Imphal May 3,
Residents of Sihai Khunou had a ray of optimism amidst the stand-off between Assam Rifles and NSCN (IM) after the latter’s unauthorized camp was found barely a few kms away from their village. While the troops of Assam Rifles were involved in operational commitments, a team of doctors and nursing staff of Assam Rifles attended to the medical needs of the local residents.
The free medical camp was organised in a temporary waiting shed offered by the villagers themselves. The absence of a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the near vicinity and poor condition of roads amplified the requirement of conducting the medical camp. The medical camp which lasted two days saw an active participation of a large number of villagers, primarily elderly men and women. They were provided with basic health check-up, consultations on various diseases and their prevention, medications and basic lab facilities. Groceries and rations recovered from the camp were also distributed amongst the locals. The medical team not only utilised the camp to attend to the medical needs of locals but also reinforced the faith of people in Assam Rifles.
While the elders in the village praised the ‘humane approach’ of Assam Rifles to take out time and resources to attend to the medical needs of the villagers despite its operational commitments, the youth were more proactive in interacting and sharing their experiences with the troops. While they lamented the lack of development in the area due to the presence of armed insurgents, they were optimistic of development activities coming to their village, with it finally coming out of the shadows of the unwanted face off.