TODAY -

Igniting the latent sparks of budding talents into a blaze

Samarjit Kambam *



Since the annexation of Manipur into the Indian union, the North Easterners are simply taken for granted. Manipur is a state of India and Imphal city its capital. Ironically, most people of mainland India doesn't seem to know that Manipur is a part of India which is a big 'Let Down' for us North Easterners thereby compelling us to raise the question "Is Manipur not included as a state of India in the curriculum of Geography subject for students studying in other schools of mainland India by their respective state Boards and Councils?"

Just like fire or light cannot be kept hidden, the state called Manipur cannot be taken as a non-entity anymore. The face of India was and is being saved in front of other nations by Manipur in the world of sports many a times because of Manipuri sportspersons' contribution that also with pitiable sports infrastructures compared to other states of India.

Recently, Manipur was in the limelight of world of sports when Mary Kom brought home a Bronze medal in the London Olympics 2012 the first of its kind in women boxing in India. Not to mention India, other countries have begun to realise that Manipur is the Sports Hub of India.

One thing, it is not sports alone, Manipuris have also excelled in other coveted walks of life in national as well as international level. We have youngsters with blooming talents but are not exposed be it arts, culture, academics etc. Now-a-days the younger generations of our state are resourceful, intelligent and possess high potential in their respective fields.

The issue is that their talent and potential is not harnessed or tapped. What is required is igniting the latent sparks in them into a blaze. In this era of globalisation and instant access to any information, many Science Olympiads, Maths Olympiads in national and international mainstream and other scholarship exams are conducted every year by Government of India as well as international private and government bodies.

A few years back due to lack of information and non availability of quick access to such competitions, talented students from Manipur right from high school to university level were deprived of the privilege to participate in such national and international level competitions. But with advanced technology and the Web, the world has shrunk virtually.

As a result, procurement and submission of application forms and related documents are being carried out electronically at an instant thereby giving a big opportunity for talented students of Manipur to go inside the literary bout to battle with students of other parts of mainland India.

Mention may be made of one student from Manipur who has carved a mark in the literary world in the year 2012. Her name is Miranda Thoudam, a Day Scholar student of Sainik School Imphal of class X now studying in class XI. She had visited Poland after she was handpicked alongwith her counterparts from other parts of the nation for her outstanding achievement in National Science Seminar conducted by the Govt of India and had been given the rare privilege of visiting Madam Curie's Science Foundation free of cost.

She interacted and even had Tea with Mrs Sheila Dixit, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of New Delhi and shaked hands with Mr Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India which can be considered once in a lifetime opportunity or most probably never in a lifetime opportunity to most students. It is every aspiring student's dream to get such an opportunity to go abroad or interact with such big shots of Govt of India.

The triumph and memory of receiving award from the President of India will forever remain frozen in time in Miranda's memory lane. She has also been offered free-of-cost to study further in four most reputed colleges of India in science stream by Govt of India through scholarship out of which she can choose one from amongst the four of her liking.

In fact, she is an exemplary figure and a source of inspiration to thousands of students of the state in the world of academics. This doesn't mean that she is the best but there are thousands of Mirandas in Manipur who are gifted, talented and possessing great potential but do not get the opportunity to participate in such competitions due to many factors such as lack of information and awareness by their respective schools authorities, lack of encouragement by parents, remoteness of location of school, lack of focus, lack of vigilance and interest by teachers etc.

Hopefully, we can now witness a distinctive change in education system in Manipur where we can see marked improvement in quality of education. Kudos to Hon'ble Education Minister Mr Okendro for his sincere effort to bring quality education in the state by making all schools in the valley areas in making 'Model Schools'.

A simple and clear example is the sudden upsurge in the number of first divisioners of Wangkhei Girls High School, a feat which can be considered as a great achievement taking into account the past pathetic academic record of the school. Of course the dedication and effort combined with good teamwork of teachers and staff of the school also goes a long way in achieving this feat.

Manipur is a State which is in a sorry state of affairs because of many factors such as peculiar tropographical position, remote location, lack of proper infrastructure, pitiable socio-political and economical conditions, intervention by anti-socials in development process of the state, lack of attention by leaders as they are too busy looting the state coffer from common men's taxes, narrow mindedness and clash of opinion among leaders of various organisations.

Inspite of all these hurdles, our state has got a pool of resourceful and highly educated and talented people especially the youths. Presently, many Manipuris are working in knowledge based industries in other parts of the nation as well as abroad. The state govt, therefore, needs to dig the hole a little deeper and bring the talented youngsters to keep abreast with their counterparts of other states and make known to the whole world that Manipur has a pool of highly talented and resourceful future pillars of the nation.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on July 02, 2013.



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