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Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Continuing woes of people in the Green Zone of Manipur

By - Chinglen Khumukcham,
Thokchom Yaiphalembi Chanu
and Priyadarshini Laishram

The lockdown has been eased across the country. The districts have been categorized in red, orange and green zones. Though there has been easing of restrictions in the so-called orange and green zones, these relaxations are not evenly spread. In many places which fall in green and orange zones, the restrictions which came into force due to the lockdown are still prevailing. The state governments in many parts, content with the easing of their work including that of law and order during lockdown, are viewing it as a respite from their overburdened routinized work, and as such have allowed the restrictions to remain in place.
The case of such states is exemplified by Manipur. The Covid-19 cases which have seen an upward graph in various parts of India, have abated in North-east, and some states no longer have patients diagnosed with Covid-19. The partial lifting of lockdown across the country, with Manipur categorized in green zone on May 1, had brought hopes of resumption of daily activities for a vast section of the people in the state. But, such hopes lie dashed as the state government continues to hold the state in curfew, which came in effect on March 24, 2020.
It should be known that due to the ill-effects of lockdown, there has been widespread misery across the country. The brunt of such misery has been borne by the most vulnerable and marginalized sections, and the poorest of the poor. Contrary to the claims of both the central and state governments, the aid and essential rations have not reached the vulnerable sections and those most affected by the lockdown. The unprecedented misery imposed on the people could have been offset by the state government providing them Basic Minimum Income, so as to help them tide over the present crisis, and by allowing resumption of economic activities with adequate precautions, after Manipur was categorized in the green zone. But, no relief has been provided to the people on this front so far.
The order of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) dated May 1, 2020 specifically states “In the Green Zone, all activities are permitted except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone.” But, unfortunately the state remains in curfew. While the easing of lockdown has brought no relief for the people in the state, the insensitivity of state and district administrations along with the apathy of police has further left people in a state of despair. A vast majority of the people in the state have lost their livelihood due to the lockdown. Most of the people are daily wagers who belong to the poorest of the poor sections of the society. While there is no relief in sight for them, the curfew makes their plight even worse. Selected markets have been allowed to open, but curfew has marred normal functioning of these markets. The curfew passes which allow one to step out are allotted to selective people, as a large majority is forced to remain inside home. Moreover, the orders of various departments concerning restrictions on movement are contradictory, leading to further problems for the people.
There are daily reports of police detaining and imposing fines on people who violate the curfew. The daily amounts collected as fines indicate that the exercise is more for boosting the purportedly depleted revenues of the state than for any serious regard for maintaining law and order. The people being detained include even those who are venturing out for purchasing essentials. In such a situation, the possibility of citizen-police conflict increases manifold, which would further worsen the condition of the common people, especially that of the most vulnerable sections of society.
The ostensible reason for such a policy of continuing with the restrictions is to contain the spread of Covid-19. This is a questionable reason since Manipur was declared a green zone as there were no active Covid-19 cases in the state till very recent days when Covid-19 has once again shown a rise in the state. Imposing curfew on the whole population is a misdirected measure as it bars the people from carrying out their work related to their very livelihood. It should also be noted that the recent increase in Covid-19 cases is confined to people who have recently returned to Manipur. These people are already in quarantine centres and the possibility of their spreading the infection is tied with the state government’s alacrity in monitoring their movement.
Therefore, the need of the hour is to lift the curfew, and allowing economic activities to resume with necessary precautions in place, so as to enable the people to rebuild their lives, as much has been lost for them due to the lockdown. The provision of Basic Minimum Income by the state government to all the workers and those from socio-economically marginalized sections, most of whom are the worst affected, would go a long way in helping them tide over the present crisis.
The writers are associated with North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)

Residents of Manipur returns in special Train from Chennai

IT News
Imphal, May 24:

Special train from Chennai, Tamil Nadu ferrying all together 1607 (including 40 babies) stranded residents of Manipur, due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, reached Jiribam Railway Station at 11:35 am yesterday.
243 passengers, including 11 babies from Ukhrul district in 6 buses, 47 passengers, including 3 babies from Tengnoupal and Chandel districts in 2 buses, 77 passengers, including 3 babies from Kamjong district in 2 buses, 205 passengers, including 5 babies from Pherzawl and Churachandupur districts in 6 buses, 80 passengers from Imphal East district in 3 buses, 84 passengers, including 1 baby from Kangpokpi district in 3 buses, 226 passengers, including 2 babies from Senapati district in 6 buses, 54 passengers from Kakching and Toubal district in 2 buses, 185 passengers, including 8 babies from Tamenglong district in 5 buses, 84 passengers from Noney district in 3 buses, 103 passengers, including 7 babies from Bishnupur district in 3 buses and 219 passengers from Imphal West district in 7 buses left for their respective districts from Jiribam. State Transport Department buses were utilised for ferrying the returnees to their respective districts.
Yesterday at the Jiribam Railway Station, all the returnees travelling in the special train from Chennai were screened by the authorities. The returnees boarded the buses after undergoing necessary screening process and other mandatory procedures under the supervision of the Jiribam District Administration. They will remain in isolation at the community quarantine centres for 14 days.

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Points to ponder: Social Media during Lockdown

By: Brahmacharimayum Sadananda Sharma

Have you ever considered spending your entire time on Social Media? You might not have given a thought but if you are consciously or otherwise spending more than 6-hours a day on Social Media platforms. You might be suffering from Social Media addiction, one of the most common addictions in today’s generation. One may think it is because we live in the age of information and technology. Does it mean that it is not a problem? The problem is very real — the National Center for Biotechnology Information has placed it alongside main disorders.
Social media addiction is as dangerous and compulsive as drug addiction; as both have the potency to affect our lifestyle. Just like any other drug addiction, we often deny and casually brush off this type of addiction too. As the entire world is under lockdown at the moment and now that everyone has gone into isolation due to social distancing, the best way people are communicating and getting entertained is through social networking. Unfortunately, of recent Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Tik Tok are not only an applications but has also become our identity and residential addresses.
 We cannot deny the fact that we also get a big deal of knowledge and information due to social media presence including validation, exposure, connectivity, information, entertainment, and the social media satisfies us with a lot of emotions through just a device. Social media is also a market in its traditional sense and has huge economic value. Social media provides an endless job opportunity and many choose to become a social media professional. Social media as a profession is a very serious business of providing entertainment, information and connecting the world through a device and in the process also a means to earn unreal amount of money as well as fame and like any other profession calls for unparalleled dedication, sincerity, hard-work and perseverance.
 These days without proper knowledge and understanding of social media and its required investment, many people goes insane, finding in insanity a feeling of importance in social media that they were unable to achieve in the real world and when people are so hungry for a feeling of importance, validation and exposure that they actually go insane to get it and started showing odd behaviours in public social media platform.
According to a study, social media addiction can cause problem like stress, anxiety, sleep disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), insomnia, emotional exhaustion, frustration, jealousy, body insecurity etc. This means that if not careful social media alone can lead to 99% of the diseases in our life. And how do we try to distract ourselves from these problems is by resorting again back to social media for comfort.
Also as per the data from International Telecommunications Union, in the year 2019, the time spent by the internet users was 53.6% and it may increase in this year also. And it is obvious that it would happen after all, we never experienced anything so sophisticated environment earlier and to be fair to the digital generation, social media is a necessity today rather than a luxury. Most people enjoy it so much that they want more and more of the feeling and acceptance from others in social media and then, it becomes an addiction.
Due to the sudden nation-wide lockdown, people are using internet at their homes much more than before due to which, there is another problem of social media addiction brewing right next to the corona virus. In fact, there has been a massive spike in social media usage after the lockdown was announced. According to a survey, internet browsing has gone up by approximately 72% since lockdown and there has been a 75% increment especially in the traffic on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
As per the studies of NIMHANS(The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences), an increment of approximately 50% has been found in gaming addiction over the past few weeks. As a fact, an increment of 87% in internet usage was observed in the first week of lockdown itself, it is also important to know that social media addiction was a social phenomena even before lockdown but what changes after lockdown is that those graphs of the traffic almost all the social media is escalating rapidly.  As a result the situations were already bad enough and now they have gone from bad to worse. The problem of social media addiction is so common that it doesn’t seem like a problem at all, and that is why, introspection and not inspection can help you find out whether you are a social media addict or not.
 And also social media addiction is not just the problem of youngsters even adults also spend excess time on social media, and it is not just the fault of the users, it is the negative impact of globalization.
The social media applications plays with our psychology through their advanced algorithms, for example we used to get unlimited and infinite news and post feeds including various type of pop up notifications, this will keep our brains in a depression. Especially in the teenagers where likes, comments, followers give them validation. They relate these to their personalities, validation becomes an important necessity which is utilized and took advantage by these apps hugely.
Since, handling a Social Media account has become a current trend or influence from society. Many married couples also started engaging more and more and leads to relationship issues. According to family law firm Mckinley Irvin’s new info graphic, with one in three marriages ending because of an online affair, Facebook and Match.com are playing big rolls in the reason people divorce.
As social media has both negative and positive impact on the society, we have to try and do everything within a time limit, pay attention to our conventional hobbies. If your hobby is social media, I have got a very bad news, social media is not a hobby! There is a need to monitor the time we spend on social media and we should be aware of how many hours we are spending on the social media and how many hours can we go without it? In other words, setting time limits, keeping our phones at a distance where we cannot reach out easily and keep silent mode when engaging in work. This way we can start taking baby steps towards social media detoxification or for that matter de-addiction.
To be honest, in name of connecting people and gathering information through social media and running here and there in YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook we get an excuse that this is our normal life and in the process we become a 24-hour addict. It is high time that we introspect our own behaviours. There is no need to be ashamed of being a social media addict rather accepting and realising the truth sooner will surely help in the long run and in starting the de-addiction process.  
To treat these kinds of addiction is not the easiest thing to do and according to some of the specialized doctors, it requires lots of patience for the science and nature to work. In most of the cases, the treatment is being initiated by parents following the erratic behavior of their kids. As far as cooperation from the kids are concerned, it remains a variable as stress can cause fluctuation in their motivation, which in turn makes them less interested in the treatment. As a result Social Media addiction is becoming a bigger threat in this generations. May be the case is that technology has become more advanced before human was ready to handle and use it properly.

Fight Covid -19!!

By: Mandakini Mallick

 

This is not a war we fight through shields and swords,

This is a fight, we win, through staying at homes

 

This is not a war, where we stand our grounds for loved ones,

This is fight where we need to flee for our loved ones,

 

This is not a war where bravery is showing your face,

This is a fight where bravery is hiding behind a mask,

 

This is not a war we win by being down and dirty,

This is fight, we win by being clean and tidy

 

This is a fight where you win and walk away

For the enemy can strike down others again

 

 This is not a war where you bring an army

This is fight where you standalone!

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