SILCHAR, February18: A two day 10th Zeliangrong folk festival held on the India Club play ground here which concluded on Tuesday focused on their culture and tradition for unity, integrity and prosperity. The festival drew huge crowed not only from Zeliangrong community but also from different sections of people of this town. It was a most colourful, lively, vibrating and thrilling presentation of the ethnic culture of the tribe. Various other tribal organizations also participated in the jamboree, making it a wide-reaching show with a relevant message for social solidarity and harmony.
The message was also for peaceful coexistence among different communities and tribes as the mother-ture under whose sun and shade ‘human beings live’. Presided over by Dilip Paul, MLA, and attended by distinguished persolities who included among others Rajdeep Goala, MLA, Chamkhandai Kamei, Rev. Kagauchung Gangmei, Lungthourei Pamei, Galim Gangmei, representing different tribal organizations, the festival was also marked by notable speeches, laying stress on all round peace and prosperity for all. Dilip Paul and Rajdeep Goala assured the Zeliangrong association of their help and cooperation in all their needs and necessities.
Pou Sibu Kamei, president, Zeliangrong folk festival celebration committee, said in his speech that there are 36 villages or punjis inhabited by Zeliangrong in the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi with a population of 55,000. The literary percentage in the community is around 65%. The community is proud of 3 doctors, 3 advocates, 2 engineers and a good number of teachers. Their main occupation is agriculture, having minimal government jobs. In the absence of communication, road, electricity and drinking water facilities, their life in the punjis is hard and difficult. Addressing the youths of the community in particular, he said they have to take care of their education, work-culture and skill development which alone would ensure jobs in state and private concerns and at the same time help them improve their socio-economic condition.
The main thrust of the speeches delivered by the esteemed guests and members of the Zeliangrong brought out the glaring fact about threat to the very existence of the tribals and primitive groups due to rapid globalization, telling heavily on their tural habitations. Most of the punjis are now give a bare look with depleting greenery and forest cover. The nexus between timber-tycoons and unscrupulous elements in the forest department has almost created a disastrous situation. Their very future in the lap of ture is grim. They have drawn the attention of the MLAs to the problems for their resolutions.
The festival came alive with entertainment and modern cheer. It showcased modern song, Rongmei feature film song, talent show choreography led by Ajei Kamei, R Julia, Powlinglong Gomei, Luh Anya Sinha, Kachangthai Gonmei, Katathai Gangmei, Luh Ashalu Riamei and Symplifire Band from Imphal. The festival was jointly organized Zeliangrong Folk Festival Celebration Committee and Society for Promotion and Community Task.