headlines around the world when photographs emerged in 2016 of schoolchildren descending the cliff on unsteady rattan ladders – or “sky ladders,” as locals called them. In 2020, 84 households of Atule’er left the ladders behind for good, resettling in apartment blocks, as part of a larger poverty relief drive, closer to the town centre of Zhaojue county, 75 km away, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Taking this as a cue, we ran a relevant keyword search that led us to multiple articles, Youtube videos, stock photos and write-ups, including state-controlled People’s Daily China, about the clifftop village. They can be found here, here and here. A comparison of the videos and the images confirm that the viral video is of the same place.
Viral video claimed to be of a village in Arunachal Pradesh is actually of Chinese clifftop settlement.
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