Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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IT News
Imphal, May 11:

The committee constituted by the government of Manipur for admission to COVID Care center as well as to the Hospital for treatment is a total flop, said MLA of Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency Khumukcham Joykishan while talking to a group media persons today.
He said that the telephone and the cell phone number provided for communication with the Committee often delay in picking up calls from even an MLA and the procedures for admission to either the CCC or at the Hospitals are too long and as a matter there are possibilities that people succumbed to Covid, said the MLA. Giving an example, he said that yesterday 13 (Thirteen people) of Thangmeiband Assembly constituency were tested positive with Covid-19 and among them 6 of them have agreed to undergo Home isolation and the 7 others have been taken to CCC at Bal Bhavan at late hours due to non-availability of Ambulance. At Bal Bhavan, those officials let the seven persons waited inside the ambulance for hours on the ground that they didn’t have proper permission from the Admission committee. MLA Joykishan said that when those in need of medical care are left to wait for such a long time, how on the earth will the patient survive?
“When they should be provided immediate assistant , how could they let the patients unattended for around 5 hours just because for lack of formalities”, Joykishan asked.
Even if there are beds available those patients were let waited for hours just because the Admission committee delayed in completing the formalities , the MLA said. He added that the private hospitals have increased the bed for Covid patients , but immediate admission can never be done due to the failure to act in time by the Admission committee.
Regarding the Vaccination, MLA Khumukcham Joykishan said that earlier the government had stated that there will be no shortages of Covid vaccines. Now again they said that only 150 person can be vaccinated at each centers. And there is only one vaccination centers for the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency and as of now there are around 15,000 people still yet to be vaccinated.
Joykishan said that if supposed 150 persons have been vaccinated a day and minus the holidays, it will take at least 4 months to vaccinate the remaining people. And so if the 2nd dose have to be vaccinated , it will take around 8 months. Again if those 18 years above and 40 years below have to be vaccinated it will take around 1 years and 6 months. How will a person be protected during this 1 years and 6 months, Joykishan question the government and demanded a white paper on both the modalities of the vaccination programme as well as the Covid admission committee.

By -T Lunkholal Haokip

While the world is struggling against the ongoing pandemic, identity politics and ethnical enmity in Manipur relentlessly continues and finds no time to pause. It is very disheartening to witness and difficult to digest the recent incidents of disharmonies viz., the brutal acts of burning down of Chassad village during such a difficult time and the death of Nine Tribal residents of Churachandpur. Many may attribute the root causes of such unwanted incidents to several reasons ranging across-identity politics, election politics, dominant and minority power struggle, prevalent corruption, fragmented development, unequal opportunities, etc. most of which may be partially or fully valid contributing factors. 
 This write-up mainly focuses on holistic development of all regions and all sections of the society which the state fails to deliver as an important factor to the occasional flashes of disharmonies and the increasing ethnical enmity between the three major Communities - the Meeteis, the Nagas, and the Kukis/Zomis inhabiting the state since the pre-colonial era. This article finds that the very nature and structural design of the Hill Area Committee (HAC) and the Autonomous Districts Council (ADC) since its inception is unholistic and problematic. Going through the Structure and design of the HAC and ADC, every rational person would easily be able to ascertain how power distribution and role play would result in a fragmented development. This is mainly responsible for and is the primary reason for the visible fragmented development favouring the plain area which ultimately resulted to the increasing distrust and ethnical enmity between the three major communities. This may be hard to digest but experiences in ground reality would certainly clarify to any person in whom Humanity and rationality exist. This could, however, be debated to some extent by some groups on the context that the Development of all regions at one go is merely impossible but it has been about five decades since the attainment of a full-fledged statehood and thus such notions hold invalid for the unprivileged communities. Thus the current as well as the coming government need to keep cognizance of these facts and should start taking necessary actions to harness development to promote peaceful coexistence. 
Various revolutionary movements in history tell us that ‘…perceived oppression (Political, Social, Economic, and Religion) or political incompetence on the part of the state machinery and functioning…’ as the contributing factors for various forms of conflicts which ultimately resulted to larger revolts. Similar is the case in our State, where the Hill areas experienced unending negligence and oppression since Manipur became a full-fledged state. As such the notion of distrust and insecurity develops among the deprived sections towards the State’s functioning and the dominant community. This is the main reason for discontentment that led to one way or another form of conflict. Taking an example of the 2015 incident when demand for the promulgation of the ILP by the dominant Meetei community was at its peak resulting to a huge turmoil, Human Rights activist Babloo Loitongbam said the bills have ‘nothing against the security or interest of the tribals’. He blamed the violence on the state government’s failure to take the Nagas and Kukis into confidence and explain to them the new proposed laws. While another, a women activist Ninalaxmi Nephram blamed the federal government for taking no interest in tackling the unrest. She blamed the violence on the pressures over land citing that about 60% of Manipur’s population lives on 10% of its land in the plains (BBC, 2015). On the other front are the Tribals consisting of the Naga and Kuki/Zomi groups sternly standing against the bills. 
Different people may have different narratives for the cause of such ugly and unwanted incidents. Taking the matter to a larger perspective none would easily deny that the notion of distrust and ethnical enmity plays a major role to aggravate the matter to such an uncontrollable extent. This has now entered the next level and thus the Issue of Indigeneity: a politically incited propaganda and a condition in which none will become victorious comes to play and becomes a matter of subject to everyone and now extending even to the kids who could still barely read and write. Such a scenario not only aggravates the ethnical enmity and disharmony but also is perilous and would eventually lead to something catastrophic and futile in the long run. Besides these, the 2015 incident brings to light the long-hidden fact of the State’s incompetence. The concentration of the larger population (60%) in the plain area (10%) is a clear picture displaying the state’s long policy-ridden resulting to the fragmented development favouring the plain area. In a democratic state where equitable development flourished, such unwanted incidents would find a hard chance to set its foot on. 
Dr. Alex Akhup in his paper, ‘The Lived Reality of Koms in Manipur: An Emerging Political Perspective’, states that the Existence and co-existence of every collective identity require mutual understanding and respect of spatial needs, human security and social development of entwined communities within the socio-legal democratic setup. As such, it is an urgent matter of need to realize on the part of the State as well as all Citizens that- all sections of the society are equally important as units of a society. No country or state could witness development when one group is left behind as the very definition of development states that ‘Development is about expanding the capabilities of the disadvantaged, thereby improving their overall quality of life.’ Dr. Alex Akhup further pointed out that, it is an issue of grave concern when the status of ‘invisibility’ of culturally indigenous tribes who are numerically fewer in number, are often ignored within the realm of the consciousness of both state and dominant ethnic groups. Such practices and conducts which often stream from Top-down approach policy on the part of the state soon resulted to unequal distribution of resources and then the emergence and development of discontentment among the unprivileged are inevitable. Thus, the policy formulators must not ignore the fact that a democratic system that facilitates, provides, and promotes a responsive public space for a respectful articulation of voices of the minorities within the public sphere is imperative and inevitable in all its proceedings to control and curb the already escalated Ethical enmity and various forms of discontentment. 
Keeping in mind the adage, ‘Better late than never’, the State, being the supreme authority, could turn the whole episodes of the prevalent and increasing ethnical enmity by reflecting changes in its policies and functioning laying strong emphasis on the disadvantaged minorities without which time would run out of its grasp as the saying goes ‘Time and tide waits for none.’ As a matter of need, the state could not remain a mere witness. The recent conflicts and the escalating ethnical enmity should be seen as an alarming signal to shift its approach in maintaining the functions of the state. The state by keeping due cognizance of the situation and needs of its subjects could implement several policies and plans to curb the increasing disharmonies. Among one of the many ways, Delimitation could be a good, viable and visible exercise provided the underlining policy is holistic, giving empowerment and equal opportunities to the Hill areas. The entire structure- power distribution and functioning of the HAC and the ADC needs reform with adequate members and in a manner to ensure holistic development of all regions and all sections of the society. Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen did suggest that one possible amicable solution for the government is to implement the Sixth Schedule in the hill areas. Under such a political arrangement, the Kukis and Nagas would enjoy autonomy in their respective areas but remain within the State of Manipur (The Hindu, 2015). Moreover, there has to be a paradigm shift on the part of the state’s approach to imbibe the guiding policy from the quote, ‘Economic Development is the cure for all ills…’ which is non-negotiable for the good of all. 
Last but not the least, this article envisioned a better Manipur where every citizen would witness equitable development and would live in peace and solitary, free from ethnical enmity. Perhaps the old, now unused and forgotten slogan but with a very insightful input ‘Chingmi Tammi ama tani’ should be put to life. This can be the primacy, the guiding ideology behind all policies and plans the state should adopt to witness equitable development and a future free from polarized groups who aggravate ethnical enmity out of distrust and insecurity. Only then, Manipur could become the true ‘Sana Leibak’ sooner or later. 
 (The article is partly based on the findings of the dissertation submitted by the writer with the theme ‘Perspectives on Urbanisation and Challenges to Governance in Churachandpur Town’. @TL Haokip)


Tuesday, 11 May 2021 16:34

Negative impacts of technology in kids


By -Vijay GarG

The technology is everywhere. Just take a look around and think about it. Actually, take a look at your pocket or at this screen, you’re looking at right now. Technology has brought many great things to us! Most of the times, technology helps us things quicker and easier.
Smartphones, tablets, personal computers, video games and so on… our life is surrounded by technology and our children are also using it at home, at school, everywhere. Our children will learn many things we have not even dream about it right now. We know this is an important positive impact of technology.
But there are some negative impacts from technology overuse too, having serious consequences into our children’s life. To get the best of digital devices, parents have to consider its downsides and prevent them. We sorted five negative impacts of technology you have to pay attention:
1. Relationships and Social Skills Issues
Kids are using mobile devices more and more, and they can become addicted to this, not spending enough time with their family and/or friends. They are more likely to be virtually connected with friends, sharing photos and texting online than actually meeting them in person.
The new generation is growing up playing games online, accessing websites (sometimes harmful websites), chatting online on Facebook, sharing photos on Instagram and Snapchat and so on. It doesn’t mean that spending time online is a bad thing, but spending too much time online can really weaken the bond between the parents and the child, and also private the child to improve several social skills.
2. Health Problems
The overuse of mobile devices can be harmful to children’s health. The more they use mobile devices, the less physical activities they do. The problem is that playing games online is combined with snacking, substituting the balanced alimentation. As children spend more time in front of those screens, most of the time in the couch, less time they spend outside playing, running and burning off calories. Over time, those habits can lead to a significant weight gain.
To prevent it from becoming a habit, parents can talk with their children about parental controls and use Screen Guide App to balance screen time. Remember: it’s important to balance the quality and quantity of the time they spend on digital devices.
Teach your children that there is time for everything, even to play games online. But it’s also important to balance it, otherwise many problems come along. Check out tips to have “The Tech Talk” with your children here.
3. Browsing Online Can Be Dangerous
While browsing online we often face harmful things such as phishing, virus and other dangers disguised as advertising. Most of the adults know it and can easily avoid them, but what about our children? Sometimes even the advert can be harmless to them. A study from 2005 says that 70% of teens aged between 15-17 have accidentally stumbled across pornography online. What about nowadays?
The children can go online and search for anything. But with the right monitoring, they will not access dangers websites, avoiding to meet dangerous people. Keep in mind that you can always guide your children to avoid those dangers.
One way to help children to be safe online is to use parental controls and Internet filtering tools to select the content they are able to access or even block browsers for as long as you consider it is appropriated.
4. Mobile Device Overuse Reduce Sleep Quality
According to the article “Kids Are Being Kept Awake by Their Phones Even When They’re Not Using Them” over 72% of all children have at least one device in their bedroom. JAMA Pediatrics published a study with the big question: Is there an association between screen-based media device access or use in the sleep environment, and sleep quantity and quality?.
Well, they found out that there is a strong and consistent evidence of a link between mobile devices overuse and reduced sleep quality. Our children are sleeping less than they should, but what’s the matter with it?
A lack of sleep can have serious consequences on our brain. During the sleep, the brain does some “housekeeping” tasks, clearing things that aren’t important and restoring the nerves networks to wake up again ready for a brand new day. But sleeping less means that we’re depriving our brain of its essential needs and we will struggle on our activities during the day.
To help your children to get a better sleep, you can talk to them about the dangers around it. Also, work on reducing the screen time balancing it with Screen Guide Parental Control App. A balanced screen time can improve children’s sleep quality. Check out 3 tips for your children to have a better night of sleep!
5. Is your smartphone affecting your relationship with your kids?
Take a time to think about it, have you checked your phone for notifications how many times? How many times did you open WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, or Instagram when you’re with your children?
Well, most of the people we know, do this many times, after all, mobile devices are great to overcome boredom. But checking out mobile devices for notifications when we’re around children has its downsides. According to a study published by University of Michigan Health System, “Parents’ use of mobile technology around young children may be causing internal tension, conflicts and negative interactions with their kids”.
Some of the plans of making family time even better are to get the time to reconnect with children. Use Screen Guide Parental Control App to balance your child’s screen time and spend more offline time with them. Take the time to be with them, and do the stressful tasks later, when you’re not with your children

IT News
Imphal, May 3:

According to medical science report, a normal person can hardly live without oxygen for 3 minutes (general) forget about those infected by Covid -19. For a person whose oxygen saturation level drops below 90% or when the oxygen saturation level drops by 3% every 6 minutes (say if the level is dropped from 96% to 93%) than the person is definitely in need of medical oxygen support.
During this 2nd wave of COVID -19 pandemic, since April last week, the spike in positive cases is again climbing double every day with the maximum number crossing 250 in the last couple of days. Leaving aside the private hospitals with COVID-19 care ward- the two giant hospitals – RIMS and JNIMS are overcrowded with COVID-19 positive patients. Except for a few almost all patients either in ICUs or in the COVID-19 care wards in these two hospitals needs proper medical oxygen supply that these hospitals demand. However, the recent order by the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare of the government of Manipur dated May 1, 2021, for allocations of Medical Oxygen to the two major government Institutions – RIMS and JNIMS, is likely to put at risk of those severe Covid patients undergoing treatment in the respective hospitals.
As per the order of the Principal Secretary ( Health and Family Welfare) V. Vumlunmang, the number of D-type cylinders allocated for RIMS Hospital is 120. The same is also allocated for JNIMS. A source said that the allocation is made after the crash on the Oxygen Generator Plant taken up under the initiative of the Shija Hospital and Research Institute, depending on the availability of medical oxygen production capacity from the two private Oxygen generator firms – HVS Oxygen Plant, Patsoi and M/s Manipur Gas Pvt. Ltd. Bishnupur.
However, the allocation of medical oxygen by the state authority has been prepared without going into details on the immediate requirement at RIMS and JNIMS. According to source from RIMS hospital alone, a total of 270 D type Oxygen Cylinder is required per day. After the commissioning of the 5 PSA Oxygen Generator plants at RIMS, 50 D-type Oxygen Cylinders has been produced per day but these have been used for the non-Covid patients at Casualty and other non-COVID sections. Still, then the RIMS required 220 number of D-Type Oxygen Cylinder per day. RIMS at present has 10 ICU beds and 62 non – ICU beds for COVID-19 patients at present and all have been occupied, a source from inside RIMS said.
Similar is with JNIMS. The Covid care wards have 98 non-ICU beds at which all are occupied and of the total 98, 94 beds are giving Oxygen Support. There are also 10 ICU beds at which all the patients have been supported by Medical Oxygen. That means the total number of D type Medical Oxygen is nearly or over the requirement at RIMS. But when contacted with the JNIMS authority, they are still yet to find out the exact number of Medical Oxygen requirement per day.
Leaving aside the private hospitals, it is on record that both JNIMS and RIMS required over 200 numbers of D-type Oxygen cylinders. However, the allocation of just 120 –D type Oxygen Cylinder per day by the state government authority has raised serious questions on the safety of COVID patients undergoing treatment at both the hospitals.
It is likely that Manipur may see at least 10 to 15 COVID -19 patients dying due to the non-availability of medical oxygen in the coming days.
When Imphal Times contacted the HVS Oxygen Plant, Patsoi, an authority there informed that they produced 220 D Type Cylinders per day. These Oxygen plant even though is private, has been put under control by the state authority to make sure for compliance with the order of the Principal Secretary.
As for the M/s Manipur Gas Pvt. Ltd. Bishnupur, a source said that they can hardly produce 50% of the total needs of the state. The source also was hesitant in revealing the total medical oxygen that they produce per day and also refuse to comment on the number of oxygen cylinders they supply to their clients.
With all these facts, it is come to know that due to lack of proper preparedness from the site of the government in the allocation of oxygen, the life of those Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment RIMS and JNIMS are at risk and there is a possibility of massive casualty due to shortage of oxygen.

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