Senapati: Sheemai (Maiba) Laonii celebration cum inauguration of Women marketing shed was inaugurated by Mahesh Chaudhari, IAS, DC, Senapati as the chief guest and Dr. Angshim Dangshawa, IAS, SDO/BDO, Paomata as the guest of honour. The program was attended by S. Lunguiba Thangal, MCS, SDO/BDO, Purul, Christian Home, MCS, SDO/BDO, Phaibung, Solomon Arow, President, Naga people’s organization, D. Dailord Pao, President, Poumai Naga Union and others.
Agriculture being the main occupation, festivals, traditional beliefs and practices revolve round this occupation. Laonii is a very important festival celebrated in all the Poumai Naga villages post paddy rice transplantation and the festival usually falls in the month of July. Laonii is not only an occasion of feasting and brewing and drinking the choicest rice beer and sharing happiness of each other after days of hard labour and toil in transplantation but, it is also a time to observe strict genna, rites and rituals, all in favour to expect a good harvest. Although there may be difference of days in celebration, the Paomata circle of the Poumai community celebrated Lao festival for 5 days with varied meaning of each days.
Sheemai (Maiba) village under Senapati district has around 440 households with a population of more than 5,000. The village women marketing shed constructed by the District Administration, Senapati was inaugurated by the DC at the beginning of the program.
In his welcome note, B.L. Louniio, village chairman called the day as the villagers have been looking for. The village chairman expressed gratitude to the district administration, Senapati for the concern they have for the village in different spheres.
S. Lunguiba Thangal, MCS, SDO/BDO, Purul in his exhortation lauded the village for being the first village to accept Christianity in Poumai Naga community. The SDO gave his thought to the gathering that needs to pass the knowledge why such festival is celebrated since forefathers time till date to take some recreation after hard months of labour in farming. Lunguiba Thangal also stressed the importance to seek blessings from God during this season for a good harvest.
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D. Dailord Pao, President, Poumai Naga Union in his speech gratified the district administration for the concern shown to the village which is lagging in developmental perspective that the villagers could not project by themselves. Solomon Arow, President, Naga People’s Organization in his speech stated that the village recorded the first village to accept Christianity in Poumai community, highest literacy rate, most Govt employed, first medical doctor, first LL.B, first agri graduate, etc in the past but regretted to be lagging in developmental spheres.
Dr. Angshim Dangshawa, IAS, SDO/BDO, Paomata in his address asked the gathering what one has planted for one’s life apart from plantation. The village road was not accessible in the past. Different remote villages of the hill suffered for lack of proper road where many women were taken in stretchers for delivery on many occasions. The Paomata SDO stated that he also wants to do something for the society in his lifetime and having heard of the trouble the villagers have been facing, the DC through the support of the SDO had recently assisted for road development of the village. The SDO had reportedly heard of the village about its glorious days but lagged in development. Most of the villagers reportedly reside outside with lesser concern for the village. Having said this, the SDO urged all villagers not to forget the reservation quota one receives to realise their roots. What one enjoys as Govt employees mostly come from reservation and in return, he urged all villagers to give back to the roots where one belongs for the status they have been enjoying. The SDO then welcomes all to come with better suggestions for better functioning of the Govt adding the door is always open to anyone for such attitude and to bring development to the region.
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Speaking as the chief guest, Senapati DC stated that the district administration has been doing in whatever they could to develop the region in their capacity. The DC lauded the Paomata SDO and the villagers for their support and contributions to make this day successful. With different problems, the DC stated to solve from whatever they could through the help of the legislators. The DC then suggested for labour budget, village authority meetings during the month of October or November to chalk out what they plan for the village and spend atleast one day for betterment of the village which is the available platform to solve the problems by the villagers alone.
Under the leadership of CM N. Biren Singh, Govt reportedly wants to reach to the people who had directed to all DCs to launch “Hill Leaders Day” (Meeyamgi Numit) at all district headquarters at DC office on every 3rd Friday of a month and welcomes every village leaders to come at the program which will be held for the first time in the district on July 15. The DC then declared that the district administration is ready to assist in alternate cropping for poppy.
With inauguration of women marketing shed, it is hopeful that the village women can sell their yearly products and daily yields, village women stated. Folksongs and cultural shows adorned with different cultural dresses marked the day depicting age old traditions.