The contribution of indisputable leader enriches the quality of administration. Great leader inspire and motivate us and wish to follow them on our path of success. A teacher and a politician, Dr. Vanlalthlana with his humble personality is an exemplary model.
Still actively engaged as an assistant professor since 2005 at Pachhunga College under the Mizoram University, forty years old Dr. Vanlalthlana Ph.D from MZU is an elected member of legislative assembly from Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Mizoram. “Previously I wasn’t into politics. Last year they offered me to stand for ZPM, I am into real politics only for five months after I got elected in the legislative assembly.”He said. He serves the government by obtaining his salary from the college and for which he doesn’t acquire from the MLA pay.
During the interaction, Dr. Vanlalthlana gives us the complete insight of his plan, vision and contributions for his people and this is what he says:
Even though I joined recently, I was there at the political world for a very long time so it is not an alien to me. Since early days I was interested into budgeting. In the year 2007, some friends of mine formed a group known as “Youth Movement of Mizoram” comprising of Intellectuals like Doctors, Journalists, and Lawyers etc. I was also among the preferred members. Back then the group was quite active. However after 2008 State Assembly election we discontinued because a new government was formed. Subsequently from that time onwards I took keen interest in politics, I started learning about government budgets, policies and even participated in seminars and talks.
For me the major concern among the youth is Entrepreneurship. Our own state resources and budgets are very limited, so through entrepreneurship and other sources we need to contribute to the state so that our GDP will be increased.
We need to create more jobs for the youths. Though I’m in the opposition bench, I have been discussions with the concerned ministers of how to build up entrepreneurship. I have even traveled to Kolkata for training and even attended Hyderabad National institute for Entrepreneurship so that I could gain more knowledge on entrepreneurship. There is something I would really want to give back to my state through Entrepreneurship.
We need to focus on marketing regarding agricultural products and its value additions. However there is a gap between the farmers and the consumers. Major profits share goes to the outsiders or the middle man while the farmers obtain the brunt. Therefore to benefit the farmers and to get rid of the middle man, the administration should come up with a policy.
Ginger and bamboo are grown in abundance and they are the highest products that are marketed out of the state. Out of ginger we can produce many products such as ginger paste, ginger candy, ginger pickles etc. And even out of bamboo we can produce so many products. So if only we can get hold of the entrepreneurs and their innovation, I believe we can develop the economy of our state. However to preserve the ginger there is a necessity of cold storage. We even have the G.I (Geographical Indication) for Mizoram on “Bird eye Chilli”, therefore the government must come on board for value addition. I am planning to sponsor some entrepreneurs who are into agriculture outside the state so as to let them attain proper training and seminars on agriculture marketing skills.
The one thing I am quite concerned about my state is “moral reforms”. Mizoram has the highest number of HIV/AIDS in the country. In order to undertake the problem we need to begin from the bottom and that is “education”.
In my constituency, I want to bring about changes through a comic of which I am planning to publish on moral reform and motivation in Mizo language. The younger generations especially teenagers are barely into the habit of reading books. They are more into YouTube and graphic effects. In order to grab their attention we need to apply graphics and animations. We have some talented graphic designers and animators to whom I have discussed about and they are into developing the comic book very soon. The comic will not be for sale but to distribute freely to the youths in my constituency. The plan may not be of 100% success but if I could obtain the awareness of at least 30% of the youngsters, it will be a lot of help.
Moreover I am reaching out to self-help groups and also amongst the poorest section in the society by distributing equipments so that no individual is left out. It does not matter whether they toil with it or not but I am providing equipments on ginger paste making, soap making, candle making, areca nut peeling (re-selling) etc. freely to them with an intention that a sense of responsibilities may be developed among them by creating entrepreneurship mindset in their lives.
About VIP Culture
Unlike other states, Mizo society does not have VIP’s culture. We as elected members whether Ministers or MLA’s or whether a Beaurucrats do not make use of the VIP’s culture because we all belong to the same society. Even during heavy traffic jam, not a single VIP’s would overtake or break the traffic rules.
Even in churches we as a believer have our own denomination of churches. When we go and attend the services we attend as any other ordinary person. We never apply our tag. There is no discrimination on sitting arrangements. Even on Christmas season we all celebrate feast in our church. To prepare the feast, whether Minister or MLA everybody participate in the preparation of food. Also even in Sunday school a Minister may sit down while a peon takes the class. So that is how our society is. In a way we are all equal.
Using a designation plate is a sense of pride for the party workers but not the MLA’s. It is also there in the directives of ZPM party to use only during official ceremonies, important programmes or during Assembly Session.
I personally never use my MLA designation plate in my constituency. Wherever I go I avoid it. Within this short span of five years, I do not my people to project or make the impression on me as someone big or so forth. I am simply their elected member and also their representative.
First of all the credit goes to my wife as she does all the multitasking and balancing the family responsibility. Both of us being a working parent with three minor daughters, we have a very busy schedules. Though we have our own maid, most of the time my wife does the cooking while I take care of the children.
Occasionally when I have visitors at home, I to take care of the youngest while my wife take care of the household chores as well as of our school going children with their uniforms and so on. I could spare my time for work once my children go to sleep and but it takes a lot of my energy. However being still active, I play basketball whenever I come home early.
Message to the Youth
My message to the youth of Northeast is that one should understand and be aware of the affairs our state politics. It does not mean that they have to go into politics, but they need to be aware of the development activities and contribute their skill by helping the community. They should stay active and participate for the growth of the state. We need to study about our budget and development schemes and find ways and means of how we can take advantage of that for the benefit of our society. These days the youths are into “facts”. In past years our senior politicians used to jumble a bit of white lies in their speeches and all, however today we have social media platform where everything is exposed. The youth can articulate with the senior politicians that their white lies are now being monitored and it is documented and their system is not working anymore!