Thursday, January 21, 2021
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To Nagas in Nagaland, Govt. of Nagaland and civil society leaders

After so much of drama of preparation for quarantine centres and travel arrangement for stranded Nagas, now there seems to be a U-turn to go back to square one. Civil societies were scantily seen when Nagas outside were dying, being humiliated, chased out from their rent house, and were sleeping hungry. But now many have come up with sophisticated writings with bombastic vocabularies. Govt. seems to be convinced to be under the dictats of civil societies as always, brushing aside numerous memoranda and frantic SoS appeals from stranded Nagas.
Now is the best time to bring back our people back home. Why? Because all are still locked inside their own homes till this point of time which means there is very less chance of being infected. Keep on extending/stopping them and when lockdown is relaxed/lifted all will start coming home on their own. By then they will be compelled to be exposed which means higher chances of getting infected. So by stopping/delaying evacuation of stranded people we are inviting more danger into our State.
Not all Nagas outside are trying to come back to Nagaland, only those who have no other option but to go back home are. Majority are from poor background who went out to earn something for their poor parents at home.
Many Nagas have been buried, some even cremated, outside during this lockdown. The cause of their deaths may not be starvation but am sure it will be nothing less than starvation. I am still waiting for the announcement from the govt. of ex-gratia to the next of kin. If stranded Nagas are not evacuated then many more deaths might follow (God forbid I pray). In case of any eventuality will those civil societies and govt take full responsibility?
Majority of stranded Nagas are in acute shortage of everything, not just money alone. I have seen 18 Nagas accomodated in one room. I came across a boy who was having just one meal a day to save money. I have come across some who had to wait hungry for relief team to cook their meal. I have seen some who had to manage just with some biscuits and corporation water because they did not have rice and dal to cook. Many of our girls have been pulled out from their flats. Calling them corona virus and spreading the rumour that they are corona patients are rampant. They are denied from buying ration and grocery. Flat owners have been asking some of our Naga friends to vacate the flat with the excuse of flat renovation or repair works. Some colleges are closing down hostels and PGs and advising their students to go home with the help of State govt. I have also come across some Nagas being sheltered in shelter homes. In most of the cases police choose not to take action until top officials start involving. All resources have been dried up now, including emotional and psychological back-up.
At such a juncture when everyone was anxiously and frantically waiting for evacuation as promised, govt. of Nagaland had taken a sudden U-turn and is offering an appeasing Rs. 10,000. Will this money keep them alive till the pandemic pass? Will this money assure them safety? Will this money boost them emotionally? Can they buy favour of those stupid Indians who purposely act to let them suffer?
Its time to do away with selfish mentality of “until we are safe your suffering and pain doesn’t matter us. Stay where you are because we don’t want to stay home.” Its our own sons and daughters, our own brothers and sisters, and not corona that wants to come home.
My dear Nagas at home, civil societies and govt. kindly think of all the above mentioned hardships (many more have not been cited) of your own people outside before you say, write or decide.
May God speak to you and help you revive the wisdom in you.

Hetovi Ayemi

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