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Top 36 District Stars Emerge from Aspire Meghalaya District Talent Events 2022

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Tura, Nov 8: The West Garo Hills Top 3 District Stars were announced on Tuesday at an event held here, marking the culmination of the Aspire Meghalaya District Talent Events 2022 which commenced on October 6. Tuesday’s event concluded the search for the Top 36 District Stars from a pool of over 13,000 young adults across the State who participated in the Soft Skills and Talent Identification interventions under Aspire Meghalaya.

Launched in March 2022, the Aspire Meghalaya initiative is focused on encouraging grassroot youth engagement, building critical soft skills for life, improving career aspirations, and identifying emerging talents across districts. The programme is an initiative of the Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya and supported by the State Education Mission Authority Meghalaya (SEMAM). The project is implemented by Meghalaya-based Social Enterprise, AVENUES.

Anastacia Sun (Singing), Class 11 and Rida L. Nonglait (Singing), Class 9 from Kynshi Higher Secondary School; and Meplezia Wahlang (Dancing), 5th Semester, Tirot Sing Memorial College were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from Eastern West Khasi Hills.

Namsmi G. Momin (Singing), Class 11, Bajendoba Higher Secondary School; Tiame S. Sangma (Singing), Class 11, Don Bosco Mendal Higher Secondary School; and Linia Sangma (Art & Craft), 5th Semester, Mendipathar College were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from North Garo Hills.

Jiovanni Nongrum (Singing) and Gavy Jones Lyngdoh Marshillong (Dancing), 5th Semester, Nongstoin College; and Fastrossing Kharsyntiew & Pynshaibor Wahlang (Sustainable Innovation), Class 12, Sibsingh Memorial Higher Secondary School were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from West Khasi Hills.

First Colour Lathong (Musical Instruments) and Diangmon Sten (Art & Craft), Class 12 students from St. Dominic Higher Secondary School, Mawkyndeng; and Wadamika Phalangki (Singing), Class 12 from Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Jowai were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from West Jaintia Hills.

Roshan Ch. Sangma (Singing), Class 12 and Kadimluchang M. Marak (Dancing), Class 10 from St. Claret Higher Secondary School, Ampati; and Moebasal Ch. Momin (Singing), 3rd Semester, Ampati Degree College emerged as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from South West Garo Hills.

Kavita Debi (Singing) and Walman G Momin (Dancing), Class 11 students from Loyola College; and Sahil R Marak (Dancing), 1st Semester, Williamnagar Government College emerged as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from East Garo Hills. Dimesa Ch. Sangma (Dancing) and Talitha Kumi Ch. Sangma (Singing), Class 10 students from Pioneers’ Secondary School; and Fiuberth Ch. Momin (Art & Craft), Class 11, Captain Williamson Memorial Government College emerged as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from South Garo Hills.

Afshana Nongkynrih (Dancing), Class 9, St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Shillong; Elanstar Mawiong (Musical Instruments), Class 11, St. Anthony’s Higher Secondary School, Pynursla; and Ashish Paul (Singing), 1st Semester, Shillong Commerce College, Shillong, emerged as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from East Khasi Hills.

Aishwadaka Dkhar (Singing), Class 9, Rymbai Government Secondary School; Torimame Dkhar (Singing), Class 9, Sutnga Presbyterian Higher Secondary School; and Shreya Pal (Art & Craft), Class 12, Jaintia Eastern College were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from East Jaintia Hills.

Anyzza Lyngdoh (Singing), BA 3rd Semester student from Ri Bhoi College; Banisha Kharsyntiew (Singing), Class 11, and Ribanshanbok Mawlong (Singing), Class 12 from Ferrando Higher Secondary School, Nongpoh, were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from Ri Bhoi.

Richard Marwein (Art & Craft), Class 11 from Nativity Higher Secondary School; Excellency Turnia (Musical Instruments), BA 1st Semester from Sngap Syiem College and Phibalari Thongni (Dancing), Class 9, St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Rangblang, were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from South West Khasi Hills.

Grimra S. Sangma (Contemporary Performance), Class 12, Tura Government College; Volgarian Ch. Sangma (Musical Instruments), Class 12, Dalu Government Higher Secondary School; and Sengkamchi R. Marak (Art & Craft), Class 11, Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School were recognised as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from West Garo Hills.

Speaking at the event in Tura on Tuesday, Thomas A Sangma, Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, and MLA, North Tura Constituency, said, “I have now been to three of these Aspire talent events in the past two months and I have seen so much talent and potential. And let me tell you that this is just the beginning. Standing on this stage is the first step. The world is your stage, and you should own it.” He went on to express his gratitude to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya for having initiated such programmes where young people are given the platform to build their confidence and nurture their potential to become assets of the State and Country.

Also speaking at the event, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills District, Swapnil Tembe said, “I have travelled across the country, and I have interacted with youth from different states, and I believe that the youth of Meghalaya are the most talented I have ever seen. I also feel that India and the world is not aware of this fact”. He urged the students to participate in such programmes and to also document their talents. “Let the world know that somewhere in a remote corner of West Garo Hills, a talent is there. Work a little harder to transform your passion into your profession. And as a district administration we will do whatever we can to support you. Take this opportunity. This is your time, so make the most of it,” he added.

Also present at the event was Mark Laitflang Stone, Founder & CEO of the Implementing Agency, AVENUES. Speaking of the purpose behind the Aspire Meghalaya talent events, he said, “These are not professional talents, but these students are showcasing their confidence and personal growth. We believe that the success of this program is not that these talents will turn into a livelihood. Some of them might. But the success of the program is that they are brave enough, courageous enough, and bold enough to come here, take the stage and conquer their fears”.

He went on to say that talent is an expression of oneself to the world and that talent should be never forgotten. “Talent is about accepting who you are, who your friends are, and about understanding that sometimes you need a place to come home to that is in your heart, and that makes you happy about what you do in your life. This is the core theme of the Aspire Meghalaya Talent Identification Platform and one we hope will continue in the years to come,” he added.

Mikaya R Marak, a Class 11 student from Dalu Government Higher Secondary School, spoke of his Aspire Meghalaya experience, saying, “As young people, we face challenges like speaking in front of a crowd and communicating with our elders and other people. This programme has taught us the importance of having and practising values in our lives. It has also taught us how to have enough confidence to communicate clearly and effectively with others, to be confident in ourselves and to let people know who we are”.

A key highlight of the district events was the felicitation of 332 campuses across districts who participated in the Meghalaya Youth Survey 2022 and Soft Skills Training interventions under Aspire Meghalaya. All 348 talents representing 62 campuses across the State were also felicitated at their respective district events.

A huge part of the Aspire Meghalaya initiative is the identification of emerging talents from across the State. Talent discovery platforms were integrated into the campus training interventions that have seen the emergence of 348 promising talents from across districts in talent spaces varying from singing, dancing, sport performance and visual arts. Top 3 talents are selected by a panel of District Talent Committee members at each district event. The District Talent Committees comprise of officials from the Sports & Youth Affairs and Education Departments, as well as renowned personalities in various art spaces.

Saljalgring Marak, District Sports Officer, and Dabo Marak, Vice Chairperson, MCCL, were some of the officials also present at the event in Tura.

It may be mentioned that the Top 36 District Stars will converge at the State Summit that will be held in December 2022, where they will showcase their talents and the Aspire State Stars will be recognised and felicitated.

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