Wednesday, 11 September 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Sept 11

After remaining silent for quite some time, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) is likely to begin an intense democratic agitation to get its long pending demand with the election of the new office bearer today.

YK Dhiren, a social activist who have been associated with the United Committee Manipur at the capacity of General Secretary and a prominent social activist who had been spearheading at almost all movement for the cause of the state and the common people has been elected as the new Convenor. Former Convenor Yumnamcha Dilip handed over the charge today at its office today. Along with Kh Chingkhei, Laishram Shyam Khuman, Brojendro Naorem, Haopu Kom and Kheiruddin Shah Mongjingmayum were also elected as the Co-convenor of the new JCILPS committee.

Soon after taking over the charge of Convenor of the JCILPS, YK Dhiren thank the components of the civil society bodies of the JCILPS for having trust in him and assured that he will work whole heartedly to achieve the goal of the JCILPS.

“ Keeping the Manipur Peoples’ Bill’ which was passed by the Manipur State Assembly in July 23, 2018 without giving assent by the President of India even as it is now a year is a clear indication of the Central government towards the sentiment of the people of the state”, Dhiren said.

“At this circumstances the JCILPS now felt that people need a more intensified democratic movement to make sure that the President of India give assent to the ‘Manipur Peoples’ Bill’”, Dhiren said.

He added that the JCILPS will start organizing various awareness campaign on the impact of migrants/outsiders  to the indigenous people of the state. He also stated that until the Manipur Peoples’ Bill is converted into Act, the JCILPS will form ‘task force’ and will check influx of migrants without proper document at both the National Highways and start checking the influx of migrants after taking help from the state police.

YK Dhiren also appealed the Government of Manipur to act as per the sentiment of the people by exercising their political commitment. He was referring to the promises made by the Chief Minister for introduction of the NRC, commissioning of a population commission etc.  

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Imphal, Sept 11

9 members of the JAC formed in connection with the dead of Babysana meet the Governor Najma Heptula today morning and submitted a memorandum to her.

Speaking to media persons in a press meet held today at Thangmeiband Meisnam Leikai Convenor of the JAC L. Gyaneshwori said that during the meeting, the Governor told them that it will be better if 164 statement of the victim’s family is given to the CBI.

The Governor further told them that the state had already sent a letter to the CBI to take over the case of Babysana by them but still there was no response from them till now. 

Concerning about handling the case of Babysana to CBI, Gyaneshwori added that The Governor assured them that she will sent another proposal to the CBI again.

During the meeting with the Governor the JAC members talked deeply about the chain of events that took place since the dead of Babysana, Gyaneshwori highlighted.

The Chief Minister on September 5 after giving assurance to fulfill the demands within 10 days, though even after the completion of 6 days only the demand of releasing the arrested persons of the JAC was fulfilled, Gyaneshwori contented. 

She further urged the Governor to put more pressure to handover the case to CBI.

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Imphal, Sept 11

Highlighting the need of the public to be aware like the people in Bihar, CM Biren said that the people of the land should also do like the people of Bihar where they tried to fine a police for not fastening seat belt.

Speaking to media persons in a press meet held today at BJP head-office situated at Canchipur appreciating the 100 days work for the 2nd term of PM he said that strict measures of road safety has been taken up during the 100 days.

Biren further stressed that powerful and dynamic steps were taken up during the 100 days where Anti Indian feeling were mainstreamed by removing Article 370 and 35 A from Kashmir. 

Among other works done by PM he highlighted the structural reform in the agriculture sector and also 58 redundant laws were repealed during the 100 days.

Questioning about the CAB issue he said that CAB will not supersede any existing laws and acts which will harm the indigenous population and added that those who didn’t have protection will initiate to form laws. 

Published in News
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:00

Gun battle reported

IT News

Imphal Sept ,11

Heavy gun battle was reported between armed groups of LTT and UTLA at around 1:00 am today at Saikulphai Suangphumun village, under Parbung Pherzawl district in Manipur.

Source said that two cadres of UTLA namely (1) Seilenmon @ Marcus (32) s/o Henkam Singson of Khuongjang village, PS- Thanlon, PZL Dist. (2) Lunminthang @ Mineo s/o not known of same village were died on the spot.

Two persons were seriously injured. One among the two has been identified as  Lalboi (36) s/o Thangkhojang of Noney District and the other is yet to be identified.

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Imphal, Sept. 11

 A joint meeting of the Public Works Department and the Public Health and Engineering Department was held today at the conference hall of the New Secretariat office of Public Works Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh.
Along with Biswajit, the meeting was also attended by PHE Minister Losii Dikho. During the meeting, engineers and officials of both departments highlighted their grievances.
The main issue highlighted during the meeting was the inconveniences caused to the public due to road excavations works for water pipeline laying along the roads especially in the valley districts of Imphal East, West, Bishnupur and Thoubal. PWD officials highlighted that during monsoon season covering of the road portions by mud after laying of pipelines create potholes leading to inconveniences for the public.
The Ministers along with the concerned officials and engineers of the two departments discussed ways and means to control such inconveniences.
Biswajit said both departments provide essential services to the public and further expressed the need for both departments to communicate and coordinate with one another. He said the departments should also inform the public through different media platforms about any ongoing project beforehand.
Dikho also expressed the need for the departments to communicate and coordinate.
Today’s meeting was also attended by Additional Chief Secretary Suhel Akhtar among other officials of both departments.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 17:57

ATRPFM questions STDCM

IT News
Imphal, Sept 11

All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) had questioned the logic behind STDCM’s demand for ST status.
“Do they really wanted to go back to the status of 128 years ago with same educational and economic condition of 1891? But no community would like to roll back in that condition. It is upto the wisdom of Parliament to decide but as per our own opinion, Meitei is a forward caste that do not need ST status. Although Constitution does not defined Scheduled Tribe, there is a clear criterion for specification as a Scheduled Tribe. They are: (1) indications of primitive traits, (ii) distinctive culture, (iii) geographical isolation, (iv) shyness of contact with the community at large, and (v) backwardness. The Meitei community does not fulfilled the above-mentioned criterion and thus does not qualified for specification as ST. So, on what ground STDCM demands ST status”, a statement asked the STDCM.
Economically, socially and ethnically, Meitei is the most advanced community in the entire North East region. When we see the percentage of representations in public employment of all Departments, representation of Meiteis are already high. As per rules, reservation for reserved categories shall be in proportion with their respective population. ST’s population of Manipur as per Census 2011 is 34%, however, representation of STs in public employment is nowhere near 31%. Representation of STs in public employment for all grades of posts taken together was only 23% and has not improved till date. ST status is given for such weaker segments of the society, the statement added.
The statement further stated that in the legislature, Meitei has 40 MLAs, both Judiciary and Executive is dominated by Meiteis. For protection of indigenous people, there is already ILP or Manipur Peoples’ Bill. For protection of land, there is already land protection law known as the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2014. For reservation purpose, there is already 10% reservation quota  for the weaker upper caste. What’s more STDCM wants? There is no reasonable purpose at all.  
ATRPFM  urged the State Government not to recommended and justified the illegitimate demand.    

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 17:56

Climate Crisis, People, and the State

The recent Amazon Rainforest disaster has brought back to global platform the issue of climate crisis and the survival of its indigenous people. Burning at a record rate continuously, it is an environmental catastrophe and should be a concern for all across the globe. It houses 10% of the planet’s diversity and helps in stabilizing the global climate. Lately, Manipur has also been experiencing soaring temperature with unbearable heat. According to a report from Environment Directorate of Manipur, Chandel district has recorded its highest 40 degree Celsius in the month of May. If it continues at this rate, it is likely that people may not be able to go outdoor in summer. 20 years back, May season’s favourite outfit for the people in the state of Manipur was either a jacket or a sweater. Today, we cannot even wear a full casual shirt or a pair of long pants. The mercury is rising and by next year, it could be worse. During late 90’s, when people, particularly the environmentalists, showed serious concern to the rise in the mercury, the temperature recorded in Manipur on April 14, 1999, was 36 degree Celsius. That was the hottest day. April normally was most of the pleasant days during 80s. The climatic condition was excellent. The temperature those days was much lower than 30 degree Celsius. Months with maximum temperature was during June and July. Everyone in their 40’s knows that the mercury level during the hottest month here in the state did not exceed 35 degree Celsius. As of today, there are no report of any death due to the rise of temperature, but for sure newspapers of tomorrow will have to reserve space for news about deaths because of the scorching heat.
Well, whom are we going to blame for this kind of alarming events? Is the drastic change in the climatic condition a natural phenomenon or is it because of the kind of crime committed by the human being? What is the role of the state and its policies in this crisis? – A matter everyone needs to ponder. Leaving aside the environmentalists, it has now become a fashion for the ministers and bureaucrats to talk about environment. A selfie while planting trees in their best outfit seems to be a matter of pride for them. According to environmentalists, the geographical character of our state is perhaps a boon. The climate of Imphal and other valley districts are maintained by the hills surrounding the valley. As for the Imphal Valley, it is the Langol Hill Range and the number of trees on it that has been controlling the carbon emission. The Khoubru Hill range, the Baruni etc. too are also important factors that control the climate of the state. Saying so, it was the number of wild trees that grow on those hills that actually controlled the climate. With no trees on the mentioned Hill ranges, they, too, will become helpless in maintaining the climatic condition of the state.
Is it the common men that has to be blamed for the cutting of the trees? Well, common man always struggle for life and they do whatever is available to feed themselves as well as their family. Those in the villages are left with no choice but to cut down the trees for earning their livelihood. For instance, the construction of Mapithel dam had destroyed large areas of fields, livelihood and settlement of various villagers, resulting in cutting of trees for survival. As for holding top job in the government and those ruling the state, they know that trees should be saved. Crore and crore of rupees have been spent to make plants grow at barren land of the state. They also know that until a proper planning is taken up by framing a policy for those who are depending on the forest product, the hills of the state, which had been controlling the Imphal valley, will look barren. So, it is definitely the government that is responsible for the kind of destruction of forest that has been taking place in the state.
Seizure of truck loads of woods is also a means to help in protecting the forest, but if it is done for photo session and publicity matters, then Manipur may perhaps become a desert-like state someday.
Government authority’s lack of commitment is reminded as the recent plantation of saplings by volunteer of Manipuri Students’ Federation at the peak of the Koubru Hill will make no sense.
Villagers of Koubru should be rehabilitated so that they themselves started protecting trees in the hill range. On how to change the mindset of the villagers, it is left upto the bureaucrats to think on it, otherwise, what is the use of spending so much public money for each of them in the form of paying salary and allowances?

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 17:53

No School bag day in Manipur

It is great to learn that on 3rd September2019 Government of Manipur Secretariat: Education(S) Department issued an office Memorandum No-29/22/2019-SE(S) Misc.; that every working Saturday should be “NO SCHOOL BAG DAY” for all students from class I to VIII in all schools of Manipur.It’s great initiative but there are still miles to go to completely remove the heavy burden carried by our children.Why? Doctors say, carrying heavy school bags cause neck and back pain, shoulder strain and fatigue amongst other. Because when they carry a heavy bag what they do is they tend to bend down too much and they look little short, otherwise it will have not much of effect. When a backpack is too heavy, the body will have to compensate by tilting forward to counter the effect of gravity. This will alter the alignment of the child’s posture and increase the strain on the spine. It is said that school children’s backpack should not exceed more than 10% of their body weight. Research has proven that carrying heavy school bags will have adverse impact on students’ health as they enter into adulthood. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends students to carry only 10% of their body weight. For instance, if a child weighs 20kg, then the child should carry only around 2kg of weight. Children use backpacks every day to get their books back and forth from the school. Many students carry larger school bags with excessive weight. Some parents help carry the school bags, most carry on their own. Much has changed in the school for the better of our students. Ways of teaching and learning have changed. School environments have also transformed to absorb the changes in teaching and the learning. Despite these changes, one thing has remained unchanged that is the excessive weights of school bags that our students lug to their schools. It is common sigh to see students carrying school bags that are unnecessarily heavy that often larger than their backs. Scientific studies offer a range of adverse implications on students, as they grow into adulthood from carrying heavy school bags. It is time that parents andpolicy makers also understand both the short-and long term impacts as reported in these studies, because our students carry their bags from home to school and back, six days a week, nine months a year, for thirteen years of their developmental period.
    Some of the commonly discussed effects are: fatigue; muscle strain, back pain, distortion of spine’s natural curves, rounding of the shoulders, poor body posture and short attention spans. Heavy school bags are also known causes of cervical and lumber pains. Convincing claims also points out that reduction and shortening of the lumber spines in proportion to the weight of the school bag will result in overloading and degenerative changes in spine. Such changes are known causes of back pain in later year.It has also been reported that growth points in the bones from which bones grow will be damaged by carrying excessively heavy school bags resulting in abnormal or stunted growth. The above impacts are alarming in various ways. Firstly, the impact will have a huge burden on our health system and some studies terms these impacts as healthcare time bombs. Secondly, the toll of excessive weight of school bags on our school children will result in underdeveloped human capital, because some studies have made persuasive claims of casualty between healthy bodies and high student achievement. While our country is unusually quiet on the silent struggle of our students to carry heavy school bags,other countries have not only recognized the socio-economic problems associated with their students carrying heavy school bags but also implemented diverse solution to the problem. In Australia some state governments provide their public with advisory information about the risks of heavy school bags, ways of reducing the risks, alternative to carrying school bags and ways of reducing the number of books, students carry. In India, some courts have issued orders to state governments to formulate policies for adverting students from carrying heavy school bags. In USA, health specialists have recommended the critical ratio of the weight of school bag to the students’ body weight. In the United Kingdom, health specialists have called for a review of the weights students carry. In some countries the media awakened the public on the issue. All these concerns show that the impact of carrying heavy school bags by our students need quick intervention as the concerns are no less relevant to our country and the state of Manipur.
    When the body weights and weights of school bags of one hundred students from middle secondary school in the country were randomly measured, the average weight of the school bags that the students carry to their school was 17% of their average body weights of 40.20%. This falls outside of the recommended range of 10-15% of the body weight. As the number of participants is small, this finding may be only the tip of iceberg  of diverse ill effects of heavy school bags that our students experience on a daily basis as they traverse between their school and dwellings over e few thousand meters of rough uneven foot paths. The risk is too obvious to pretend not to know. It is a fact that students cannot go to the school without books. Therefore health experts do not say that the students should not carry school bags. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that it is alright for students to carry less than 10-15% of their body weight as mentioned in the beginning of this write up. This implies that our children can still carry some books in their school bags, which will allow them to complete their home tasks and other extended learning activities within their permissible limit of the weight of the school bag.  Many countries have implemented many measures. Some countries provide students with locker facilities in their class rooms for keeping their books. Some countries requires school to formulate students home work time tables so that students get home work in no more than two subjects in a day. According to experts, children needs proper rest and sufficient sleep for their all-round physical & mental development. It is fact that, in almost all the schools in Manipur, heavy home works are being given to these young & tender children. On the contrary, in Manipur, home work are being done either by parents or tuition teachers. Parents are happy when class teachers gave good marks for the home work done either by parents or tuition teacher. But is that mark, the mark obtained by real works of the children? Nobody cares. Some countries mandate schools to develop class time tables to use only some subjects on a day, not all the subjects. Some countries provide specifications for the size of note books. These remedial measures have no less potential in our country as well to address the ill effects of carrying excessively heavy school bag by our students. Our children, born in the Gross National Happiness(GNH) country, should not learn happily in the GNH-oriented schools but also develop into adulthood with healthy bodies ,free of the ill effects of heavy school bags as they graduate from their schools.

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