Monday, June 17, 2024

Padma Shri for Machihan Sasa, pioneer of Longpi black pot


EKHON| UKHRUL: Machihan Sasa, responsible for taking Longpi ham (black pot) to the global map has been conferred with Padma Shri, India’s highest civilian award in the field of Art. He is the sole recipient from Manipur. The announcement came on the eve of the Country’s 75th Republic Day celebration 2024.

Speaking to Ekhon here in Ukhrul, Machihan Sasa expressed his joy at the Award and said he is very happy with the government. “I am not even literate and I have received more than 10 awards but Padma Shri is the highest award of all and I am beyond happy and I thank God for the honor.”

Born on April 10, 1950 at Longpi Kajui village in Ukhrul district of Manipur, he learnt the art of pottery making from his late father Kuishim Sasa at the age of 20 and began making pots from 1970. His effort and determination paid off when his work was placed first during the All-India Handicraft week exhibition in Ukhrul in 1979.

From then on, he began attending various district and state level exhibition programmes and received several recognitions for his pottery making skills and talent. He was the recipient of Award to Master Craftsman for the year 1986-87 and later in 1987, he was awarded the National merit award. In 1988, he was awarded the National Award from the President of India under the Ministry of Textiles Government of India.

After receiving the National Award, he started conducting ATS (Apprentice Training Scheme) under the Ministry of Textiles, New Delhi from January 1990 for a year where he trained 20 apprentices. Later he participated in the ‘Train the Trainers for Master Craftsperson in Guwahati in 2000.

Through the trainings he conducted, so far three of his students have received State Award, while four of his students have been awarded with National Award.

“I never imagine that I would be training my people but all thanks to the Government’s scheme, many of my students both male and female are now working and earning their livelihood,” the master craftsman exclaimed. He further urged the Government to continue helping him to train more people in the art of pottery making.

In his 50 years of making pottery, he has received several awards and laurels, however when asked about his greatest achievement he said, “More than the awards and recognition I received, my biggest achievement are the many students I have trained over the years. They are my replacement for when I am gone,” he mused.

Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines / fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

These Awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March / April every year. For the year 2024, the President has approved conferment of 132 Padma Awards including 2 duo. The list comprises 5 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri Awards.


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