Thursday, 08 August 2019 - Imphal Times

Babysana’s death is a tragic event in itself. Her death should not be treated as an isolated event. It should open our eyes to what is wrong in this society. She is one among many children whose lives schools have claimed in Manipur. Moreover, numerous narratives on corporal punishments in Babysana’s school have come up. These events must connect to give us the truth of what is going on in the schools of this society. Babysana’s case is the most immediate one in front of us. Hence, the truth of what happens to our children in the schools and the question of how these schools should treat our children have emerged with this event. Therefore, it should not be only pursued in terms of what JAC wants to do with the school authority, what actually happened in this case or who the guilty is in this case, even though these questions are extremely necessary. We also need to look into the larger matter, why such an incident has happened. We need to look into a society where children go to schools and turn up dead. It is where the responsibility of the state comes. Given that, this modern state has organs specifically to deal with the rights of children.    
When it comes to the state, Education Department and Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights should look after these matters but the truth is nothing has been done so far. These events clearly show us.  Education Department of Manipur, which instructed its teachers against corporal punishment, has not said anything on the matter even when Standard Robarth School has a history in it. It has not done anything.  Recently, Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) appealed the Manipur Human Rights Commission to provide immediate ‘Psycho-Social Care’ and support to the 36 minors who happened to be room inmates of Babysana. Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights which should be concerned with Babysana’s case has got itself into a terrible situation. The chairperson of the commission is a co-accused in a POSCO case. A class X student of JNV Mao was sexually assaulted by the Principal of the school in February this year. The chairperson of MCPCR had knowledge about the incident but she never reported to the police. Given this, her name appeared in the chargesheet of this POSCO case as it is mandatory to report the case if anyone comes to know. It is an unprecedented event in history of child rights in India where a body constituted to protect rights of the children is itself named in the chargesheet. The story of child rights has become worse. It was just bad earlier. There are other controversies that have marred MCPCR, the qualifications of the chairperson, the appointment of her husband as consultant and her past as a BJP member. There have been remarks earlier from National Commission that the state of Manipur is not bothered with the rights of children in Ibobi’s time. The same seems to continue till now. These are the symptoms of what ails this society.
The tragic event of Babysana’s death has open up questions on the treatment of children in the schools of this society. No death is an individual event; it is an event that matters to a lot. This tragic death is not only about where she was killed or not, whether it is a murder or not, whether it is a case of suicide or abetted suicide. It is also about the failure of the state and schools in this society and the perspectives with which they look at the mind and the body of our children. Hence, it matters to all of us.

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By - Dr Mayengbam Lalit Singh

The great problem in economics is Pareto Optimality which states that one can’t be better off without worsening off others. Over period of many years, sand quarrying sector has been booming in Manipur, without analysing its negative externality (pollution of river water). In order to solve it, High Court of Manipur, with consideration of PIL filed by riverbank inhabitants, recently took myopic order which bans sand quarrying. This yields in Pandora Decision which leads to loss of job for thousands of workers coupled with uproar. The present article explains pros and cons of sand quarrying and possible solutionary policies through the prism of economics.  Despite such externality, there are merit points for sand quarrying s mentioned below:1)    Sand quarrying creates jobs to landless workers and marginal farmers. It is reported that a worker can earn five hundred rupees as wage in a day. These poor workers can spend their earnings on fees of their kids, managing family expenditures, cloths, social and cultural ceremonies.  2)    As multiplier effect, it generates jobs to transporters who are shifting from quarrying sites to all construction sites. Nowadays in Manipur, many workers have been engaging in construction sector exponentially which replaces erstwhile nonlocal workers in construction sector. 3)    From the point of inward looking policy, sand quarrying promotes self reliance on domestic resources. It checks our expenditure which is supposed to be drifted into clearance of import of this sand from other states.
4)    It generates respectable revenue to government. At present, forest department collects revenue from the transporters on daily basis and contributes to state domestic product.
5)    Sand quarrying is also good for environment if censored (with proper rules and regulations) properly. This practice is mainly found in upstream part of a river where the breadth of it covers a vast area. If not mined to a certain level of depth, a river can encroaches inhabitant areas with a great volume of torrential water with minimal depth during rainy season. Moreover, if the depth decreases, there is high possibility of changing its course which may lead to detrimental effect to lives and property. Hence, annual mining with proper regulation is good in maintaining course and flow of river.
Despite the merit points, the over exploitation and indifference to proper rules & regulations lead to short and long term destructions as mentioned below:1)    In short term, unregulated mining causes negative externality such as pollution of water with mud. This is very common to all rivers where quarrying activities are going on. It yields in muddy water which can’t be utilised for thousands of inhabitants along the river.
2)    In long term, over mining of sand beyond the certain depth of river causes topographical damages. Elaborately, it may lead to landslide of vast area of river bank during rainy season that yields in neighbouring inhabitant area into river bed in subsequent years.

It is duty of state government to frame policies so that both the workers and inhabitants can attain the certain level of their benefit. Following are the set of policies which are framed after consultation to both workers and inhabitants:
1)    Sand quarrying areas are mostly confined to upstream part where width of the river covers a vast area. In order to void of pollution, mining can be confined to half of the width of river bypassing water stream into other half for certain period. When mining attains certain level of depth, stream can be diverted to that half part and other untapped can be mined. Such policy can stop pollution and on the other hand mining can’t be affected in long term.2)    Government should set up regulatory bodies which comprise administrators, scientists (mainly geologists), officials of forest and water resources departments, etc. to monitor sand quarrying activities.
3)    Government also should frame policies to include sand quarrying under formal sector so that miners should follow certain rules and regulations. But this policy should not lead to formation of collusive mining bodies. Workers and transporters should be treated under this formal sector so that their official rights should be protected.
4)    Government should conduct survey annually and hold meeting regularly.

Referring to Chakpi River at Serou, Kakching district, workers opine that inhabitants hardly rely on river water. Instead, they rely on bore wells for domestic use. Moreover, river is flowing towards Mynamar and hence mining never causes negative externality to local inhabitants. Moreover, mining inhibits encroachment of river towards inhabitant areas. Finally it is duty of government to formulate policies to achieve welfare being of both workers and local inhabitants by regulating them under such strict policies.

***** Dr. Mayengbam Lalit Singh, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Economics, Kha Manipur College Kakching. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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IT News
Imphal Aug 8,

Co-Convener of Joint Action Committee against the killing of Babysana, Pratap Leishangthem and member of JAC Elangbam Joykumar were sent to Judicial custody for 15 days.
The two were arrested yesterday and bought today in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Speaking to media persons while coming out from the court Pratap said that they will not pray for bail and added to let the law take its own course.
The two were arrested in connection with the today’s bandh on Thangmeiband area and the 24 hour state wide bandh which was called by the JAC for not clarifying from the government side regarding the death case of Babysana.

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IT News
Imphal Aug 8,

The 12th hour shut down in Thangmeiband area called by JAC against the death of Babysana has crippled the normal lives in and around the area. Shops were closed and the vehicular movement is very scarce.
Not only in Thangmeiband area but shops and other business establishment in and around Thangal Bazar area were also affected during the 12 hour total shut down.
Large number of protestors came out on the road in Thangmiband area and blocked it. The bandh supporter also burnt Tyres on the road to prevent vehicular movement.
The angry protestors also burnt the effigy of the founder and principal of Standarth Robarth, Landhoni at Khuyathong Polem Leikai. They shouted Landhoni the killer and also demand justice to Babysana.
The alleys of Thangmeiband were also blocked by placing poles on the road.
On the other hand state government also deployed huge number of police personnel around the Thangmeiband area to prevent any untoward incident. The police patrol in and every alley of Thangmeiband to control the protestors.
Several tear gas and smoke bombs were fired to disperse the protestors. 
Meanwhile hundreds of Churachand higher Secondary School students marched a protest rally against the death of Babysana. The students started marching from their school passing palace compound and Checkon. The marched was halted by police personnel at Minuthong bridge.
Confrontation between the police and students took place. Several tear gas were fired to dispersed the protestors injuring one student.
The students roared the streets demanding justice to Babysana.

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IT News
Imphal, Aug 8,

The Shillong Manipuri Students Union (SMSU) condemns the mysterious death of N. Babysana Chanu, a 14 year a student of  Standard Robarth Higher Secondary school who found hanging at dormitory of the residential school on July 18 morning .
A press statement released by Chongtham Thangamba Meetei , SMSU President said that the Union condemns the school authority for such irresponsible act foul play and heinous crime against a child and demands the Manipur state government to provide efficient, humane and accountable justice system and conduct fair, impartial and speedy investigate for such mysterious death of a minor girl .
The Union further demanded to the state Government to provide a strict rules and regulations for the private hostels in the state and inspecting time to time as per requirement. The Union also demands a stringent punishment to the culprit involved in the case.

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Imphal, Aug 8,

The Government of India has approved in principle, the construction of Mega Food Park in Manipur estimated at Rs. 80 crore (approx), said  Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Rameswar Teli, today.
Addressing the inaugural function of the one day workshop on Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana at Hotel Imphal this morning, Minister Teli said that the Mega Food Park project will receive Rs.50 crore subsidies from the Centre. He observed that there is no lack of fund in the ministry for entrepreneurs and further encouraged to send in proposals to the government so as to avail the available funds.
Addressing the gathering as the Guest of Honour, Minister Textiles, Commerce and Industries Thongam Biswajit Singh urged the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the provisions of the scheme. He said the entrepreneurs should not limit themselves to the valley districts, and instead spread their units to hills districts so that they can provide employment to the locals as well as build up the feeling of national integration.
Encouraging entrepreneurship in the State, Shri Biswajit reiterated that increase in the number of entrepreneurs can help in solving the unemployment issue in the State. He further urged the Centre for setting up of a Small State Development Policy. Shri Biswajit also lauded the entrepreneurs for their success without any financial assistance from both the government and the banks till now, and at the same time, he encouraged them to link up with his department so that they can avail the schemes for them.
Meanwhile, a one-minute silence was observed by the gathering as a mark of respect to the departed soul of former Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. The inaugural function was also attended by Chief Secretary Dr. J Suresh Babu, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, Dr. Rakesh Sarwal, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries, Government of Manipur P.Vaiphei, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce Dr. Rajeev Singh, among others.
The workshop is being organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce supported by the Department of Textiles, Commerce & Industries, Government of Manipur and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India with the main aim of spreading awareness about the Kisan Sampada Yojana among the entrepreneurs. State entrepreneurs and bankers also attended the workshop. Several officials and resource persons spoke on various components of the scheme in the afternoon session

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Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Chandel organized the time-bound and mission-mode water conservation and irrigation efficiency campaign for water security-Jal Shakti Abhiyan campaign for farmers of Tampi, Chakpikarong,Tampi and Ruwngchang Villages today.
   Dr. K. Sonamani Singh, ACTO (SWCE), KVK, Chandel highlighted the participants about the objectives of the campaign and stressed the need for its effective implementation. The entire district is reeling under acute water shortage. In this critical juncture, it would be prudent to take up the cause of water harvesting on a participatory mode. The villagers need to rejuvenate the dying age-old water bodies and hill streams/springs which were perennial till a few years back. It should become mandatory for all the villagers to locate the course and origin of these trickling traditional water bodies and hill streams/springs and to conserve the trees growing in their catchments.
   The campaign envisions helping people to plan and work for rainwater harvesting, maintenance and upkeep of ponds and village tanks and conservation of water. This campaign in the district of Chandel will ensure 5 important water conservation interventions-rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation. These water conservation efforts will also be supplemented with special interventions including the development of block and district water conservation plans and KVK melas, promotion of efficient water use for irrigation and better choice in crops through KVKs.
Hopefully, successful implementation of this campaign will lead to increase in soil moisture in farmers’ fields, groundwater level, surface water storage capacity, and increased crop production. The staffs of the KVK namely Dr. Ameeta, Dr. Prabhabati and Dr Ch. Sunil too were present in the campaign.

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IT News
Chandel, Aug.8,

The Nehru Yuva Kendra Chandel has launched Swachhata Pakhwada (cleanliness fortnight) from August 1 at Charangching Khullen Village.
In connection with the programme a seminar cum discussion on swachhata Pakhwada was held at Purum Pantha village initiated by the Youth club of the village.
The programme was open with a prayer by Mr. Mayonmi Ningshen pastor of the village. The chief and Ningthou of the village Mr Sankhil Abishing and Mr. Sankhil Jeevan respectively gave welcome remark and accorded the participants. The participants began the programme with a pledge to keep their village clean and invite others to do the same. They promise to dedicate some hours every week both individually or as a community for sanitation and cleanliness.
Speaking at the event the resource person Mr. Dearson Tongtang, District Consultant, Poshan Abhiyan Chandel spoke to the participants about the need of the keeping once surroundings clean and sanitised. He spoke on the relation between cleanliness and health. He invited upon the youths to continue keeping the village clean and environmentally friendly.
The UNV district Youth Coordinator Ng Rameson Monsang praised the youths for the continuous efforts for trying to maintain their village as a clean and plastic free village. He urged them to carry forward the wish of Prime Minister through Swachhata Pakhwada as part of their daily life.
The youth President Mr. Setpuwon and Circle youth Leader Mr. SK Shedwar were present with youth clubs leaders from the neighbouring villages. Around 250 participants had attended the program. Swachhata Pakhwada under NYK Chandel will continue officially till 15th of August 2019.

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IT News
Imphal, Aug 8,

To augment the ongoing heart surgical program of SKY Hospital, a team of 12 specialists from Healing Little Heart (HLH), United Kingdom (UK) will arrive at Imphal on 10thNovember, 2019.The UK Team in association with Heart Team of SKY Hospital and Manipur Heart Foundation (MHF) will conduct a “Week-long Free Children Heart Surgery Camp” at SKY Hospital on 10th – 16th November, 2019. The U.K. Team consists of highly qualified and experienced Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon / Anaesthetist /Intensivist, Paediatric OT nurse, Perfusionist, Paediatric CTVS post-op ITU nurses. The joint team will be performing 3 – 4 open heart surgeries per day throughout the week. Any child with birth heart defect as little as 2.5 kg weight may benefit from the camp. Patients above 18 years of age are not eligible for the camp. For them, routine SKY’s heart surgery service will provide the operation at other time. Although any patient with birth heart defects below 18 years of age irrespective of caste, creed, religion or geographical boundary is eligible for the camp,children belonging to BPL family and EWS (Economically Weaker Section) of the society will be given priority. All charge from admission to discharge including operation charge, OT charge, ICU charge and hospital charge will be free. Registration for the camp will start from 9:00 am of 7th August, 2019 on first come first serve basis. Mention may be made that a joint team of HLH, UK and SKY Hospital successfully conducted a similar Week-long Camp on 3rd to 9th March, 2019 when 9 children including one 2 months old child from Nagaland were operated successfully, giving them a new lease of life.  
Dr. L. Shyamkishore, Chairman & Chief Cardiologist of SKY Hospital and President of Manipur Heart Foundation,British trained and experienced for 15 years and having British connection has been providing world class heart operations and interventional cardiac procedures free of cost or at low cost on the regular basis since 2015 with such free camp from time to time. He appealed to the people of Manipur and other North Eastern States of India to avail of such high standard heart care free of cost.

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Imphal Aug 8,


Yesterday, as a part of the national protest day, a protest meeting was held at Irawat Bhawan, BT Road, Imphal on the  scrapping of articles 370 and 35A  of the Constitution of India and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by the Union government led by BJP.

The protest meeting was held under a Presidium of Kshetrimayum Santa (secretary Cpm Manipur), L Sotinkumar ( secretary CPI Manipur), N Ratan (secretary RSP, Manipur) , KH Apanthoi ( chairman AIFB Manipur) and Sarat Salam (secretariat member of CPM Manipur) .

Addressing the meeting Dr. Nara Singh, National council member of CPI, appealed to the people of Manipur to prepare for the participation in the bigger movement to be announced within a few days by the National leadership of the left parties.

He was followed by Kshetrimayum Santa. In his address Santa said that the 5th August , 2019 will be remembered as a black day in the democratic history of the country as the articles 370 and 35A was scrapped and Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories . The aspirations of the people of the weaker States particularly of the North Eastern Region are under threats . He appealed to the people to be vigilant against the undemocratic and unconstitutional practices of the NDA government led by Narendra Modi.

Laishram Sotinkumar , addressing the meeting, warned the central and state government for their anti North Eastern Region particularly of Manipur. He said that the  assent to the Bill on Manipur People’s Protection , 2018 is pending in Delhi. 

Khumdram Gyaneshwar , secretary of AIFB Manipur, explained that the cherished dream of the hindutva forces fulfilled with the abrogation of the articles 370 and 35A. The next target may be States in the North Eastern Region.

Kangjam Manoranjan , secretariat member of RSP Manipur, cautioned that any eventuality may occur in the country and appeals to be prepared for that to save the country from the onslaught of the right wing hindutva forces.

The protest meeting was also addressed by Sarat Salam (secretariat member of Cpm Manipur) and KH Surchand ( secretariat member of CPI Manipur). The meeting condemned the unconstitutional and undemocratic move of the central government towards Jammu and Kashmir .

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