Samban means fencing, Lei means flower and Sekpil indicates a decorative bamboo post with rounded structure forming a canopy, generally used in worship or festivals in Manipur. Usually, the plant was used for fencing.
"The height of the wonderful plant has been reduced from 61 feet to 40 feet due to lack of attention from the authorities concerned in Manipur," says 54 year old Okendra on the sideline of a calendar releasing function of Samban-Lei Sekpil School, Kumbi, Imphal on Monday.
Okendra, who now lives with his family in Kumbi village in Bishnupur district and had been spending Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month for the past three decades to maintain the plant.He has sought help from the state to revive the dying plant, which has a life span of 200 years, for attracting tourists.Okendra had also once requested UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to protect and preserve the plant in 2003. He had also received recognition from Limca Book of Records.