The Tangkhul lass was on her way to the Church, along the paved road. She bent down and picked up something. It was a piece of plastic wrapping. She put it in one of the numerous garbage bins placed along the village road of Mapao Zingsho.
Located around 19 kilometers from Imphal along the Pangei road of Imphal East, one has to cross Sambei area and take a left from near Haraorou village. Approximately a 25 minute drive, a left from the main road will take one along a scenic route filled with lush green paddy fields. After a few kilometers, one will reach Mapao. The best way to describe the village – simply beautiful.
Pegged as Manipur’s cleanest village Mapao will host the World Tourism Day, organized by Department of Tourism, Manipur on September 27. The residents of the village will showcase different cultural items at the stage built at the local play ground. Local cuisines will be sold at the newly erected thatched roofed stalls.
“We are elated and nervous at the same time. The Chief Minister will be coming to our village for the first time. We want to extend our warmest welcome to the visitors also,” Headman ZV Wungnaoyo told IFP.
The village has a population of 700 and comes under Saikul assembly constituency of Senapati district. The most impressive thing about this village is that there is no litter and garbage cans are placed along the road. Trimmed hedges adorn nearly each household as fences, flowers, orchids and trees are planted along the village road. The hillside as a backdrop completes the picture.
“We have discouraged littering in the village ages before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swacch Bharat mission. The youths and children don’t need to be advised also, cleanliness has become second nature,” chairman of the village, ZV Malungchang said. “We request all to come to our village for the festival,” he added.
A dying performing art called ‘Othrei Kaphung’ will be showcased during the one day festival.
The nearest Tangkhul village to Imphal city, Mapao Zingsho has a rich history and affinity with the Meitei community. According to folklore, a cave which is located at the top of the hill adjoining the village has a tunnel which comes up to Kangla fort. “Our elders said that, a pigeon would be let loose into the cave and it will exit out inside Kangla, we used to worship Pakhangba before the coming of Christianity,” Nelson Lunglang, a member of the festival organizing committee said.
Besides maintaining sanitation, the village also conserves forests and tree plantations are carried out throughout the year. “We conserve forests, we want to leave a greener habitat to our children,’ Nelson added.
The main problem of the villagers is mobile connectivity. Barely 19 kilometres from Imphal, the village does not have mobile phone network. “There is a particular spot near the paddy field surrounding the village. We go there or to the conserved forest area to make a call, mobile communication is one way,’ Zimik, a villager said.