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Nagaland

Learn to fish and never go hungry

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By EMN Updated: Sep 10, 2013 12:56 am
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Temjen Anichar
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 9

It was a man in Khaki.
More than ten summers have gone, an old policeman- in the leisure of “duty” got acquainted with a scrawny young man loitering the streets of Mokokchung.
He taught the idle youth the art of weaving. The old policeman would not have known then but he had just given the youth the gift of a lifetime.
Ten summers on the scrawny youth has his wife and three children.
Until January 2012, 39-year-old Repajungshi and his family, were making moorahs and selling it on the streets of Mokokchung, moving door to door.
Yet, this demanding exercise was never enough to feed the family. “It was a small town (compared to Dimapur). So we decided to come here because there are more customers here as Dimapur has a much higher population,” Repajungshi told Eastern Mirror in his home in Dimapur on Monday.
On the outskirts of Dimapur, some 3 kilometers away from the National Highway, inside Naga United village, the family has rented a place. In the kitchen, the father and the two boys, weave and bind three moorahs everyday. Outside, the girl takes care of splicing the bamboo. The mother, as always, takes care of the “rest.”
The children- Lanusunep aged 16, Akumla aged 14 and Tinumeren aged 12- help their father before and after school. “Before going to school they always work a bit in the morning and finish it after they return from school.” They have been taught the trade since they were seven years of age.
Fifty moorahs are sold every month, through a dealer who then supplies it to the market. Each finished product is sold at Rs 300 to the dealer. With an income of roughly Rs 15,000 per month, days of knocking on strange doors are over, at least for now.
Their current location on the outskirts of town also ensures that bamboo is easily available to the family. The wicker plastics used in weaving the moorahs are bought at Rs 200 per kg in the market. One kg of the material can be used to make three moorahs.
“This is the only way we know how to survive,” Repajungshi said. It is more than a year-and-half since the young man with no other survival skills but the ability to make moorahs, had abandoned his ancestral home of Mokokchung village and led his family down to the plains of Dimapur.
The father, still scrawny as ever, chose not to dwell on the hardships of the past or the present or the uncertainty of the future. Its written all over his face that every challenge has been worth it when he sees his family around him.
“I am fortunate that the children are willing to help and work with me because these days, I know children can be difficult,” he shared. The early experience of door to door sales has made them wiser beyond their teenage years.
In their struggle for survival, as the father noted, they have ended up weaving and binding together the fate of one another- “like a family.” The ultimate purpose of survival, as any old-wise man will say.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 10, 2013 12:56:50 am