By Francis Khongwar
Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan 22 : Noticing that while the State and its citizens celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Statehood with fanfare and glee despite the pandemic, yet a section of society seemed to have evaded our memories and were not a part of the joyous occasion.
In a symbolic tribute to Meghalaya’s forefathers and mothers for the sacrifice of their blood, sweat and tears that gave this beautiful Hill State, Team Jiva and Shillong Press Club jointly distributed lunch packets to CCIs (Child Care Institutions) run by the government and registered NGOs in and around Shillong on Saturday.
The two came together to spread some cheer and happiness to residents of 14 CCIs in all. Of these, 9 managed by the Government through the Social Welfare department and are located at a sprawling campus in Mawkasiang, New Shillong. They include Observation Home for Boys and Girls separately, Special Home for Boys and Girls separately, Children’s Home for Boys and Girls separately, Special Unit for Children with Special Needs (Boys and Girls separately) and a Shelter Home for Girls.
The remaining 5 are run by different NGOs that include Lawei Baphyrnai Children’s Home for Boys (Langkyrding), Lawei Baphyrnai Children’s Home for Girls (Mawklot), Meghalaya Hindu Mission Home for Boys (Lower Mawprem), William Lewis Boy’s Home, (Mission Compound) and AW Thomas Girls’ Home, (Jaiaw). In all over 300 packets were handed over to the various supervisors of the different homes and residents.
Two teams were put into service for the purpose. Team 1 consisting of 4 crew members was led by K. R. Bhattacharjee, Sr. Manager, Team 2 was headed by Raj Nischal, Assistant Manager, Team Jiva.
Appreciating the noble gesture of Jiwat Vaswani and his Team Jiva for acceding to SPC’s call for partnership in this small celebration of Meghalaya Day, President David Laitphlang said, “We felt that we owe it to all our elders who marched in Shillong’s streets 50 years ago to give us this freedom and hence we felt that since no one was reaching out we give it a try and ‘Boom’ it worked,” adding, “Who knows perhaps someone in an old age home somewhere in the state was a vibrant youth dancing in glee 50 years ago, but today has been forgotten by us. Thank you, Bablu and Team Jiva.”
Vaswani, whose Team Jiva has been receiving much applause for their relentless effort to keep Shillong and its suburbs clean as well as change its landscape by replacing dirt and grime all over the city with beds of roses and plants of all hues and shapes said, “We are happy to avail of this opportunity to once again serve our beautiful state and its people. Thank you Shillong Press Club for pointing us to these friends we were able to reach out to today, Happy Meghalaya Day.”
Meanwhile, receiving the food packets on behalf of all the institutions of the government at Mawkasiang, , one of the Superintendents Ms Rimi Dkhar while expressing surprise at this gesture, thanked SPC and Team Jiva for their visit. “We did not expect this, thank you for the surprise. I never thought we would celebrate Meghalaya Day like this, the boys and girls and the mothers and fathers (caretakers/supervisors) too are so excited. This kind of outreach sometimes is of great support to our residents here.”
On Jan 24, SPC and Team Jiva will hand over some dry rations to Mercy Home in Nongthymmai since the inmates have stopped taking food from outside the Home after the onset of the pandemic.