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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ 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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Sub standard protective mask procured at Rs. 25 per piece for distribution to MGNREGA workers

IT News

Imphal, July 6:

Rural Development and Panchayati Raj department has procured large number of sub standard protective mask and sanitizers for distribution to the MGNREGA workers.

As per official source, 2 lakhs piece of protective masks has been unloaded for Imphal East district today afternoon. Interestingly the face masks that have been unloaded at the office of the Imphal East Zilla Parishad turns out to be sub standard one which has no trademark,to ensure protection from COVID-19. What is more surprising is that the price of each mask is tagged as Rs. 25/-. The so call mask is half the size of a common handkerchief sold at ordinary shops.

The source further said that the total amount for the procured mask, sanitizers and other protective gears for MGNREGA workers is around Rs. 2 Crore and 32 lakhs. As for the mask unloaded at Imphal East today payment should be made to one M/S Romabati Handloom and Handicraft Production centre, Kongba Kshetri leikai.

The amount for procurement of the face masks and other protective gears is to be spent from the Administrative cost of MGNREGA.

The source further added that no tender notice has been issued for procurement of such a huge quantity of products that cost over Rs. 2 crores.

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COVID 19 pandemic and Nambul River

Many people who are critiques of crime against nature, the COVID 19 pandemic indeed is a blessing in disguise. For some time, when the pandemic first emerges, the world witnessed the worst panicky life. Almost all major countries take up immediate measures to fight the spread of the virus. Some countries imposed total lockdown crippling all forms of normalcy. Forget about the multinational companies, even those living on daily wages were forced to stop live. Television, newspaper, social media, traditional media – all discuss and relay issues related to COVID 19 pandemic. A new word call ‘social distancing’ which perhaps is an antithesis to sociology has been made mandatory by many governments running different countries across the world. The majority of the world was put too near standstill. When human activities were put to hold for a few months, an air of freedom seems to be blowing on the lap of the mother earth. Environmentalists say they had never seen River Ganga as clean as they see during the lockdown. It was just around thirty days that such comments were heard. Imagine the condition of the river had the lockdown been a little longer.
Back here in Imphal, the most polluted river or perhaps the dirtiest in the entire country, sees clean water flowing these days. Time and again some concern ministers or bureaucrats or social workers had initiated several work programmes or campaigns to keep the Nambul river clean and free from pollution. None of the efforts has so far been succeeded in making the River that runs through the middle of the Imphal city pollution free river. The dream about making Nambul another river Thames of the United Kingdom never comes true besides all effort.
For over sixty days, Manipur has been put into partial lockdown without allowing the Manipur’s commercial hubs Khwairamband keithel, Paona, and Thangal market to open. Almost all commercial activities in these commercial hubs have been put to halt for around three months by now and because of this the one time most crowded commercial hubs that gave headache to municipality workers in cleaning the garbage have been somehow relieved. Because, people have stopped visiting the commercial zone, garbage products from this section of the area have been reduced to almost zero levels. The Nambul river that flows next to the commercial hubs has been a dumping zone of the garbage produced from Khwairamband area and that is perhaps the reason for the failure in every effort to make Nambul – free from pollution. Maybe those concerned departments especially assigned to use all their skill and wisdom by paying huge amounts of salary are not efficient enough to find a solution to deliver what they have been assigned for. But then nature is not so cruel, when some concern humans were left helpless in rendering their service to the environment, it showed some form of extra natural phenomenon that sometimes took the entire human race to surprise. The COVID pandemic may be term as another phenomenon leaving aside the scientific theory.
Perhaps it is because of the COVID 19 pandemic that the long-cherished desires of Imphalites to see Nambul river clean comes true. Part and partial credit should be given to the state Environmental department. The enthusiasm of the environmental department to show their credentials in rendering their services is well noted when the department organized a boat rally for media persons at the Nambul river. It was not merely a boat ride rally but was a rally to create awareness to the people on the importance of keeping the Nambul river clean and tidy.
Nature had done its part, it is now up to the people particularly those working in the environment sector to formulate a lasting mechanism of keeping Nambul river another Thames of the United Kingdom.

Delimitation exercise to begin based on 2001 census data

Delimitation Commission directed Deputy Commissioners to submit details of revenue villages in Manipur by July 7, 2020

IT News

Imphal, July 4:

The demand for the delimitation process based on the fresh census data by various civil society bodies and the political parties of the state turns deaf ear to the Delimitation Commission of India.

In an urgent communication to all the Deputy Commissioners of the 16 (sixteen) revenue districts of the state, the Joint Election Officer of Manipur, Ramananda Nongmeikapam has written an urgent letter to complete the delimitation of both parliamentary and assembly constituencies based on 2001 census data.

“ I am directed to state that the Delimitation Commission has proposed to complete the work of delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies on the basis of 2001 census data as required by Delimitation Act 2002 as expeditiously as possible”, the Joint CEO Manipur in an urgent letter addressed to all the Deputy Commissioners of the 16 revenue districts of Manipur wrote as per directives of the delimitation Commission.

The urgent communication sent on July 2, 2020, to the Deputy Commissioners of Bishnupur, Chandel, Churachandpur, Imphal West , Imphal East, Jiribam, Kakching, Kamjong, Kangpokpi, Noney, Pherzwal, Senapati Tamenglong, Tengnoupal, Thoubal, and Ukhrul district further stated that -though the delimitation exercise is to be based on 2001 census, the positions of the districts, sub-divisions Blocks, Gram Panchayats, Municipal Corporation /Council, villages etc. are to be adjusted as on June 15, 2020.

The Deputy Commissioners have further been directed to submit the list of the recognised revenue villages under their respective jurisdiction latest by July 7, 2020.

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War on invisible enemy

As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly sweeps across the world, it is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern in the population at large and among certain groups in particular, such as older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions. In public mental health terms, the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety. But as new measures and impacts are introduced – especially quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour are also expected to rise.
In populations already heavily affected, issues of service access and continuity for people with developing or existing mental health conditions are also now a major concern, along with the mental health and well-being of frontline workers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears likely that there will be substantial increases in anxiety and depression, substance use and abuse, loneliness, and domestic violence; and with schools closed, there is a very real possibility of an epidemic of child abuse. However, according to experts, a few steps, taken now, can help us proactively prepare for the inevitable increase in mental health conditions and associated sequelae (a pathological condition resulting from a prior disease, injury, or attack) that are the consequences of this pandemic. First, it is necessary to plan for the inevitability of loneliness and its sequelae as populations physically and socially isolate and to develop ways to intervene. The use of digital technologies can bridge social distance, even while physical distancing measures are in place. Normal structures where people congregate, whether places of worship, or gyms, and yoga studios, can conduct online activities on a schedule similar to what was in place prior to social distancing. Particularly relevant here is the developing and implementing routines, particularly for children who are out of school, ensuring that they have access to regular programmed work. Online substitutes for daily routines, as mentioned above, can be extremely helpful, but not all children have access to technologies that enable remote connectivity. Needed are approaches for ensuring structure, continuity of learning, and socialization to mitigate the effect of short- and long-term sheltering in place.
Second, it is critical that we have in place mechanisms for surveillance, reporting, and intervention, particularly, when it comes to domestic violence and child abuse. Individuals at risk for abuse may have limited opportunities to report or seek help when shelter-in-place requirements demand prolonged cohabitation at home and limit travel outside of the home. Systems will need to balance the need for social distancing with the availability of safe places to be for people who are at risk, and social services systems will need to be creative in their approaches to following up on reports of problems.
Third, it is time to bolster our mental health system in preparation for the inevitable challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stepped care, the practice of delivering the most effective, least resource-heavy treatment to patients in need, and then stepping up to more resource-heavy treatment based on patients’ needs, is a useful approach. This will require that systems are both well designed and well prepared to deliver this care to patients, from screening to the overflow of mental illness that will inevitably emerge from this pandemic.
Even small signs that someone cares could make a difference in the early stages of social isolation. And health systems, both public and private sector, will need to develop mechanisms for refill and delivery of essential medicines, including psychiatric medicines. A concerted effort will be vital in establishing a new and better system which can adapt and scale up as and when required. Understanding, cooperation and empathy can win this battle.