The border town of Moreh witnessed the celebration of Pongal, the post-harvest festival of the Tamil community, at Sunrise Ground in Moreh on Sunday.
The celebration was organised by the Tamil Sangam Moreh with the participants from Tamil communities and other communities residing in the town.
Pongal is a Hindu Harvest festival of South India, particularly celebrated by the Tamils. The celebration is marked with the worship of Hindu Sun god for expressing gratitude for agricultural abundance.
As a part of the celebration, Tamil residents indulge in preparing Pongal dishes, decoration of houses, flour dishes, prayers and gift giving. Different artwork with multi-colours were painted in front of every house.
The festival is named after the ceremonial ‘Pongal’, which means “to boil, overflow” and it refers to the traditional dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with raw sugar and offered to goddess Pongal. Pongal is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Tamils.
MAHUD Minister Y Khemchand attended as chief guest and Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister Letpao Haokip as president. Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Kumbi AC MLA Sanasam Premchandra and Thanga assembly constituency MLA T Robindro joined the celebration as guests of honour.
PWD Minister Govindas Konthoujam said that unity among all communities and oneness is exemplified in this Pongal celebration. When all the communities residing in the border are united as one, the development of the town will come to the fast track, he said.
The present BJP government aims to develop all the required infrastructures of the town as Moreh is the gateway to South-East Asian countries, he added.
TA & Hill Minister Letpao Haokip expressed appreciation to the initiatives of Tamil Sangam in developing youths in the field of sports. It is a right initiative to encourage grown up youths in sports, he said, adding this can divert them from drugs and at the same time help them in staying fit and healthy.
“Wealth is useless if health is gone. Money is worthless if you cannot enjoy it due to health issues. It is important to maintain a healthy life. And conquering the self is the greatest need to stay healthy,” Letpao said.
He further reacted strongly against the mass illicit poppy cultivation reportedly found in the interior forest areas of the state. He reminded that poppy cultivation is against Christianity and its teachings.
“If we do not leave behind such bad deeds of poppy cultivation, the true meaning of Christianity will slowly perish,” he maintained.
He further stressed that hill and valley people are equally responsible for rampant destruction of forest and deforestation. The hill people alone cannot be blamed for rampant destruction of forest and massive deforestation, he mentioned. They are just the suppliers of the demands emanated from the sawmills and veneer which are mainly located in Imphal valley, he said. The owners of sawmills and veneer and persons who traded in such products are also equally responsible for deforestation, he added.
“We should not blame a particular section. We are equally responsible and we should strive together to curb this alarming situation,” he added.
Moreh Town Committee convenor Cecilia Chinneivah Haokip, MCC president Seiboi Haokip, MCM president, ACODOM, MMCM, Gorkha Samaj and officers of 5AR & 20 Assam Rifle also attended the Pongal festival.
Lilong assembly constituency MLA Md Nasir Khan attended as the special guest of the celebration.
Prizes for different sports events were distributed as a part of the celebration. Kha Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup Moreh under the banner of Meetei Council Moreh presented gifts to the Tamil community as a mark of oneness and unity.
Pongal feast was also arranged at Ima Kondong Lairembi Khubam, Moreh on Tuesday.