With its undulating hills, green plains and exotic flora and fauna, North East India, officially known as North Eastern Region (NER), comprises of eight states namely, Tripura, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
Known for its rare and unique wildlife, people, natural beauty, culture, diversity and picturesque landscapes, North East has borne celebrities like Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Baichung Bhutia, Dipa Karmakar, Arnab Goswami, Papon Mahanta, Irom Shramila Chanu and Danny Denzongpa who have made a name for themselves in this world.
However, there remain a vast majority of people who have a lot of achievements but no recognition. While not completely unknown, they haven’t made it far beyond their own state or region. Here’s a list of a few such talented personalities:
Uddhab Bharali – Hailing from Lakhimpur, Assam, Uddhab Bharali has 118 astonishing inventions to his credit. He was an extraordinarily good student infamous for asking too many questions in class. A strong believer in ‘technology is common sense’, he made 140 gadgets which were quite useful in agricultural work. Bharali says his vision is “to change the agriculture scenario and boost the economy while being environmentally responsible.” In 2007, he received the ‘Shristi Samman Award’; in 2009, the ‘President’s Grassroots Innovation Award’ and in 2013, the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Samman’. He also won the ‘Create the Future Design Contest’ organized by NASA Tech in 2012 and 2013.
Sananta Tanty – As Author Homen Borgohain wrote in a note in 1980:
“Sananta Tanty is a poet of bright optimism – the source of which is the tireless struggle for people’s rights.”
Born in Kalinagar Tea Estate in Karimganj district of Assam, Tanty’s poems dealt with contemporary themes like hunger and frustrations, unemployment, public life and poverty. His volume ‘Selected Poems’ was originally written in Assamese which was later translated into English by Dibyajyoti Sarma.
Aparajita Rai – The first ever woman IPS officer of Sikkim, she lost her father at the age of eight and thereupon her family faced a lot of financial troubles. But it was her mother’s motivation that kept her studying. As she understood the reason of her father’s death, she was disturbed by the recklessness and insensitivity of the Government officials and decided to do something to bring a change in the system. She was a brilliant student and cracked the UPSC exams twice. She bagged the ‘Best Lady Outdoor Trophy’ and is currently working in West Bengal. She doesn’t compromise on law and order and has won 55 Batch of Senior Course Officers Trophy of Best Turn Out and Shri Umesh Chandra Trophy for Field Combat and also Government Trophy for Bengali by the Government of West Bengal. She is the pride of the nation and inspiration for all.
Pitambar Deva Goswami – The head (Satradhikar) of the Garamur satra, Pitambar Deva Goswami is one of the most celebrated names in the social, cultural and religious life of Assam. He not only learned Sanskrit grammar, literature, philosophy, religion and theology but also taught himself English and modern Assamese literature. He persecuted a lot of reforms that influenced the social life of Assam. He also brought into practice martial arts and acrobatics for physical training, discipline and self-defense and enhanced farming with the introduction of tractors. He also transformed tax assessment, laws and obligation. He opened Kirtanghar to the general population, liberated priests from abstinence, supported tribal societies like ‘Keot/Kaibarta’ and ‘Karbi’ and other underestimated groups, educated swaraj and performed Satyagraha in 1941. He opened twenty schools and visited remote areas. ‘Yugadrashta: The Visionary’ is an honor winning 2013 short film on the life of the reformer.
Chekrovolu Swuro – Born and brought up in Nagaland, Chekrovolu Swuro is an Indian archer. She represented India in arrow based weaponry in the 2002 Asian games and 2006 Asian games held at Busan, South Korea and Doha, Qatar respectively. She tasted glory when she won the bronze decoration at the 2008 Asian games in Guangzhou, China. She began her profession as a bowman at the young age of sixteen at the insistence of her elder sister, Vesuzolu, who was an unmistakable toxophilite herself. She was a member of the Silver medal winning group in the 2011 World Archery Championships held at Turin, Italy. On 31 July, 2012, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Riu announced a money prize of Rs. 25 lakh for toxophilite Chekrovolu Swuro for her participation in Olympics. Currently, she is serving as the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the Nagaland Armed Police (NAP).
Radha Kishore Manikya – He reigned as the King of the Tripura state and was one of the architects of the modern Tripura. A patron of learning as well as a man of refined taste, Radha Kishore Manikya had a close relationship with the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
U Tirot Sing – While freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh are known to the whole world, there were also people like U Tirot Sing who fought against the British people and didn’t let them take control over the Khasi hills. He was the King of the Khadsawphra Syiemship in the 19th century.
While these people have not earned worldwide recognition, they have given a big part of themselves to the society. Their contributions are many and unforgettable. These people are inspirational and influential and although not famous, they still deserve great respect and admiration.