My dear people of Mizoram
My wife and I are extremely happy to spend Christmas and New Year again in the beautiful State of Mizoram. As we celebrate our third Christmas here, we continue to marvel at the warmth and hospitality of the Mizo people. We convey our heartiest greetings for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the residents of Mizoram.
Christmas is a time of peace and reconciliation. On this day, God sent his beloved Son Jesus Christ to reconcile mankind with Him. And so, we must also learn to make peace with our fellow human beings. This has become especially important at a time of rising intolerance and prejudice. Let us remember the message of love and compassion that Jesus preached.
I believe that 2017 was a good year for Mizoram. We have capped off a wonderful year with the maiden visits of Hon’ble President of India inaugurating urban housing complexes, and the Hon’ble Prime minister inaugurating the 60 MW Tuirial Hydel Project along with a number of economic initiatives. These visits auger well for the State and is a forerunner of many good things to come!
Cleanliness is a way of life with us and in this regard I am happy to note that we are on the verge of becoming an Open Defecation Free (ODF) State. This is an outstanding achievement, for cleanliness is next only to Godliness!
We continue to achieve admirably in sports both at national and international levels. Aizawl FC became the first club from the North East to win the prestigious I-League title, while Lalfakmawii Ralte won the Gold Medal at the 3rd International Boxing Championship at Bulgaria. These are only a few of the achievers, who have brought glory to the State and the Nation. Bravo, Mizoram!
In the field of education, we now have a Sainik School at Chhingchhip and are further presented with a joyous Christmas gift by opening admissions to girl cadets from the new session. This is a historic moment for the State, with Mizoram set to have the first Sainik School to admit girl cadets in the country. It is a befitting achievement as we continue to lead the charge towards women empowerment and gender equality.
Connectivity, and its lack thereof, continues to hold the key to development of Mizoram. We need better roads, which should be our immediate priority, and Mizoram must aim to become fully digitized in the coming year. The civil society as conscience-keepers must also maintain vigil on various environmental issues. In this regard, the efforts to save and restore River Chite by us are highly commendable.
As we look forward to the New Year and beyond. While supporting the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Vision of a New India 2022, let us look at a New Mizoram. By 2022, let us have a Healthy and prosperous Mizoram, which has awakened to its true potential, and a New Mizoram which has finally transformed to become a Gateway to South East Asia and much beyond.
In terms of human resource development, the need of the hour is to translate our literacy into employability. The tendency of our youth to only look at white and blue collared jobs must be balanced to meet the huge demand of skilled workforce as well. We also need to lay further emphasis on the propagation of Hindi to communicate better and increase our effort to join the national mainstream. Alongside, we have initiated various movements to effect lifestyle changes, including the Healthy Mizoram Campaign, Project Himna-MADAT, and practising of yoga. These need further impetus and contribution by all. I particularly appeal to our youth to focus on these aspects.
While Mizoram is blessed with abundant natural resources and immense potential, we need huge financial investments calling for the private sector from the country and abroad to chip in. The key priority areas are tourism, agriculture and horticulture. We must reach out in this regard and seek partnerships to develop economically.
In 2018, we will be holding elections to the Mizoram Legislative Assembly. I am certain these will be free and fair and once again bring out the strength of our vibrant civil society to fore.
I conclude this message with my favourite quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. I refuse to be an interloper, beggar or slave.”
I once again wish all the wonderful people of Mizoram a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
KA LAWM E