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Save-Loktak drive in Assam

- Mary Kom backs Manipuri singer’s campaign on lake

Imphal, Feb. 18: Manipuri singer Ranbir Thouna is ready to take his Save Loktak campaign to neighbouring Assam to seek more support to the plight of Loktak, the largest fresh water lake in the Northeast. Olympic boxing bronze medallist Mary Kom has extended her support to the singer.

The Assam tour will mark the second phase of his campaign outside Manipur after a similar campaign was held in Bangalore two years back.

Thouna, often dubbed the Manipuri version of music icon A.R. Rahman, took the campaign to Bangalore after a series concerts in Manipur since 2009.

Mary Kom will launch the next phase of the campaign, a musical called “Save Loktak, Our life” on Wednesday with a function at Babina Clinic of Imphal.

“I am ready to extend fullest support to any cause for the betterment of the society. I will support Ranbir’s campaign,” Mary Kom said when the singer approached her to support the campaign.

Thouna first performed in Guwahati on March 17 and will then go to Silchar, where he will repeat the Guwahati performance on March 19. After coming back to Manipur from Silchar, he will perform at Moreh, Manipur’s border township, on March 23 and will conclude the campaign at Imphal with another concert on April 19.

Thouna is planning to take along some other well-known state singers during his tours.

“My first performance will be held at the GMCH. In Silchar, I will perform at Silchar town and the Sumo parking will be the venue for the Moreh concert. The state government is yet to clear the Imphal venue,” Thouna told The Telegraph.

Loktak is not only a source of study for doctoral degrees and research but also the source of life in Manipur, with the lake maintaining the ecosystem and environment. But it still faces the threat of drying up because of pollution and neglect.

Loktak, spread across three valley districts of Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur, is home to the world famous Sangai deer, 116 bird species, including 21 migratory species, and 426 animal species. The lake is a Ramsar site.

The main highlights of the concerts are two theme songs on Loktak by Thouna and an instrumental titled Rhythm of Earned based on natural sounds inside the lake.

There was immediate threat to the Sangai population in Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating wildlife sanctuary in the world as the thickness of the floating bio-mass is decreasing drastically, environmentalist N. Nandiram Sharma said.

It is against this backdrop that Ranbir Thouna, under the banner of Tamna Sang-Gai, a recording studio owned by him, launched the Loktak campaign in 2009.