Ukhrul, Jan 20:
The 20th General Conference cum Sports, Literature and Cultural Meet of Veikhang Katamnao Long (VKL) was inaugurated by local MLA Ram Muivah at Nungshong Khunou, under Ukhrul Assembly Constituency on Friday. The MLA hoisted the VKL flag and place-kicked a ball to mark the opening of the week-long event.
In his speech as the chief guest, MLA Ram Muivah highlighted the rich cultural ties of Veikhang villages with other Tangkhul villages. He mentioned how the traditional wrestling of the Tangkhul tribe was once prevalent in the area and how it holds significance in their cultural practices. However, nowadays VKL covers only six villages, though its cultural influence extends to other Tangkhul villages till Shokvao.
MLA Muivah also emphasized the power of the youth and urged the local youth of Veikhang to explore their potential to bring about positive changes in society. He stated that the strength of youth power is indescribable and it can drive positive change in the society.
Muivah also highlighted the importance of education, calling it as the driving force behind the growth and development of any society. “It is through education that individuals are able to tap into their full potential and contribute towards the betterment of society, Ram Muivah said and urged the Veikhang youth to not neglect their studies. He emphasized that the youth must strive to attain a good education in order to secure a better future for themselves and the community.
Touching on the issue of economic backwardness in the district, he lamented that despite having produced many prominent personalities and literate individuals, the district is facing economic backwardness. Muivah believed that by focusing on education and entrepreneurship, the district could overcome its economic challenges and move towards a brighter future.
He said that in line with this vision, a livelihood incubation center has been established at Winotang in Ukhrul town. He added that the project was funded by the North East Council (NEC) during his stint at the council.
“This center aims to promote and nurture the skills and talents of our youth. Once operational, the center will provide training and support to young individuals, enabling them to explore new potential avenues and opportunities,” he informed.
Another major concern raised by Muivah was the issue of drug abuse among the youth in the district. He pointed out that the lack of opportunities for skill diversification has left the youth vulnerable to such vices.
“Such youth are not solely to be blamed. With limited options for employment and growth, many young individuals in Ukhrul have resorted to drug abuse and other harmful activities,” he added.
Muivah observed that the youth can overcome such challenges and lead a better life if they are provided with proper opportunities for education and skill development.
Stressing on the importance of sports in the district the MLA recalled the past glory days of Ukhrul footballers who were champions in the CC Meet back in the 1950s.
However, he noted that the younger generation is apparently lagging behind in sports. He mentioned names of renowned footballers from Ukhrul district, such as Kazipmi Maung from Hunphun /Ukhrul who was known as the ‘scoring machine’ and urged the current generation to emulate their elders and follow in their footsteps so as to continue their legacy.
As the guest of honour at the inaugural ceremony, T Rollee Vareshim, a retired senior Assistant Director from the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts at the Ministry of Textile, Government of India, took a moment to reflect on the journey of Veikhang Katamnao Long (VKL). He recalled that VKL started as a humble organization with the visionary William Mashangva and four other pioneers at its helm way back in September 1983.
The event is being participated by the VKL’s six constituent units, namely Khangkhui Khullen, Khangkhui Khunou, Nungshong Khullen, Nungshong Khunou, Choithar, and Lungreiphung, as well as the New Life Mission School team.