SHILLONG, March 6 - President of India Pranab Mukherjee handed a national award to the Khasi and Jaintia communities for creating the living root bridges, which is an attraction the world over and also provides communication network to remote villages.
The award was given at the 9th National Biennial Award function of Grassroots Innovators and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Holders, organised by National Innovation Foundation-India at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 4.
This is the first time that all communities who are engaged in developing living root bridges in Meghalaya have received such recognition and award.
A total of 62 awards were given to 73 innovators, traditional knowledge holders and community representatives in the function. They came from 22 States and Union Territories.
These innovation awards have been decided after a rigorous screening at different levels. All the entries were subjected to technical test to ascertain the novelty, distinction and cost effectiveness.
Mukherjee gave away the 29 National, State, one lifetime achievement and one posthumous scout award during the ceremony and also inaugurated the Innovation Exhibition at the venue, which remains open till March 10, a State Government official said today.
The Living Root bridges are unique to this part of the world and are found in the southern slopes of the State. Villagers from Khasi Jaintia communities have been building these bridges from ages to form network communications to remote areas.