Lalbiakthanga

Aizawl: Sixty four-year-old Lalbiakthanga from Mizoram’s Lawipui is on a mission.

Covering the length and breath of the state on foot, Lalbiakthanga wants to spread awareness about national integrity in view of 75 years of India’s Independence, peace and harmony, importance of organ donation and protection of the environment and wildlife, among others.

The resident of Lawipui, a locality well known for a housing complex for the urban poor in the south-western outskirt of Aizawl, began his journey on February 9 and set out on foot from Vairengte town in the northern tip of the state bordering neighbouring Assam. 

Lalbiakthanga has completed the first leg of the walkathon recently after traversing across Kolasib district in northern Mizoram and western Mamit district. He came back to Aizawl on February 19.

“I want to spread awareness among the people in every nook and corner of Mizoram about national integrity, restoration of peace and harmony in the world, the importance of organ donation, especially eye, and protection of environment and wildlife in the fast devastating world,” he said.

He began the second leg of his journey on Monday and was flagged off by Mizoram Journalist’s Association (MJA) president Zonunsanga Khiangte from Aizawl. He will now walk to the southern and eastern parts of the state and will conclude this leg of his walkathon at Sakawrdai village in the northeastern part of the state bordering Manipur.

He is expected to traverse over 1,000 km during his mission.

On Tuesday, the sexagenarian reached central Mizoram’s Serchhip town. He has so far covered more than 250 km on foot.

Lalbiakthanga left his government job in 1987 and now lives on wages. He said that he has not encountered any hardship or health issues during his trip so far. 

“Taking up a walkathon mission is one of my passions. I enjoy my trip because I can spread awareness in cities, towns and villages,” he said. In each village and town he visited, he said the village or town authorities and community leaders arranged him platforms from where he could convey his message. 

“As public gatherings are not convenient due to COVID-19 pandemic, village council leaders provide me a platform for interaction,” he said.

This is not the first walkathon mission Lalbiakthanga has undertaken.

In 1997, he travelled to at least 50 rural villages and spread awareness on environmental and wildlife protection among students.

And in March 2021, he had walked more than 200 km from Aizawl to Zokhawthar village near the Indo-Myanmar border to extend solidarity to the people of Myanmar, who are now under military regime. 

Lalbiakthanga, who is still unmarried, also laid great emphasis on organ donation. He has already signed a bond with Aizawl Civil Hospital to donate his eyes when he dies.

“I also want to donate my other organs like kidneys and lungs. But I am disappointed that kidneys and lungs donation is not possible in Mizoram due to lack of medical facility,” he said.

Lalbiakthanga was among the 60 people, who sustained injuries in a clash with Assam police during a border stand-off near Bairabi town in Kolasib district in 2018. 

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