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Covid-19: Grief and Loss Echoes Manipur

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By: Bramhacharimayum Sadananda Sharma

Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic majority of the families are facing many significant issues not only financial problem as a result of the current situation prevailing in our state. Some people experience multiple losses during this disaster or large-scale health emergency. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are unable to be with loved one when they die, or unable to mourn someone’s death in a person with friends and family. Some losses jobs become unemployed; some are unable to earn money,loss or reduction in health support services, unable to get proper health care, on one hand, the tension of inadequate vaccines; on the other hand contagious deadly virus spreading and claiming more lives than ever and such sudden changes in one’s life will be hard for everyone to adjust. The sound of grief and loss echoes Manipur.
Hearing news of the state government’s latest and revised SOPs, curfew, movement restriction and strict order to stay at home to cope spread of virus gave most of the families a nightmare. Just because some people resist capturing or reflecting signs of poverty doesn’t mean everything is going well. There are huge setbacks inside our society in terms of financial, health infrastructures, social-economic status (SES) and at the time of the pandemic, the situation is quite unimaginable. The expanding gap between rich and poor is not only widening the gulf in incomes and wealth in our state. It is helping the rich and well-connected people lead longer lives while cutting short the lives of those who are struggling. There is a wall slowly building between rich and poor, and it is aware by most of us during this hard time. This might be hard to say “We didn’t notice the change”.
Of course, a lot of government welfare schemes, incentives are being provided for the welfare of the public during this pandemic. But, the question is all these government schemes really mitigate the problem faced by the needy families in this present context. The problem is very real, countless families in our state sleep with one single meal. Earlier they had to work even after taking sleeping pills because they need to work to fill their stomach, now imagine their condition. And the fact that our state has less beggar doesn’t mean our State is excellent in managing underprivileged communities compare to other states.
A scheme or programme without any systemic planning is just like pouring water outside the cup where resources are spent without its effectiveness. One thing is clear that many self-serving people and agents inside our society which acts as a middle man making a huge profit out of all these welfare schemes and policy. And common people being bargain by shutting their voices with some mere supplies even during the hard time of pandemic.
Various schemes and policies launched by our government don’t reach targeted people due to lack of awareness and information about the schemes and policies. Yes, it will be wrong not to mention and applaud the role of various print and electronic media providing such essential information about those various schemes and subsidized foods. But the reality lies when that person who has to work from morning till night and they have no additional time to focus on such ideas and standing a long queue. Even, if they want to apply for such schemes, all those lengthy process, and procedure which create another wall of problem for them.
Any State with high rate of conflicts, crime, violence, confusion, will surely go backward in terms of uplifting underprivileged peoples. All these issues become our breakfast and dinner. Everyone is busy analysing and putting effort to fill their belly with such issues. Of course, a lot of problem also needs to be prioritized first, but the whole idea is that in-between this problem and getting solved, we are missing the voices of many underprivileged people. For their side, there will be no agitation or movement to protestor address to the government and concern department because in crucial hours they need a dedicated organization to address their issues and grievances in a proper channel. Few Civil Society Organisations and NGOs stand and work for them but our government should also focus and address their issues for long time measures. A society becomes paralysed when all capable persons put their hands in their pocket.
Honestly speaking, maybe our underprivileged communities or families might slowly give up the idea, believes, and hope in our own government policies and welfare schemes in days to come if the present trend continues. Life is an easy road for some but hard a race for most of the people and the hope of survivability is what gives us the courage to fight for tomorrow. They will continue to fight just for survival nor less or more. Hope our present society’s capable, powerful, willingness to act and serve people help sincerely in solving some of their problems especially during this hard time of the pandemic.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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