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‘Pick any & whisper a prayer’ — How Nagaland residents are helping needy by giving clothes

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

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New Delhi: Nagaland’s Kohima has begun a unique initiative to help the needy in which people have been leaving their reusable clothing items on a footpath. 

The drive began last week after an unknown person left a box filled with clothes on a pavement in the city’s Upper PWD Colony with a note that read: “Pick any and whisper a prayer”. 

A photograph of the box along with the message was shared by a local resident, Chenio N. Odyuo, on social media last week and it has since gone viral. Soon, many others began donating clothes at the same spot.

Odyuo, who is the sports ambassador at Aainball Federation of India, has said he was returning from a friend’s house last Friday night when he spotted the items laid out on a pavement. 

“It grabbed my attention so I thought why don’t I capture this and share it on social media for awareness,” he told Hindustan Times. His post has since received over 5,000 likes on Facebook. 

A vegetable vendor whose shop is situated next to the spot where the boxes are now kept has been quoted as saying that nobody knows who started the initiative. 

Bano, the 41-year-old vendor, said the original box was emptied out within hours, only to be filled with more clothes by several other people. More boxes filled with clothes were then added at the spot by local residents as news about the initiative spread.

Also read: Meghalaya football fan clubs go beyond playground, provide aid in rural areas

Long-lost farming festival celebrated in Manipur after 30 years

‘Laotai-Baantaek Ngai’, a cultural festival of the Zeliangrongpui community in Manipur, was celebrated last week after a gap of 30 years at Namkaolong village in the state’s Tamenglong district.

The festival used to be earlier celebrated every year, when winter sets in, by the community’s Rongmei, Zeme, Liangmai and Inpui Naga tribes to encourage farmers for a good harvest.

“The practice of celebrating ‘Laotai-Baantaek Ngai’, which is called ‘Kisan festival’ in general terms, was stopped about 30 years ago since the advent of Christianity in the region,” Namkaolong village Chairman Zeiringkhon Kamei has been quoted as saying by the Imphal Free Press

Kamei also said: “In the olden days, it was customary for the farmer with the best and highest paddy harvest to donate a pig or Mithun (a bovine species) for the celebration. However, contrary to the old practice, the village authority… presented a gift and award to encourage them to work harder in the future.” 

The village authorities also handed over 50 tins of paddy for Covid-positive patients. They also arranged prizes for the highest paddy harvester in the village during the event. Around 50 youths of Namkaolong village performed a traditional dance called ‘Chaguangpui’ at the function.

Assam professor on a mission to make Tezpur town greener

Haren Morang, a professor of history in Assam’s Darrang College, has been on a mission since 2015 to make the state’s Tezpur town greener and cleaner.  

He has so far planted 175 trees, including varieties such as debodaru, nahor, ajaar, krishnasura, bokul, sonaru, etc. between Tezpur’s Porwa Chariali and Darrang College areas. The trees are protected with scientifically manufactured barricades that cost about Rs 2,500 each. 

“I started my journey from my residential campus, planting a sapling on the occasion of my son’s birthday to motivate him to love nature,” Morang has been quoted as saying. 

He added: “Global warming, air pollution, etc. are posing a serious threat to the world. If we do not take necessary steps to increase greenery for the sake of raising the level of oxygen in the air, the coming generation will struggle to survive.”

Morang is associated with a platform, called ‘Udrupan’, which helps him in his initiative.

Naga darts player to represent India in international event next year

Vikehelie Suohu, a 36-year-old man from Kohima Village, will represent India in the JDC Virtual Amateur World Darts Championship (junior & adult events), organised by the Junior Darts Corporation. The championship will be held from 7-13 April in Gibraltar next year.

Suohu is likely to be the only Indian dart player to compete in the championship in the adult event. He had virtually competed for 36 days to qualify for the international competition. 

Suoho has seven years of experience of playing darts. He won the Open Darts Championship Dimapur in 2014, the FTC Darts Masters in 2019, ranked joint 3rd (team event) in the IDF (Indian Darts Federation) National Darts Championship in 2019 as well as bagged the joint 9th (open singles) position in the IDF National Darts Championship in 2019. 

He has been quoted as saying that he got interested in the sport after a friend introduced it to him. Suohu has plans of opening a coaching centre for children to help them pursue the sport professionally.

Also read: Manipur man on mission to save traditional one-stringed fiddle of Tangkhul Nagas


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