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A Zakia from Mizoram to receive Padma Shri Award

Aizawl,  January 28, 2018:  A. Zakia, a prominent literati from southern Mizoram’ Siaha town has been selected for Padma Shri Award, one of the highest civilian awards of the country, for his outstanding contribution to Mara literature and journalism. He is the first among the Mara tribe in southern Mizoram to receive the award.

Born in 1930 at Lorrainville, Saikao, where the Lakher Pioneer Mission Missionaries station is located, Zakia completed his M.E (Class VI) from Government Middle School, Saikao village in 1950. Then, he joined as Primary School Teacher in 1952 and served for around 44 years till his retirement in 1996.

Zakia’s contributions and achievements for the upliftment of the Mara Literature and Journalism were outstanding among the Maras. He had worked as a news editor for various magazines and hold key positions in various organisations. He has authored over 10 Mara literature books, including Mara Grammar and Children’s Bible. Mara Grammar is approved by the Board of Mara Literature for common use.

He is also translator of Primary School Text Books prescribed by the Board of School Education, Mara Autonomous District Council during 1993-1996.

Zakia has received various awards and honours from government, NGOs and different firms & societies for his outstanding contributions and achievements towards the development of education, literature and social works.

His contribution towards the growth and development of the Mara language and literature were valuable for the Mara community. The Mara language, having just merely 50,000 speaking population is categorized as definitely endangered language by ISL International. It is on the edge of extinction due to strong invasion from the surrounding ethnic groups with different dialects.
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