Today, we had the absolute pleasure of gifting the Champhai District Jail Library with books written by noted Mizo literary figures such as L.Keivom, Zohmangaihi, RK Lianzuala, PL Liandinga, B. Vanlalzari, M. Lalmanzuala etc.

District Jail Library, Champhai

We had visited the Jail back in July, and had the opportunity to interact with the staff and the inmates, and we got talking about life in the jail, and what the inmates do on a daily basis. Though there are a few on-going skill development trainings and sports activities in the Jail, the inmates are still left with plenty of idle time every day. Ergo, most of the inmates become avid readers while incarcerated, and the tiny jail library is the place within the iron-fenced enclosure. The Jail librarian James Vanlalthlana (who is also an inmate) runs a tight ship; he arranges their collection genre wise, and maintains meticulous record of all the books that he issues daily. Most of the books, including titles such as The Motor Vehicles Act 1988, are issued regularly, and are absolutely dog-eared. They told us that it’s been a couple years since they got new books, and that some of the inmates have even run out of books to read. And so of course, we immediately offered to raise funds for the library.

(L-R) James Vanlalthlana (librarian), K.Lalmuankima (inmate), Ruati (MPV), LT Ropuia (Jail Superintendent), Zatea (Driver). The photo is uploaded with the consent of all in the pic.

The donated books were carefully selected through recommendations from our bibliophile friends, and we sincerely hope that they are enjoyed and much loved by their readers. And we have a sneaky feeling that they are going to be, cos when we reached today, the first thing that James, the librarian, blurted out was “Kanlo nghakhlel tawh lutuk a, kan rin ai daihin inlo kal har a (We have been eagerly anticipating the books, and you have come much later than we expected).” Well, that is the kind of rebuke that we live for.

We thank the Department of English, Government Champhai College and various private donors for their generous contribution towards the Champhai District Jail Library Fund. Let’s keep paying forward!

District Library, Lunglei. July 2023

And to sign off, here is a bonus pic from when we had gifted the Lunglei District Library with a monstera plant that we had propagated from our own mother plant. Mahruaii, the librarian updates us from time to time about the plant, and we are super happy to report that Miss Monster is absolutely thriving under their care.

Sending you dear readers, bear hugs and much thanks for your continued love and support.

Much love,

Team MPV