Lalbiakthanga Pachuau from Mizoram was one of the many people who received the Padma Shri from President Ramnath Kovind yesterday, on November 8. At the age of 94, he is the oldest working journalist currently in India. He was there in person to receive this honour at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Pachuau was declared the oldest working journalist by the Mizoram Information and Public Relations Department and Mizoram Journalist Association. Speaking to NDTV, he was overjoyed to have received the fourth highest civilian award, vowing to keep working hard till his very last breath.
The veteran journalist added that he is forever indebted to his colleagues and well-wishers who have played an integral part in his professional life. "I never expected I would be receiving the Padma Shri. Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally congratulated me during the award presentation ceremony. I will continue to be a part of the journalism profession for as long as I can," he said.
World War II To Zoram Tlangau
Pachuau was born in 1927 in a village called Saichal, near Mizoram's capital city, Aizawl. He was in his 20s when he fought in World War II in 1945 against the Japanese in the Assam regiment. For this reason, he won several military awards.
In 1953, Lalbiakthanga Pachuau started his writing journey. His first job was with a small vernacular daily called 'Zoram Thrupan'. In just 20 years, he became the editor of a local publication called 'Zoran Tlangau, which he runs till the present day. He is a prominent figure in Mizoram and has been a part of the state's apex body for journalists for years now.
Apart from his journalistic prowess, he was the founder president of Mizoram Social Defence Union in the 1990s to stand against the rampant usage of alcohol and drugs in the state. Along with this, Pachuau was one of the delegates at the peace talks between the Mizo National Front and the then Central government in the 1980s.
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