Imphal, June 09 2022: Demanding a permanent grazing field for Manipur ponies and effective implementation of a pony policy at the earliest, the Manipuri Pony and Polo Players Welfare Association (MP&PPWA) staged a sit-in protest at Khoyathong Pukhri Mapal community hall today.
The protesters put up placards which read as “Save pony, save pologround”, “No grazing field, no polo”, “Implement Pony Policy at the earliest”, “Horses too have right to life” etc.
Speaking to media persons by the sideline of the protest demonstration, MP&PPWA publicity secretary Chongtham Ajit appealed to the State Government to develop a pony park or reserve certain areas of Lamphelpat as a permanent grazing field for ponies.
Speaking on behalf of the association, Ajit further appealed to the State Government to reserve similar grazing fields and develop pologrounds in every district of the State.
Even though polo tournaments are held every year unfailingly, there is a little or no practice ground.
Pointing out that different events including football tournaments are held at Imphal Pologround, Chongtham Ajit urged the authority concerned to give permission for practising polo at Hapta Kangjeibung.
The area of 30 acres reportedly set aside by the Government for horse/ponies belong to the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association and they have around 100 horses of their own.
“As such, we don’t agree with the Government’s claim that a grazing field had been allocated for Manipuri ponies”, he said.
The MP&PPWA should be made a party of any discussion on issues related to Manipuri ponies initiated by the Chief Minister or the Minister concerned, he said.
Chongtham Ajit further urged the Government to include a horse riding class in school, college and university education.
The number of people rearing horses/ponies in the State is quite limited and they are doing so for the love of ponies considering their immense contributions in shaping the history and identity of Manipur, Ajit added.