India’s oldest journalist Lalbiakthanga Pachuau, who was awarded recently with the country’s fourth-highest civilian award Padma Shri, was facilitated by Assam Rifles on Saturday.

A brief felicitation function was held at Assam Rifles base in  Aizawl’s Khatla locality during which the war veteran turned journalist was honoured with atrophy and other rewards.

Assam Rifles DIG Digvijay Singh and other Assam Rifles officers attended the event.

Pachuau was accompanied by leaders of Mizoram Journalists’ Association (MJA), including the organisation president Zonunsanga Khiangte.

MJA is the umbrella body of all journalists in the state, which has nearly 200 members.

Pachuau was named a winner of Padma Shri in 2020 on Literature and Education-Journalism along with litterateur C. Kamlova (Literature and Education) from Mizoram.

Both received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind during the award ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on November 8.

Apart from Pachuau and Kamlova, social worker B. Sangkhumi, who was named a winner this year, also received Padma award from the president.

Pachuau joined Assam Regiment of the British Indian Army in 1945 and fought against the Japanese force for the British during World War-II and won many military medals.

The 94-year-old had a passion for journalism even during his service and started his journalism career after his retirement in 1953 with a relatively small paper Zoram Thupuan.

Later, he started his own local daily “Zoram Tlangau”, which he has been editing since 1970.

Pachuau had held a president post in MJA for at least three terms.

Besides being a journalist, he was an active social worker.

He was the founder president of Mizoram Social Defence Union during the 1990s and campaigned vigorously against alcohol and drugs.

Pachuau was one of the founder members of Association for Voluntary Blood Donation (AVBD), an Aizawl-based philanthropist organisation working for voluntary blood donation.

Pachuau was declared “oldest working journalist in India” by Mizoram’s Information and Public Relations Department and MJA in 2016, which remain unchallenged till now.

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