Stranded students with Mizoram information and public relations minister Lalruatkima in Mualkhang in Kolasib district

Aizawl: The monsoon is still lashing out its destructive powers in the hilly state of Mizoram in Northeast India. As the state continues to be plagued with immense transportation hardships on National Highway-54 due to massive landslides, a minister is going out of his way to help transport stranded passengers, especially students from outside the state, to their destination.

Students having lunch with the minister

Mizoram information and public relations minister Lalruatkima on Tuesday attended the opening of the new branch of Mizoram Rural Bank at Kawnpui in Kolasib district which falls on NH-54. On his way back to the capital, the minister visited the blocked highway near Mualkhang. There, he found many stranded passengers, among which, 10 were students hailing from outside the state but studying in Mizoram University, Aizawl.

The minister understood the plight of these students — they were under immense time constraints as they had to get back to their courses at the university on August 1. For non-Mizo students, finding an accommodation is also a challenging task. So, along with his team, the minister arranged for special vehicles to transport the stranded students back to Mizoram University.

Himadree, a student from Assam, said, “He [minister Lalruatkima] is a great person. We will never forget him in our life. Even though we come from a different state, the minister was there to help us when we were in a very bad situation. We can’t thank him enough. We will never forget him and his kindness.”

Some of the stranded students being transported to Mizoram University

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Himankhi, another student from Assam studying biotechnology at Mizoram University, said, “I am so humbled by his [minister Lalruatkima’s] actions that I just do not know what to say. He is a minister, but still understands our dire situation and goes out of his way to help us students. I greatly admire him and his kind actions.”

On the way back, the minister even took the students to a restaurant, where they were treated to a lovely lunch.

Members of the Mizoram Journalists’ Association who witnessed the incident mentioned that the students were overjoyed to learn that a special convoy would help them get back to their university. The journalists praised the minister for his commendable action.

The Mizoram University Students’ Council in its press release praised Lalruatkima for his kind action to the 10 non-Mizoram students. They hailed the minister for showing a true spirit of being the people’s representative.

A massive landslide at Mualkhang village on July 19 led to disruption of traffic on National Highway 306. This road, situated between Kawnpui and Sairang, connects National Highway 54, which is the lifeline of Mizoram. Many passengers plying through this highway are stranded. The state government is working non-stop to clear the road for passenger buses and trucks transporting goods to the capital and other districts. But the roads are extremely narrow due to continuous mudslides and are very slippery.

Minister Lalruatkima inspecting the landslide

It is important to note that all goods travelling into the state are transported through this highway. Passengers travelling to and from the neighbouring state of Assam have to take this route to reach their destination.

To see a minister of the state going the extra mile to help stranded students get back to their university is indeed a proud moment for the Mizo society as a whole.

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