Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Sunday, 09 August 2020 17:24

Covid-19 Second Wave Entertainment Guide

Many countries in the Asian region are already combating or are facing a second wave of the Coronavirus. China, Vietnam and Australia have put certain regions under lockdown once again to manage spikes of new cases. Hong Kong is expected to announce a ban on dining in restaurants and a mandate on wearing facial masks, sometime early next week. It would be the first time Hong Kong puts a ban on restaurant dining since the Covid-19 epidemic started. Earlier this month, the state of Victoria in Australia announced new lockdown restrictions and recently informed that they may extend the lockdown further due to a continuous rise of new cases in the region. In the Philippines, the government is considering stricter rules since they relaxed the lockdown restrictions on the first of June, this is because they are witnessing a massive surge in new cases in the capital city. Even North Korea recently reported their first official case, which was brought in from a citizen that had been in South Korea for the past three years. In India, the government is still relaxed about the restrictions despite having the highest number of infections at 1,4 million cases, only behind the United States and Brazil. It's not unlikely that the Indian government will impose tougher restrictions again to combat the epidemic.

We know from the first lockdown that we won't be able to move around, visit cinemas and go out for dinner whenever we like. All of that ends with a lockdown, and we are confined to spend a lot of time inside our homes instead. Struggling with what to do for entertainment is a luxury problem. Many people in India already lost their jobs and many more risk losing it if we have additional lockdowns. Most people did, however, express concerns of boredom and lack of social and entertaining activities. Below is a list of some past-time activities that were popular during the previous lockdown.

All the knowledge of the world is at our fingertips. Even if someone is not in school anymore, there's no reason why they should stop their brain from working. There are resources everywhere online, from free online courses or topical blogs on almost any subject available to write and read about. So if time was ever an excuse to learn a new language or skill, the lockdown is a great opportunity to make time for it. Staying isolated at home is a great opportunity to educate yourself further and then exit lockdown as an even more skilled person.

Not everyone is interested in reading and learning some new skills. Most of us like to watch a film or play games as a past-time activity and during a lockdown, there's plenty of time to do just that. Streaming subscriptions surged during the first lockdown, Disney+ Hotstar recently added a hundred feel-good films to their library to ease the mood during a potential forthcoming lockdown in India. Online casino companies reported about soaring revenues during the lockdown as people looked to add some thrill in their everyday lives during the lockdown period by playing live casino games and slots. Live casino games, in particular, add a level of social interaction as the player would engage with a dealer through live streams as they play Blackjack or Roulette. A lot of younger people turned to video gaming to kill time, one particular game called Animal's Crossing shot to fame during the lockdown. With new updates coming to the Animal's Crossing series, gamers can bet on staying entertained for many hours if a second wave of the Coronavirus comes.

Stay social while practising social distancing. Sounds contradicting no? Popular video conference tools can be used not only for business meetings, but also for staying in touch with friends and family, doing quizzes or even having dinner together, digitally. ‘Zoom boom’ became a thing during the lockdown where many private people started using Zoom, a popular video conferencing tool, to organize large get-togethers with family and friends while they were confined to their homes. This caused a spike in Zoom usage and propelled the product to worldwide adoption. Other tools can also be used, Skype works well for larger groups and then there’s Messenger and Facetime for one-to-one’s or small group calls.

With so much time on our hands, this could be a good time to start a blog to share knowledge and insights. Or maybe write a fictional story about a long-lost world? What about painting and experimenting with different materials to create unique art? Each person is their own and getting creative can be a great way to spend time and get to know ourselves better. Maybe knitting some socks and jumper would be fun? Don't forget about the digital capabilities we have today, if the shops are closed and it's difficult to get materials to start painting, there's always free software that you can use to start animating, painting or maybe editing photos of family and friends.

During this challenging time of COVID-19 pandemic, electricity plays an important role. Whether it is work from home or for any other activities depending on electricity. Everyone heave a sigh of relief with the coming of Prepaid Electric and with the conversion of Manipur Electricity Department to Manipur State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSPDCL) and Manipur State Power Company Limited (MSPCL) in 2012. Gone were the days of regular load shedding and irregular power supply. Most of the people are now paying their Bills regularly and using power economically, all thanks to the prepaid system.

Albeit, for the past few weeks most of the consumers are experiencing frequent power cuts. When contacted to the concerned authority about the reason of the power outage, there seems to be always a reason or two for the power cut. One time, it will be a particular division feeder tripping or jungle cutting or some other reasons.

It is acceptable to have power outages due to a problem or two but to have power outages everyday, is not acceptable. We understand that the people at the Power Department is working day and night to curb such problems, but at times feels like there is something wrong as the frequency of the power outages has increased manifold. Is it because of outdated or faulty infrastructure being used for power distribution or is it because of the increase in power load as people are staying at home and using more power? One way or the other, this need to be addressed.

Also, few days back there was complaint from some consumers about the problem of recharging their account, as the process of Online recharge is too confusing for some users. The portal for recharging online was down for quite few days and many were left in the dark as how to recharge their account. Yes, they did developed a portal where one can send a recharge request and wait for the people from MSPDCL to send them manually the recharge voucher. One has to wait like 3 to 4 hours in order to get their recharge voucher whereas in some worse case scenario, one has to wait like 24hrs. A big company like MSPDCL unable to develop a fully automated and efficient portal for recharging is such a big shame. On the bright side, the old recharge portal that enables consumers to generate voucher instantly seems to be working fine as of now.

People are asking if we are going back to those dark days of frequent load shedding and many are skeptical if power are being misused. MSPDCL need to evaluate and work on to provide efficient power supply to the people, otherwise there may come a time when people will refuse to pay their bills like old days and use unscrupulous means. 

IT News

Imphal, Aug. 7:  

The directorate of Handloom and Textiles celebrated the 6th National Handloom Day today at the Conference Hall, Manipur Secretariat with Textiles, Commerce and Industry Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh as the chief guest..

The National Handloom Day is being is celebrated in commemoration of the formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement and passage of the Boycott Resolution to boycott the Manchester cloth and Liverpool salt on August 7, 1905 in a massive meeting held in the Calcutta Town Hall. The Ministry of Textiles considers this occasion as a symbolic date for celebration of the National Handloom Day.          

As part of the celebration the State Award for Handloom and Handicrafts were also distributed. And a coffee table book on Manipur Handloom & Handicrafts and a guideline book for Exports of textile Materials were also released.

Addressing the celebration, Biswajit said that celebrating the day alone is not enough and that we should also understand the essence of the day being celebrated today. The main objective of this celebration is to create awareness on handloom, its importance, usage and the employment generation.

The Minister also said that the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles has already introduced a Buy Back Scheme for weavers through which weavers can contact the directorate through a toll free number and receive yarn at cheaper rates. The scheme has also buy back provision for the finished products.

Biswajit, who is also the government spokesperson, also said that the state cabinet had yesterday decided to extend the lockdown with some relaxation. He appealed to the people to follow the guidelines for relaxation.

He said we cannot predict when COVID will end and so we have to fight it by properly following the SOP issued by the government so as to not only protect ourselves but also our own family and society.

Biswajit continued that COVID doesn’t discriminate; however, we should not panic and also ensure that we don’t discriminate against anyone during this pandemic.

He continued that it is really unfortunate that some of our frontline workers like the doctors and police have been affected by COVID and we should also pray for their safe recovery and well-being.

He urged all to follow the SOP and wear mask, wash hands frequently, etc. The government, he said, needs the cooperation of all sections of the society in the fight against the pandemic.

Shri Biswajit also said that the Coffee table book released today as part of the celebration showcase the beauty of the state before the entire world by highlighting the traditions, culture, handloom and handicraft products of various ethnic groups of the State.

The coffee table book published in association with the Indian Express Group has photographs with brief history on traditional dresses and costumes of different communities of the State.

Further continuing that we should create our own platform to showcase and highlight our culture, tradition, beauty, he said that we should pledge to promote and use our local products.

Elaborating on the responsibility of every individual towards the development of the society, Shri Biswajit said that our contribution in the development of the society is our own achievement and will bring recognition to us that no one take away.

In his speech, Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd Chairman Shri S.Rajen Singh said the day is being observed throughout the country since 2015 with the main aim to promote our own products.

The celebration of the National Handloom Day will promote our weavers, artisans and craftsmen, he said adding that we can achieve a self-sufficient society only when we promote and start using our own products.

State Awards to outstanding three weavers and five artisans were conferred with cash award of Rs. 1 lakh each for 2019-20. Merit awards to three weavers and 15 artisans with cash award of Rs. 50,000 each were also conferred. Consolation Awards of Rs. 10,000 each were also conferred. Under the Scheme for Awardees, financial assistance at Rs. 4.40 lakh each were also distributed to two State Awardees of 2018-19 for producing their award winning products on commercial scale.

Commissioner cum Secretary Textiles, Commerce and Industry Devesh Deval, director Handloom and Textiles, K.Lamlee Kamei and other officials of the directorate also attended the celebration.

IT News
Imphal, Aug 7:

A historic Letter of Understanding (LoU) has been entered into between United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a subsidiary organ of the United Nations established by the General Assembly of the United Nations pursuant to resolution 57(I) of 11 December 1946, having its headquarters at New York, NY USA, and the *National Cadet Corps (NCC) with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.
UNICEF, in accordance to with its Charter and Mission Statement, works with governments, civil society organizations, and other partners in more than one hundred and sixty countries to advance children’s rights to survival, protection, development and participation, and is guided by the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).
NCC is a youth development movement that provides opportunities to the youth of the country for their all-round development. NCC is open to regular schools and colleges on a voluntary basis and it aims at developing character, comradeship, discipline, a secular outlook, and ideals of selfless service among young citizens.
Within this framework, UNICEF and NCC, based on their respective mandates, both aim to promote rights of children.
This LoU shall aim to consolidate a long standing collaborative relationship at the regional level, by identifying specific areas in which NCC and UNICEF would like to enhance, expand and scale up joint action and partnership.
Driven by its mission to deliver results for young people, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS) and UNICEF have come together to support the Generation Unlimited (GenU) partnership, called YuWaah in India. It is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to facilitate holistic pathways to aspirations of young cadres, that integrate opportunities for education, civic participation, social service, skilling and employment.
In the spirit of the national partnership, NCC Directorate, North Eastern Region and UNICEF are committing to develop the potential of NCC cadets in the age bracket of 13 to 24 years by facilitating their meaningful engagement and participation in social, cultural, civic and economic initiatives.
NCC and UNICEF in the North East have agreed to pursue a project titled “YuWaah for Change” that will support efforts in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, with the aim to: Facilitate 1 million young people in the North East as change makers and create spaces for developing their leadership.
UNICEF and NCC will work on an annual Plan of Action, which will be developed
each year for implementation during the following year. The Plan of Action will address national initiatives and include local collaborations. It is understood that the agreed upon Plan of Action will be amended to incorporate additional local collaborations.
UNICEF will provide technical support in the form of resource persons, presentations, newsletters, videos /films etc. and will identify external platforms for participation by young people at the state and national levels.
Brigadier RS Sethi, Group Cdr NCC Group Imphal expressed his satisfaction at this development and remarked that this event shall result in a paradigm shift in the development of youth of the state of Manipur.

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