Imphal, Sept 25:
Commemorating five years of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a live panel discussion session to discuss, dissect and monitor where the state stands on the SDG was held at the conference hall of Kwakeithel office of Human Rights Alert (HRA) on Monday.
Organised under the joint aegis of Bridging for Sustainable Development (BSD), Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Human Rights Alert (HRA), User’s Society for Effective (USER) Manipur and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), the commemoration function kicked off with a keynote address from HRA Executive Director Babloo Loitongbam followed by an overview of SDG Progress in Manipur from Manipur University Economics department Prof Elangbam Bijoykumar Singh. The programme was streamed live on the Facebook page of Human Rights Alert.
Speaking on the occasion Additional Director of the Directorate of Health Services, Government of Manipur Dr Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang, who was also present as one of the panellist informed that any outbreak of a disease is fought on a strong political will based on data driven evidences which in turn is based on analytical research. However, there is neither a political will, a well-defined data driven evidence nor any analytical research to combat any outbreak.
He nevertheless highlighted the various initiatives taken up by the state government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of preparedness, Acts and Policy adoption and implementation of specific Standard Treatment Protocol.
Earlier, while giving an overview of the SDG Progress in Manipur, Prof Elangbam Bijoykumar Singh highlighted on how the SDG was adopted by the government of India in 2015 and later passed on to the state of Manipur in 2016 where the production of a Vision Document was initiated and took around three years for it to come out wherein 10 districts were covered for data collection.
While maintaining that COVID-19 data collection of the state government is very poor and that the SDG is also hugely impacted by the pandemic, Prof Bijoykumar blamed the government for being indifferent on data collection and distribution on COVID-19 and further pointed out the need to check congruency of government policy and programs with the goals of the SDG.
The Panel I session on “Health Crisis During COVID-19 Pandemic (SDG-3) moderated by LOUSAL President Mutum Churamani, had CoNE President RK Nalinikanta and USER Manipur President Maibam Jogesh as speakers.
The Panel II session which delved on Education: Beyond Rhetoric (SDG-4) was moderated by Prof Thangjam Homen of Indira Gandhi Tribal University and had All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) General Secretary, Ahanthem Bipinchandra and Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) President Nameirakpam Edison Meitei as speakers.