The Phungcham Haofa Festival of Phungcham village in UKhrul district, Manipur will go a long way in preserving and promoting the indigenous Tangkhul dog breed which populations has declined in recent years, state Veterinary and Transport Minister Khashim Vashum said on Thursday.
Vashum was apeaking as chief guest at the first edition of Phungcham Haofa (Tangkhul hui/dog) Festival 2022 at Phungcham village, Ukhrul district.
The festival, organised by Phungcham Haofa Lovers Association (PHLA) in collaboration with Phungcham village authority, Phungcham VDC, Phungcham Shanao Long and Phungcham Katamnao Mayar Ngala Long, is being held in an effort to preserve and promote the rearing of Haofa dog.
Haofa dog is known for its gentleness, obedience, bravery and hunting skills. The hunting skills of a male Haofa owned by legendary Shimreishang Zimik and the brave and ferocious male Haofa of Longyao Vashum is fondly remembered in Phungcham village.
It may be mentioned that Phungcham village is also the parting place of Manipur's Tangkhul community and one of the oldest villages in Ukhrul district.
Khashim urged the villagers and neighbouring villages to give due importance to Haofa preservation and promotion and give timely vaccination.
Manipur Governor La Ganesan and Chief Minister N Biren Singh had also given their recognition to Haofa for their specialities during their visit to the State Shirui Festival 2022, the minister recalled.
Also, asserting that the BJP-led Manipur government is committed to development in the hills and developing areas and places which have unique animals and places, Khashim urged the people to extend their full support and cooperation to the government and not work on party or on community lines.
Informing that 1,000 primary and graduate teacher posts will come up shortly, he advised the villagers and area people to avail the opportunities and not always remain in their comfort zone, saying that they have no money.
"You have to study hard and give your best. I don't have a money mentality will not help, instead encourage and help one another. Hard work is the key to success," he said.
As a part of the festival, singerThangmeiso Shinglai entertained the public with his special hits. The locals also displayed Sakhareng (acts of hunting), Wotrei Kaphung (carrying of heavy loads) and cultural items among others.
Phungcham Haofa Lovers Associations (PHLA) president Tennoson Pheirei, speaking at the occasion, said: "According to our forefathers’ ways of life, spear and Haofa are a must companion for people with responsibility... Haofa has been the loyal companion of our forefathers and was fondly reared by the Tangkhul community for its gentleness, obedience and hunting skill".
He also said that Haofa has declined rapidly but some individuals and groups from Phungcham village have started breeding it to revive its dwindling numbers. And today, there are about 150 Haofa in Phungcham village alone and we can expect more in the years to come, he stated.
The Assam Rifles have started ordering for procurement of Haofa for their dog training Centre at Jorhat, Assam, he said, adding that the DG of Assam Rifles, Laitkor, Shillong has also expressed his intend to purchase Haofa puppy at Rs 9,000 per puppy on 4 May, 2021.
The programme was attended by Dr S Basanta Singh, Central Agriculture University; Dr Ng Ibotombi Singh, director, veterinary and animal husbandry service; Dr Th Ranadhir Singh, professor in-charge, livestock unit, NEC model farm, director of extension education, CAU, Imphal and Colonel Manoj Shinde, Commandant, 35 AR, Somsai as functional president, guests of honour and special guest respectively.