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Statesman News Service |

Setting an example

Two school dropouts have started a crusade to save the highly endangered Western Hoolock Gibbons, their habitats, and birds in the forests of the remote East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, according to a report in the Guwahati-based Assam Tribune. Armed with a loaned camera, the duo is also taking pictures of birds in the Hima Malaisohmat area for documentation.

Hima Malaisohmat, bordering Bangladesh, has five villages and the forest there is home to Hoolock Gibbons. “These apes are a favourite target for hunters. A family of three gibbons was killed by an unidentified hunter last month,” said 22-year-old Banshim Wanniang, one of the two crusaders.

Wanniang took upon himself the task of protecting wildlife at his Phlangwanbroi village, and his friend, Wallam Kharlyngdoh hailing from nearby Mawkasain, joined him. With very little education, children of the villages are taught to hunt from an early age, and with no government intervention and rapid deforestation, the Hoolock habitats are disappearing at a fast rate, said Kharlyngdoh.

The two dropped out of school when they were in Class XI and now work in betel nut farms located inside the forest. Asked how they knew about conservation, they said they did not like killing of animals from their childhood, but the knowledge about conservation came after their visit to the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.

They were selected to undergo a month-long training at the Wildlife Conservation Society in Nagaland where they were trained in laying camera traps and basic wildlife photography.

Talent hunt

The biggest talent hunt show of Mizoram was organised jointly by the Government of Mizoram and Innovations India recently in Aizawl.

The two-day event focused on the young generation and was held at the state-of-the-art Electric Veng Auditorium in Aizawl. The Mizoram Talent Hunt acted as a great networking stage to connect youth with the organisations who have them as their target audience rather than being just another music and dance show.

The Mizoram Talent Hunt received overwhelming participation from talented young performers and was judged by icons of Mizoram — Rody H Vanlalhriatpuii, Miss Mizoram 2017; Henry Varte, the sought-after stylist, and singer Feli Thangluah.

Josephine Lalruatfeli won the first prize while Zo Nation Boys and Laldinpuii won the second and third prizes respectively. Rs 3 lakh in prize money was given away to the most deserving performers in a glittering ceremony.

Naga pride

Marking a significant milestone for entrepreneurs in the state, Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio inaugurated the Made in Nagaland Expo Centre in Kohima last week, which has been set up under the “Impact 5000 by 18” campaign by YouthNet Nagaland in partnership with the state government, says a report in the Dimapur-based Morung Express. The Made in Nagaland Expo Centre houses various works, products and services of talented Nagas and entrepreneurs, ranging from shawls, mekhelas, trousers, crafts, jewellery, food products, soaps, footwear et al.

Rio complimented YouthNet for the challenges they took to impact 5,000 youngsters by 2018. Stating that the government wants to promote entrepreneurship, industry and motivate people to do business in whatever capacity, he urged Naga entrepreneurs to inculcate a solid work culture and sense of competition in their organisations.

“We are also working on a new industrial policy,” said Rio while adding that the government has recently created the Investment and Development Authority of Nagaland, where members will be moving around the country or even abroad to bring in investors and build the state economy.

YouthNet director Lezo Putsure hoped that the Naga entrepreneurs who benefit from “Impact 5000 by 18” become business stars in future.