A total of seven groups participated in the first ever Mei-Ramew Phawar Competition (couplet competition) hosted by the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS), in collaboration with the Social Service Centre (SSC), on Tuesday at Good Shepherd School in Jongksha village,East Khasi Hills. Kharumnuid group bagged the first prize whereas Noristar Nongpluh and group and Anthony Lyngdoh and group bagged the second and third prize, respectively.
The couplet competition is an important activity under the project “No One Shall Be Left Behind Initiative” that aims to promote and generate awareness on Indigenous Food Systems and its contribution towards food sovereignty and nutrition among the youth. The themes of the competition were: traditional food, mother earth and its problems, products of traditional farming system, health and nutrition with the help of traditional food and farming systems.
“These couplet competitions should be held regularly in schools and other educational institutions so they would not be a dying art. It is a great way to spread general awareness about our traditional food systems and climate change so as to change the mindset of people,” L T Tariang, Block Development Officer of Mawkynrew block, said. He added, “It is not about the prize money, it is about what we can absorb from the couplets which are meaningful.”
Binasi Swer, a custodian farmer and an Aganwadi worker and Nestar Kharwanlang, a custodian farmer and school teacher, both from Laitsohpliah community judged the seven groups that took part in the competition.
The Assistant Secretary of the community, Block Development Officer, NESFAS Executive Director and community members attended the event.
NESFAS also engaged with the audience through different activities to sensitize about the issues of anaemia and malnutrition among children and women and the solutions to these problems that lies within the indigenous food systems available in the communities.
NESFAS is also looking forward to host future couplet competitions, which will be held in other blocks within the state soon.
Particpants at the Phawar Competition in Jongksha
Participants perform at the Phawar Competition in Jongksha
NESFAS staff along with the participants of the Phawar Competition