Heart Hunter Rev. Dr. Rochunga Pudaite: A Tribute

Rev. Dr. Rochunga Pudaite: a tribute

Our Beloved leader and father of the Hmar tribe, Rev. Dr. Rochunga Pudaite passed away for his heavenly home at Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA on October 10. He was 88.
Pudaite was a luminary figure among the Mizos for his outstanding contribution to the tribal community particularly the Hmars. His work, transforming the nation through education, has brought Hmar community to modernity, for which he also could be termed as the ‘Modern man of Hmar’.
Born in 1927 at a hamlet in Vangaitlang, Churachandpur district, Manipur, his initial schooling was impeded by nomadic life deu to poverty. In spite of the many hinders troubling him, he completed his High School at Jorhat in 1946, graduated from Allahabad University in 1954, he completed D.D. at Wheaton Graduate School, did his Master Degree  in Education at Nothern Illinios University, and finally from Malone College, Ohio (USA), he got his D. Litt.. He also holds a Doctor of Laws from Malone University.
Pudaite played a pivotal role in accelerating development among the Hmar community, residing in all states of India’s Northeast.  In 1956, with his deu farsightedness, a number of savage community including the Hmars were enlisted as Scheduled Tribe (ST) to the Indian Government. In 1959, the reverend, with his wife Mawii Pudaite landed in Chicago to begin larger ministry. He was granted Dual-Citizenship for America and India. As a result of his abroad to USA, he founded Partnership Mission Society (PMS) in 1970 to provide education and training to his own tribesmen. The couple answered God’s calling, today millions of Bible have been translated and distributed through Bibles for the World, which the reverend founded. More than 50 schools, colleges and vocational training centres are in operational. Thousands of students received education free of cost. This really changed the face of the society.
His extraordinary life has been recounted in James Hefley’s book – God’s Tribesman : The Rochunga Pudaite Story (Holman, 1977). He himself is also the author of at least eight books in English and Hmar.  Among his works “Tlangchar Tuihnar” and “Ka Hringnun” published in 2012  won readers mostly.
It is worth mentioning here that, during the tumultuous period of MNF movement in Mizoram, Pudaite served as a mediator between Indian Government and rebel group MNF. He was also well known by the then two Prime Minster of India, Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai. During the devastating Mautam (bamboo death) Famine hit Manipur and Mizoram, Pudaite served his people very well. He was a source of inspiration for the famine ruined people.
Sincere, inoffensive, sociable, friendly and affable leader, a living legend has passed into history. But Dr. Pudaite shall remain immortal in the hearts of all for his colossal personality and loving heart. His body was laid to rest and buried at the designated courtyard of his Bungalow in Sielmat, Churachandpur, Manipur,  with thousands from all walks of life turning up for his last funeral. Traditional gun salute and a befitting honour bade adieu fond farewell to the great soul. His demise was widely condoled.
Of amiable disposition, Rochunga Pudaite was loved by all.  He will be remembered as the man who never gave up on his efforts to make life more congruous and exerting.  Pudaite leaves behind wife Mawii Pudaite, two sons and a daughter. I pay my deepest homage and pray to the almighty to grant eternal peace to his departed soul.

@Gospel Songate
15/Oct/15: Silchar

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