Veteran journalist and editor of one of the oldest Khasi daily newspapers, U Nongsaiñ Hima, Lambok Thabah passed away on September 22 following a sudden illness. He was 49.
“Thabah was declared brought dead by doctors of Bethany hospital in the wee hours of Tuesday following a brief spell of illness,” Thabah’s wife Midred Sunn said.
Thabah started his career in journalism with U Rupang in 1994 and later joined U Nongsaiñ Hima and was elevated as its editor in 2003. He has also worked with Apphira and the The Shillong Times. He was an active member of the Meghalaya Editors and Publishers Association and Shillong Press Club.
Journalists in Shillong were in a state of shock when they came to learn about Thabah’s sudden demise.
Thabah was a recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award instituted by the Indian Express Group in 2011. Thabah was awarded for his series of stories on denial of PDS items including rice and sugar to more than 20 families for years at Mawsynram village in East Khasi Hills.
The families who were ostracized for demanding their rights, however, finally got justice after Thabah had written a series of reports on the issue.
In his condolence message to Thabah’s wife, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, “I have known personally as a journalist who believed in reporting facts and truth. He will be missed by all of us and his untimely demise is a great loss to the media fraternity”.
State information and public relations minister James Sangma has also extended his condolences on the passing away of Thabah.
“His experience and dedication had enabled him to contribute immensely to the state’s media fraternity. I pray that the Almighty give his family the strength to withstand this tragic moment. May his soul rest in peace,” James said.
The Shillong Press Club and Guwahati Press Club too expressed its deep shock, pain and utter despair at the sudden passing away of one of its oldest and strongest members – Bah Lam as he was fondly known to all of his colleagues and friends.
“He was a stalwart of a journalist who never once tried to grab any limelight or attract any self glory through his quiet working style,” a condolence message issued by Shillong Press Club said.
“In his passing away, the Club has lost a father figure, a loyal friend, a humble colleague and a sincere mentor,” the message said and extended condolences to the bereaved family.