Tuesday, 21 April 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News
Imphal, April 21

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today said that even though Manipur today has zero positive case of COVID-19, state should never take it easy but should rather take it as the beginning of the long battle against the killer Coronavirus.
 “State must never take it easy with the notion that it has zero positive case now, it must be taken as just a beginning of a long battle against the deadly Coronavirus which requires a systematic approach to come out victorious”, The Chief Minister said while attending the distribution programme of COVID-19 prevention items to the Chief Medical Officers of different districts of the State under the Local Area Development Fund of Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency MP Lorho S. Pfoze at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
N. Biren Singh said that the State needs to maintain extra vigil in its border areas to check incoming of infected persons because even a slight negligence may lead to an unmanageable situation.
On the other hand the Chief Minister also said that the Government would never tolerate and condone if anybody is found supplying sub-standard protective equipments and other medical items to the frontliners of this battle because their safety is the prime concern of the Government.
Maintaining that Mao, Behiang and border areas of Kamjong and Tengnoupal districts are so vulnerable, the Chief Minister said that he had directed DGP L.M. Khaute to reinforce with more police force in Churachandpur district to increase the number of check posts. He also said that the Cabinet had also discussed to open grocery kiosks in selected border areas to stop crossing of border by people to purchase essential items.
A total of  85 thermal scanners, 930 PPEs, 510 N95 masks, 26,000 three-layer masks, 25,500 gloves, 85 oximeters, 8500 surgical caps and 85 sanitizers were distributed to the CMOs of different districts. One BiPAP Ventilator each was also handed over to the CMOs of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong, Tengnoupal and Jiribam and the Medical Officer of Mao PHC. All these medical equipments were procured with the funds from LADF of Lorho S. Pfoze.
Health and Family Welfare Minister L. Jayantakumar, CAF & PD Minister Karam Shyam, PHE Minister L. Dikho, MLAs Awangbow Newmai and Th. Satyabrata, MP Lorho S. Pfoze and Tamenglong ADC Chairman Namsinrei Panmei were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister thanked MP Lorho S. Pfoze for distributing essential medical items to different districts with the funds from his LADF. Expressing gratitude to the people for their unstinting support and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, the Chief Minister said that the CM’s COVID-19 Relief Fund had received over Rs. 8 crore as donation so far.
MP Lorho S. Pfoze said that 13 out of total 19 districts of the State partially or fully come under the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency. As such, he had decided to provide COVID-19 preventive medical items to all the districts. He said, so far, the epidemic is well tackled by the State Government under the abled leadership of the Chief Minister.

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Imphal, April 21

At a time when the world today is in difficult times, the long distanced relationship between hills and plain people is strengthening in Manipur.

The emotional relationships between the hill and plain people  finally is visible at a time when the people are told to follow the social and physical distancing to avoid spread of COVID-19 among the people.

Villagers of Longmaai in Noney district led by Pastor Pousinlung of Longmai-2 Baptish Church handed over vegetables and fruits that were collected by the villagers from Longmai and its surrounding hills to the Imphal West Students’ Club (IWSC) Khumbong for free distribution to the residents of Khumbong and its surrounding villagers in the backdrop of hardships faced by the people due to the ongoing lockdown and curfew.

The vegetables and the fruits were distributed to the villagers by the volunteers of IWSC at Khumbong Keithel.

Pousinglung , the pastor of the Longmai -2 Baptish Church, who led the villagers in collecting the vegetables and fruits while handing over the items said that the items were not adequate in quantity but it was a token of love and bonding between the hills and the plain people during difficult time. Oinam Samarendra, President of IWSC, Khumbong appreciated the gesture shown by the Longmai Baptish Church towards the people of Khumbong and emphasized to lend helping hand between hills ad valley people during trouble times. On the other hand Coordinating Body Khurai today handed over grocery items to villagers of Tuinem (Teinem) of Ukhrul district. The grocery items handed over included 10 bags of Onion, 3 bags of Potatoes, 2 bags of Garlic, 8 bags of dal, 2 bags of Atta, 76 cans of tin fish and 22 packets of tea.

The vegetable vendors of Mao in Senapati district had also handed over vegetable and other items available at Mao area to CSOs of Manipur to distribute it to the needy. Besides the President of the Mao vendor ladies Mrs. Kapani Mao and Secretary, Ashaini Mao along with convenor of the Mao market Khuraijam Athouba donated a sum of Rs. 10,000/- to the Chief Minister Covid-19 Relief fund.

The CSOs  - IPSA, IPAK, ACOAM LUP, KANGLAMEI, KIL, CLK and KSA also handed over edible items like rice, sugar, tea, dal , edible oil to the Mao vendor ladies

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IT News
Guwahati, April 21  

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses concern over the infection to a large number of media persons while they went on reporting about novel corona virus outbreak across India. It terms the news of over 50 journalists turning Covid-19 positive in a single city as horrible and requests every scribe on the ground to follow the necessary guidelines.
Local reports reveal that at least 53 media persons including reporters, video journalists, news photographers in Mumbai were tested positive for the deadly virus. Chennai reported two cases of media Covid-19 positive and Bhopal witnessed one scribe with the corona infection. All affected journalists were reportedly sent for quarantine.
“While appealing to all working journalists for maintaining health protocols in the time of a pandemic, we also urge the government to extend the benefits of Rs 50 lakh insurance cover to media persons on duty hours in the line of health professionals, sanitation workers, police personnel etc,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
The news media, which has been exempted from the nationwide lockdown to carry out its duty, carries the obligation to inform the people about the Covid-19 pandemic along with the authority’s efforts to combat the catastrophe, JFA preaches the scribes to follow  some recognised guidelines (like those included in the Committee to Protect
Journalists site www.cpj.org/2020/02/cpj-safety-advisory-covering-the-coronavirus-outbr.php or https://cpj.org/coronavirus_safety_advisory_assamese.pdf) for their own safety and securities.

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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, April 21

Two inspectors of the Maharashtra Police have been suspended and a high-level probe has been ordered into the mob lynching incident that led to the death of three men, including two Sadhus, at Palghar in Maharashtra on Thursday night, even as Union Home Ministry sought a report from the Maharashtra government about the incident.
101 people arrested under sections (302, 120 B,427, 147,148,149) of IPC have been remanded to police custody till 30 April, 2020 and nine juveniles have been sent to remand homes. Similarly Assistant police Inspector Anandrao Kale and Police Sub-Inspector Sudhir Katare of Kasa police station have been suspended by the Inspector General of Police (Konkan Range) Niket Kaushik, for alleged dereliction of duty.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take strict action against the culprits. Whereas the BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and other seers across the country have threatened to march to Maharashtra as a protest against the incident, if stern action is not taken against culprits.
The saints of “Juna Akhara” Swami Kalpvrikshgiri (70), Swami Sushilgiri (35) and their driver Neelesh Telgade (30), were brutally attacked by the villagers (mainly tribals), between 9.30 PM and 10 PM at Gadchinchale village, on  April 16. They were on their way to Surat (in Gujarat) to attend a funeral of their guru Sri Mahant Ramgiri. They were travelling from Kandivali (in North Mumbai) to Surat and had permission given by the Samta Nagar Police station in Kandivali. The villagers stopped their vehicle and began attacking them on suspicion that they were thieves/ child lifters.
Based on the information given by a forest department employee, the police team reached the spot and took the 3 men into their custody and placed them in their own vehicle. But what happened subsequently was difficult to digest. Because the tribals dragged them out, over turned the police vehicle and continued to beat them with sticks.
In extremely disturbing video footage, the elderly sadhu, already bleeding from the head, can be seen, clinging on to the arm of a policeman. He desperately tries to hold on to the policeman’s arm and pleads with him, but the cop brushes him off and steps away. A few people surround the sadhu and start raining blows on him. There are at least 5-6 other policemen seen in the footage, but none came forward to save the elderly sadhu or to control the mob. A group of attackers keep raining blows on the 70-year-old sadhu till he collapses and sits on the ground. But they don’t stop and keep hitting him with sticks till he lies prone on the ground, unconscious.
The sadhus belonged to the revered ‘Sri Panch Dashanam Juna Akhara” (‘Akhara’ means an order of Hindu monks or sadhus). This Varanasi-centred ‘Juna Akhara’ is considered as the largest and oldest order of sadhus in the country. It was recently in news for designating a Dalit sanyasi as “Mahamandaleshwar”, an influential position in the order.
The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, in a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, alleged police inaction and questioned why police did not fire in the air to disperse the murderous mob. The Parishad also alleged that Rs. 50,000 and temple ornaments were looted from the sadhus by the mob. The Parishad is an apex body of 14 Akharas including the “Juna Akhara”.  It demanded strict action against the culprits and threatened to gherao (surround) the Maharashtra government in large numbers once the lockdown is over.
Maharashtra BJP chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said that local Gram Panchayats in the area where Sadhus were murdered, are controlled by Communist Party of India (Marxist) and local members of Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samittees belong to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and yet Congress was making a baseless allegation that the most of the accused arrested belonged to BJP signalling the police about how they should proceed in investigation. Besides the local MLA belongs to CPM.
According to locals, most of the names mentioned in the FIR are CPM activists. Also, it is claimed by local residents that Panchayat Samittee members of NCP and CPM were present on the site when the shameful incident took place. A local NCP leader who is member of ZP was seen in the video clip of the incident which went viral on social media, Bhandari said.

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Thoubal, April 21

During this COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the worst affected are migrant workers and daily wage earners. In Manipur, the private school teachers are also worst hit but went unnoticed. Thanks to the 2010 batch student of Progressive English School, Lamding in Thoubal district. The group of students today visited their teachers and provided them essential commodities. During this lockdown many of the private school teachers are deprived of their salary besides being paid too little.

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The state, as is some parts of the country which were fortunate enough to avoid the vagaries of the pandemic which is still tearing through the establishments of the world, is trying to ease back to a semblance of normalcy. The decision to reopen certain sectors for operations, albeit with restrictions is not an indication that the danger has past. It should rather be viewed as an effort to repair the society and prepare for any contingencies in the future. While the world is divided on the genesis and characteristics of the virus that is still wreaking havoc around the world, we should be prepared for worse days while hoping for a breakthrough in the present fight. Meanwhile, reports of around eighty percent of the infected people remaining asymptomatic should be given due attention and random testing should be carried out or increased as much as possible to prevent any possible surge in infection if indeed the reports turned out to be true. To cite an example which corroborates the report, 53 scribes from various media organizations tested positive for the novel coronavirus when the TV Journalist Association (TVJA) with the help of state government organized a testing camp as precautionary measure, and most of the cases are asymptomatic. The authorities cannot be too careful, and at this juncture prevention remains the only effective and safe option of staying away from the dreaded virus. The danger is still very real and immediate, and the state authorities should make arrangements to cope with any eventualities on a large scale while the situation is still calm and contained. The unfavourable geopolitical location and slow rate of infrastructural development in the state which has been considered a bane in this present world has perhaps turned out to be a boon as the trend and rate of infection and transmission in developed cities and metropolis is considerably higher across the globe. There is also the grave concern when it comes to the civic sense or the lack thereof of a large section of the public. The recent fracas witnessed when the state government decided to lift the public restrictions for a short while should be kept in mind while chalking out a plan to deal with the public which should be practical, unambiguous and systematic. Ad-hoc arrangements and oft-experienced lack of coordination amongst the various state authorities creates more confusions and frustrations rather than ease them.
Bottomline is, the present pandemic has shown the world the way forward. If humans have to survive and thrive, nature should be preserved and our actions should complement it. Our present views and perceptions regarding development and progress need a serious rethinking. Personal and social discipline, foresightedness and proactive attitude both at the personal and administrative level has emerged as vital traits for survival, and, cooperation and coordination has become the deciding factor for our personal and social welfare. In fact, we are going back to the basics which we have so conveniently and arrogantly dismissed amidst the growing false sense of invincibility brought about by the rapid technological, medical, financial and social changes. All it takes is an invisible submicroscopic primordial being not even considered fully alive to put humans in its place.

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By Dr. M. Premjit Singh,
Central Agricultural University,

Agricultural and allied activities are exempted from lockdown as per Government of India Guidelines. These exemptions will facilitate unhindered activities related to agriculture and farming so as to ensure essential supplies and farmers do not face any difficulty during the lockdown. Amidst the threat of COVID-19 spread, the rabi crops are approaching maturity. Harvesting and handling of the produce including its movement to the market are inevitable as the agricultural operations are time bound. However, farmers are to follow precautions and safety measures to be taken to prevent the disease spread. Simple measures include social distancing, maintaining personal hygiene by washing of hands with soap, wearing of face mask, protective clothing and cleaning of implements and machinery. Workers are to follow safety measures and social distancing at each and every step in the entire process of field operations.
Recently, Central Agricultural University, Imphal has developed 17 Advisories/ Protocols to mitigate the challenges during Lockdown period due to COVID-19 like (i) Paneer preparation from the surplus milk production at home (ii) Preparation of tomato puree, ketchup and sauce at home (iii) Preparation of fermented cabbage (sauerkraut cabbage) at home (iv) Extension of shelf life of fruits, vegetables and other farm produce in Low Cost Zero Energy Cool Chamber at home (v) Preparation of cucumber pickle in vinegar at home (vi) Preparation of Lime/ Lemon pickle in salt (vii) Nursery bed preparation for the kharifcrops (viii) Homemade Neem Seed Kernel Extract for pest control (ix) Advisory for Dairy farmers (x) Advisory for poultry farmers (xi) Advisory for pig farmers (xii) Advisory for fish and pond health management (xiii) Advisory for table fish growers/ producers (xiv) Advisory for fish seed producer engaged in nursery and rearing enterprise (xv) Advisory for preparation of homemade mask (xvi) Advisory for antibacterial handmade mask etc. These advisories are available in the University website www.cau.ac.in for dissemination to the farmers of the region through the KVK network.
With the onset of monsoon, now the farmers in the state should initiate effective planning for rice cultivation and other kharifcrops. There are 3(three) mantras for profitable rice cultivation i.e., (i) Quality seeds of high yielding rice variety, (ii) Farm Mechanization, and (iii) Good agronomic practice like Integrated Crop Management (ICM) / System of Rice Intensification (SRI). In order to help the rice farmers in the state, the University is planning to contribute technical knowhow and services of scientists and students as COVID warriors with high yielding University rice variety, CAU R-1 (Tamphaphou). The University will also launch participatory Rice Seed Production programme in the farmers’ field under the supervision of highly qualified scientists of the University. As a little contribution from the Academic Institution, the University has initiated many efforts to fight the corona virus pandemic and produced about 70,600 kg of certified seeds of rice, 1,023 kg of Breeder seeds of rice, 2,109 kg of TFL seeds of soybean, 1,000 kg of TFL seeds of groundnut, 420 kg of TFL seeds of black gram, 200 kg TFL seeds of Green gram for  kharif season and 8,000 kg of TFL seeds of Rapeseed/Mustard for rabi season for scientific cultivation in the farmers’ field under University Farmers Centric programmes. Earlier University also planted more than 1 lakh fruit plants and developed 5 Model Fruit villages in the state. Another 5 Model Fruit villages will also be developed within three months to fight malnutrition and Anaemia in the rural areas.

Published in Guest Column
Tuesday, 21 April 2020 16:34

Importance of Leiroom among the Haomee

By - Yazing Vicisy
Secretary General,
Federation of Haomee

A decoration of Art  by   using red and white threads colours in  a shawl is called MANORE  in Hungpung language which is a Haora Kachon/Phi/Shawl . Haora colours are also used  in leiroom kachon in Tangkhul language, or leiroom phi in Meitei language. While weaving Haora Shawl, though there would be three large belts of white colours, the red colour is randomly used while in leiroom kachon or leiroom phi ,it is just the opposite. The white colour is  used where only three large belts of red colour will be seen in leiroom phi/shawl/kachon. Among the Tangkhuls, western and southern Tangkhuls manufacture haora shawl  and among southern Tangkhuls, Kabongram (Modern Tangkhul Hundung Village) is traditionally famous for the manfacture of large haora shawl made of seven pieces(amalak/marak) so that it becomes  large. So the shawl is usually worn by elderly people. According to K.H Paiteephang of Kabong village , the large folded is called leiroom shawl or leiroom phi. A.S Mayarping of the same village also say that large folded shawl is called leiroom akook(Haora). As the large folded shawl is called leiroom, Meiteis are also haora people because leiroom becomes a common name of the Tangkhul and the Meitei. In the coronation of the Meitei King,haora would be used,in the Moirang Laiharaoba and Meira Haochongba haora would be used too. Again in the portrait of the Nongpok Ningthou,haora would be used.Leiroom akook is actually haora shawl, so that traditionally and historically the Meiteis are also haora people.
According Kabongram (old name of modern  Tangkhul Hundung Village) there are three types of leiroom phi, namely leiroom akook, leiroom ami and leiroom peok. Leiroom akook is a large shawl made of seven or nine pieces(amalak/marak), So the shawl is usually worn folded . Old people are fond of wearing leiroom akook on important days.
Another type is leiroom ami,which is white in colour having three large belts of red colours.It is also worn by elderly people of the Tangkhuls.  The  leiroom use by Meitei in their marriage ceremony is Leiroom ami. Originally given at marriage as present/gift to the daughter of Meetei king by elder brother in the hills who could not physically present at the marriage. The significant of Leiroom phi is blessing as well as protection for the daughter of the Meetei King.
 The third one is leiroom peok. It is small in size.Leiroom peok is used by southern Tangkhuls in the marriage ceremony. One leiroom peok would be included among the properties of the groom’s party which is taken to the house of bridegroom.
 The cultural importance of leiroom phi /leiroom Kachon has been preserved by Meiteis since time immemorial. This shows the cultural bondage between the Meiteis and the Nagas which is  known as HAOs racially. This a history and no one can change the history.

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