Unsung heroes of NE

Not many people from the Northeastern region have found a place on the list of Padma awardees this year.
Unsung heroes of NE

Not many people from the Northeastern region have found a place on the list of Padma awardees this year. While only six people have made it to the list of civilian award winners, all of them have remained confined only to the Padma Shri category. But, taking a closer look, one finds that all these six people are real heroes from the grassroots level and have made significant contributions to the nation by working silently among the masses. In fact, barring elephant queen Parbati Barua of Assam, all the others were hardly known outside their communities until the Padma Awards were announced on Thursday evening. The 67-year-old Parbati Barua has stood out for her commitment towards mitigating human-elephant conflict in a big way, apart from deciphering elephant psychology like never before. Assam’s Drona Bhuyan has received recognition in the field of art. Ojapali, a traditional form of singing and dancing, has deep roots in Assam, serving as a means to depict social events. Chitta Ranjan Debbarma in Tripura has been chosen for creating profound impact that extends beyond traditional boundaries, as he has been instrumental in transforming the lives of many, particularly Janajati people, through spiritual teachings and the expansion of education. Machihan Sasa, a Longpi potter from Ukhrul, has been recognized for preserving the ancient tradition of Longpi pottery. Likewise, Meghalaya folk musician Silbi Passah, also a distinguished Khasi-Jaintia artiste, composer, poet, and playwright, has made significant contributions to traditional music. Nagaland social worker Sano Vamuzo (83) has been promoting peace and advocating for women’s representation by founding the Naga Mother’s Association, which has left a lasting impact on society. Mizoram’s ‘Saint of Compassion,’ San Thankima (63), runs Mizoram’s largest orphanage and has put in tireless efforts in children’s welfare, addiction rehabilitation, and civic issues to showcase a commitment to providing shelter and rehabilitation to the most vulnerable members of society. Assam farmer Sarbeswar Basumatary (61), on the other hand, has led a community-focused approach, and knowledge-sharing with fellow farmers contributes to increased efficiency and improved livelihoods. Arunachal Pradesh’s Yanung Jamoh Lego, the Adi Queen of Herbs, has dedicated her life to reviving the traditional healing system of the Adi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, while Tripura’s Smriti Rekha Chakma, a weaver, has trained hundreds of rural women in weaving, preserving traditional tribal methods. All the unsung heroes were finally recognised.

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