Sunday, 09 August 2020 - Imphal Times
Sunday, 09 August 2020 19:49

VDF’s Economic blockade suspended

IT News

Imphal, Aug 9:

The proposed economic blockade called by the VDF Welfare Association from midnight tomorrow in protest against the July 6 cabinet meeting resolution in connection with the remuneration of the VDF has been suspended in view of the hardship face by the people due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a statement of the association said.

The statement added that the Chief Minister of Manipur had assured to settle the matter and invited them for talk after the assembly session.

Published in News

IT News
Imphal, Aug 9:

Even as the State Health Department still refuse to accept community transmission being started in the state of Manipur, at least 71 (seventyone) person who have no travel history have been reported tested positive with COVID-19.
According to a statement of the State Health department a total of 90 persons including the 71 persons without travel history have been detected with the virus and they are from general population. Among these 63 are male and 27 are female. In addition to this 28 personnel of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) were also confirmed as new COVID-19 positive cases. The total number of CAPF testing positive has reached 823.
That means a total of 110 persons have been tested positive during the last 24 hour. According to the State Health Department statement, among these 110 cases 18 have been tested positive at VRDL RIMS, 78 at VRDL JNIMS and 2 at Babina Diagnostic by conducting RTPCR testing. Remaining 1 has been tested at Imphal West by Rapid Antigen Test, 1 at Imphal East and 9 at Thoubal using the same. At District Hospital Jiribam also 1 has been tested psotive with COVID -19, 5 at District Hospital Ukhrul, and 1 at Raj Medicity using TruNat.
The statement also said that among those tested positive 28 are from Imphal East, 10 from Imphal West, 13 from Thoubal district 11 from Kangpokpi district, 9 from Chandel district, 5 from Senapati and 1 from Ukhrul district. 19 of the persons tested positive are returnee from outside the state, the Health Department statement said.
On the other hand total number of recovered person after being tested negative in the last 24 hour is 117. Among them 42 are CRPF personnel and 2 general persons from RIMS CCC. The report by the state health department further said that 33 have been discharged from CCCs of Meitram, 3 from Senapati, 8 from NIELIT Churachandpur, 23 from Thoubal and 4 from RD wing Lamphel have also been discharged after they were found COVID-19 free on RT PCR test.
Total number of positive cases in the state has reached 3753 including Central Security Personnel and so far 2044 have been recovered and discharged. Total active case identified as of now is 1698 as per the department statement.

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IT News
Imphal, Aug 9:

Chairman of Lamlong Khonou Village, Khullak Kodar Dangsha has stated that coconut sapling planted at Ramcherbung area of Tengnoupal district on August 4, 2020 in connection with the “One day awareness and Plantation of Coconut, Cane and Bamboo, Litchee and other trees at Nongtam Satang , Choktong and its surrounding villages has been uprooted after taking photograph of plantation.
A statement by the Lamlong Khunou Village Chairman said that , those coconut ssapling planted on the occasion were uprooted without any concern of the village authority. The statement while condemning such act of the Central Agriculture Uiniversity (CAU) Imphal, Apunba Image Machasing (AIMS), Nongkam Satang, Choktong and Machi Village authority question the motive behind the uprooting of the coconut sapling planted at the area.
The Village authority however welcome and appreciate MP RK Ranjan and Lorho S Pfoze for understanding the plight of the people living at the border for assuring to sent proposal to the Ministry of Rod Transport and High way through the stat government to construct weather roads.

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IT News 
Guwahati, Aug 9: 

The results of the Northeast India regional level virtual Poetry Reading and Singing competition organised by Guwahati Grand Poetry Festival in association with Kamata Foundation, a charity organisation has been declared today at Guwahati on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples with the theme ‘COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience’. 
The competition being the biggest in the history of virtual poetry reading and singing competitions in this part of the country was declared open on 12 July last on the birthday of poet Pablo Neruda. 
The Jury for the singing category were noted singer composer JP Das, India classical music exponents Nandita Sarma and Pragyan Barua, Ghazal maestro Anirban Das and Ahemdabad based music composer Anup Phukan. Bhupen Chakrabarty, Rakhee Kalita Moral, Asha Kuthari Choudhuri and Madhu Raghavendra were the jury for the poetry reading category. 
From amongst the contestants, Aseto Zao of Nagaland and Meghdeep Deuri from Assam jointly bagged the Tunesmith of Northeast India singing competition title. Anamitra Khargharia and Debanjana Pujari, both from Assam have been chosen for the Jury’s special mention award. 
In the poetry-reading category, Rajkumari Ichanthoibi Devi of Manipur and Aditee Kashyap from Meghalaya jointly bags Wordsmith of Northeast India poetry reading Title. Freedy Boy Majaw of Meghalaya and Dziivinguno Dorothy Chasie from Nagaland have been chosen for the Jury’s special mention award. 
The prizes will be given away to the winners on 5 November at Guwahati during a memorial programme that day to be organised by Guwahati Grand Poetry festival to commemorate Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s ninth death anniversary.

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Sunday, 09 August 2020 18:51

MSAD urges students to widen the horizon

IT News

Imphal, Aug 9:

Manipur students’ Association Delhi has urged the students to explore more  beyond the Indian subcontinent for higher education and other opportunities.   Education has been playing a pivotal role in the development of humankind.  Earlier, the people of Manipur have been acquiring education  from Bengal then it shift towards the metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai etc. Recently, only a few have been able to move out and educate themselves at countries like China, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and other well to do countries. However, most of the elite universities educated people  remain in their cocoon. Thus, the misery is yet to be removed by our education or by our careers.

One doesn’t need to go through formal learning, if the purpose is only to serve the personal interest. Nonetheless, the Indian education system  has been trickling down a theory where education is to secure oneself, regardless of the sustainability of the society, which is a frivolous interest of an average mind. The lesson of “giving back to the society” is excluded from the curriculum we all have been through. This boxed corporate education system could be a reason for degrading our cultures and traditions too. We should study in a education system with which our cultures and tradition can be sustained and progressed which could change and give a meaningful life to the people where one can live with another peacefully serving each other. We should not stop exploring where we could find such life changing education system. Metropolitan cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai are not our ultimate place to land for study. We have different universities, different countries to explore which are more nearer to us. 

MSAD has opened a helpline in order to guide the students for any queries througout the year.

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IT News
Imphal, Aug 9:
Indigenous People’s Association of Kangleipak (IPAK) Manipur expressed serious concern over the smuggling of drugs and other narcotic substances to earn easy money when the people are facing extreme suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement of the association said that several women bodies of Kangleipak have been spending sleepless night to save their children from the menace of the drugs. The mothers of the society in hands with various organization has been has been fighting to save the children of the society from narcotics substances like WY tablet, No. 4, Opium , Cannabis , Tobacco and alcohol.
Those selfish individuals who have been smuggling the narcotic substances to root out Manipuri society should not be let free and IPAK demanded immediate effective action from the government to make sure that the smugglers are punished as per the law.
As for IPAK those smugglers of narcotic substances are enemy of the state .
The association questioned the government on the reason for the delayed in submitting charge sheet of those arrested in connection with drug smuggling cases. It said that such delayed in the submission of charge sheet make easier for the culprits to escape . IPAK said that such delayed had created mistrust to the people about the involvement of law enforcers as well as those in power in the government . IPAK suggested an enquiry in the connection to make sure that those involved are punished and save the youths of today who will be the future of the nation.
IPAK also expressed suspicion over some hidden agenda of some vested interested people to eradicate the Manipuri society. “Thousands have been killed in staged encounter and now many youths are being targeted to eradicate using drugs, is there a policy to wipe out the Manipuri society”, IPAK said adding that involvement of government functionaries who are holding responsible position is unfortunate.
The government should be serious to those people who are smuggling drugs and narcotics substances to make easy money when the people are facing extreme hardship due to the pandemic.
IPAK appealed the government to act effectively and punished those responsible in the drug smuggling case irrespective of who is who.

Published in News
Sunday, 09 August 2020 18:48

“It’s all due to me”

By- Rabin Prasad Kalita

Sowed me on your big green,
Blessed me to use it to the fullest:
I chanced to play
With the intelligent crowd of all animals:

I forgot being a part of this big green,
That fed me grow and shine
Could hone my psyche along:
Started a perverted living

Busy played with molecules,
Spread at large on the veneer.
Instead seeding on the greens,
To grow up plural all over

Except to blend them with one another,
I didn’t do much;
But upshot was imperishable trash,
‘Cause I played it adverse:

Chucked all over your face,
The ground turned
Gray from green,
Got covered with a toxic sheet:

No new sprout from now on
Can flash through the deadly turf;
No space for a newborn,
To withstand and breathe:

Why did you make me so soaring?
So I overlook for bending,
Why did you design me that way?
Not alike other living beings:

I turned this globe, gray from green
Rusted planet declined for worth living.

Published in Poem


By: - Mamta Lukram

Tears rolled down the cheeks of the women in shabby figure with untidy attire, high enough was her pitch, shaken and broke, as if the heart was about to burst from the blows of deception by the so called ‘power politics’ and its ‘development induced displacement’. She seems to be a feeble self with monstrous intrinsic strength to defend one’s self dignity.
“I am from a much marginalised background; this fact everyone knows. I used to collect wild vegetables from the nearby ‘pat’ (wetland) out of which I would make ‘singju’ (an indigenous Meitei culinary item equivalent of ‘salad’) and sold it as my meagre earning to support my family.” (sigh...pause for a moment... restarting breaking the ice...) I brought up my grandchildren whose father was no more. Time had been unleashing boundless miseries in my never failing attempts to make them attain some level of formal education.”
“Nine times, it was nine times that my house was dismantled and safer in the tenth times. We were being instructed that our settlement site were to be evicted for the construction of drain.” (......trying hard to control emotion....stops for while...resumes the talk with a heavy heart...) “sara-thugaira, sara-thugaira, (meaning constructed-dismantled, constructed-dismantled), it was nine times that they (blaming the authorities) dismantled my house along with those of my neighbours. It was the tenth time of constructing my house as a challenge to the authority that we can settle. I have no problem as of now”
She seems to be a woman ageing faster than the chronological reality, over burdened by the struggles shouldered solely for existence. She had been sharing her bitter life experiences mocked by development induced displacement in the ‘Public Consultation on Tipaimukh Dam and Indigenous Peoples Rights,’ jointly organised by Citizens’ concern for Dam and development, North East dialogue Forum and Centre for Research & Advocacy Manipur, where I got the privilege to listen to her heart wrenching episodes of life.
Like someone who is made to observe the bubbles over the surface of a water body defying the knowledge of currents and the velocity of the water flowing underneath the bubble covered surface; I have been listening to her heartfelt stories without much knowledge about what had happened to her, yet very sure in my personal understanding that it was inhuman and unjust to dismantle a marginalised house without appropriate arrangement, snatch it coercively and make their plight miserable, vulnerable. An atmosphere of hatred must have hovered all around inciting strong senses of distrust, discontent and untold miseries.
Gripped by curiosity, I try reopening the forbidden pages of development injustice history. I realised that the woman was one of the ‘Lamphelpat Eviction 2011’ victim. On June 6, 2011, fourteen (14) houses of Yaipha Leikai village, Lamphelpat Wetlands near Employment Exchange, Imphal West District, Manipur had been destroyed by Manipur Police from the Lamphel Police Station under the orders of the Government of Manipur on the pretext of construction of drain along Lamphelpat under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The eviction was carried without any rehabilitation and resettlement arrangements for the affected community of the Lamphel Yaipha Leikai. It is described that the properties of the affected families were confiscated during the eviction rendering the already impoverished families to more physical and mental anxieties.1
Lamphelpat Eviction stories, have long years back, been wrapped up beyond cognizance from the state’s timeline. However, the recurrent exposure to prolong trauma engulf with a sense of insult, galore with disrespect to the dignity of lives makes the victims still pass on with deep scar in their hearts. Psychological instability reeled through the everyday lives of these people.
Forced migration has been the fatal blow to the pursuit of happiness. Eviction drives like the Lamphelpat eviction, Loktak lake eviction etc, internal displacements arising out of the mega structure like the numerous dams and other infrastructure constructions have been the essences of human miseries in this state. At this stance, the feasibility in the implementation part becomes highly questionable. Development activities without proper mitigation measures resulting in mass pauperisation will prove illogical.
Impacts of Displacement in the lives of Women and children are the first of mankind to be worst hit during a natural or an artificial catastrophe. They are known to be naturally inherited with some sort of physical weakness or differences. Documentations have revealed that women are doubly discriminated during any aggression or oppression, firstly because of the discriminating system, and secondly, because of being women. For children their implicit meanings are interpreted as a ‘taken for granted’ part of the women. Maybe this due to the innate emotional bond that develop out of the caring, nurturing facts of the women or else, this bond binds the women within limit. Though the world has been advocating for gender mainstreaming and gender equality, gender based impositions remains a cultural construct. Compounding the challenges of the women is the children.
(Footnotes)
The intrinsic explanation is not to instigate against the development moves sloganeering anti-development stands. Development optimally should be welfare oriented taking into account the possible uncertainties; affected communities would be facing. It shouldn’t be a deemed mechanism for aggressively oppressing an already marginalised group. It should pay a heed to the effective plementation of the alternative arrangements.
Twisting the fate of the welfare oriented programmes into profit seeking, business oriented assertion will propagate endless disorientation, disorganisation and conflicts in the society. Internal displacement arising out of the various development projects in the state jeopardised the integrated lives of women in a traditional society.
Distrust, frustration and helplessness have deeply impacted the life of the woman that she relieves the avenging self with the mystic oracle of cursing the government. She expresses herself as a mystical woman, ‘maibi’ the one who is believed in the Meitei society of possessing some sort of supernatural power to communicate with the supreme soul, carry out religious rituals and foretell one’s fortune. She manifested a big blow will befall the fate of the government and the authorities concern. She finally concludes her sharing with a curse,
“(.....in a shaken voice, trying hard to subdue her exaggerated expression....) Now I am no more afraid of anybody or anything, once being born then, we are destined to die someday, my father and mother deities will never forgive them and the government will end splitting and clashing from my curse.”
Socio-cultural, economic and political perspectives corrode in a displaced community. The intrinsic entirety constituting the vital social fabrics, rip apart in disoriented societies,s tangling into endless chaos and conflicts. The plight of the women and children become vulnerable and are prone to fall prey of oppressions.
Personal experiences with Displaced Women
Short experiences with shallow understanding limit my experiences with the women affected by forced migration. Chadong is an upstream affected community of the controversial Mapithel Dam. The commissioning of the dam has submerged vast tract of land including prime wetland agricultural land, forest, homestead land, grazing grounds, heritage sites and many more. It directly affect 6 (six) villages, out of which Chadong is the worst affected village. The unwarranted ascending water from the dam has deluged the whole village. The impounding water took away every belonging of the people in the chadong village. They shifted their village up to the higher Mapithel ranges. The only means by which the village connect with the rest of the world is through a boat and bamboo rafts.
Words will fail to describe the pathetic plight of women in that displaced village. Their values of lives overturned in a messy whole with a distorted and deformed means of sustenance, directly appraising multiple impacts in every possible spheres of life’s pedagogy.
Undermining every other odd, the most disheartening reality in this village is the life threatening maternity challenges and sanitation concerns of women. Approaching due dates of expecting mothers haunts every while of their lives. They have to arrange a place for short stay at a relative’s place, an acquaintance or a rent around the valley, preparing for days to come. Having other little kids multiplies the challenges with the increasing negative social elements evolving a mental insecurity. Dichotomy of desperately striving for livelihood with simultaneous doubling of expenses glared at this stance. This tangent of life struggle splits life from the real pursuit of life.
Frequently, women are compelled to opt for or voluntarily resign to the traditional method of childbirth which put to risk both the mother and the infant. The drastic increase in infant and maternal mortality rate in the village is of the artefact of development injustice. One woman from the village shared their experience,
“We cried sleepless nights with due dates approaching and helplessly resign our fate to God for safety. Hatred filled our hearts for rendering helpless and miserable in the name of the larger good. Are we not human who are excluded from the understanding of ‘larger good’?”
A house is built by hands, a home by hearts. Merciless dismantling of a poor man’s house is not merely an apprehensive physical threat but a symbolic mental oppression. The dumb walls have witnessed the epitaphs of life events of its members. Standing upright for years, the blind walls have sensed the laughter and silent tears. Destruction without proper resettlement measures will injure the core of human hearts. Such acts will aggravate the conflict situation in the state, backtracking the disbelief in the development activities taken up by the government. The helpless victims bear the burnt in their heart with subdued voice of queering ‘whose development?’ Someday those subdue voices will burst and echo, shrilling into the deaf ears of the development stakeholders.
(Concluded)

Published in Guest Column

By: Silhen Oinam

The Covid19 pandemic has posed a severe threat to the economy of the country. In a response to an extraordinary challenge, Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi came up with “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” that helps in promoting local economy and making the country self-reliant. Linked to this, a special and comprehensive economic package of Rs.20 lakh crore, that accounts for 10% of India’s GDP, has been announced. Under this, the MSME sector, farmers and migrant workers, agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and industrial infrastructure are provided with special funds and important structural reforms have been announced across these sectors.
Agro-based start ups will greatly benefit from these developments. One of the beneficiaries will be the bamboo linked industries. In our modern society, there has been a rise in the demand of the bamboo products as bamboo is a versatile material which is also very fast & easy to grow. Earlier, even though there were numbers of bamboo artisans and cultivators, they struggled to meet the demands of their customers.
There are number of ways that recognition of this sector to be promoted makes sense. Let us take a small example to understand its potential. In India, there is a huge demand for incense sticks, which are used in almost every household for daily rituals. In order to fulfill this demands, bamboo is imported from other countries. Since, the NE states have high yield in bamboo, Govt. has started to promote its farming and slowly local bamboo isreplaceing the imported bamboo.
Tripura’s bamboo water bottle has become a hit in India. The project is the brainchild of IFS officer Prasada Rao Vaddarapu, Chairperson of Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation(TRPC) with the help of Bamboo & Crafts Development Institute(BCDI) & some other organisations. This project attracted over one lakh orders in a day & enquiry call for bulk order from U.S & Dubai. It has generated huge employment potential and livelihood can be provided for thousands of artisans of the region. From farmers to artisans to migrant labours - many are benefitting from it now.
For bamboo water bottle project, bamboo is the most important input. Cultivated bamboo needs to be shifted from the farm site to the industry, so the local transporter will benefit in the process.Then, the local artisans will induce their labour for making the bottles after which the packaging sector takes up the process of packaging the finished products. From here, it will be transported to the market which will reach the customers. Those who can export it will add value to the chain and generate foreign exchange for the country. Thus, the project of making bamboo bottles can give a helping hand for the growth in India’s economy. It will make the dreams of many come true, and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan will help by providing the required fundings and other essentials.
Under the Aatma Nirbhar Abhiyan, there will be value addition of the local products and clustering of the artisans for the upliftment of bamboo local products. This might help to strengthen the economy of NE states as well as the country’s. During the pandemic, Hon’ble PM has took the initiatives to announce the special schemes for bamboo related industries and start ups in NE states. To mention a few, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first bio-fuel refinary in Assam, that will primarily use bamboo and also,the first ever bamboo industrial Park in NE region has been set up in Assam. In his Man ki Baat programme, he highlighted the Bamboo tiffin boxes of Manipur.
It is now the responsibility of the states to take the further steps for promoting their local products. Taking the opportunities granted by the schemes, the youths of the country can also innovate with new ideas and establish their own industries instead of relying on the Government jobs and instead provide jobs to hundreds of people. It will indeed be a game changer if we take the idea forward with full intensity.

Published in Guest Column

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, Aug. 9:

Former model and “Miss India Top 21 finalist 2016” and recent UPSC all India rank winner Aishwarya Sheoran (23) has lodged a complaint of fake instagram accounts in her name, at Colaba Police station in South Mumbai. 
The Police have registered an offence under section 66 of the Information Technology Act against unknown persons and further investigation is on, Senior Police Inspector Shivaji Phadtare said. 
Soon after the news broke of Aishwarya Sheoran (a daughter of an army colonel), having cracked the UPSC exams in her first attempt achieving an All India Rank of 93, multiple accounts on Instagram impersonating her have cropped up. In fact she does not have a  single instagram account. 
As of now, there are at least 20 accounts on Instagram masquerading as ‘Aishwarya Sheoran’. One of the accounts, with the handle name ‘aishwaryasheoran’, had a publicly available photo of Sheoran as the profile picture. While the account was set to private, it had three posts and 44 followers. 
Another account, called ‘aishwarya.sheoran’ had a bio which read “Aishwarya Sheoran, Femina Miss India Finalist’2016, UPSC ALL INDIA RANK 93". While the profile picture of this account too was publicly available, there were two posts made by the account. One account which claimed as “ an official account” had  27,000 followers. 
She came known about the fake instagram accounts in her name on 05 August 2020, during an interview to a newspaper. Interviewing Reporter asked her about her instagram accounts, to which she replied that had none. Then reporter provided her information about the accounts operating in her name. After checking instagram she was in rude shock when she came across a number of fake accounts, which claimed as her official accounts. She then promptly approached the police. 
Aishwarya resides with her mother and siblings at Army Officers’ Colony at Colaba, while her father Colonel Ajay Kumar Sharon is posted at Karim Nagar in Telengana. 
Incidentally the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) recently set up by the Mumbai Police to detect cyber related crimes has been constantly receiving the complaints of fake accounts on social media. 
Till now the police have arrested two persons in connection with fake social media followers. According to police a larger global fraud racket is involved in creating crores of fake identities on various social media platforms and making fake performance statistics like fake followers, fake comments, fake views etc, to inflate the influencers’ performance statistics. Such fake statistics is used to promote social media marketing business. Besides, such fake profiles and followers are also being used to create rumours and panic in the society.
The Mumbai Police officials have also found that a few Bollywood stars, sports persons and high profile people have allegedly paid to get fake followers on social media.

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