Aizawl, June 17 (PTI): He shed his VIP status to join community service, carrying heavy boulders on his shoulders for the construction of a house for a widower in a locality in the Mizoram capital.
The man rendering manual service is Mizoram minister Robert Romawia Royte, a person who strongly believes in ''Tlawmngaina'', a Mizo ethical practice of selfless service.
Royte holds three portfolios -- sports, tourism and information and communication technology -- in Chief Minister Zoramthanga''s cabinet.
The 53-year-old minister offered labour with others for two days on June 13 and 15 at Chite Veng in the eastern part of Aizawl, where volunteers of the Young Mizo Association (YMA) and local council members were constructing a house for a widower with the help of donation by a generous person.
Chite Veng falls under Aizawl East-II Assembly constituency from where Royte was elected in the last assembly elections in 2018.
The minister said he did not do it for fame, but his adherence to ''Tlawmngaina'' compelled him to take part in the community work.
"Social work or manual labour is a part of good physical exercise. I will join the house construction with my personal security officers again," he said.
Royte was once a sportsperson and he still regularly exercises.
In the past, he hit headlines on several occasions for his philanthropic and community services, from constructing a house for a widow to cooking food during Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Chite local council chairman F Vanlalsawma told PTI that Royte came for the community work and did whatever he could like lifting boulders, stone chips and sand from the road to the construction site to help the widower.
The minister has not only taken part in the community work, but also donated Rs 10,000 to the widower and masks to the local-level COVID-19 task force, he said.