Mizo journalist Lalbiakthanga Pachuau

Aizawl: Prominent Mizo journalist, 94-year-old Lalbiakthanga Pachuau, who is known to be the oldest working journalist from the state has been awarded with Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian award, on Monday.

Pachuau received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind during the award ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other Union leaders attended the event. Pachuau was conferred the Padma Shri for 2020 along with C. Kamlova from Mizoram. He is among 141 Padma awardees of 2020.

Speaking to EastMojo over the phone from Delhi, Pachuau said he was very glad to have received the award, which he never expected. 

“I am glad to be awarded with Padma Shri. I never expected such award in my life. I am deeply indebted to the Centre, my journalist colleagues and well-wishers for their support to enable me received the prestigious award,” he said.

Pachuau said that he has a passion for journalism since he was in the Army in the 1950s. “I will continue with the profession till I can work,” Pachuau said.

Born in 1927 at Saichal village, 80 kms from state capital Aizawl, Pachuau joined Assam Regiment of the British Indian Army in 1945 and fought against the Japanese forces for the British during World War-II and won many military medals.

He started his career in journalism with a relatively small paper Zoram Thupuan in 1953 and then editing his own local daily Zoram Tlangau since 1970.

The 94-year-old soldier-turned-journalist was declared “oldest working journalist in the country” by Mizoram’s Information and Public Relation Department and Mizoram Journalist Association (MJA) in 2016. Pachuau was president of the MJA for three terms.

Pachuau was also one of the founder members of Association for Voluntary Blood Donation (AVBD) in Mizoram, and had once become the president of the association.

He was the founder president of Mizoram Social Defence Union during the 1990s and campaigned vigorously against alcohol and drugs.

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