By – Chingkhei Luwang
Various schemes for the poor and needy have been implemented under various programmes by the government. Housing schemes, Construction of Sanitary latrines, free health schemes, distribution of PDS food items at low cost are some of the few. But to be a beneficiary of the above scheme voter I card is mandatory.
Unfortunately a person who is very much in need of all this various schemes given by the government has been deprived from getting all the benefit – because he don’t have a Voter I – card neither any authority has come up to help him getting his right.
His condition is even worse than those who had illegally entered and settled in this state, where he was born and his forefather were born.
Heikam Nabakumar (60 years), an indigenous Manipuri who lives on hand to mouth, stays at a shabby hut at Heirangoithong under Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Constituency. He lives by working as paid labour in the Singjamei Ima market carrying things for the vendors. His works starts early in the morning around 6am and returns around 8 pm.
What is very unfortunate is that until the year 2006 his name was enlisted in the voter list and after that his name had been cut off from the voter list for reason best known to the authority; his right to vote has been snatched from him. But his name is present in the most recent population census.
Without the voter card all the benefits and schemes by the Government even the PDS food items is a distant dream for NabaKumar.
Speaking to media persons he said that he is old and what can he do.
The old aged pension has been given by some helping groups and local clubs providing eatables and clothes apart from that, the said person is yet to get any benefits from the government. Even though the present government has been doing many programs like go to Hills, Go to village he is all left behind.
Even the Pradhan, other local government bodies and the government itself has been neglecting the most underprivileged person, in contrary to the claim of the present Government which claims as “Government of the People”.
The question which arises is that who will be responsible for taking away his basic rights of being a voter and why?
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.