Greeting the people of Paorei and neighbouring villages in northern Ukhrul on Luita Phanit, seed-sowing festival, Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum has said that the auspicious occasion is an opportunity for the people to rekindle the spirit of love and unity.
“It’s a golden opportunity to reignite the spirit of love and unity among the people. Let’s all learn to love and live in peace with one another while we are alive because life is short,” Khashim Vashum exhorted the gathering in his speech as chief guest during the colourful celebration of 75th Luita Phanit at Paorei village public ground on Monday.
Hoisting the Luita Phanit flag amid thundering applause, MLA Khashim said that he was pleased to see cultured lifestyle of the people of Raphei region, especially Paorei village. “I hope you will continue to upkeep this virtue with the celebration of Luita festival which is not just an occasion but a time for brotherhood bonding.”
Deviating his topic, the MLA mentioned that development is also essential for the people to live a respectable and worthy life.
Khashim Vashum who is the eleventh people’s representative from Chingai AC, also acknowledged the footprint of good work executed by his predecessors. “I am grateful to the former MLAs for their work and today, I’m following in their footsteps to bring in more development for the people,” he added.
He then highlighted that a number of proposals for taking up different inter-village road projects in Chingai’s Raphei region under the national flagship programme PMGSY has been put up during his current tenure.
According to him, the proposed projects include Chingjaroi-Peh road, Kharasom-Layi road, Phungcham-Somsai road, NH-201 at Luireishimphung, Kuirei-Khamasom Phungrei via Khamasom Phungthar road, Longpi Khunou-Lungpi Khullen road and Hallang approach road.
“I’m trying my level best, so let’s hope they will materialize before my current tenure ends,” he anticipated.
Much to the delight of the villagers, the MLA also disclosed that another proposal for a multi-crore project has already been put up under NEC for execution of water connection in Phungcham-Paorei-Varangalai-Peh area.
“The cost of this project would be more than Rs. 25 crore. Such mega projects normally take time and I appeal to the locals to have patients and cooperate with the government to fullfil this for the benefits of the villagers,” he pleaded.
Additional SP Ukhrul Ringthing Hongchui and Manager, Natural Livelihood & Management, IFAD Somipam Lungleng also attended the inaugural event of the annual festival as guests of honour.
“In olden days, Luita festival used to be celebrated for 10-12 days at a stretch but the passage of time the number of days has been cut down,” Somipam Lungleng said.
“Luita festival is important; it’s not just a festival of seed sowing, but also a time for showcasing our rich culture and remembering God and seeking His blessings for bountiful harvest,” he reminded.
“Let this festival also be a time for sowing seeds of goodwill among the people,” he added.
In his speech, Ringthing Hongchui said that the celebration of Luita festival has brought together people as one.
“It’s indeed a unifying factor for the people celebrating this beautiful festival,” he said.
He then touched upon development as a lifeline of any community. “Basic infrastructures like road, water, power supply, education, tele-communications, health care are first the first step towards this,” he said , adding that deprivation of these basic needs stunts development of the people, especially in remote areas.
Expressing concern over non functioning of the existing PHSC in the area which covers Phungcham, Paorei, Varangalai, and Peh villages, Hongchui observed that considering the growing population, there was a need for establishment of PHC or upgrade of the existing PHSC.
Peh chairman Shangreihan who also attended the inaugural function, said
that the festival brought the people of the two neighbouring villages Peh and Paorei closer than ever.
The inaugural ceremony began with Tallu Kakhong (traditional horn blowing) by a local elder Felix Pheirey followed by traditional chanting by local chief invoking divine blessings for every household of the village irrespective of their status.
The event also saw in attendance former ADC members Vs Paothing, Thanchipem Jagoi, Ngaranchui and Themreishang, along with intending NPF ADC candidates Wungthing Khaleng, Dominic, Wormihor, Thingreiso, Worthing Horam, and Vareiyo Shatsang.
Colourful seed sowing themed cultural dances were performed, while pork eating competition was also held as part of the festival.
An array of local artistes Nimzing Horam, Valleyson, Thangmeiso Shinglai, Oshim, Nimshimphi, Somichan Vashum, Soreipam Horam, Shimreingam Horam,
enthralled the festive attendees with their songs and performances.