On this special occasion of Young Mizo Association (YMA) Day 2017, I send my greetings to all the members of the YMA, both inside and outside Mizoram. This is an important day for the Mizo people, and our observance of this day underlines just how much we value this all-encompassing organization.

The YMA, with a motto to "Help the needy", has always been lending a helping hand, irrespective of race or community. The values that we cherish and practise are worthy of being emulated throughout the country. The YMA does not differentiate between the rich and the poor, and works for the betterment of the society as a whole.

I appreciate the large amount of good work that you are doing for welfare of the community. The fight against drugs is a very noble effort, which has my full support. I believe that we should go one step further and become active proponents of a "Healthy Mizoram". We should continue fighting against the abuse of alcohol and tobacco, which has led to high incidences of cancer and other health problems in our State. If the members of the YMA become advocates for healthy living, I am sure that Mizoram can become a model State.

Another area where I feel that the YMA can play a bigger role is the preservation of our natural environment, including wildlife, trees, rivers, etc. You are the people on the ground who really matter, and who can make a difference. Your actions, either positive or negative, have a direct bearing on our surroundings. We must remember that it is our responsibility to make Mizoram a habitable place for the succeeding generations. In Aizawl, let us start by restoring the Chite River.

I once again wish all the members a happy YMA Day. It is my desire that this great body continues to be a source of positive change for Mizoram, and indeed for the Nation. Long may it prosper.