Imphal: Laii day or Vafiimai day is being celebrated in Manipur’s Senapati district with traditional gaiety.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday graced the event in Laii village located in Paomata of Senapati district.
The festival is celebrated once in every five years by the Poumai community of Laii village to honour the forefathers and to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the community.
The two-day festival, which highlights the rich heritage and legacy of the Poumai community, is being celebrated under the theme “Our Culture, Our Identity.”
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said, “It was a great privilege and honour to take part in this festival, which is held once in every five years. The village deserves commendation and praise for preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Poumai Naga community.
Singh said Senapati is a strategically important area and by taking advantage of the national highway, which passes through the district, it can be fully developed.
Today, we are trying to create a city-like atmosphere in the district with due consultation with civil organisations like NPO and students union etc, the Chief Minister said.
He further highlighted the developmental projects undertaken in the district, including the construction of Ima Market, stadiums, the laying of astroturf for football, development of an amusement park, and the construction of a youth centre for the skill development of youth, among others.
CM Biren Singh said, “Today we are able to provide potable water to at least 70-80 per cent in the district. Further calling on the people to be united and live together, the chief minister urged all to forgive and forget the past mistakes and instead move forward unitedly.
He also sought the people’s support for the ‘War on Drugs’ campaign and appreciated the people of the district, including the Poumais, Thangals, Maos, Maram, Liangmais for coming out voluntarily and pledging against poppy plantation and illegal drug business.
Explaining the ills of poppy plantations, the Chief Minister said it not only helps in the production of drugs like opium but also destroys forests and the environment. It also causes massive deforestation, which is adversely affecting the climate, Singh added.
CM Biren Singh also lauded the Naga community for protecting and preserving the jungle cover in their areas.
Highlighting the proposal for the upgradation of the Laii-Tusom via Kharasom road to national highway status which was not included in the proposal sent to the Centre earlier, the Chief Minister said he would look into the demand for the upgradation.
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Dressed in their colourful and rich attires, young and old alike, including cultural dance troupes, from the community participated in the festival.
Laii or Vafiimai is a Poumai Naga village under the Paomata sub-division north of Senapati district, located at a distance of around 130 km from Imphal. The village is among the biggest village in Poumai tribe and is also considered to be one of the oldest villages in Manipur.
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