Sat, 04 Feb 2023

Kohima (Nagaland) [India], January 22 (ANI): Nagaland's Pangsha which literally lies far away from the maddening crowd and has its own unique stories of how it houses students from India and Myanmar's sides of the border under the same roof of a school, Jayant Ahuja writes in Border Lens.

According to the author, the school also engages in different agricultural practices and organises traditional festivals. The village not only lies in the border area with Myanmar which has been prone to insurgency and armed conflicts in the recent past.

Besides Pangsha, Dan village is a tiny hamlet that separates India and Myanmar up the hills of eastern Nagaland's Noklak district and can cater to people's needs- mostly the Khiumniangan Naga tribes from both sides of the border.

The Assam Rifles outpost which is prominently located in the village stands testimony to many encounters and insurgency-related incidents. Interestingly, the Burmese side of the border is known to have safe havens for different North East-militant groups, reported Border Lens.

Dan village also witnessed an uprising from the locals when the Myanmar government made an abortive bid in 2016 to fence about three kilometres of the imaginary border that passes through these villages.

However, these challenges have not dampened the spirits of the local Naga tribes who inhabit the village. Their determination is reflected in their hard work and steadfast approach towards life, especially when it comes to educating their children and giving them a better-educated life.

For many of the young girls and boys' life has completely changed after entering the Mission Straightway School which is situated along the international border at the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Other than running the school in Pangsha, Aotemtshi Longkumer, driven by his humble beginnings, founded 'The Mission Straightway School' in the Dan village in 2010.

Aotemshi's inspiration is his mother who single-handedly fought against all odds to raise her five children. This was the trigger to dedicate his life to education, as he became the first Naga to hold a PhD in mathematics and later became a professor at Fazl Ali College in Mokokchung, as per reported by Border Lens.

The stormy journey and the undying passion for education led him to establish six education centres under the parent body, the Straightway Christian Mission Centre.

Today, the Mission Straightway School at the ITC stands as a testament to his dedication, providing students with the means to thrive with resources and the support they need.

For Aotemshi childhood was like most children in the village where a good formal education was a luxury. These disadvantages which he experienced at an early age gave Aotemshi sufficient reason to make a difference. He started his village education venture with a project in Dan on March 18 2010, beginning with two pre-primary and first standard classes, reported Border Lens. (ANI)

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