Padma Shri Neidonuo Angami receives A Kevichusa Citizenship Award 2022
Dimapur, Dec. 10 (EMN): Padma Shri Neidonuo Angami was awarded the A Kevichusa Citizenship Award 2022 on Saturday for championing life’s challenges, and pioneering campaigns and movements against social problems in Nagaland, especially for women.
Receiving the award from The Kevichusa Foundation on Saturday during an event at The White Owl in Chümoukedima, Neidonuo said, “I thought somebody else is more befitting for the award but realised it is all because of God’s grace to be recognised once again”.
In her words, in all humility, she shared how she was brought up in the 1950s when there were killings almost every day between the Indian and the Naga army. Her late father, a Dobashi, whose face she had never seen, was beheaded in 1956 and after a relentless three-year- long search by the family, his skull was brought back to Kohima.
Seeing the skull left her traumatised and lived a disturbed life, she shared.
“The consequences were so strong that I developed negative feelings for a long time. In the anger for revenge, I started hating the Nagas and wanted to be more connected and close with the non-Nagas. My mother had to make local brew to support us after our father (died),” she said while sharing an anecdote of her growing years.
However, after her marriage, she acknowledged that she became more connected with the Nagas and got interested in social services. That was how the Angami Women’s Organisation was formed in Dimapur, and then the Weavers’ Association in seven districts of the state with Dimapur as the headquarters, she shared.
‘I feel strongly and still am concerned about the importance of women and their role in promoting peace and harmony. With experience of childhood trauma, it is important to reach out to children affected by social and political subjects. Showing respect to the elders is important because we believe that a blessing in the community is manifested by the presence of elders while honouring them is a privilege,’ she conveyed.
Receiving the award, she acknowledged that “whatever we could do or succeed was not because of me alone but because of teamwork”.
It may be mentioned that Neidonuo was the founding member of the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA); led the “Shed No More Blood” campaign; a Nobel Peace Prize nominee among the 1000 women across the world in 2005; and a Padma Shri recipient in 2000.
Nagaland Medical Council President, Dr. Joyce Zinyu Angami, the chief guest of the event, sharing about her association with Neidonuo since 1984, said that the latter took up on herself to look into what the society could do for drug abusers, which was on the rise and which led to the opening of Naga Mothers’ Association associated Kripa Foundation home.
‘Since HIV was a new disease, there was so much stigma surrounding it. Neidonuo took the initiative to meet the HIV patients and broke the stigma. Under her leadership, AIDS hospice care was set up where people, even from far places, came to stay there. Whenever an unidentified person’s dead body was found, the NMA would pay respect to the deceased person and cover the dead body with a shawl, as a last respect. That was something that has remained,’ the chief guest recounted while acknowledging that what could have been a ‘liability for the society was now an asset for the community’ due to the awardee.
The A Kevichusa Citizenship Award was instituted in 2017 to celebrate and promote the idea and ideal of citizenship. It recognises an individual or group from Nagaland that has consistently championed, demonstrated and embodied the ideal of citizenship and unwaveringly sought the common good of the people of the state or collective sections and constituencies thereof.