Ukhrul, Jan 11:
The tenth-day-long Raphei Katamano Long (RKL) Platinum Jubilee cum 57th General Conference was kicked off at Kuirei village ground here on Wednesday.
Kuirei village is located north of Ukhrul district, approximately 42 kilometers from Ukhrul HQ. NH-202 Imphal Kohima via Jessami passes through the village. It used to produce indigenous salt from salt springs and supply salt to other Tangkhul villages before the advent of iodized salt. The village is also rich in limestone and chromite. It is flanked by Phungcham and Peh village in the west, Huishu and Kharash in the east, Kalhang in the south, and Ngahui and Marem in the north.
Under the theme “Enduring the Present and Envisioning the Future,” the celebration will include sports, cultural and literary meets, including the RKL Miss contest. The event is organized by RKL and hosted by Kuirei Katamano Long (KKL).
The event was attended by more than 36 units comprising 45 villages from the northern areas of Ukhrul.
Qr. Khashim Vashum, Minister of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry and Transport, GOM, attended the opening ceremony as the chief guest. Qlr. Kengoo Zuringa (IAS), Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul, and Qr Jain Huileng, ADC/ADM Kamjong District, were the guests of honor.
SK Ivis, son of Late S Pardiew (Espi), the first chairman of RKL, unveiled the platinum jubilee monolith, and Luckyson N Kashug (IAS), Deputy Secretary, (RD & PR), Government of Manipur, unveiled the LOC Monolith. Octogenarian Qr. Machung Pheiray, former president of RKL, released the souvenir.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister Khashim Vashum extended his utmost respect to the torchbearers and elders of Raphei (northern areas) who have contributed so much to RKL. “Today, I am standing here in front of you all because of the sacrifices made by our past leaders. I am indeed grateful to all of you,” he said. “So many leaders have set an example. How many youngsters will follow and live up to the mark? Time has changed, and we should adapt to the changing world. Let this year’s celebration be different from the previous RKL Conference cum Sports Meet.” He exhorted the gathering that Raphei has contributed much to Christianity and the Naga national movement. In the area of development, we are witnessing a few positive changes. Development will come when there is peace in the village or area, he added.
The Minister also sponsored 50 needy students from the Raphei areas for admission by handing over a sum of Rs. 1.75 lakh to the President of RKL openly. Moreover, Kashim Vashum presented a water storage tank to each unit participating in the conference.
Kengoo Zuringla called upon the Rapheinao to strive harder for the betterment of our society and to reach higher levels. She stated that “with perseverance and endurance, we can achieve our goals” and urged the gathering not to focus on what we don’t have but to look for means and resources available in the community to build the society.
Tangkhul artists Chonchon Varah and Ngathingpam Tangvah presented the RKL theme song. A special display of martial arts by Ukhrul District Karate Kids and a cultural display by Chingjaroi Ngachaphung added more color to the celebration. A grand feast was also organized to mark the platinum jubilee celebration.
The RKL 57th general conference, which began on January 9, will wind up on January 19, 2024.