Imphal, Oct 19
The 3rd Shirui Lily festival organised by the state Tourism Department of the government of Manipur concluded today with much fan fare. Manipur governor Dr. Najma Heptulla, who is known for her admiration to the tradition and culture as well as the traditional attires of various ethnic community of the state, who even talk the world about the state of being the biodiversity hotspot attended the closing day of the Shirui Lily festival.
“It is unfortunate that the Lily which flowers in late May to early June, is becoming rarer and many experts have felt that it may ultimately become extinct, with the rising temperature and change in the habitat. It was earlier thought that due to forest fire, the plant was being affected with a plant now bearing only a few flowers while about 3 to 4 decades back, a stalk carried not less than 12 flowers. Nowadays, it is a common sight of small bamboos encroaching on the habitat of the Lily and the latter is losing ground to the gregarious bamboos. There is need for more vigilance on the part of all stakeholders and a proper scientific study on the flower, so that this renowned flower can continue to thrive in its original habitat. I am glad that ICAR has taken up tissue culture of this plant and hope that it will perpetuate this plant not only in its original habitat but also in laboratory conditions so that it does not become extinct”, Dr. Heptulla said while delivering her speech at TNL ground today.
She further said that Manipur falls in one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world and surely, the acclaimed Lily is indicative of such richness. The focus on global warming and climate change and its impact on our biodiversity and the efforts being made to leverage timely remedial measures are laudable. Nothing requires them more than the Lily. As already mentioned, if intervention is not made now with the urgency it deserves, the plant may be lost forever., the governor added.
“It is not only the Lily but other flora and fauna are also facing tremendous threat to their survival as their habitats are being gradually eroded” the governor said and expressed her happiness for taking the brand name of Shirui Lily, the State Flower of Manipur, for the festival for popularizing it far and wide.
Health Minister L Jayantakumar, PHED Minister Letpao haokip, Education Minister Th Radheshyam, Chairman of the Tourism Corporation Dr. Sapam Ranjan and MLA Khasim Ruivah were among those present in the closing ceremony.