A dance troupe from Sarkaphung village performing folk dance during the closing ceremony of Shirui Lily Festival in Manipur’s Ukhrul district on Saturday Credit: EastMojo image

Ukhrul: Manipur governor Dr Najma Heptulla on Saturday graced the closing ceremony of the 3rd edition of Shirui Lily Festival at Tangkhul Naga Long ground in Ukhrul district amidst much fanfare.

The four-day festival was organised by the state tourism department in collaboration with Shirui and its neighbouring villages along with various apex bodies of the Tangkhul community.

According to organisers, the festival is aimed to promote the endangered Shirui Lily flower and spread awareness about the rare pinkish-white flower found only in the Shirui hill range of Manipur.

Manipur governor Dr Najma Heptulla (second from right) gracing the closing ceremony of the 3rd edition of Shirui Lily Festival at Tangkhul Naga Long ground in Ukhrul on Saturday

Speaking at the closing ceremony, governor Heptulla praised the organisers for their endeavour and commitment to celebrate this rare flower and make the people aware of our environment and the need for its protection.

Dr Heptulla further stated that the festival under the brand name of Shirui Lily, the state flower of Manipur, has popularised the uniqueness of the flower far and wide.

Meanwhile, she lamented that despite the flower being well-known, because of its rarity and beauty, Shirui Lily which blooms in late May to early June is becoming rarer and many experts have felt it may ultimately become extinct, with the rising temperature and change in habitat.

There is a need for more vigilance on the part of all stakeholders and a proper scientific study on the flower so that this renowned flower can continue to thrive in its original habitat, she added.

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During the ceremony, governor Heptulla also formally launched a Childline service of the hill district, a service run by FXB India Suraksha in collaboration with Childline India Foundation under the ministry of women and child development, Government of India.

Childline service is meant for children who are in distress, activate Child Protection mechanism and work closely with all the district administration department to safeguard and protect the rights of children.

The closing was presided by health & family welfare, art and culture minister L Jayanta Kumar in presence of hosts of ministers, MLAs, state officials and locals.

A dance troupe in action during the closing ceremony of the Shirui Lily Festival in Manipur’s Ukhrul district on Saturday

Addressing the event, minister Kumar said that it is only through culture, there will be peace and harmony in the state. And festivals like Shirui Lily, Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit can be a breach between the hills and valley people.

The closing ceremony cum cultural extravagant event also showcased the rich traditions and culture of the Tangkhul community through folk dance presented by Sarkaphung village dance troupe.

This year’s Shirui Lily Festival, which was started from October 16, has gained momentum with a huge footfall from various part of the state and country.

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