– By Sabina Y. Rahman with inputs from Arefa Sultana Hussain
The 9th October 2019 marks the first celebration of the Noble Deeds’ Day in Chuchuyimlang. The celebration of Noble Deeds Day was “a display of great solidarity with the council’s decision as people from all walks of life paid rich tributes to their leader in a public function organised on the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram premises. The occasion was also graced by the presence of representatives from ten other village councils and town committees that fall under Chuchuyimlang administrative circle.
On the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi at Chuchuyimlang this year, the Chairman of the Village Council Aosanen Pongen had declared that the birth anniversary of Padmashree Late Natwarbhai Thakkar would be commemorated every year as the Noble Deeds’ Day in fond memory and due deference to his passion and commitment to serve the community in the footsteps of Gandhi. He also urged citizens of Chuchuyimlang to observe the day every year by carrying out noble acts to benefit the lives of the less privileged. This according to the Council would be a fitting tribute to the selfless and dedicated service rendered by the veteran Gandhian, often fondly referred to as ‘Nagaland’s Gandhi’ or ‘Mahatma’s Apostle’.
The Noble Deeds’ Day this year celebrates the 87th Birth Anniversary of NatwarThakkar, founder of the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram. Community members of Chuchuyimlang gathered on the morning of October 9th to observe the first ever ‘Noble Deeds Day’ and to carry forward his undying spirit of voluntary work and community service. The celebration was a display of great solidarity with the Council’s decision as people from all walks of life paid rich tributes to their leader in a public function.
The programme was conducted by Shri Odimatsung, a senior volunteer at the Ashram. This was followed by an Invocation by Shri Imtisosang, Deacon at the Chuchuyimlang Baptist Church. Dr. Aotoshi, son of Late Natwarbhai Thakkar and the Managing Trustee of the Ashram then delivered the welcome address to the gathering.
At the end of his address, everyone rose to sing the Hymn “Oh Temeim Tesangwa Ni Aniang” (“Lead Kindly Light”). This was followed by Shri Lanumatong’s touching speech that addressed the life and works of Natwar Thakkar. Shri Lanumatong is a senior volunteer with the Ashram and has had the good fortune to experience firsthand and be a part of the change that the Ashram ushered into this village.
Thereafter, Shri Manen, Associate Pastor (Youth) of Chuchuyimlang Town Baptist Church read the scripture and Shri Moaliba Imsong of the Tuli Lenden Baptist Arogo performed a special number at the event.
The Secretary of Chuchuyimlang Village Council, Shri Tsukjemtangit spoke to the gathering about the significance of the Noble Deeds Day and what it means for the village to continue the legacy of Natwarbhai Thakkar and his wife Padmashree Lentina Ao Thakkar. While their contribution remains unmatched, the community must come together to carry their work forward by continuing to find ways to be of service to each other. This address was followed by short speeches and testimonies by several neighbouring village councils and Town Committee members.
Nagaland Gandhi Ashram began the tradition of celebrating the Noble Deeds’ Day this year by organising a blood donation and a free eye check-up camp for the community members on the 9th and 10th of October. The Blood donation camp is being conducted by CMO, Mokokchung, while the Free Eye Camp has been organised by Lions’ Club Eye Hospital, Jorhat on the Ashram premises.
Someone rightly said the power of noble deeds is to be preserved and passed on to the future. The Ashram continues to function under the guardianship of Thakkar’s wife, Lentina Ao Thakkar, also a Padmashree recipient.”