By Dhrubojyoti Chakraborty
Around 56km from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya lies Kongthong, which is known as a whistling or singing village.
Since time immemorial, mothers here have composed a unique tune, locally called jingrwai ïawbei, for each child.
The uniqueness of this village found a maiden mention in the Parliament when Rajya Sabha member Rakesh Sinha, who feared that the unique practice could disappear, asked the government to ensure Kongthong's inclusion in the UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The village, located in the Khat-ar Shnong area on way to Sohra in East Khasi Hills, has 125 households with a population of around 500.
Each of the inhabitants has their own tune composed by their mothers.
A society has been formed to promote and preserve the unique practice and turn the village into a tourist spot.
The practice developed as a result of the steep mountains and rugged topography of the region, which required the local population to find an alternative way to communicate across long distances
Sinha has now adopted this 'whistling village' in Meghalaya.
Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day mention of his government's efforts to make sanitary pads widely available for women from a poor background, the BJP MP said that he has adopted this village and is sending thousands of soaps and pads there.
The Rajya Sabha MP wrote to Modi, saying that his Independence Day speech, in which he mentioned his government's efforts to make sanitary napkins available at a cheap rate to women, has become a "document of progressive social transformation".
"From August 15 Kongthong is my village", he announced in an interview with a local daily, promising to transform it into a "model village and tourism centre".
This implies that the BJP MP will be pumping in his MPLAD funds to this picturesque Khasi village in order to bring about its rapid infrastructure development.
The MP, who hails from Bihar but is stationed in Delhi, makes no bones about his feeling that villages like Kongthong have remained uncared for because of apathy of the state.
"What shocked me is the lack of awareness of academics, intelligentsia and political class of Meghalaya too about their own great cultural tradition," he said.
"Kongthong has 97 families where I am sending 3000 soap and 3600 sanitary napkins," Sinha said in a statement.
Despite its fame, this village, however, lacks proper facilities like health care, education and connectivity.
Last year, this village hit the headlines in national media when its residents sent a distinct musical and melodious invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the village.