Thursday, 07 March 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, March 7,

Schedule Tribe Demand Committee Manipur calls 30 hours general strike on the 6 valley districts of Manipur denouncing the government over failure to sent recommendation for the inclusion of Meetei/Meitei on schedule tribe list.

Speaking to the media persons Co-convener of coordinating body of STDCM, L.Romesh Meetei said that due to the resolution taken on the 3rd of March during the gigantic rally to call general strike on the Valley if the government fails to send required recommendation to the central government by the 6th of March.

He further said that the general strike will begin from 6 am of March 9 and conclude by the midnight of March 10. He added that all the construction works regarding railway line will be ceased.

Romesh further appealed to shut all business activities including street vendors and other offices at all the valley area. Transporters are also appealed to support the demand by stopping service during the general strike.

He also warned serious consequences if any state function or state examination are organised during the general strike.

Romesh further clarified that all essential services, media persons and other religious activities will not be cover during the 30 hour general strike. He also added that candidates of central examination will also be exempted during the strike.

Finally he also appealed the people of the state irrespective of their communities to support the movement.

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Imphal, March 7,

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh officially launched the Chief Minister’s Scholarship Scheme for Civil Services Coaching worth over Rs. 1 crore in a simple ceremony held at the Cabinet Hall of Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
 Under this scheme, the State Government will provide 100% scholarship to 150 selected Civil Services aspirants to realise their dreams. With one year course fee of Rs. 70,800 per student, the total amount, which is to be borne by the State Government is pegged at Rs. 1,06,20,000. This will be matched by an amount of Rs. 1,11,51,000 to be borne by Delhi-based ALS-IAS Institute under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. This CSR component will support another 300 students under different slabs of varying scholarship amounts.
 A selection examination will be conducted on May 19, 2019 by the ALS-IAS Institute in coordination with the State Higher Education Department and District Administration. The top 150 students will be given 100% scholarship sponsored by the State Government under Chief Minister’s Scholarship Scheme for Civil Services Coaching. The next 50 students will get 75% scholarship, the next 50 students will be given 60% scholarship, the next 100 will get 50% scholarship and the remaining 100 will be given 40% scholarship, all sponsored by ALS-IAS Institute. All the selected 450 aspirants of the State will get coaching from the authorised centres of ALS-IAS Institute located at Imphal, Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong, Maram and Motbung.
Speaking to media persons, the Chief Minister said that many of the students of the State coming from humble background are desirous of pursuing career in the Civil Services and other higher education. However, many students give up the idea due to high cost of coaching classes and tough competition, he added. As such, the scheme has been conceptualised to provide the much needed support to deserving and meritorious students to realise their dreams, the Chief Minister said.
N. Biren Singh said that the State Government has partnered with ALS-IAS Institute to provide adequate grooming to deserving aspirants. The institute uses modern satellite technology whereby the same class given at Delhi is telecast live at all the Centres of the State with facilities for two-way communication between teachers and students, he informed.
Application forms for the exam will be available at both DC offices and ALS-IAS authorised learning centres from April 1, 2019 till May 12, 2019. The exam results will be declared on May 26, 2019 and classes will commence from June 5, 2019.
It may be mentioned that similar scholarships have been announced by Governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura as well to get coaching from ALS-IAS Institute. However, Rs. 1,06,20,000 borne by the Government of Manipur is the highest among all these North East States.
Health and Family Welfare Minister  L. Jayantakumar, Forest and Environment Minister  Th. Shyamkumar, Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister N. Kayisii, Education Minister Th. Radheshyam, Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary (Finance)  Rakesh Ranjan, Commissioner (Education)  H. Deleep and National Sales Head of ALS Coaching Institute Shri Prateek Bhattacharya were also present at the occasion.

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Imphal, March 7,

Minister of Environment and Forest Th. Shyamkumar today inaugurated the 1st state level 2-Day media Workshop on Climate Change at Hotel Imphal Conference hall.

The workshop is jointly organised by the Directorate of Environment, Govt. of Manipur, Centre for Media Studies New Delhi and Khelen Thokchom Trust Manipur.

The inaugural function was presided by Director of Environment, Y. Nabachandra while Sobhapati Samom, General Secretary of Khelen Thokchom Trust shared the dais as Guest of Honour.

Speaking on the occasion Environment Minister Th. Shyamkumar stressed on the need for creating awareness about changing climatic conditions of the world and the responsibility of each person in making the world restored to its natural order.

“Each of us are responsible, each of us should work collectively if we want to save our mother”, Shyamkumar said while adding that these days people seems to forget that price of cutting trees to our future.

The Minister further said that one tree one person will contribute in making the world a green world. Th Shyamkumar also added that we only speak but we never acted.

Director of Environment Y. Nabachandra said that realizing the role of media in reaching out to all the people about the climate change and its impact the department has awarded media fellowship for one year starting from April 1, 2019. 3 journalists Baby Shirin of Imphal Free Press, Ksh Meghajit of Naharolgi Thoudang and Laishram Samungou of Sangai Express were awarded – Rs. 50,000/- each. Another one from among the Hill Journalist is also conferring soon.

The 2 day workshop will conclude at Sendra in Bishnupur district.

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Imphal, March 7,

JAC formed against the brutal killing of Assistant Professor Angom Ingocha  has warned various forms of agitations if the government fails to fulfill demands of Chakpa Phayeng Semgatpa Lup submitted through a memorandum to CM N Biren within three days.

Regarding the murder of Angom Ingocha s/o Angom Omor of Phayeng Sabal Leikai at Sikkim Ranipur area on the intervening night of March 2 and 3, the JAC has been demanding to transfer the case here in Manipur. They are also demanding suitable compensation to the family of the deceased. The demands of the JAC also include providing a suitable job to the wife or son of the deceased.

Speaking to media co-convenor of the JAC Ningthoujam Popilal urged the government to take up initiatives to deliver justice to the family at the earliest and to fulfill their demands within the next three days, failing which, he warned that various forms of intensified agitations will be launched. He also appealed to all CSOs and women action groups to support the family in receiving justice.

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The NCD Cell, District Health Society Thoubal Organised One Day Breast Cancer Awareness and Screening Programme yesterday  at District Hospital, Thoubal, under the aegis of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer Diabetes Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke.

The programme was attended by Dr. W. Ruhinikumar Singh, pediatrician, District Hospital Thoubal, Dr. Kh. Homeshwar Singh, District Nodal Officer, NCD Cell Thoubal and Ch. Basanta Singh, District Programme Manager, District Health Society Thoubal attended the programme  as Chief Guest, President and Guest of Honor  respectively.

Dr. Chinglaiphaba, Surgeon, District Hospital Thoubal was the resource person of the day. He explaineded about the early detection of breast cancer by self as well as screening through power point presentation. Handouts were also made available to the participants.

Women of thirty years and above participated in the programme and they were screened for Breast Cancer at the NCD Clinic District Hospital Thoubal. Community Health Officers posted at Health and Wellness Centres in Thoubal District and trainees were also benefitted from the training programme. It will help them in Population Based Screening on Non Communicable Diseases at their respective health and wellness centres. 

The dignitaries on the dais shared their views on regular screening for breast cancer detection and regular follow up. Follow up can be done at their nearest Health and Wellness Centres.

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By Joshua L Amaw
CCpur, March 7,

 Joseph R. Hmar has been elected as the new leader to lead the Hmar tribe. He will head the Hmar Inpui (Supreme House of the Hmars) as president for two years till 2022.
Hmar representative from all over India met here in Churachandpur for the10th Hmar Inpui General Assembly-cum-Election at VTI Auditorium, Rengkai, Tuihaphai for the past two days i.e March 4 & 5.
Joseph R Hmar is currently the Tribunal General of the  All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) and also the organisation’s former president. J. Lalchhanhima from Mizoram was elected Vice-President. Francis Songate (Manipur) retains his post as General Secretary while Richard Lalanpuia (Manipur) was elected as Joint Secretary.
The Assembly delegates also passed a number of resolutions including an amendment to its constitution. “Henceforth, December 5 will be celebrated as Sikpui Ruoi - the main festival of the Hmar tribe in regions inhabited by the Hmar tribe,” Hmar Inpui resolution said. The organisation will also appeal to Manipur government for declaring December 5 as a restricted holiday as is being done in the neighbouring state of Assam.

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Thursday, 07 March 2019 16:54

Awareness programme on Road Traffic Safety

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Imphal, March, 7,

An awareness programme on Road Traffic Safety was organized by the Field Outreach Bureau, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, Imphal at Manipur College, Imphal today.

During the interaction and communication programme, several issues and causes of accidents like, speeding, use of intoxicants, digging of road and lanes, stopping right on top of zebra crossing, overtaking from left was discussed among other things. Queries on priorities between VIPs and emergency vehicles, legal punitive measures for traffic wrongdoers were put up by the students.

A quiz competition on the topic was held and prizes along with certificate were distributed by Shri P. Birchandra Singh, Associate Professor, Manipur College. Members of the student’s union of the college were present during the said programme.

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Thursday, 07 March 2019 16:53

Climate change matters

Initiative taken up by the Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur to bridge the gap of understanding between common people and those experts working in the field of controlling the climate change by utilizing media is perhaps a laudable effort. India’s commitment to control the climate change across the globe has well been known.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated – “We want the world to act with urgency. We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement in Paris, which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and nature and between what we have inherited and what we will leave behind” – urging  the leaders of more than 190 countries during the largest gathering of world leaders while speaking to World Climate Change Conference 2015.
The summit, popularly known as the COP (Conference of the Parties) 21Climate Change Summit in Paris is the result of the realization that climate change is a very real and serious threat to the very existence of the world, and leaders of the world must come together and share responsibility in a united effort to reverse the impending catastrophe. The problems of environmental degradation have been on the rise, and the increasing threat to the very survival and continuity of the world has been staring us in the face for long. The manifestations can no longer be ignored- upto 17 degrees rise in temperatures in frozen Antarctica, floods in the arid Atacama desert of Chile, four concurrent cyclones in the eastern hemisphere, and closer home, the worst flood in more than a century in Chennai. The year 2015 saw the hottest year in the history of the planet, but will almost certainly be beaten by 2016. There had been reports of experts predicting droughts in the North-Eastern region of the country in the year 2016, and further deterioration in the amount of rainfall and availability of water with a concurrent rise in temperature. The warnings are dire and consequences unthinkable.
According to experts, a 2-degree Celsius increase in global temperature from the current level will be catastrophic, but at the current rate of emission, the world will be warmer by 3.6 degree Celsius by the middle of the century thereby making Global warming irreversible.
The vital question that begs an answer, then, is: what-if there ever is one- can we, as individuals do to mitigate and reverse climate change? The answer, unfortunately, is not so simple or straightforward. More importantly, we need to delve deep into the details and understand the genesis, the present scenario and the consequences of the rapidly changing climate and the increasing imbalance of nature and ecology. However, simple everyday acts do go a long way in reducing emissions which are the biggest cause of climate change and Global Warming. Some of them are: switching off unnecessary electrical and electronic appliances, reducing use of cooking gas, coal, fossil fuels etc, switching to LED bulbs, adopting solar energy harnessing equipments, planting trees and greeneries, reducing trash, using hybrid vehicles if affordable, buying energy-efficient gadgets and appliances, using public transport or bicycles whenever possible etc. We can sow the seeds of positive change if we consciously make small yet consistent efforts on our parts without waiting for the government or the authorities to act. In closing, the following line might just spur us to sit up and start acting today: “We don’t have a Plan B to save the earth”- Prince Charles.
Not everything is losing. With the government stakeholders new initiative Manipur can now contribute something to the nation’s dream in controlling  the rise of temperature across the globe. Lets make every people aware of the climate change.   

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By:- Seram Neken
It is high time the state government declared the five days of Yaoshang Festival as ‘Sports Movement Week’ with a view to encouraging the local clubs across the state in their efforts to explore young sportive talents and organize sports festivals spontaneously at their own cost. The focus of the Manipur Chief Minister’s deliverance during the Sportspersons’ Day celebration on 25th February last at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex was the stress laid on encouraging local clubs, which groom and nurture the hordes of reputed players from the grassroots level. In fact, all sports celebrities of today have originated from the roughed and unadorned playgrounds in their home localities. Although their journey from the small grass-fetched local fields to the enormous well-equipped stadia is full of challenges, all sports luminaries should always remember their first-feeds by the local groomers. Apparently acknowledging this sense of gratitude to sports lovers at the ground level, the Chief Minister of Manipur who is both a sports enthusiast and a football player himself, expressed his commitment towards assisting local clubs that take the herculean tasks of nurturing sportspersons. Thanks to Shri N. Biren Singh, who has rightly been termed as the ‘People’s Chief Minister’ for the much-awaited focus on local level bodies of games and sports.Greeting my readers with the coming of Yaoshang Festival and wishing all to enjoy a constructive Yaoshang Sports extravaganza, this writer takes the privilege to propose the Government of Manipur to declare the five days of festival of colours as ‘Sports Movement Week’ all over Manipur. Festivals are an indispensible component of human life. Without them, life would have been monotonous and invaluable. Hence, every community on earth has its own festival in their varied designs and compositions. Manipuris have a rich heritage of festive celebrations, among which the Lai Haraoba is a major one. Lai Haraoba, since the pre-historic times, has changed its style and facets to suit the changed perception of people from generation to generation.Constructive devolution of the celebrations and observances occurs in almost all festivities belonging to different communities inhabiting this Earth. Taking into account the increasing replacement of Yaoshang festival by a variety of games and sports in the nook and corner of Manipur, we may optimistically presume that ‘Yaoshang Festival’ of the Manipuris has gradually become a constructive event day by day. This writer terms it “an intellectual transformation from festival of colors to festival of sports”, which has been occurring in modern Manipur during the last five decades. Yaoshang Sports has become an institution of socialization with multifaceted benefits. It serves as a school for cultivating personality development and hunting young talents. Kids get the opportunity to expose to various competitive events. It inculcates discipline among youths. Besides recreating the ageing people, it promotes organizational skills among the locals, increases social cohesion and reduces crimes & unwanted behavior in society. Every locality must endeavor to tap the inherent potential of Yaoshang Sports in the making of a strong Manipur.Looking back to its recent history, Yaoshang Sports has a unique purpose of its birth. The addition of a variety of games in the Yaoshang festivities began as early as during the pre-independence period. Although there is obscurity on the exact origin of Yaoshang Sports, it is believed that the organization of sporting events during Yaoshang in 1946 at Akampat in the present Imphal East district was the first of its kind in the state.As part of Yaoshang festival, the local adults of that time organized the Yubi Lakpi event by selecting a King. Written accounts named one Thokchom Bhubon from Singjamei Kshetri Leikai (Irengbam Leirak) who acted as the King. He was made to sit on a bullock cart that staged a procession from Thiyam Leirak of the locality via Kongba road to reach Akampat.A number of men, women and youths accompanied the procession and witnessed the Yubi Lakpi. Programmes in the form of Fancy Dress were also conducted. This may be considered the pioneer in the Yaoshang Sports movement which was witnessed and participated by locals of Singjamei Kshetri Leikai, Khongman, Bheigyabati Leikai etc. The second edition of the games was held in 1947 at Akampat again.More events like Arithmetic Competition for children, Chaphu Pubi Race, Laphu Kabi and Blind Hit were added to the meet. One who was known as Maiba Amuba who had hailed from Kabo Wakching Nambol and had been staying along with Yumnam Komol (said to be the driver of Budhachandra Maharaj) at Yumnam Leikai took the role of King in Yubi Lakpi that year. Thus, born the Yaoshang Sports of today. The Annual Yaoshang Sports being organized at Bamon Leikai Basketball Ground is also one of the oldest of its genre, with its 66th edition held this year. (Reference: Souvenir, Silver Jubilee Celebration of Yaoshang Sports, 2008, SEYO, Singjamei Kshetri Leikai). Meitei ‘Yaoshang’ is believed to have its ancestral origin from the ‘Ougri Hangen Chongba’ of pre-historic times. When the two sons of Godly King ‘Atiya Guru Shidaba’ were asked to complete the ‘Nongkhong Koiba’ for succession to the throne, the elder son ‘Sanamahi’ started the journey. However, the younger son ‘Nongda Lairen Pakhangba’ being a small boy was apprehensive that he could not complete the journey.Meanwhile, with the invaluable advice of his mother, ‘Pakhangba’ went round the royal throne of the King in no time and claimed to have completed the ‘Nongkhong Koiba’ before his brother ‘Sanamahi’ came back after going round the whole land physically. When the elder brother came back, he was so furious that he swore to avenge the person who revealed the modus operandi to ‘Pakhangba’ in order to be the king of the land. If it were a man, he would be killed and if it happened to be a woman, he would marry her – this was Sanamahi’s promise. Surprisingly, ‘Sanamahi’ realized that it was none other than his mother who had stealthily helped the younger brother to become the king. ‘Sanamahi’ had to keep his promise by marrying the mother. In every Meitei household we now see ‘Sanamahi’ and ‘Leimaren’ residing together, but with a wall separating them.The furious ‘Sanamahi’ after coming back from ‘Nongkhong Koiba’ chased ‘Pakhangba’ to beat him while the women of royal palace defended ‘Pakhangba’ by joining hands and singing the song “Ke Ke Ke Mo Mo, Yangen Samba Sao Sao, Tokpaga Kambaga Keiga Yenga, Yenkhong Phate Chasillu, Laigi Yenni Chaphade, Ke Ke Ke Mo Mo ...”. It is believed that ‘Thabal chongba’, ‘Phee Munbi’, ‘Sen Munbi’ etc. which are parts of contemporary ‘Yaoshang’ had their origin from the tradition of ‘Nongkhong Koiba’. Hence, Meitei Yaoshang had its own origin as different from the ‘Holi’ of the Hindus.As time goes by, ‘Yaoshang’ changes its facets year after year, decades after decades and centuries after centuries. To the present generation, ‘Yaoshang’ is synonymous with games and sports. It is indeed a mini Olympiad particularly in the valley districts of Manipur. All the ugly scenes and traditions of earlier ‘Yaoshang’ have been subdued to bring in constructive sports festivals in almost all Manipuri localities.Various games including indigenous events such as Mukna and Laphu Kabee are seen to be popular during Yaoshang sports. Apart from sporting programmes; academic events like debating competitions, Ex-tempore speech, symposium competitions, Essay writing, song competitions, mathematics competitions, recitations etc. are organized in the interests of students. ‘Yaoshang’ has today become a festival of sports in Manipur.Apart from being a festival, ‘Yaoshang’ has served as a useful platform for promoting sporting spirit and hunting talents of young people in varied fields of personality development. The children are given enough opportunity for exposure to various competitive events. For the elders who are at the dusk of their lives, ‘Yaoshang’ serves as a valuable recreation item by breaking the monotony of ageing life.It is a meaningful rendezvous where local people of all ages meet, interact, share, exchange views and ideas among themselves. It helps in reducing unwanted behavior, crimes, substance abuse and drugs. May the Yaoshang Sports festival continue to play its constructive role in the making of a unified and strong Manipur. It would be wise enough for the state government of Manipur to declare the five days of the festival as “Sports Movement Week” in order to make the festival a constructive event for the state.The following suggestions may be noted for future growth and fruitful results: 1. Yaoshang Festival may be declared as “Sports Movement Week” by the state government.2. Schedules for various examinations may be made so as not to coincide with this festival.3. Local Sports Events be organised under strict guidelines prescribed by Sports Department in the form of a policy.4. Unwanted scenes such as water spraying, dancing etc. may be prevented by Government. (During previous years, at some places in Imphal city, young boys and girls danced in water by using even Fire Brigade vehicles of the government without any intervention by Police) 5. Police should be alert to prevent adolescent youths from indulging in undesirable acts such as ‘Aber Teinaba’, Pichagari Kapnaba, etc.6. Elected MLAs, and representatives of local bodies may be advised to involve in organizing sports events in localities. Only then, the festival will be constructive and fruitful for future generation.
 (The writer is a Imphal-based Columnist)

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