Rev. Chang honoured with A Kevichusa Citizenship Award for community work
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 24: The founder of the charity nongovernmental organisation Eleutheros Christian Society (ECS), Rev. Chingmak Chang has been awarded the A Kevichusa Citizenship Award for 2018. He was given the award during a ceremony at the Don Bosco campus, on Nov. 24 in Dimapur.
The A Kevichusa citizenship award is an initiative of the Kevichusa Charitable Foundation instituted in 2017 with ‘Veritas et Aequitas’ (Truth and Justice) as its motto. Chang credited his wife Phutoli for what he has achieved in life. When he was serving as a pastor at a church in Tuensang, he said, she persuaded him to quit his pastoral work and ‘do something constructive’ for his community.
Chang recalled an incident that he said had a profound impact on his life. He said to have been at a funeral as a pastor then. “A woman had nothing at home to feed her baby. She left the baby at home to get rice. She had no money. So she had to catch some fish and sell it to buy rice. However, by the time she bought the rice and came back home, her baby had taken her last breath. She couldn’t accept the fact that her baby was no more.
“‘How could you die when your mother had gone to get food for you?’ she kept crying,” he narrated to the gathering.
“This incident shook me. I started questioning everything. ‘Why should someone have to go so far for a kilo of rice? Why couldn’t the church arrange rice for her? Why not the neighbours?’ I felt that people had become immune to death,” Chang recalled. Chang revealed that the prevalence of drug use in Tuensang district was that high in the ‘90s that every third home had a drug addict. His elder brother too fell into addiction and died of HIV in a few years.
It was in 1993 that he started Eleutheros Christian Society (ECS). In its early years, ECS’s major activities focused on the problem of drug abuse; and on rehabilitation of affected youth.
Over the years, the seeds of hope and happiness that he and Phutoli planted in one of the most difficult regions of the state have been bearing handsome fruits. The ECS has become well known for its work on healthcare, education, social work, nutrition for children, improving farm economy, sanitation, and life skills, among other things.
Chang credited to God the noble work he could achieve with the organisation. He added that bureaucrats and the common people were equally responsible for all his achievements. The A Kevichusa Award is for everyone involved in his endeavour, he said.
The ECS was also awarded the HCL Grant in the thematic category for health in recognition for it making meaningful and lasting positive impact on the lives of the marginalised, on March 9, 2018.