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Social activist Dr. Gunu Gharti: The ‘Idol’ of Mizoram Gorkhas

By James Ramdinmawia 
Mizoram based social activist and recipient of several national awards and the first recipient of International Award from amongst the Mizoram Gorkhas, Dr. Gunu Gharti may not need introduction among the Mizos. The minority Gorkhas living in Mizoram are united and bonded firmly under the umbrella of Mizoram Gorkha Youth Association (MGYA). Dr. Gharti has helped in cementing and promoting brotherhood among the Mizos and Gorkhalis and that he has made Mizoram proud through his contribution in music. He founded the ‘Bairagi Sangeet Parivaar’ on 26th July 1988. Since there was no one in Mizoram who has expertise in arranging Nepali music so in 1989, he took a team of singers comprising Ravi Tamang, Minu Tamang and Madan Pun for their first recording in Kathmandu. Many people enter the music world to make money but Dr. Gharti’s aim was that with music he would bring change in society. In the process, he made a lot of sacrifices and even had to sell his land in the pursuit of music. 

Dr. VR Ralte, Director Universal Hindi Communications, Aizawl came to know about him and his missionary zeal for music in 2009. Dr. Ralte deemed him fit to be recognized and he was awarded ‘Excellent Music Achievement Award’ by the then Governor of Mizoram Lt. Gen. M. M. Lakhera. After getting this award, Dr. Gharti gained confidence and thought that he should do something for Mizoram – the land of his birth. Dr. Gharti was Born on the 26th July 1958 at Durtlang, he is the youngest of six children of late Dal Bahadur and late Zo Maya. During the troubled years that followed 1966, his family lived for a couple of years in Assam, but later they returned to Mizoram. At present he and his family live in ‘King House’ at Thuampui. Having limited economic means, he realized that he could not do something great and noble; this gave him many sleepless nights. Coming from a humble and modest background and despite not having much educational attainments, he, was from his childhood very interested in literature and social work. He has written four books and perhaps he is the only Nepali novelist person from Mizoram. 

He has also penned a number of compositions in Hindi. Besides being a composer, he is also a singer. He has released eight Nepali audio cassette albums; seven of them were released in Kathmandu and one in Aizawl. He soon realised that his talent was God given. So, he set out to make the first ever Hindi music video album ‘Lovely Mizoram’ which would showcase Mizoram, its people and its natural beauty not only to the other parts of India but to the entire world. Gharti said that he hoped that the album will help strengthen the relationship between the Mizos and the Gorkhalis besides bringing different communities closer. He further added that if these are accomplished the aim of making Lovely Mizoram would be fulfilled. Gharti showcased the natural beauty of Mizoram through his Hindi Music Video ‘Lovely Mizoram’, which was released by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on the September 5, 2012. ‘Lovely Mizoram’ album earned him the prestigious 22nd Lelte Award in the category “Best Hindi Music Video Album of the Year” on 19th April 2013, and he is the first Gorkha to receive Lelte Award. On September 14, 2012, on the auspicious occasion of the 63rd National Hindi Day, the Mizo Hindi Zirlai Pawl (MHZP) & Rashtrabhasa Vidyarthi Sangh, Mizoram, awarded Gharti “Foremost Mizo-Gorkha Unity Devotee Award”. 

Miseries and hardships in life hurts, but sometimes the tough people overcame it and they left exemplary footprints for others. Gharti is also one of such tough people struggling through all those miseries and hardships. But due to his untiring efforts and courage, some anthropologists came to know about him. Gharti’s biography ‘Anmol Ratna’ (Precious Pearl) has been published in three languages namely Nepali, Hindi and English. It is reported that publishing the biography of a Gorkha man in three languages is a world record. Gharti is humble and gentle in nature, he always shows respect to others. In the meantime, he hates injustice and bad governance as he is fair and honest. He wants to have good governance and justice in the society. Even though he did not pursue higher education, no one could argue that he got a talent from God as hehad composed many songs that contributed a lot for better society. He has another major project ahead of him. He is now busy preparing Hindi Gospel Song Audio Album. He said he will donate the album to Masihi Sangati for the glory of God. “Just as a tree sheds its leaves to bring forth new buds, I hoped people will remember me for my contribution in music and literature,” he said. 

Dr. Gunu Gharti came in the limelight after being recognised by YUVA MANCH (a Nepali magazine published from Siliguri) in 2010, Recognition by Rang Bhang Samawaya Sahitya Sadan, Darjeeling in 2010. He has received almost 30 awards from various quarters. The awards he received include Akhil Bhartiya Nepali Bhasha Samiti (28/8/1995), ‘Best Lyricist Award’ by Aizawl Gorkha Chess Club (6/2/1998), ‘Pioneer Award’ by Apek(Nepali literature magazine) Nepal Kathmandu (14/12/2009), Certificate of Appreciation by Mizoram Gorkha Youth Association (Central) on 22/8/2004 and again on 24/1/2010; ‘First Late Khem Shore Subha Memorial Award’, Darjeeling on 4/3/2012, the ‘Vishist Academy Award’ (Distinguished Academy Award) by Punjab Kala Sahitya Academy, Jalandhar on 25/11/2012. In the INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT, Bangkok, Thailand on 11th May 2013 organised by GLOBAL ACHIEVERS FOUNDATION (GAF), New Delhi, Dr. Gunu Gharti was honoured with the “Global Achievers Award for Social/Public Services”; he received the Certificate from the hands of His Excellency, Ambassador (Dr.) Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of India, Kingdom of Thailand; and received the Trophy from the hands of Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Korn Dabbaransi. National Organisation VIKRAMSHEELA HINDI VIDYAPEETH, Bhagalpur, Bihar conferred two (2) Honourary Doctorate Degrees to Dr. Gharti namely Honourary Hindi Doctoral Degree ‘VIDYAVACHASPATI’ on the 14th December 2012, and Hindi Honourary Degree “VIDYA SAAGAR” (D.Litt.) on 13th December 2013 in the Convocation held at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh due to his “Remarkable Contributions to the Community and Society through Literature and Music”. The Delhi based ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH ON NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION & VOLUNTARY ACTIVITIES (known as “ARNOVA”) honoured Dr. Gharti with “ARNOVA AWARD” on the 10th December 2013 at Gorkha Bhavan, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi. Dr. Gharti received this Award from the hands of Shree Manoj Shankar, President of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Darjeeling at the TALENT AWARD CELEBRATION. Dr. Gharti is the first Mizoram Gorkha who has been conferred Honourary Degree “VIDYA SAAGAR” (D.Litt.). Due to all these achievements, Dr. Gharti was honoured by ‘Thuampui Local Council’ (his locality) on the Silver Jubilee of BAIRAGI SANGEET PARIVAAR (founded by him) on the 26th July 2013. After the All India Radio, Aizawl Station broadcasted “An Interview with Dr. Gunu Gharti”, Exclusive Interview with him has been broadcasted from various Radio Stations and TV Channels like AIR Kurseong Darjeeling, BBC LONDON Nepali Service, Kanchanjungha FM Radio Birtamod Nepal, and TV NEPAL CHANNEL 1. 

Source: mizonews & Indiangorkhas.in
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