IMPHAL, November 15: “Today we are very happy and no words can describe what we feel” said Ilunghein Tamphung youth president of Ziumi Village.
The MANIREDA under the Remote Village Electrification (RVE) Programme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Government of India, distributed solar home lighting sets and solar street lighting sets on November 14, to five Villages located at the interior part of Senapati district bordering Nagaland. The combined population of the five villages existing at the bordering area is around 1,117, including Ziumi Village.
The other villages included Bakei Village, Tamphung Village, Khangjang Village and Chakha Village.
Located at about 76 Kilometers from Maram Bazaar Ziumi is a small hamlet belonging to Liangmei Tribe of the Zeliangrong community.
Ever since Ziumi village came into existence the village has not seen electricity and the same goes for the neighbouring villages. None of the villagers of the Ziumi village today hardly knows when the village came into existence they disclosed that initially it existed as Thuiyang Village and now it is known by a new name Ziumi (or Ziumi/Thuiyang). The village also holds a significance historically on religious aspect of the Zeliangrong community asit is the birth place of the “Heraka” an indigenous religion of the Zelianrgon Community, pioneered by Rani Gaidinlu the late freedom fighter.
Even the new village (Ziumi) is over 40 years old said the Village secretary, ID. Edurangbe, 50.
“From the moment I started understanding things (since birth) I have never seen electricity in my village and in the neighbouring villages” said Edurangbe. “I have seen changes taking place in my village using pine stick as lighting system and then Kerosene to Candle but never seen electricity for decades until today”.
MANIREDA has distributed altogether 459 solar home lighting sets and 85 solar street lighting sets to all the five villages. 72 solar home lighting sets and 13 solar street lighting sets for Ziumi, 106 solar home lighting sets and 20 solar street lighting sets each for Bakei, Tamphung, Khangjang and Chakha Village.
Ilunghein Tamphung the youth secretary said that the village is very happy that electricity has finally illuminated the village which has been among the long cherish dream of the people settling at the area. He thanked the concerned departments and parties involved in making the dream of the village a reality.
“Words cannot describe what we are feeling, we have nothing in hand to show our appreciation to those who have helped us make our dreams a reality however what we can do is that we’ll be remembering them in prayers” said Ilunghein Tamphung.
The youth secretary disclosed that at an average the villagers spent around 500 rupees monthly on candles and kerosene in order to light up their homes.
The material was distributed in a small function held at Ziumi village in the presence of the local MLA, K. Raina, Tamei A/C MLA, Awangbou Newmei, Director of MANIREDA, Manglem, and officials of the concerned departments.
While addressing the gathering, K. Raina suggested the people to properly maintain the equipment which will serve as the only source of electricity for them. He stated that the lighting equipments are expensive but of great use and is also not easily available in the market.
He appealed to the villagers not to hesitate to approach him or the department in case to consult about any technical difficulties regarding the electrical sets.
Awangbou Newmei has also lauded the effort of the department for ensuring that the items have directly reached the beneficiaries.
The director who also spoke during the function stated that it was unfortunate that the people of the area have not hadthe privilege of living with the basic lighting system however asserted that under the initiative of the GOI, MANIREDA has been toiling hard to give some ray of hope to the people.
According to officials of MANIREDA the department has been implementing electrification of unelectrified villages in the remote and difficult areas of the state. It claimed that they have so far electrified more than 175 villages/hamlet under the RVE programmme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The project distributed today the five villages will also be provided with additional public lighting systems for common places/street by installing 85 solar streets lighting of automatic operation to the five villages.