Shillong, Feb 10: The 49th Annual Conference of the 10(MKA) concluded with a 3-day programme held on February 8 at Bordup village located in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. The 3-day programme exhibited a grand display of the unique cultural legacy of the koches held for the first time in this part of the region.
The conference was attended by more than 200 official delegates from various parts of Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal and Nepal which also included a special delegation of Koch Akhing Nokmas (traditional heads) from Meghalaya.
During the conference, MKA resolved to adopt the song “Sarai, Sarai Kocho, Sarai” as National Anthem of the Koches, ‘Pabuni’ as the national festival of the Koches and to move the Government of Meghalaya to declare it as a restricted holiday in the state for the Koches residing in the state, and ‘Hoko dance’ as the national festival of the Koches.
The Special open session held on the last day was attended by the local MLA H.M. Shangpliang as the Chief Guest who appreciated the efforts of the Association for holding the Conference in a remote part of the state.
He stated that this sort of meet provided opportunities for exchange of culture and ideas amongst communities residing in the area besides building national integration.
Harolyne Koch Shadap was also felicitated on the occasion by the MLA for her winning the Miss Koch International title held recently in Nepal.
The leaders of the Association submitted a memorandum apprising the local MLA of the various grievances affecting the Koch people living in the area like delay in issue of ST Caste certificates by the district administration to the Koches living in the area inspite of the Koch being an indigenous tribe listed as Scheduled Tribe in the state since 1987.
The Conference also resolved to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister highlighting the problems faced by the Koch people living in Khasi Hills since time immemorial.
Earlier on the second day of the Conference, Kumar Pranab Narayan Dev, Secretary, Consortium of Koch Royal Families, Beltola, Guwahati at the Literary Session as the Chief Guest, stressed on the need for maintaining the unique cultural legacy of the Koches.