TODAY -

Unfolding the 'Shining Chapter' of Tuibuong

By Lenboi Haokip *


Then : The name, District Headquarters, was all that it had for a jaded description.

Now : It boasts of the growth of all descriptions under the sun. Ushering you into the hustle and bustle of Tuibuong, the booming neighbourhood of Churachandpur.

But first things first, my two-day stay in Tuibuong had me scout around the market out of idle curiosity. Then soon I realised that minutes spent on that 'recce' wasn't a time wasted, or rather, it dispelled my preconceptions about this little 'big' town. Hence, I was spurred into this article in admiration for the town's hunger to excel in all developmental fields.

Located well within the firing range of Ak-rifle (in local parlance) from the Lamka traffic point, Tuibuong, in its small way, is making a rapid stride towards development with grit and determination.

To put it in a nutshell, it has now prided itself on local amenities viz the Young Pillars college, schools, private health centre, Govt establishments, NGOs actively involved in youth mobilisation for self-employment, and what's more, its thriving businesses, let alone a nationalised bank which is opening its branch out here shortly.

Getting into the picture of the market, a shopping arcade occupies the pride of place in the very heart of the town symbolising the District Headquarters' growth in trade, apart from the adjoining lines of stores and vegetable mart buzzing with life from dawn to dusk.

What is awe-inspiring about Tuibuong is the people's developing culture of economic self-reliance. No job appears to be too small an earning beneath their dignity or too big an idea to accomplish.

By a twist of economic consciousness, thinglhangpa/thinglhangnu (tribal men/tribal women) are laying their hands on anything that turns into a Rupee or so.

I was amazed yet impressed to walk past townfolks shining shoes, spinning wheels for glasses of juice, selling attractively packed Komkuwa and doing all that needs brains and brawn for a living. Thus the usual stereotype of immigrants with shoe-shining, sugarcane juice extracting, et cetera is now a history.

To a greater extent, from Changlhah (Puri) hotels to restaurant, groceries to hardware stores, pharmacies to clinic, second-hand to fIrst-hand apparel shops and other assorted businesses are owned and run by local people except for few kitchen utensil and garment stores by non-locals.

In terms of entrepreneurship, Tuibuong flaunts the successes of computer training centres, DTP centres, cyber cafe, music studio, Chollha magazine and Layon Digest (both monthly), charcoal processing factory, trash disposal and more in the making.

If nothing succeeds like success has anything to do with it, the prayers of Tuibuong denizens have been further answered in the form of Zion Clinic and Diagnostic Centre which, until recently, was all just pie in the sky. The clinic embarked on by an administering angel, Dr James Touthang with a strong desire to serve the people of Churachandpur is, as of now, a 15-bedded hospital swarming with inpatients and outpatients day in and day out.

According to wife Kimboi, Zion Clinic is being 'built on' sweat, tears and prayers and that she has strong emotional attachment to it considering her husband's struggle to reach this far. Although in its inceptive phase, Dr James' wide experience with his stints in the Army, Shija Hospital, Kangpokpi Christian Hospital (as medical superintendent in charge for 5 years) and a training in Chennai seems to pay dividends as evidenced by the number of patients the hospital has attended to daily.

When it comes to melody, not for nothing is Tuibuong named 'Land of Hope' for budding singers in search of fame, if not fortune. Proof to that comes from big names like Lamkholhing, Jeff Akai, Benny Khongsai, Kakai, Melody and others who have made Tuibuong their home.

Tellingly so, almost all audio music albums produced in Churachandpur would flauntingly run the credit lines: Recorded at Gibeon Studio Tuibuong, music by Thangjangam, Tuibuong or produced by such and such of Tuibuong.

Tunefully enough, Tuibuong just recently showcased its soft power as one of beckoning music destinations when it successfully hosted a highly expensive mega event—first season of Kuki Idol.

Predictably, its local sensation sang his way to ride home Activa scooter and cash prizes leaving behind some 700 young competitors green with envy. So far as music is concerned, nothing suggests that Tuibuong is any less music Capital than Shillong is music Capital of India.

Tuibuong's twinkling transition to a bustling commercial hub of people in the Northern part (and beyond) of Churachandpur District is something one would not imagine in just 5 years. Albeit still some more years of catch­up for it to draw level with Lamka Bazaar, Tuibuong has come of age bearing all the hallmarks of becoming the trade centre of Churachandpur.

My conclusion: Yes, indeed, Tuibuong can!



* Lenboi Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 05th May 2009.

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