Never be ashamed to work: Moludongba Ozukum

Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | August 14  

“Don’t be lazy or be ashamed to work” has been the personal philosophy of Moludongba Ozukum- an electrician, woodworker, mason, painter, theologian- all rolled into one. Firmly rooted to his conviction that the fruit of any hard labour is sweet, he emphasizes that “one should never be ashamed to work.”  

This guiding philosophy of his has taken him through years of labour in the construction sector even as he explored and learnt different skills required in the vocation he has chosen. “When I first came to Kohima, I knew only woodwork”, he puts across. His father was also a carpenter and he remembers learning and doing everything possible while growing up. In the year 2008, he picked up electrical wiring through an electrician friend and subsequently earned Rs. 300 per day in those days.  

He likes to keep himself busy doing some productive work even as his neighbours would testify that they have never seen him sitting idle. Clearly a man who despises laziness, he goes on to say, “I get sick if I don’t work.” He maintains that work keeps him fit. “My dad was also like that. We live by habit”, he expresses.  

Talking about the construction industry in Nagaland, he strongly feels that there is so much scope and potential for the youths in this sector but also regrets that not many people are forthcoming or interested in pursuing it. Asserting that there is so much demand for construction related work but very less manpower, he observes that 90% of our people are in need of such services but only 10% are working towards supplying the demand.  

He maintains that the local people have better skill, strength and the ability but many of them are ashamed to work in the construction sector. ‘Many people look down on these jobs’, he impresses upon, but for him, ‘it is better to earn by doing something than to remain unemployed.’  

Further pointing to the trend of children being spoon-fed all the way, he feels that this needs to change. “We have this habit of offering small amounts of money either to our children or others but we need to stop doing that. Don’t give anything for free. We need to teach our children the value of money”, he asserts. Which is also why, he lets his son do small errands before giving him money so that he knows one cannot just get money without earning it.  

He is also of the opinion that business, sports, music and art are some of the areas that will continue to be in demand. “In the long run, only those who have the skills will be able to survive”, he states. Moludongba Ozukum is an alumna of Fazl Ali College and went on to study Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Divinity at Clark Theological College. He was also in the Church Ministry where he served as youth director for a year apart from serving as a counselor at a Care Counseling Centre in Mokokchung district. He further pursued Islamic Studies from Henry Martyn Institute, International Centre for Research, Interfaith, Relations and Reconciliation at Hyderabad.  

Alongside construction work, he has also been serving as the Sunday School Teacher at the Bayavü Colony Sunday School under KABA for 10 years now and is meanwhile involved in the “Father School”, KABA for about 4 years. He hails from Süngratsü village under Mokokchung district and married in the year 2007. Whether it is church ministry or construction, Moludongba Ozukum continues to work with fervor. It is his belief that whatever one does, God looks into the heart.  

*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.