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“We must learn from you”: French ambassador on conservation of Meghalaya’s Mawphlang groves

By Correspondent
“We must learn from you”: French ambassador on conservation of Meghalaya’s Mawphlang groves

AT Photo 

Shillong, May 12: France’s Ambassador to India, Thierry Mathou after visiting the sacred groves at Mawphlang said the world needs to learn more about environmental and biodiversity protection from the people of Meghalaya.

Mathou on his maiden visit to Meghalaya, said: “I had the pleasure to visit the sacred forests. We have to learn from you how to protect the forest, environment and biodiversity.”

During his visit to the sacred groves, Mathou and his spouse trekked about 3 km of the forest and were given a guided tour by the traditional head of Mawphlang, Tambor Lyngdoh Mawphlang.

Located about 25 km from the state capital, the Mawphlang sacred grove is one of the largest such groves in Meghalaya and spreads over 70 hectare. The local indigenous population believes that the soul of their forefathers dwells in these forests.

It’s forbidden to take anything from these forests, not even a twig, as it’s believed that it would offend the departed soul. The Mawphlang sacred grove and others have therefore remained untouched for many centuries and is home to different flora and fauna.

Another aspect of these forests is that the locals have been performing religious rituals in these sacred groves for their well-being during war, epidemic and farming.

“During COVID we performed special rituals outside the grove,” the traditional head informed the French Ambassador. Mathou on his part said India and France share an “exceptional relationship.”

He said since this is his first visit he is trying to understand and get ideas on how to better economic and other cooperation.

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