The story of two incidents in one state!

The Story of Two incidents in One State

T.S Haokip *

Just a month after three people lost their lives in Maphou Dam, three more people died in Barak River on the 28th of May 2019.

Mr Manglengou Singson and Mrs Lhaikholhing singson of Kaimai Village, Tousem Sub Division of Tamenglong District, Manipur alongwith their daughter Miss Themngailhing Singson went for fishing (and Snail picking) in Barak River to never return home again, leaving their six other children at home on their own.

What followed aftermath the incident in Barak river would leave one bewildered with absolute disparity. The News coverage was only restricted to Social Media and the efforts to search the body on one hand and the humanitarian obligation of looking after the Six children of the deceased family on the other hand, became a herculean task, devoid any assistance of any kind from the State Government whatsoever.

People, understandably, started to compare the incident to what had happened just a month back in Maphou Dam, wherein the State Government took full initiative and leave no stone unturned to search the bodies and announced an Ex-gratia for the family of the deceased three, who met the same fate as Mr Manglengou's family.

The only question left in the mind of most people is, " Why is the Hills continuously neglected even in matters of death and loss?"

It is highly appreciable on the part of some CSOs like KKL and KSO to initiate public support for the family. Ideally, the practice of Civil societies aiding the state Govt. in maintaining law and order and ensuring the smooth functioning of various institutions and assisting the Government in times of disaster and calamities is what it naturally should be.

However, the role of CSOs should never set trend for the Government to find an excuse and avoid attending People's cause altogether. CSOs can best aid and assist the Govt.

It is the duty of the state to ensure the welfare of the people. It is the duty of the Government to be the eyes and ears to the people, especially to those in unfortunate conditions and bring its long arms of responsibility even to the Hills.

Surprising to many but as suspected by few, no help comes from the State Government till today.

With the six children literally left with nothing and requiring immediate assistance, a crowdfunding campaign has been initiated by CSOs for the 6 children and fortunately enough, many people including daily wage labourers have generously contributed to the cause.

The children are now sheltered at "Sanga-Moun Inn" ( Orphanage Home) through the initiative of Kuki Khanglai Lawmpi, a Churachandpur based CSO.

What the state Government should know is that with each penny being donated, people cursed the State Government's apathy to the incident and its heartless attitude for the concerns of the six children's future, whose only hope and means- their parents, are no more.

Is it too much to ask as a citizen to look-up to the Government with hope when situations rendered one with absolutely no choice?

If this is the Governance, under which the poor and the unfortunates of the Hills have no future, it is high time, serious introspection is done by the Hill people.

We deserve a Government which treat its citizens equally and fairly, devoid any discrimination on the basis of caste, community, religion, and most importantly residential location of the people.

The present Manipur State Government has a lot of soul-searching and healing-acts to do if they think they are our Government and they represent the people of Manipur- both Hill and Valley!

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