Shri Neiphiu Rio,
Hon’ble Chief Minister
Govt of Nagaland, New Secretariat, Kohima.
Sub: Arrangement of transportation for stranded Nagas outside Nagaland and other necessary arrangement for Covid19 issues.
Greetings from the All Cities COVID-19 Task Force for Nagaland. On the evening of 12th May, 2020, all the Naga Students’ Union President outside Nagaland had a video conference meeting and have resolved to form the All Cities COVID-19 Task Force for Nagaland. At the outset, we want to appreciate the efforts so far taken up by the government towards stranded people in fighting against COVID-19. However, we being at the war front in the red zones have been receiving the effects of the pandemic where our government is not seriously considering it. We do appreciate the help received from our Govt. but there are bigger things to be attended to at this hour, so we request your good office to consider and fulfil our requests below.
- Transparency of Government: The transparency of the government is our utmost request. We want concrete decision and plan in regard to the “special train arrangement.” There is a lack of coordination and communication between Govt. appointed POC and Student Leaders/Church Leaders who are working on the frontline for our stranded people. Please arrange special train ASAP, confirm us the date of boarding, place of boarding and the necessary formalities required to avail the special train.
- To Consult the Naga Students’ Union of different States with regards on the Govt. Policy towards Stranded Nagas: Whenever any major decision is taken for stranded Nagas outside Nagaland please consult all the Students’ Union before implementing any plans, because Students’ Union is accountable to answer all queries and concerns in their respective states.
- To Review COVID-19 Helpline: Is the COVID-19 helpline working 24×7? No. We doubt because many a time the helpline numbers are not responding, and this is totally frustrating, please review this.
- To Update on Quarantine Preparation: Update us the status of the quarantine/isolation preparation. What are the facilities provided, how many days of quarantine is required, will it be district wise or everyone will be quarantined in Dimapur after reaching Dimapur Railway Station?
- To Prioritize CM Special Financial Package Process. Many of our members have not received the amount, and we are being bombarded with calls where we explain and give them confidence that the amount will be credited soon.
- To Re-work the Criteria of the one-time assistance of INR 10,000: The one-time assistance of INR 10,000 announced just yesterday is discriminatory against many likeminded stranded Nagas who have genuinely decided to stay back, though with lots of hardship considering the sensitivity of the situation. The criteria should be re-worked, and lenience should be given to all Nagas outside Nagaland to avail this one-time benefit including stranded Nagas within Northeast.
- To Understand the condition of Stranded Vulnerable Nagas: We are trying our best to educate everyone about the safety to stay where we are. To clear the air, not all stranded are planning to return. However, it is also not in our hands because those coming back are genuinely affected. After verification, we found that the majority are from a poor background who came out to earn something for their family and parents at home. Most of these groups of people were the ones who were working in the shopping malls, salons, restaurant, hotel, security guard, hospitality companies and other unorganized sectors and have lost their jobs or are not receiving any salary as the business has been closed due to the nationwide COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown. They are “vulnerable” group of people and are going to face more hardship as their business or companies are unlikely to start very soon.
There are also large groups of students who are “vulnerable”as most of their hostels, PGs, and paying guest have been closed due to the nationwide COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown and most of them who are staying with their friends rented room are facing untold hardships. There are also large groups of stranded medical patients and unwell Nagas who need immediate evacuation to their home in Nagaland.
- No more Delay Tactics to Evacuate the Vulnerable Stranded Nagas: The more the government delays, the more vulnerable stranded people will be as the cases in India are increasing daily. Moreover, as Nagas/ Northeast people are more prone to racial discrimination due to our mongoloid feature, this aggravates the situation more. There is still no strong voice against all these from our government or even the NGOs who today are requesting us to stay back. Please evacuate stranded “Vulnerable Nagas” without further delay.
We ask that the evacuation of our stranded people be done via the nearest train station and that those stranded people in places without access to such train stations may be transported to the nearest one and sent home by “special trains”.
- Strict Action against anyone who spread Rumours and Fake News: It has been also noticed in social media how our people are already stigmatising stranded people planning to come home. A fear psychosis has already been created. How will the state government respond to this in order to tackle the wrong information being circulated and harassment made on wrong speculations? Please review and take strict action against those individuals who are spreading this wrong speculation which is buzzing around Nagaland with all wrong reasons.
- Petition to hear our Grievances: As Students’ Union body we do take care of student’s activities and other curriculum for the welfare of our people, but unfortunately, we are compelled to carry dead bodies and look after sick and needy people. These are works that are supposed to be rendered by the Govt and its agencies, but the Students’ Union has stepped out and has shouldered bigger responsibilities, so failing to acknowledge or hear our grievances will lead to bigger problems among the people and the Govt should be held accountable for it.
- All Cities Covid-19 Task Force for Nagaland is a student body and being a non-political organisation, any constructive measures and assistance be it financial or suggestion, are welcomed with open arms regardless of whether they are political organisations, NGOs, church members or civil societies.
We sincerely appeal to all the civil societies, NGOs, political parties/organisation to play an important role and be rational instead of confusing and creating panic in people’s minds. We should all co-operate and work together to curb this deadly virus/epidemic. Spare the politics and differences for later as it is a time to work together.
Sir, we all are trying our best to educate people, rendering help physically to people in need despite the risk surrounding us. However, we are all helpless in this situation as the state government has not yet responded to us with the concrete plans to take our people back home. We want your immediate intervention and advice on the above points.
We hope that the state government will respond to all our queries failing which we will have no option but to stop assisting the government. Thereby, the government should send their nodal officers and staff to all the cities and take up the overdue responsibilities of caring of the stranded people dealing with racial discriminations, dead cases, hospital cases, rental issues, and many other issues.
Hope, our state government will take into consideration this reality in good faith.
May God bless us all as we fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Thanking you in anticipation.
1. Mughato Kiba, NSU Bangalore.
2. Lulu N Lohe, NSU Pune.
3. N. Chibenthung, NSU Chennai.
1. Jubika A. Yepthomi, NSU Dehradun.
2. TP Dining, NSU Shillong
1. Hinoto P Aomi, NSU Delhi.
2. Putu N Imsong, NSU Gujarat.
3. L Yantsothung Lotha, NSU Salem.
4.Arenlong, Naga Union Coimbatore.
5. Sulanthung, Naga Union Goa.
6. Ajat Konyak, NSU Aizawl.
7. Dinenli Kath, NSU Kolkata.
8. Sitenlo Tep, NSU Allahabad.
9. Hokikhe Zhimo, NSU Guwahati.
10. Chumroba J Sangtam, NSU Chandigarh.
11. Wungramthing Huileng, NSU Mumbai.
12. Imsanger Jamir, NSU Pagwara, Punjab.
13. Asimbe, NSU Rajasthan.
14. Inaka Khuju, Society for Naga Students’ Welfare, Kerala.
1. Shri Temjen Toy, IAS, Chief Secretary, Govt of Nagaland.
2. Naga Students’ Federation.
3. Shahnavas, Principal Director School Education and Nodal officer.