Fight poverty now to honour Anglo-Kuki heroes: Radheshyam

Fight poverty now to honour Anglo-Kuki heroes: Radheshyam

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 17

Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919’s hundredth commemoration was held today at Longpi village, Chandel district, organised by Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Commemoration Committee (AKWCCC) under the theme “In defence of our ancestral land and freedom.”

Speaking on the occasion, education, labour and employment minister Th. Radheshyam, said the government will consider making October 17 an official holiday in honour of the martyrs of the war.

He said the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives defending the land, should inspire all to continue to wage a collective war against poverty, illiteracy and underdevelopment in order to make the commemoration a meaningful one.

Radheshyam said hatred can be conquered by love and urged all the concerned to promote love and peaceful coexistence by emulating the patriotic spirit of the forefathers.

He said different communities living in the state have their own weaknesses and strengths, and weaknesses can be overcome by the strengths so that a common good for Manipur can be achieved.

The education minister further promised to do the needful after consulting with the chief minister for the inclusion of the ‘Anglo-Kuki War’ in state school curricula. He also assured possible assistance to fulfil the proposal for declaration of October 17 as State Holiday.

Also speaking at the function, water resources and YAS minister Letpao Haokip said the valour of the forefathers in defending the land should not be let to go in vain. He urged all concerned to stop pursuing narrow agendas and rather work for the common good of all. He also distributed red blankets to a number of chiefs to mark the centenary celebration.

He assured to bring up the matter of electrification of all remote villages of Chandel district by 2018 and construction of houses for all under the central scheme for consideration by the state cabinet.

Other speakers urged all concerned to follow the footsteps of the brave forefathers by promoting unity among brothers and forgiving each other mistakes. They also called upon the gatherings to shun pursuing clan-centric agendas and show goodness instead for the larger good of the people.

They added the celebration will help to establish the rightful place of the iconic leaders of the Kuki War of Independence.

Radheshyam unveiled a centenary commemoration monument and inaugurated the foundation stone for construction of Anglo-Kuki War Museum cum Kuki Heritage Centre while Lhukhosei Zou, Chairman, ADC Chandel inaugurated the Anglo-Kuki War Memorial Park.

Chairman of Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Commemoration Committee, Khaimang Chongloi said there are two major wars fought against the British in the soil of Manipur. The state has given due recognition to the Khongjom War by observing it every year. He requested the government to accomplish the hope and aspirations of declaring October 17 as state holiday in recognition of the longest war fought against the British in Manipur, i.e. Anglo-Kuki War.

The programme was attended by Kumpipa, Kuki Inpi, Thangkhosei Haokip, DC Chandel; Krishna Kumar, Kamei, SP Chandel, Angam Romanus, Brigadier Rajesh Kumar, DIG, 28 Sector, AR along with village chiefs and CSO leaders.

As a part of the programme dignitaries and villagers of the function paid floral tribute on the commemoration stone and villagers gave gun salute to the martyrs during anglo-kuki war.

YFPHR lauds district authorities’ swift action

IMPHAL | Oct 17

Youth’s Forum for Protection on Human Rights has appreciated the prompt action taken by the Thoubal Youth’s Child Protection officer (DCPO), Thoubal District Child Marriage Prohibition Officer (DCMPO) Reena and her team, Thoubal District Childline team and Thoubal police team under the direction made yesterday by the Social Welfare department and Manipur State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights to rescue a 12 years old minor from getting married.

A release said that the marriage of the child was fixed today at the residence of the bridegroom somewhere in Thoubal district and the said team rushed to the residence of the bridegroom and enquired about the marriage and asked to produce the girl and the boy.

However, the parents of the boy failed to cooperate with the team as a result father of the boy was taken to the police station concerned for further query, it added.

The girl child was handed over to the police and the team of DPCO, DCMPO and Chlidline and later the child was produced before the Child Welfare Committee, Thoubal district, said the release.

It said that the incidence came to light when YFPHR made a written compliant along with sufficient age proof document of child girl to the social welfare department and Manipur State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights soon after receiving a report from the field urging upon the departments for their urgent intervention.

Further it said that after filling the complaint YFPHR along with advocate Laimayum Sevananda and Thounaojam James the lawyers of the complainant, that is, the father of the victim, rushed to the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thoubal district, A. Shanta Devi and submitted a petition to grant an injunction of the said marriage of the 12 years old minor under the Child Marriage Protection Act, 2006.

Responding to the urgency of the case, the CJM, Thoubal have issued an injunction of the said marriage until further order, it said adding that the next hearing is fixed on November 6.

AMSU appeals for notice review

IMPHAL | Oct 17

All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) said certain rules implemented by the directorate of other backward classes and scheduled castes regarding the pre matric and post matric scholarship for the year 2017 – 2018, is going to cause disadvantages to the applicants belonging to scheduled caste category.

A notification released by the department on October 12 mentions that the applicants must include the original certificate for scheduled caste while applying for the scheme, said a release.

The is going to cause unnecessary wastage of time for the students as they will have to undergo process of making original certificates every year, it said. Ironically, the department has requested for self-attested xerox copies of OBC certificates for OBC students, it continued. The union has appealed the department to look into the matter and make the required changes urgently, it added.

Dalai Lama arrives in Imphal to address peace conference

Dalai Lama arrives in Imphal to address peace conference

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 17

Spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, the 14th Dalai Lama, has arrived in Imphal today to attend an international peace conference to be held tomorrow at the City Convention Centre, Palace Compound, Imphal.

The Dalai Lama arrived at the Tulihal airport around 10.35 this morning by an Indigo plane along with 18 others including a Tibetan minister, an official each from Ministry of Home Affairs and External Affairs etc.

At the airport, the spiritual leader, who was declared a state guest, was warmly received by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly Y. Khemchand, Khurai MLA L. Sushindro, Chief Secretary and representatives of various ethnic groups of the state dressed in their traditional attires.

From the airport the Dalai Lama was escorted to Raj Bhawan under heavy security measures and met with the Governor. The Dalai Lama will be staying at the the Raj Bhawan during his stay in Imphal.

The state will be organising a civic reception programme tomorrow for the visiting spiritual leader at the City Convention Centre where he will be felicitated by the state.

After the reception programme the Dalai Lama will address a peace conference organised at the City Convention Centre followed by interaction with public and dignitaries. Prior to that programme he will be holding a press conference at the mini auditorium.

The Dalai Lama is here in Imphal following an invitation extended by the Speaker Y. Khemchand, during the latter’s visit to Dharmasala. He will leave Imphal for Dharmsala on October 19.

This is the second visit of Dalai Lama in the Northeast this year.

He had visited Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in the month of April amidst strong protest from China to India not to allow the spiritual leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

Nagaland newspapers denounce threat against media houses

Newmai News Network


Coming down heavily against threat and intimidation towards the media community, a joint statement of seven newspapers published in Nagaland has urged all sections of society to enable a free and vibrant fourth estate. 

The statement from Nagaland Post, The Morung Express, Nagaland Page, Capi, Ao Milen, Eastern Mirror and Tir Yimyim has come amid rising cases of intimidation, pressure and coercion against the media houses.

Media houses in the State of Nagaland asked whether they have the space to exercise freedom of the press. It said that every citizen is “responsible to ensure that the media is allowed to function freely”.

The joint statement asked whether the Nagaland State government is “even aware of its responsibility to uphold the fourth pillar of democracy” and added that media is the only means to publicly confront all forms of political, economic and social suppression.

Further it reminded that the Nagaland newspapers are the only active and functioning private enterprise in Nagaland, which continue to render public service amidst a faltering infrastructure and a corrupt system that deprives citizens of even their most basic of needs.

The newspapers have a responsibility to present, not only the sorry state of affairs in a free and open manner to enable accountability, but also provide the platform where solutions, ideas and views are elicited from all cross sections of society, the statement added.

However, in the process of upholding its responsibility, the media continues to be exposed to ongoing harassment and threats by individuals and organisations that coerce the media to publish their articles and statements, it said, adding there are also people who take it upon themselves to determine what the media cannot publish.

This also involves dissuading and threatening journalists and media houses from reporting critical stories that expose ground realities of Nagaland’s situation and condition, it maintained. 

In addition to journalists, another serious issue involves the safety and security of drivers delivering newspapers who travel at odd hours while transporting newspapers through villages and towns across Nagaland. Drivers are regularly stopped, harassed and even physically assaulted by miscreants, it added.

The statement continued such coercive methods only undermine the very purpose and existence for a free press and its role of keeping society informed, and contributing to its health and vibrancy.

“It is not the prerogative of the politician or the bureaucrat. Nor, is it the privilege of the journalist. It is journalists, through their day-to-day work, who are exercising every citizen’s right to free speech by seeking and circulating news, information, ideas, opinions, perspectives and comments. The press provides the public platform for diverse voices to be heard and to raise issues of accountability”, it added.

The joint statement further stressed that Nagaland newspapers are united and resolute in their stand against all coercions and threats in order to function freely as the fourth pillar of a democratic society.

Apply 7th Pay Panel provisions in the state: JAC of AMTUC and AMGEO

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 17

The apex body of government employees, Joint Administrative Council of All Manipur Trade Unions’ Council (AMTUC) and All Manipur Government Employees’ Organisation (AMGEO) demanded the application of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in the state.

President of the council, senior advocate, Khaidem Mani said in a press meet held at its Babupara office that Manipur is the only state of the Northeast states to still not enjoy the benefits of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

The 7th Pay Commission released its recommendations last year and many states have started enjoying hikes in salary accordingly. “Eight states in the country have not taken the benefits of salary hikes and among them is our state and the only one in the NE states,” he asserted.

“We have met the Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on April 21st and August 29 and he had given assurances that it will be done soon. We have also met the deputy chief minister Y. Joykumar Singh on September 1 but nothing positive has resulted till now,” he said.

The president was speaking on behalf of around one lakh government’s employees in the state.

He said that the JAC has been working and meeting officials for the implementation of the new commission since last year. They have other 21 demands in their charter of demands for better working conditions of government employees in the state.

He notified that the council will also go to meet the union ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister, Arun Jaitley in the coming days to extend assistance to the state government in giving a final nod.

Mani made an appeal to his fellow workers to work together for a common purpose and to consult the council for organising any democratic agitations like cease-work strike, mass casual leave and so on. He pleaded with his workers not to create a division with vested interests.

The press conference was also attended by the secretary general, L. Biken Singh and founding secretary general, Soraisam Keshoram.

Rural poverty eradication is priority of PR ministry, says RK. Yadav

Rural poverty eradication is priority of PR ministry, says RK. Yadav

IMPHAL | Oct 17

Union RD and Panchayati Raj minister, Ram Kripal Yadav said that poverty-eradication measures for the people living in the rural areas, implementation of the pending schemes of the past Congress-led government are the thrust areas of the new Modi regime.

The minister was speaking at press conference held at the conference hall of old secretariat here today.  Prime minister, Narendra Modi is really concerned about the welfare of the Northeast States particularly with regard to issues relating to rural development like  housing schemes, road-connectivity, women empowerment etc., he said.

PM Modi also would like to inaugurate almost 5/6 schemes in rural development and allocated around Rs. 1, 05,000 crore for the development of villages and rural sector, he continued.

“Till now, 30 crore accounts have been opened, 3 crores women given gas connection and 1 crore houses to be built till 2019. Using new technology, money is provided to the beneficiaries and almost 1 crore job cards are created. One can also avail of the facility to complain using the Meri Sadak App in which users can give their feedback regarding pace and quality of works,” he said.

Further highlighting on PM’s vision to connect roads till 2019, speeding up the overall developmental measures in rural sector by 2018 and implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) at the maximum level, the minister said the new government is determined to fill the loopholes of the past government.

We will conduct a field visit tomorrow and are dedicated to leave no stone unturned to alleviate poverty from the rural areas in the NE states, Ram further said.

Focussing on the main difficulties and challenges that Manipur regularly face  like landslides, incessant rain etc., the Modi government is committed to build a new Manipur by trying their level best to overcome all challenges on the way, he assured.

He stressed to expedite speedy progress of the ongoing projects of the NE states and bridge the development gap of the NE states at par with the rest of the country.

Stating that the rural development and Panchayati Raj as an important department that cannot be ignored  for the development of the country, minister Biswajit said that various schemes aimed at welfare for rural poor and women folks like the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana should be properly implemented.

He also spoke by focusing on women empowerment with more participation and also on the role of youths as job creators.

Shyam moots providing financial assistance to Manipuri diasporas

Shyam moots providing financial assistance to Manipuri diasporas

IMPHAL |Oct 17

Karam Shyam, minister CA&PD today mooted providing financial assistance towards the Manipuri diaspora settled in Hojai district of Assam and elsewhere. In this regard he will consult with the state chief minister to translate it into action, said the minister.  

Shyam was speaking as the chief guest during the 56th foundation day celebration of Assam Manipuri Sahitya Parishad at Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Bhavan, Hojai district, Assam.

Expressing his happiness, Shyam said Manipuris settled in different parts of the country, including those settled in Hojai are continuing with their efforts in keeping the rich cultural heritage of Manipur alive. It is a sign of advanced cultural society where the traditions and rituals are followed with passion, he added.

Shyam also assured the gathering that he will help in installing the statue of Jana Neta Hijam Irawat at Manipuri Kala Kristi Kendra, Manipur Basti, Hojai and will attend the Irawat day celebration.

He also said he will convey to Himanta Biswa Sarma, health minister, Assam to help the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Hojai and the Manipuri community members with financial assistance.

Paying tribute to the Manipuri ancestors, Shyam said each and every Manipuri must remember the hardships faced by them in keeping the traditions and culture alive. He said Manipuri community expanded as a minority community in Tripura, Assam, Bangladesh and other states due to the efforts of the ancestors who fled Manipur due to internal disturbance.

He also advised the students to carry out good deeds and carry forward the works of our ancestors. Stating that it was encouraging to see that youths are keeping up with the traditions despite the rapid modernisation across the globe, the minister said Manipuri community is still alive because each one of us feels proud of being a Manipuri.

The function was attended by Karam Ibongohal, President, Assam Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Laipubam Upendra Sharma, director, JN Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal and Parmanda Rajbanshi, secretary general Assam Shahitya Sabha and representatives of Manipuri community in Hojai district.

COHSEM staff clarifies

IMPHAL | Oct 17

Newly Regularised Staff Association categorically stated the allegations that 38 employees were wrongly appointed and regularised at Council of Higher Secondary Education beyond the rules, are false and baseless.

A release said the 38 staffs were appointed as per the order of high court that came out in 2015 and they were regularised on December 31, 2016 after making resolution in the year 2015 and 2016.

Their regularisation was not related to election code of conduct, it said. As for the employees regularised recently, they were regularised after the resolutions that were made in the year 2013 – 2014, it added.

Deforestation devastates Machi block of Tengnoupal

Deforestation devastates Machi block of Tengnoupal

From Our Correspondent

THOUBAL | Oct 16

Eighty percent of the hill ranges of Machi block which comes under the newly created Tengnoupal district have all become barren as there are no more trees growing there. Deforestation has reached an alarming level in this area.  

The villages of Machi block, Tengnoupal district are Thamlai, Heinoikhong, Wabaching, Konaitong, Parington, Thabi keithel, Warongthel, Ringpam, Khoibu, Tonghang, and Meryland etc. Number of households ranging in between 150 to 300, are there in most of the villages.   

Deforestation for the purpose of producing firewood, coal, wood for house construction are carried out and “Uyok Kaiba” wherein trees nurtured for many years, are being cut down and sold for the sake of increasing the income of the village are being practiced.

After years of such deforestation, the hills have become all barren and only the stumps remain.

These villages can be reached through Heirok, Thoubal district and they are located near Ingalok village under Heirok Assembly constituency.

Agriculture has been the main source of income for the villagers. They also rely on the production of seasonal vegetables as another source of livelihood. Terrace farming is still carried out by the villagers.

On the other hand, the natural lake known as Ising Thingbi that lies amongst the rolling hills between Thamlai and Konaiton village under Machi block, has become swamped and blocked due to rapid deforestation. If the present satiation continues to prevail, Ising Thingbi lake will cease to exist and will no longer be visible.                    

There is an urgent need for the authorities concerned to look into the matter without any delay.

“Photographers have to evolve with the changing digital technology”

“Photographers have to evolve with the changing digital technology”

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 16

The six-week entrepreneurship skill development programme on photography studio and Photoshop organised by Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute, government of India, ministry of MSME concluded here today.

The skill development programme which began on August 31 ended today with a valedictory held at the MSME-DI, Imphal office at Takyelpat Industrial Estate, Imphal.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradip Phanjoubam, editor of the Imphal Free Press maintained that such a training programme on photography studio is very meaningful in the current situation of digital technological advancement in photographic equipment, which may completely change the future of conventional photography. 

Therefore, those practicing photography as a profession should prepare, if necessary, to evolve with the changing times, he said. Pradip further suggested the trainees to develop the unique photographic eye in addition to the photographic knowledge and skill obtained from the training programme.

Mitra, deputy director (in-charge) of the institute speaking as the president of the function said the current programme is a sort of experiment and he is more than satisfied on seeing the high quality photographs taken by the trainees during the training which were on display.

He further informed all the participants that another training programme on digital photography & videography is in the pipeline for next year’s training calendar.

Sanajaoba, general secretary of All Manipur Food Processors Association who also spoke on the occasion said amongst the many ESDP & EDP programmes conducted so far in the state of Manipur, the ESDP on Photography is the first of its kind in the State and he is grateful that such an innovative initiative is taken up by MSME-DI, Imphal and Manipur Amateur Photo Club for the building up of entrepreneurship amongst the young photographers who may one day provide employment to themselves and also to others.

Certificates were distributed to 25 trainees who have successfully completed the training programme. Photographs taken by the trainees during the training programme were also displayed in a mini-exhibition during the function.

Festival shoppers overcrowd Moreh market despite price rise

Festival shoppers overcrowd Moreh market despite price rise

From Our Correspondent

MOREH | Oct 16

As the biggest festival of Manipur, Ningol Chakouba and Kut festival approaches, the international border town Moreh is chocked with traffic caused by early shoppers today. The border town has been teeming with shoppers coming from different parts of the valley in particular. 

Shoppers thronged the town and could be seen scattered everywhere. Having no empty spaces, privately brought vehicles were parked on both sides of the road causing huge traffic jam.

From Moreh Bazar bridge to fire brigade service station which lies ahead of the police station, the highway was lined with parked vehicles. Under the supervision of SDPO, Laurence K. Munlou, Moreh police are putting all their energy, in the heat of the day, to prevent the traffic jam. The efforts to control the jam, has been very trying for the police. 

On the other hand, the lodging hotels opened at the Moreh town bazaar area are all booked, causing difficulties to those looking for rooms. Some are making adjustments by sharing rooms. 

Nanpalong Intenational Market of Myanmar was also heavily crowded by shoppers that came from Manipur.  As usual, the Myanmarese vendors who are aware of all the dates of Manipuri festivals have raised the prices of goods.

However the price rise has not discouraged the shoppers from buying the items they came for looking.

Regarding the matter, Meetei Council Moreh has extended every possible help to the tourists and shoppers coming from the valley by providing shelter and food. A representative of the organisation informed, in order to avoid difficulties in getting places to stay, shoppers may contact the office of MCM for booking hotels and other places, prior to visiting Moreh.

National integration tour organised

IMPHAL | Oct 16

National Integration Tour was organised by Tamenglong Battalion under the aegis of Senapati Brigade of Red Shield Division to promote the spirit of national integration among the young generation from September 29 to October 14, said a release.

It said that 20 school students and two teaching staff from Tamenglong district, Manipur visited various cultural and historical places in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

The tour was flagged off from Tamenglong on September 29 and the NIT team reached Agra on October 3 and visited Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra Tomb, Agra Market, it said adding that the team further moved to Jaipur on October 5 and visited Jaipur Zoo, Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Birla Temple and Jantar Mantar.

The NIT team moved to New Delhi on October 7 where they visited Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India gate Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar, said the release.

A visit to Rastrapathi Bhawan was also organised on October 9 and during the visit the students had the opportunity to meet and interact with the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, it added.

Further it said that the NIT Team moved back from Delhi by BG Express on October 10 and reached Dimapur on October 13 and further moved from Dimapur to Imphal on the same day. A flagging in ceremony was also conducted at Imphal by Senapati Brigade on October 13, it continued.

The release further said that the NIT team reached Tamenglong on October 14 and a grant welcome ceremony was organised at Tamenglong Bn and the students were received by their parents. During the interaction, students expressed their heartiest gratitude to all Army units for their assistance during the tour, especially the Red Shield Divison, Senapati Brigade and the Tamenglong Battalion to arrange such a huge programme that explored the minds of all participants, it concluded.

Tribal folk festival kicks off at Tumuyon Khullen

Tribal folk festival kicks off at Tumuyon Khullen

 From Our Correspondent


With an aim to promote national integration through culture and tradition and to encourage close relationship among different communities with moral and physical integration, a tribal folk festival cum seminar was successfully kicked off today at Tumuyon Khullen in Kangpokpi district.

Sponsored by ministry of culture, government of India, the three-day festival cum seminar organised by the Maram Art & Literature Association (MALA) under the theme, “Tribal Folk Festival for National Integration” was inaugurated by Th. Sanglou, superintendent of taxes, government of Manipur.

Sanglou attended the occasion as chief guest while T. Abraham, general secretary, Maram Union and Sushila Devi, director, Art & Culture, government of Manipur attended as president and guest of honour, respectively.

Various cultural troupe including MALA senior cultural troupe and T. Khullen Baptist Church Women Society presented various cultural dance and choreography during the opening ceremony while various prominent artiste also presented different folk songs.

 “If Art is to be preserved it should be learned, practiced and promoted only then art and its forms will find space in literature”, asserted Th. Shanglou Maram while addressing the occasion. The past practices are valuable but as the traditional practices has some conflict with the doctrines of Christianity it might be hard to retain them in latter and spirit but partial omission and commission might be the justified way, he said.

Further he said said art and culture should not be politicised or become a point of division but it should serve as a bonding element in the society while celebrating the diversity of culture among the tribal.

He was also of the view that adaptation and modification of art and culture is a must for tribal with modern touch while shifting the mind-set from conventional approach.

Abraham stated that much of the dialects of the tribal especially the Marams have lost its originality as a result of synthesis with other languages where Manipuri and English words have unknowingly crept into the dialect which can no longer be removed.

He also said that the preservation and promotion of culture and tradition has to start without any delay else the future generation will lose its identity.

He further emphasised that there is a need to augment the knowledge of ritual and traditional practices which have been carried on from one generation to another.

Speaking to media persons, Th. Thumbu Maram, Chairman MALA said that our beautiful culture, tradition and identity are diminishing by the wave of mix culture since we are unable to explore our identity properly.

He continued that the most valued songs are forgotten, tales are missing and even languages are mixing together which need serious attention.

A social and cultural activist, Th. Thumbu Maram, who is also a recipient of various State award further said that culture is an industry as all types of crafts such as head gears, cultural attires, cane and bamboo products, spears like war instruments, necklace are all cultural base products which need to be protected and preserved.

He appealed everyone to promote their own culture and tradition while promoting peace and integration among all communities in every village so that national integration could be achieved.

Altogether, 16 dance team, six singing team and seven prayer team including one instrumentalist from different villages across Kangpokpi and Senapati districts will participate in the three-day long festival while tribal culture and its importance on various field will be emphasised during the event by various resource persons including Meithuanlungbou Gonmei, acting principal, Mt. Everest College, Benita, curator, State Museum, Manipur and L. Pungding, Asst. Professor, MU.

Governor keen to promote football commercially

Governor keen to promote football commercially

IMPHAL | Oct 16

Eight state footballers who represented India in the ongoing FIFA World Cup U-17 tournament were felicitated today by the governor of the state Najma Heptulla at Raj Bhavan here today.

Speaking on the occasion Heptulla said that she would try her best to find ways to promote the game commercially like cricket.  She said talks have already begun to promote Polo commercially, which originated from Manipur.

Speaking on the Sports University, the governor said the Prime Minister of India is keen to establish a Sports University and has assured to lay the foundation. She expressed hope that the university will help sportspersons especially those coming from poor economic background.

During her interaction with the players and the parents the governor expressing her happiness stated that she feels proud that U-17 team has the team captain and 7 other players from the State.

It is heartening to see that maximum number of players from a state like Manipur, which is known, as the powerhouse of Sports, she said. Heptulla congratulated the parents for supporting their children to play the game and expressed her desire that all the players continue to play not only for U-17 but also in the senior national team. 

Expressing happiness at the exemplary performance of the team, the governor said every sporting activity is good as it keeps the mind and body healthy and helps in concentration. Stating that she is happy to promote the game in some way, she said the entire State of Manipur is proud of the players.

She also advised them to continue to build up their body to gain more stamina and agility for future tournaments. If all the Manipuri boys playing for other teams and countries come together as one team, then there will be a strong Manipuri team for the nation, she added.

Goalkeeper M. Dheeraj Singh, Th. Boris Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Nongdamba Naorem, Md. Shahjahan, W. Suresh Singh were present at the felicitation. Team Captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Th. Jeakson Singh (the first goal scorer for India in FIFA tournament against Columbia) could not attend the felicitation due to prior engagement.