TODAY -

Youngsters revive Imphal riverbank
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 15 2017: In a bid to bring back lost green cover, a group of youngsters working in various fields have been planting trees and clearing weeds near Imphal riverbank every Sunday.

Now with their continuous effort, they have developed 'Nongmai Shang', a beautiful resting place with full greenery along the Imphal riverbank at Singjamei Bhagyabati Leikai.

According to Khomdram Gemon, Nongmai Shang was built to restore Imphal river's green cover and to keep the river clean.

"The first word 'Nongmai' was derived from Manipuri word Nongmaijing which means Sunday) as most of their members spent their Sundays at the riverbank planting and cleaning the areas while Shang means hut.



Youngsters revive Imphal riverbank
Youngsters revive Imphal riverbank


"The basic idea of our initiative is restoration and conservation of greenery along the riverbank," says Gemon who works in a mobile phone company.

"When we were young, we used to play along the beautiful and lush green riverbank.

But all of sudden, it disappeared while constructing retaining wall in 2007-08," he recounted.

Interestingly, that was that time Phantom, another key member of Nongmai Shang, returned home after his studies in Guwahati.

Phantom, who himself is a nature lover, was shocked to see the disappearance of the green cover and thus became the first person to plant number trees particularly fruits bearing endemic plants/trees along the river bank.

Later, his work expanded with the support and involvement of many like minded youths Akhi, Michael, Chandrakriti, Chetan, Lalu, Raj and local elders including one retired Government employee.

Since then, the team started to convert the riverbank measuring around 100 metres into a small forest like area by engaging in clearing and planting activities.

Most of the residents are now benefiting from Nongmai Shang as the trees have started bearing seasonal fruits.

"Fruits from our site are used in organising grand feasts in the locality while bamboos and other important endemic plants are used in social rituals," Gemon said.

"With a commitment and support from the our friends, brothers, sisters and elders, we want to regain our lost greenery and also to keep the riverbank clean.

We are attempting to make Loklaobung-bridge to Singjamei bridge riverbank as the cleanest and greenest riverbank in our State", he added.

Sharing similar sentiment, young musician and functionary of Leipungwa Entertainment- event management group, Tom Meisnam also sought cooperation from public in fulfilling their dreams.

Tom Meisnam is a front runner of Nongmai Shang and a man behind annual riverbank music festival which is being organised with a message to save river banks from further disposal of waste.


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