TODAY -

For Pettigrew College in Ukhrul : An appeal for a cause

Kakai Singsit *



Two visits to Pettigrew College, Ukhrul in the month of February, 2018 and again on the 6th September, 2019 goaded my thoughts that it is my social and moral responsibility that Pettigrew College, a college that bears the name of the man who brought the gospel of Christ to Manipur and who can also otherwise be attributed as the father of modern education for the State of Manipur, should be given the rejuvenation it was long waiting for and to render my support however insignificant it might be.

I don't belong to the Tangkhul tribe nor am I from Ukhrul district but I belong to a tribe rather alien and from a place far-off. Though I am just a small fry, poor, irrelevant and nondescript but the heart-rending conditions of the college shook the core of my foundation. So after much dithering I took out my pen and decided to reach out to any compassionate soul willing to listen to this cry in the wilderness.

I write with this strong conviction that the revival of Pettigrew College will have great and positive consequences in the upward mobility of the Tangkhul community especially the majority of the poor people who do not have the fortune to go places where there are good educational institutions and also in turn act as a catalyst in the economic as well as academic growth of the district itself.

I believe that this will not only alleviate the misery of the unfortunate poor but in turn ensure that affordable higher education is within the reach of everyone in the district and beyond.

Justice has been long denied to this luminary, Reverend William Pettigrew, who in 1896 came to Ukhrul with the conviction that Christianity and modern education are two strong forces that can propel the moral and social development of society. Due to his preoccupation with the construction of a mission bungalow, studying of the local dialect and translations works he could only open his first school on 10 February, 1897 with 24 boys.

It was his students who were responsible for the spread of Christianity to the farthest corners of Manipur hills and to the hinterlands of Myanmar. Not only did they act as missionaries but were also the vanguard of modern education.

It must be the result of his enormous and invaluable contributions to the people of Ukhrul district that the college was christened after his name, i.e. Rev. William Pettigrew. Then why we as good Christians should allow this hallowed institution to be in shambles ?

My intention is not to blame anyone nor fix responsibility for the present condition of the college but to churn and evoke the benign heart of all the people inhabiting Ukhrul district, particularly the Tangkhul community that you have collective responsibility- moral, social and personal for the betterment of this college. Therefore all stakeholders are urged to chip in for its development and transformation.

Ukhrul was once the epicentre of Christianity, modern education, morality, love, brotherhood and all the good virtues that Christianity accompanies. It had possessed a hallowed character that was envied, adored and yearned by one and all.

It started with a man and a school. But sadly that sheen has attenuated and gone. So let's start by giving a major face-lift to Pettigrew College and transform it into a centre of excellence. That progressive ideas start with educational institutions and that higher educational institutions are the epicentre, is something irrefutable.

Let us have a dream i.e. to walk at par with other contemporary colleges within and without Manipur. "Let us not go to Shillong but create Shillong here itself in Ukhrul". The success of this dream will have far reaching impact on the economy, prestige and societal growth of Ukhrul district. With this dream firmly etched in our collective consciousness it is incumbent on us to create an ambience conducive for learning.

Conducive ambience entails that public trust on the college should be reinforced. This can made possible by eradicating unfair means during examinations, strict implementation of academic calendars, enforcing regimented rules and regulations for both the students and teaching staffs, making the institution free from wanton interferences in the domain of administration and developmental works, freeing it from the clutches of encroachers, enhancing competitive spirit amongst the students with incentives for performing students.

Further there should be both qualitative and quantitative changes- qualitative in the sense that the college should strive hard in producing toppers and illustrious students who could be its torchbearers. Quality should precede quantity. Once the former is accomplished then only can it be guaranteed that the college will be choc-a-bloc.

Blaming the Government for all the ills of Government colleges and its decadence needs to be discouraged for we, the public are also equally culpable. It should also be kept in mind that the Education Department is plagued with shortages of funds and of employees. This is where we need to improvise and not to wait for the Government to act but act ourselves.

Waiting for the Government’s action was one reason for the near collapse of the college. From experiences that I have come across during many of my sojourns to the educational institutions within the hill districts is that- public participation is sine qua non to the development of any Government institution. And Churachandpur College is a living example.

CCpur College teeming with nearly 4000 students has beaten all its other contemporaries, in size and in quality. The quality of their students who had excelled in various Central or State services speaks volumes. It’s not the college but the zeal and participation of CCpurians which is the most potent reason behind the transformation of the college into veritable centre of excellence.

Ukhrulites should pick out a leaf or two, from them. The problems besieging Pettigrew College are legion but there are areas that need urgent attention. The shortage of transportation facilities (college bus) needs to be urgently addressed as the distant location of the college and the concomitant expenses of cab fares deter students from seeking admission or attending classes.

The renovation of the rickety old girls hostel will enable to accommodate another 150 girl students. The completion of the two new hostels, boys and girls, that are nearing completion will solve to a certain extent the accommodation problem. The shortage of classrooms, sanitation, staffs quarters are also seriously impeding the development of the college. And the list is endless.

On our part we have visited the college twice in two years, listened to its problems and apprised it to the concerned authorities. There are few doors that are without the stains of our knocks- from Commissioners to EM then to the CM level with partial success but we are unrelenting. Memories are still vivid and fresh.

On the 13th August 2019 during a meeting with the Hon’ble CM, N Biren Singh I made an emotive appeal for the restoration of Pettigrew College commensurate to the name of its founder and his beatific stature. The CM thoroughly amused with my gab quipped, “Aren’t you from Kangpokpi district and why are you taking so much keen interest on an educational institution located in Ukhrul?”

To which I answered- “I refuse to let the college that bears the name of the man who brought both the gospel and modern education to the hills rot. For it is my moral, social and religious responsibility to ensure its development.”

I have done my part though with little result. So now the onus is on the magnanimous souls of the Tangkhul public, social leaders, elected representatives, Government employees, National workers and district officials to open their benevolent heart and generously contribute for the welfare and development of Pettigrew College. Let us not wait for the Government for procedural works of Government are either too tardy or unreliable.

And to all the Churches of the Tangkhul faithful, cutting across denominations, being the custodians of the public morality and Christian ethos it is my humble prayer that since Pettigrew College is intrinsically intertwined with our very own faith and caters to the academic needs of the young Church’s members as such warrants your participation for the success of this noble endeavour.

And if we are at all to deliver justice to Rev. William Pettigrew, to who we owe many, the only answer is to make Pettigrew College worthy of the name it bears. And why should we as a Christian hesitate in being benevolent for this was the man who had clear road to that blessed home, heaven, for all of us.

It is my unwavering belief and appeal that, if all the Churches under the auspices their respective denominational head-offices can set aside ‘one Sunday Church service’ by organising special offering and prayer services meant for the betterment of Pettigrew College, it will surely bring forth divine results.

Post-script- This appeal was written right after my second visit to Pettigrew College but kept on hold for extraneous reasons. The current COVID pandemic that had forced us to extricate thousands of students from outside and the urgent demand for the revival of local colleges to accommodate repatriated students spurred me into publishing it .


The writer is presently an inmate of Leikop Quarantine center, Kangpokpi district as he was found to be positive with COVID-19.


* Kakai Singsit wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on October 13, 2020.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Coup of 2021 not the only push factor
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Kind attention 'Your Lordship' CJ of India
  • 'Opposition-less Govt in Nagaland is rhetoric'
  • Xorai - Assam's cultural symbol
  • Natural ways to lighten dark underarms
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Set the priorities right
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Id Festival- 'Id-Ul-Azha' :: Book
  • World Day to Combat Desertification 2024
  • NDPP did not lose LS due to local problem
  • RSS chief says, priority Manipur
  • What if not IIT ?
  • Waiting for a response from the PM
  • The test of leadership failed
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #35: Download
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Triathlon : Manipur bag 6 medals (3 gold)
  • Illegal immigrants/fugitives from Myanmar
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • A solution to Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict
  • The Power of Poppy - 35 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: R K Brojen Singh
  • Brief sketch on General Balaram Sougaijamba
  • Non-violent for peaceful, mutual co-existence
  • Homeless person ..alcoholism & defeated TB
  • Cancer on rise among young adults
  • Defending, fighting for Idea of Manipur
  • From partiality to complicity
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • 'Modi must announce finality of Naga pacts'
  • Gliding over Brahmaputra
  • Question leaks cause stress among student
  • Home remedies for prickly heat
  • After IIT, AIIMS it is now IIM
  • Stealing spotlight from Manipur crisis
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • Strongly condemns violence in Jiribam
  • Lessons from outcome of LS election
  • Tumcho releases "Goodness of God"
  • Right diagnostic for antimicrobial resistance
  • 12th June is World Day against Child Labour
  • Hands of geo-politics ?
  • The row over NEET-2014
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD