The visit of Rajya Sabha MP and titular king of Manipur Maharaja Sanajaoba Leisemba to Champhung village in Ukhrul district on Wednesday created a perfect milieu to retrofit the spirit of gemütlichkeit between the villagers and the family of Manipuri Maharaja that once existed in the past.
MP Sanajaoba Leisemba was on a one-day visit to the district’s extreme west village in connection with the launch programme of ‘Champhung Model Village’ under the Centre’s flagship programme Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
He was accompanied by his better half Leimarenbi, Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum, SAGY Nodal Officer Kh Ibochaoba Singh and a host of government officials who were accorded a rousing reception by the villagers adorned in colourful traditional attires.
Attending as chief guest of the launch programme, MP Leisemba said that: “It must be a divine inspiration that I have come to select Champhung village as my first choice to develop it as a ‘model village’ from among all the villages in Ukhrul district.”
He recalled the history of matrimonial ties once shared by the forefathers of Champhung villagers and family members of Manipuri Maharaja in ancient times.
“We learnt that long ago a woman named Yaozala from this village was married to Manipuri Maharaja and because of this, the two had once enjoyed the vantage of goodwill and brotherhood relationship between them,” Leisemba related.
“Let’s make it happen again today,” he asserted, expressing his wish and desire to rekindle the same relationship with Champhung villagers amid thunderous applause.
The villagers also presented different songs and cultural performances in honour of the visiting MP Leisemba and his wife and MLA Khashim Vashum. Among the songs included a folk song titled ‘Champhung Yaozala’ specially dedicated to Leisemba, which described how this beautiful Champhung yorla became a Meitei Maharani.
Located under LM Block in Chingai constituency in the extreme west about 65 km from Ukhrul district headquarters, Champhung village is a medium size village with around 77 houses. It is bounded by Tora village in the north, Somdal and Phalee villages in the east, Tanrui village in the south-west and Senapati district in the west.
Assuring the locals of the village that he would personally involve in monitoring the progress towards making the vision of ‘Champhung Model Village’ a reality, MP Leisemba urged all concerned to extend utmost cooperation in the endeavour.
“If Champhung village is successfully developed as a model village, the benefits would be not just for the model village only but also for all other villages in the district,” he said.
According to Leisemba, only actions could show the real progress and there was no need for lip service. “With this vision, let’s all join hands and work towards setting an example through this model village project so that other villages could emulate for the good of the community as a whole,” he pleaded.
Stating that developing the hill districts remained his concern, the MP further assured that 90 per cent of his developmental works/projects would be executed in the hill districts during his current tenure.
While acknowledging the support of hill peoples for him, Leisemba said that: “For the last many years, I have been wanting to do something good for my hill brethren but I couldn’t. Now being an MP, I have resolved to fulfil their wishes during my present term.”
Speaking on the occasion, Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum said that SAGY which envisions the development of backward villages as a model village, is an ambitious scheme, but unless the locals aspire to achieve the target, the same cannot succeed.
“Development is in the hands of the masses,” he continued and urged the locals to extend fullest cooperation and support to the project. “This model village project is not just about amenities and infrastructural developments, but it calls for positive changes in the lifestyle and attitude of the local people,” Vashum advocated.
He also informed the locals about different upcoming water supply schemes for the area, stating that: “These are in the pipeline and would be implemented at the earliest possible.”
Meanwhile, SAGY Nodal Officer Kh Ibochaoba, said that Champhung would be the first village to be adopted by the MP to develop it as a model village in Ukhrul district.
While highlighting about the scheme, he said that SAGY scheme primarily comprised 8 sectors which included different aspects of basic needs required by the villagers for their survival and would be taken up in due course.
“It’s not just the MP fund that matters, but it takes utmost contributions from the locals to make this model village vision a reality,” he said.
He then disclosed that there is no separate fund for the scheme, and added that all activities for development of the model village would be taken up on convergence basis.
On the occasion, MP Leisemba also unveiled a monument of the Champhung Model Village project under SAGY in the presence of MLA Khashim Vashum, government officials and headman and chairman of the village.
Later, MP Leisrmba, his wife Leimarenbi, MLA Khashim, CEO Ukhrul ADC Polly Makan, SDO Christianhome and others also planted trees to mark the occasion.