Games integral part of education

Nearly 55 years ago a young budding footballer, Shlur Nongbri missed out on making it the to the Indian Olympic team by a whisker. Those were the golden years of Indian football and Nongbri’s exploits on the football field have become part of football’s folklore. Fifty five years hence another local lad is making waves in Indian football. Eugeneson Lyngdoh is the standout player for current I-league champions Bengaluru FC and no matter the outcome of the title decider between Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan, he is one of the contenders for the player of the season. Football has grown by leaps and bounds and is surely on course to be the most lucrative sport in the country in a few years time. This will surely open up avenues for employment for many of the youths of the state. The pool of foot-balling talent available in the state is no less compared to any part of the country. We somehow seem to lack the competitive edge to make it to the highest level. Gone are the days when every parent’s dream for their children is to become either an officer, a doctor or an engineer. Specialisation and making optimum use of our factor endowments is the key to unlocking the full potential of the economy. Human capital is the main building block of the economy and each individual is endowed with different abilities. Just imagine  a situation when all the building blocks are used to erect a single structure. School curriculum in today’s world must be flexible enough to ensure that rote learning and high marks are not the only criteria to determine success.
Yours etc.,
Gary M.A Marbaniang.
Via email

A big thank you!

The “All Meghalaya Association of Persons with Disability”, formerly known as “Association of Challenged People,” had participated in the meeting of the Dorbar Bah ki Ri Hynniewtrep held in Polo, May 30, 2015.
If the general public faces exclusion and difficulty then how much more persons with disability! With the impairment we already have and the inaccessible environment, going to the respective Blocks for certificates and other letters would be impossible and many of the persons with disability will end up doing nothing in the four walls of their homes. Then they would be labelled as non- contributing members of society. We request the General Secretary of the Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong to take into consideration the challenges of Persons with Disability in their report. It is everyone’s duty to ensure that services are available in the community which can be accessed by everyone including persons with disabilities.
In connection with this, I would like to highlight that a small act of kindness can bring “Change” by people who are sensitive to disability issues. I went for the Saturday meeting, via the steep NEEPCO Road, to reach in time and also because that is the shortest route to Polo from Laitumkhrah. Since I am a wheelchair user, it was difficult to go down though I had one of my colleagues, who is hearing impaired to help me. Going down the steep slope was like a matter of life and death for me, but deep down in my heart I wanted to participate in this remarkable event. On our way down we met some men who were on their way to  the same venue. My colleagues requested for their help. They gladly extended their helping hand, carrying my wheelchair in spite of the pouring rain. Anyway, the road is never easy, but finally I reached the plain area, from where I could manage on my own. I thanked them for their support.
As we were entering the ground, I realized that the gentleman who helped me was none other than the MLA of Nongthymmai, Mr Jemimo Mawthoh. It struck me that he is indeed a great man. His silent good deeds will go a long way, and we look forward to such sensitivity from everyone. We don’t want a pitiful look as many gave on that day, “Ni jingsngewsynei,” I heard everywhere. A simple act of courtesy is all we need, like helping a visually impaired person to cross the road, not staring at persons with hearing impairment when they communicate in sign language on the road, and extending your support to persons on wheelchairs to manage steps and steep areas. This simple act can bring a change in the life of persons with disability. It’s the beginning of inclusion and opening a way for us to participate on an equal basis with others because “We may look different but we are human like everyone else in the society and disability is just an impairment which any one can be born with or acquire in life later.
Yours etc.,
Celine Lawai,
General Secretary (AMAPD)

Shillong must redeem itself from ethno-fascism

Avner Pariat’s tribute to ‘Shillong, Our City’ (ST Mat 27, 2015) was deeply moving.  I grew up in a Shillong where ‘ethno-fascism’ had not taken a mindless grip and my memories are multi-flavoured.  It is with quiet wisdom that this young writer draws attention to an increasingly overlooked truth about the beginnings of our city when it decided to counter colonial segregation and build itself anew.  And yes it should still be a source of shame to us as a people that Bisheshwar Das was so cruelly murdered simply because he was the wrong kind of Indian and not one of ‘us’.  Then think again. Once there was a man who was struggling to make a living without the help of people in high places.  So isn’t his plight not so different from most of ‘us’?  Who then are the heroes or raiders of the lost Ark?

Yours etc.,
Janet Hujon,
Via emai

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