By : Pradeep Pareek
Dimapur(Nagaland) ,Jan 28 :Nagaland governor, P.B Acharya today unveiled the portrait of Dr. Talimeren Ao, popularly known as Dr. T. Ao to inaugurate the yearlong celebration of 100th birth anniversary of Dr. T. Ao at Raj Bhavan, Kohima.
The Governor expressed his delight to host the program to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. T. Ao, the football icon from Nagaland. He described Ao as a man who excelled not only in studies but also displayed a strong inclination towards sports and athletics activities. He also mentioned some of his achievements in the field of sports such as the best sportsperson trophy in the inter High school tournament in Jorhat in 1937 and the individual champion of Cotton College for three consecutive years. Also the individual Championship in athletics of Calcutta University in 1946 and 1947, Dr. T. Ao was not only the captain of the Indian football team in the 1948 summer Olympics in London but also the flag bearer of the Indian contingent, he added. He said his footprints have encouraged and inspired the Naga people and the football lovers. His contributions to the society and country as a footballer and as a doctor are highly commendable, he mentioned.
Governor also mentioned that in honour of his contributions, the Raj Bhavan has instituted awards in the field of sports, Academics and extra curricular activities in schools, colleges and universities. Stressing on the importance of sports, he felt that the state is in need of infrastructure facilities so as to cater events of both national and international levels. On this great occasion, he also conveyed deep appreciation and love to the family members of Dr. T. Ao for upholding and encouraging him in his profession. In honour of the legendary footballer on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary, the government of both Nagaland and Assam would be releasing a commemorative stamp in their respective capitals, he said. An exhibition football match between Assam Governor's XI & Assam Chief minister's XI would be played at Guwahati to pay tribute to Dr. T. Ao, he added.
Er. Lanu Toy, a friend of Dr. T. Ao said that it is a great satisfaction and treasure to honour and remember the worthy son of Nagaland. He said no Naga deserves this kind of honour and respect more than Dr. T. Ao. He described him not only as a great sportsperson but also a great person with full of humility. He was admired by people of all ages and known even to the remotest during the peak of his career. His success could be attributed in many ways as his talents and capabilities excelled amongst many as such he was the undisputed choice to be the captain of the Indian football team in 1948. He also excelled in other disciplines such as Hockey, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and athletics. He developed the spirit of sportsmanship and showed transparency, responsibility and honesty in his profession, he said. His contributions towards his profession left an indelible mark for the upcoming generation to emulate, he added. Er. Lanu said he was fortunate to have associated with him particularly in the development and promotion of games & sports but he also expressed regret that his valuable and unprecedented contributions in the field of sports were not given enough recognition during his lifetime.
Er. Indianoba Tally, the youngest son of Dr. T.Ao spoke on behalf of the family members expressed gratitude and delight for honouring and remembering Dr. T. Ao on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary. He believed that his father's stupendous achievements in the field of sports would ignite the minds of young upcoming sportspersons. He described his father as a person who never tried to promote himself rather he left all his achievements to Almighty God.
On behalf of Nagaland Olympics Association, Meren Paul offered a tribute to Dr. T. Ao and conveyed profound homage to Ao on the occasion of his birth centenary. He also described him as a person who was not only a legendary footballer in the history of Indian football but also a great physician. He further said that he was more popular in Bengal than in Nagaland.
Secretary, Youth Resources & Sports, Anenla S. Longchari delivered the welcome address while the vote of thanks was proposed by Principal Secretary, School Education, F.P Solo. Sr. Pastor, BMC, Rev. Moa invoked God's blessing.
A special number titled "Jai Ho" was presented by DG, Band while Medley: Jubilate Deo/ My song was presented by TNCC..
On the occasion, a documentary on Dr.T.Ao was screened by the Department of Information & Public Relations.