Prominent author from Arunachal Pradesh, Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, has been named for the 5th Bhupen Hazarika National Award 2017. The award, instituted by an organization named Sarhad, is being given to eminent personalities of the Northeast region who has rendered an outstanding work at the national and international level since 2012.

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“It’s good news… but I really don’t know if I’m qualified to be honoured with that national award. But I’m happy. I have been trying to fulfil the dreams of Bhupen da and now I will have to do it more,” Thongchi said after the announcement of the award.

The award is aimed at creating a strong bond between Maharashtra with Northeast, said founder president of Sarhad, Sanjay Nahar. The award consists of Rs 51,000, a memento and a certificate.

This year’s award will be handed over to the author in September at an event to be held in Jammu & Kashmir.

The maiden award was won by National award winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua. Last year, legendary musician Lou Majaw of Shillong won the award.

Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi was born on June 13, 1952 to late Tashi Phuntsu Thongchi and late Rinchin Chojom Thongchi at village Jigaon of present day West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.

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He first went to the Government Primary School Jigaon and then passed his class X final from Government Higher Secondary School Bomdila.

He later did his BA from Cotton College, Guwahati and MA from Gauhati University. Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi started his literary pursuit from his childhood days.

Although his mother tongue is Sherdukpen, a language hardly spoken by 6,000 people, he started writing in Assamese – the medium of instruction in schools in erstwhile North East Frontier Agency (NEFA).

While his first poem called Jonbaai (The Moon) appeared in an Assamese children’s magazine by the same name in 1967, he tried his hand at various genres including plays, short stories and novels, excelling in all of them.

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