The year 2018 turned out to be quite a roller-coaster year for Mizoram. From Zoramthanga of MNF becoming Chief Minister to the new government imposing total prohibition of liquor in the Christian-majority State, it has been quite the year.
Notably, in the 40-member Assembly, the MNF bagged 26 seats in the polls. This is the third term that the MNF is forming government in Mizoram and after a gap of 10 years.
Zoramthanga’s MNF crushed Thanhawla, who had earlier successfully contested the Assembly elections a record nine time, this time lost in both constituencies — Champai South and Serchhip — from where he contested.
Also within hours of coming to power, the new state government banned the sale of liquor. They also declared December 21 to January 14 as dry days.
Before the polls were held in the state, the election commission of India decided to hold polling at Mamit district of Mizoram for Bru refugees living in Tripura.
The place of voting for 11,232 Bru voters became the most controversial issue in the run up to the Mizoram Assembly polls, leading to replacement of the Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank in less than two weeks ahead of the elections.
Shashank had reportedly facilitated voting by Bru voters in the relief camps of Tripura.
In the country’s sports arena, Mizo weightlifter Lalrinnunga made the state and country proud by winning gold at the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires. He won the medal in the men’s 62kg category.This was India’s first-ever gold medal at the Youth Olympics in 2018.
In Men’s 62kg Group A weightlifting, Lalrinnunga made successful attempts of 120kg and 124kg in snatch and 142kg and 150kg in clean & jerk sessions. With his best successful attempts of 124kg in snatch and 150kg in clean & jerk for a combined 274kg, the 15-year-old won.
In the same year, where the Mizoram weightlifter made the state proud by winning a gold, another teenager made the state proud in a brave act of humanity when he gave his life to save someone else.
Aizawl’s 17-year old braveheart Lalchhandama was awarded Jeevan Raksha Padak posthumously.
On May 2017, F Lalchhandama and his friends went swimming at Tlawng river. While they were getting ready to return, one of their friends C Lalremkima slipped off a mossy rock losing his balance and fell into the river. He was not able to swim at that point and cried for help. Lalchhandama and another friend Lalmuansanga instantly jumped into the river trying to rescue their drowning friend. Lalremkima caught hold of Lalmuansanga’s neck making him unable to breathe.
Lalchhanmdama, out of courage freed Lalmuansanga and somehow managed to drag him to the shore. Lalchhandama went straight back into the river trying to rescue his friend. Despite his brave efforts, his second attempt to rescue his drowning friend ended tragically, his friend drowned and Lalchhandama died trying to save him.
In the same year, Mizo woman Zeonpari Chhakchhuak showed everyone that women are not less than anyone by becoming state’s first women to complete training to join the US Air Force.
The daughter of Pu Dave Chhakchhuak and Pi Zothannguri Ralte, she hails from Chhinga Veng, Aizawl.
She got through her USAF examination in May 2017 with 89 percent in her exams. After that, she joined the Basic Military Training (BMT) Fort from July 2017 at Sam Houston, San Antonio; Texas.
She completed the first phrase of training on January 2018, graduating with 94 percent. Zeonpari will continue her training from February 2018 to October at the Andrew’s Airforce Base, Virginia.
At the start of this year, a local Church of Mizoram announced cash incentives to the new born babies onward to Mizo couples. Cash incentive will go up according to the number starting from the fourth. Thus the fourth born will get Rs 4,000, the fifth Rs 5,000 and so on.
In an effort to encourage birth rate, the Baptist Church of Mizoram branch from Lunglei’s Bazar Veng decided to bless new born babies with cash within their local area.
The low birth rates among the dominant Mizo tribe of the state was a matter of concern not only to the Mizo organizations but also the churches. The two larger churches of Mizoram – The Presbyterian Church and the Baptist Church of Mizoram have repeatedly appealed to its members to have more babies.
Solomon’s Temple, the biggest Church in Mizoram, also opened its doors to the public at the start of the year. It took 20 years to build the church.
Located at Kidron Valley in Chawlhmun, on the western outskirts of Aizawl, the church was built by a religious group called Kohhran Thianghlim.
The foundation stone of the multi-storied church was laid in 1996. It has a seating capacity of 3,000 people within the main hall and 10,000 people within its courtyard called, The porch of Solomon’s Temple.
Mizoram started the year with a bang with the inauguration of 60 MW Tuirial hydro-electric project by Modi last December.
Tuirial is the second largest earthen dam in the world and the largest in India.
It is an earth-fill and gravity dam near Kolasib in Mizoram and is a hydroelectric power generation project. The hydro project has been constructed as a central sector project and implemented by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO).
Construction of the power station began in 1998 by NEEPCO, but was halted in 2004 by the Tuirial Crop Compensation Claimant Association. The project, built at a cost of Rs 1,302 crore, took nearly two decades to complete. It is the biggest power project located in Mizoram and will guarantee 24×7 affordable clean power for all.