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Civil Societies express divergent views on bringing back stranded people

Civil Societies

Dimapur, May 13: With many Naga tribal organizations expressing apprehension on bringing back stranded people back to Nagaland from different parts of the country, Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio today sought their suggestions in an emergency meeting, where representatives of the tribal organizations expressed divergent views.
President of Western Sumi Hoho, Dr Kakheto Zhimomi was of the view that Naga people have become modern but they are still uncivilized. “We all know about Covid-19, but we should look at the other side,” he said while stating that Nagas have become panicky.
“Our people are so panicky…very apprehensive. Yes we should take all precautions,” he affirmed.
Dr Kakheto felt that Rs 3000 or Rs 4000 being provided by the state Government to the stranded boys and girls are just a peanut for those who live in the Metropolitan cities. He said other states have brought back their students, but Nagaland has not done anything till now. He also said there are many generous people who can help in bringing back our people.
He asserted that those who want to come, let them come and one should not stop them. “We should not isolate them in such situation,” he said.
He also said people in Nagaland should not think that Nagas coming back to the state would bring the virus.
On the financial status of the state and the funds crunch as revealed by the Chief Minister, Dr Kakheto commented that the Centre has given allotment to the state basing of its performance.
He also said that coronavirus has opened our eyes, while stating that the condition of hospitals and dispensaries in the state are in pathetic condition.
Stating that the state Government should not listen to everybody, Dr Kakheto said politicians should have the will to decide and go ahead with what is good for the people.
Dr. Kakheto lauded the District administration, Police and all stakeholders for doing wonderful job despite the presence of so many tribes and people, which he said was not easy.
L Wati Jamir, President, Ao Senso Telongjem, Dimapur was of the view that it would be very difficult to control the situation once the stranded people are brought back as there are many kinds of people in Dimapur. However, he said that there is a huge management problem currently in Dimapur. He said when only 300 people could go to Mokokchung in 3 days, and when there are so many stranded people in Dimapur, what will happen if more people arrive.
He suggested that instead of keeping the returnees in Dimapur, facilities should be made in other districts where they can be sent directly.
The ASTD president also urged the government to use all funds meant for Covid judiciously. There should be accountability in the Covid funds received from the Centre, he said.
President of Western Chakhesang Hoho, Dietho Rhakho asked how much can the government provide. He said if the students are unable to stay back, they would definitely come back.
He suggested the government to open avenues from where one can get assistance of the bank. He also lamented that in Nagaland one cannot mortgage their land to avail loans. He said this is the time when good decision must be taken.
He also stressed on better coordination while transporting children from one district to another, adding bus allotment is less and there is no awareness. He further informed that the Hoho has arranged some private buses and are sending the stranded people to their districts.
Y L Jami of Lotha Hoho extended support to the government at this juncture when all are fighting the Covid pandemic and the government’s effort to provide all assistance to its citizens.
Representative of the ENPO informed that it has appealed to the Eastern people to sacrifice in the larger interest of the people in Nagaland.
He said that stranded students must be brought systematically and filtered and unless that is done, they must stay back.
Amid apprehension that students may bring back coronavirus, he informed that around 4000 stranded students have been transported back to their districts and more than 2000 are still stranded. He requested the government to provide more buses to transport these students stranded in different districts.
Representative of Rengma Hoho extended full support to the decision of the state Government and said, “We are at war with the invisible enemy. We don’t know from where it will come. We should be prepared and ready.”
He reminded everyone that Naga society is tribal setup and if there is any common issue, one should not ignore the tribals.
He also informed that the Rengmas have also set up a quarantine facility for the returnees.
President of Chakroma Public Organization, Vichütuolie Mere said that there are different categories of stranded people-some don’t have to eat, some have already joined work and some have been stranded on the way. It would be difficult to put them in the same category and bring them back, he added.
Mere said those who are in hostels are facing more problems as UGC has already issued notice to the students to vacate the hostels. He also asked where would the students of NIT Nagaland and SASARD who are from different parts of the country, go. He further said most vulnerable are students and travelers.
Stating that more than 40 quarantine centres have been arranged in Dimapur till now, the CPO president opined that qualified medical staff is needed in these quarantine centres.
He also informed that there are 6 quarantine centres at Medziphema, Niuland and Doyapur and if there are no medical staff and a case comes up, it would infect others also.
He lamented that Dimapur town is witnesses traffic jams suggesting that there is no sign of lockdown. He also requested Commissioner of Police to provide escorts to Manipur bound vehicles till their destination and see that they do not stop in populated areas.
President of Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Sungsabeni Jamio suggested that those people coming to Dimapur should be quarantined to those place where they want to go and not where the government decides.
She also stressed on the compulsory use of masks and requested the Commissioner of Police to ensure that people move around wearing masks. She also highlighted the misuse of “Covid Duty” stickers on vehicles and asked the district administration to be strict on this issue.
Others who spoke on the occasions include Presidents of Dimapur District GB Association, Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU), Dimapur Eastern Naga Students Union (DENSU), Dimapur Urban GBs, Christian Forum Dimapur and Dimapur District Village Council Chairman Association. (Page News Service)