Shillong: Meghalaya Statehood Day turned out to be very different for hundreds of children and young adults residing in many Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in and around Shillong.

On Saturday, in a symbolic tribute to “the state’s forefathers and mothers for the sacrifice of their blood, sweat and tears that gave us this beautiful hill state”, Team Jiva and Shillong Press Club (SPC) jointly distributed lunch packets to 14 CCIs run by the government and registered NGOs in and around Shillong.

The two came together to spread some cheer and happiness among the residents of a these CCIs of which 9 are managed by the state government through the Social Welfare department and are located at a sprawling campus in Mawkasiang, New Shillong.

They include separate observation homes for boys and girls, Special Home for Boys and Girls separately, Childrens Home for Boys and Girls separately, Special Unit for Children with Special Needs (Boys and Girls separately) and a Shelter Home for Girls. 

The remaining 5 are run by different NGOs that include Lawei Baphyrnai Childrens Home for Boys (Langkyrding), Lawei Baphyrnai Childrens Home for Girls (Mawklot), Meghalaya Hindu Mission Home for Boys (Lower Mawprem), William Lewis Boy’s Home, (Mission Compound), and AW Thomas Girls’ Home, (Jaiaw).

In total, 300 lunch packets were handed over to the various supervisors of the different homes and residents. 

Appreciating the noble gesture, SPC president David Laitphlang said, “We felt that we owe it to all our elders who marched in Shillong’s streets 50 years ago to give us this freedom and, hence, we felt that since no one was reaching out we’d give it a try.”

“Who knows, perhaps, someone in an old age home, somewhere in the state, was a vibrant youth dancing in glee 50 years ago, but today has been forgotten by us.”

 Jiwat Vaswani, whose Team Jiva has been receiving much applause for their relentless effort to keep Shillong and its suburbs clean as well as change its landscape by planting beds of roses and plants of all hues and shapes said, “We are happy to avail of this opportunity to once again serve our beautiful state and its people. Thank you Shillong Press Club for pointing us to these friends we were able to reach out to today. Happy Meghalaya Day.” 

Receiving the food packets on behalf of all the government-run institutions at Mawkasiang, New Shillong, superintendent Rimi Dkhar, while expressing surprise, thanked the SPC and Team Jiva for their visit.

“We did not expect this; thank you for the surprise. I never thought we would celebrate Meghalaya Day like this; the boys and girls and the mothers and fathers (caretakers/supervisors), too, are so excited. This kind of outreach sometimes is of great support to our residents here,” Dkhar said. 

On Monday, the SPC and Team Jiva will hand over some dry rations to Mercy Home in Nongthymmai since the inmates have stopped taking food from outside after the onset of the pandemic. 

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