‘I studied under the light of a kerosene lamp’

Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | June 12  

As a school going boy, C. Mopa Konyak walked a distance of 6 kilometers to another village called Longchang everyday in pursuit of education. He hails from Angjangyang village under Mon district, and grew up without one of the most basic amenities- Electricity. “I remember studying under the light of a kerosene lamp and because my village was deprived of it then, I always told myself that I will work in this sector someday.”  

True to his resolution, he trained to be an electrician from Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Mon for a period of 3 months after having studied up to class 9. “I had to quit school in 2005 owing to financial problems at home”, he puts across. He is the second eldest amongst 6 siblings. His village had meanwhile received electricity in the late nineties but he never regretted the decision he made to pursue a course in ‘house wiring’.  

Been trained in the field, he eventually served as the Secretary of the Village Electrical Department Committee, Angjangyang for 7 years. After he finished his tenure, he came to Kohima in search of better prospects, but in the process, also discovered his interest for ‘plumbing’. “Things like electricity and water supply are very basic needs but are often overlooked”, he expresses.  

He underwent training in Plumbing for a period of one year from ITI Kohima after which he also registered himself at the Nagaland Job Centre (NJC) and has been taking on different projects ever since. “I like being both an electrician and a plumber but I am mostly into plumbing now”, he says.  

By now, C. Mopa Konyak is also well aware of water scarcity in the state capital. Towards this end, he states that, “rain water harvesting is very important because it will not always rain.” He has gone around several homes fitting pipes, and this has always brought him a sense of joy. “Our water source is from the jungle and pipe is the only connection”, he articulates and in the many homes he has worked in, he has connected pipes from water tanks to kitchens and bathrooms. 

The 32-year old electrician-cum-plumber married in December 2015 and has a daughter. His wife and 2-month old baby live in the village although he is based out of Kohima for work. “Our earnings usually depend on the work…sometimes it’s more, sometimes, less”, he shares, and goes on to say that ‘the only disappointment working on your own is, unlike the government sector, you don’t get paid well. It’s especially hard when you get sick.”  

However, C. Moba Konyak’s zest for plumbing and electricity continues and he can be reached at 8974139856 for any related works.

*Year of Construction Workers (YOCW) is a joint program of the Government of Nagaland in partnership with YouthNet, Zynorique and the Department of Labour & Employment, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.