Manipur govt not doing enough to solve Tipaimukh crisis: SIPHRO & TFRC

By : Our Correspondent 4/26/2008 2:12:15 AM

Aizawl, Apr 25: Taking a potshot at Manipur government’s “lackluster response” to the Mautam and epidemic like-situation in Tipaimukh, Singat and Thanlon area of Churachandpur district the Tipaimukh Famine Relief Committee (TFRC) and Sinlung Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Organisation (SIPHRO) on Wednesday (April 23) said, “Though Mizoram is facing Mautam to a larger extend than Manipur, the people of Mizoram are not facing much hardship as and when compared to those affected in Manipur.”

The combined team of SIPHRO and TFRC which had recently visited the disease-stricken and Mautam affected areas while putting down a charter of demands and appeals to Manipur and Mizoram governments in a joint statement demanded that Manipur declare Tipaimukh, Singat and Thanlon area as “famine hit area” while asking Mizoram to open its “door to those living near its border”.

The statement released to mediapersons during a press conference in Aizawl said, “Even as the side effects of Mautam took its toll on the children of Tipaimukh sub-division, Manipur government is yet to take up relief measure in a big way to solve the current crisis.”

The rights organization also claimed that doctors and medicines were “not to be seen” by the people for “a very long time”. “The government did send a few doctors but they were not properly equipped to deal with the situation,” they added.

Making things difficult for medical personnel to administer treatments to the affected in the interior villages are the rugged roads. Many of the villages have no proper roads for the doctors to reach the sick. “As a result of poor transport connectivity, in Leisen village alone more than 70 children with Mautam related disease are still waiting for treatment,” the release said.

The organizations also accused Manipur government of not distributing funds that the Centre had allocated to it for providing Mautam relief to the victims. “The people are not even aware of the fund that the Centre had given to the State government to take care of their needs,” the statement said.

The Okram Ibobi-led government has come under severe criticism form various quarters since last year after several death reports in Tipaimukh area were “rubbished as natural deaths and not due to an epidemic”.

SIPHRO and TFRC further stated that Manipur government instead of coming to the aid of the hapless was distributing rice to the affected under NREGS scheme at an exorbitant rate of Rs 21 per kg. “And those rice are of BPL, APL and AAY quality,” the statement added.

Urging Manipur government to provide immediate compensation package to the kin of those dead the rights groups said, “Compensation should be given to the kin of those children who died due to outbreak of Mautam disease.”

“In view of all these”, SIPHRO and TFRC said, “Manipur government must make immediate arrangement for public distribution systems, grain banks or godowns besides building hospitals, health centres with doctors permanently posted to their place of duties.”

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Meet on indigenous people’s rights held
By : A Staff Reporter 4/26/2008 2:14:40 AM

IMPHAL, Apr 25: Recently in September 2007, the United Nations had approved an official Declaration on Rights of the Indigenous Peoples in its general assembly at New York and in connection with this the Northeast Dialogue Forum today organized a consultation on the UN Declaration on Rights of the Indigenous Peoples with the objective of sensitizing the people in the north east and the government to respect and implement such declarations as a policy for saving the lives of the indigenous people.

The consultation program was held today at Kangla Hall around 10 in the morning and was attended by various civil organizations and several communities of the state.

U Nabakishore, the convenor of NEDF who was the main speaker at the function maintained that the United Nations adopted a resolution that military activities shall not take place in the land and territories of the indigenous people (under its Article 30) unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous people concerned and the states should undertake effective consultation with the indigenous people concerned.

He further noted that India had also become one of the signatories of the declaration on the rights of indigenous people by the UN in 2007.

The different ethnic people of Manipur belong to the indigenous people and are all coming from the same origin and are all the sons and daughters of the same mother. They also recognize and appreciate India for her democratic approach to agree on the UN Declaration of Indigenous People and in the declaration the UN general body adopted 46 resolution which include all the urgent needs of the countries to protect the rights of indigenous people including water, land, resources, food etc., he said.

In many parts of the world the indigenous people are marginalized and exploited by the non-indigenous people, international companies, government and World Bank have forcibly taken away their land and resources and the World Bank and other international financial institutions use military force to abstract their resources, which needs to be stopped immediately, he mentioned.

However, all the time the government of India has failed to respect the free, fair and informed consent of the people while taking up mega projects in the name of development and besides India is violating many UN treaties and her own constitutional rights, for instance the right to life, like under the AFSPA, he said.

The declaration urges every government to respect the rights of the indigenous people under article 42 of the declaration and the indigenous people have the right to the lands, territories and resources which have been traditionally owned occupied or otherwise used or acquired by the indigenous peoples.

He also urged the Indian government and government of Manipur for urgent attention in adopting and implementing the UN Declaration of Indigenous People and also requested all to urge the government to adopt it as a policy.

Source: The Imphal Free Press

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After unknown disease claims kids’ lives at CCpur… Viral Hepatitis, Jaundice rear ugly heads

Laishram Shamungou

SENVON (CCpur), Apr 25: Even as the people in the villages under Tipaimukh sub-division of Chura-chandpur district have been grappling with the outbreak of a yet to be identified disease which has claimed the lives of 30 children so far, fresh report on outbreak of Viral Hepatitis and Jaundice among the children in Senvon and Leisen villages have come in.

It is said that over 30 children have been affected by viral Viral Hepatitis and Jaundice in the two villages of the sub-division which has already been reeling under the impact of Mautam and its subsequent food shortage.

With lack of any proper health care facilities, even a common ailment is a serious health problem for the people of the sub-division, which has been remaining like an island cut off by an insensitive Government.

Apart from the deplorable condition of the road connecting the sub-division with National Highway 150 and Guite Road, there is no other means of transportation with exception to truck service.

Most of the houses in the sub-divisions do not maintain separate kitchens and every households use fire woods for their cooking purposes, thus the houses remain enveloped in toxic smoke most of the time.

It was also seen that most of the villagers irrespective of young and old, men and women are in the habit of smoking cigarettes, that too with the tobaccos rolled in papers of newspapers even as most of the womenfolk use Khaini. The water required for daily consumption is fetched from untreated water sources maintained in each village.

During the course of a hea-lth camp conducted by a te- am of medical doctors from RIMS at various parts of the sub-divisions including Parbung, Senvon, Damdei and Pherzawl from April 21 to 24, in the wake of reports of death of many children with symptoms of breathlessness, vomiting, fever, lethargy and loss of consciousness, it was detected that most of the children are suffering from malnutrition and the pregnant mothers from the complication of not having vaccinated for tetanus in time.

The medical team comprising Dr Kenny and Dr Romeo of Medicines, Dr Shyamsunder and Dr Kam-biyak Dik of Paediatrics, Dr Rameshwar of Gynae, Dr Sudhir Ranjan of ENT and Dr Mope Riba of Microbiology came across children coming to the health camp suffering from similar symptoms. The medical team coll- ected blood and stool samples as well as throat swaps for testing. Medical examination of 557 patients in Senvon, 779 in Parbung, 342 in Perzawl and 10 in Damdei have been conducted during the health camp.

According to one of the doctors, symptoms of breathlessness, vomiting, loss of consciousness, le-thargy, etc is also common among the children at Im-phal. However, the lives of the children can be saved easily as proper health care facilities are available at Imphal. On the other hand, mortality rate among the children of the sub-divisions has been high due to various factors like unhygienic living condition, lack of general awareness on health care, absence of heal-th care facilities coupled with backwardness in road and transport facilities.

Nonetheless, the doctor assured that the cause of the death of the children in the sub-divisions could be known after necessary testing.

Interacting with The Sangai Express, MO in-charge of the Primary Health Centre at Senvon Dr Fir-thanglien Buhril opined that emission of toxic gas and smoke from the fire woods burnt in the houses may have been one of the main reasons for the infection and the subsequent death of many children in the sub-divisions over the last few months.

The death of the children at Leisen village, located about 280 kms from Chura-chandpur has been diagnosed as cases of liver enlargement and jaundice and that of the causes of death at Senvon as brongco pneumonia, Dr Buhril said, while recalling that the children have suffered after consuming pork meat of the pigs that have died in Leisen from some unknown diseases during December and January last year.

It is said that in Leisen village, over 30 children are currently being hospitalised from viral hepatitis infection and they are medically taken care of.

When pressed for more information in connection with the death of children, it came to that no samples have been collected nor test ever conducted to find out the causes of the death of the children. Only clinical observation have been con-ducted. The two children who reportedly died at Sen-von and Robakot were still born.

As of now, there is no building for the Primary Health Centre at Senvon. The construction work has been stopped after the foundation level. The hospital which used to function from the residence of the chowkidar has also been shifted to the rented hall of the village authority.

When inquired on why BCG and DPT which are essential have not been vaccinated on children upto to the age of 5 years, Dr Buhril revealed that as there is no electricity, there is no facilities for cold storage of the vaccines.

During the course of investigation, it also came to light that there is no sign of any would-be mothers going to the hospital for delivery cases in the sub-divisions in spite of the claim that necessary measures have been taken under the National Rural Health Mission to ensure that all the delivery cases are reported at the hospital. None of the people in the sub-divisions have also been benefited van of the mobile dispensaries that have been laun- ched by the Government recently.

It was also learnt that the villagers are not in a position to purchase the medi- cines prescribed by the doctors due to financial constraints and deplorable condition of the road and communication facilities. For instance, to purchase a medicine costing just Rs 100, one has to come till Churachandpur district headquarters spending over Rs 1600 at the minimum on travelling fare and expenditure for lodging and fooding. There has been no telephone connectivity under the Government of Manipur in most of the villages of the sub-divisions. Instead, the villages are dotted with WLL PCO procur- ed from Mizoram. With no opportunities to watch the program mes telecast by the Doordharshan Kendra, Imphal, the villagers have no idea about the developmental programmes inclu- ding health care scheme being taken up by the Govt.

With long years of dependence on Solar lamps to light up their houses at night in the absence of electricity, the villagers, inspite of the reservation against the proposal of constructing the Tipaimukh dam, hoped that commissioning of the project might bring along some developmental light in their lives, Victung Hmar of Senvon village summed up the dilemma of the people living in the sub-divisions.

Meanwhile, according to report received by the press, a joint team of doctors comprising three from National Insitute of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi and two each from Imphal and Churachandpur have set out for Tipaimukh to probe into the matter related to death of children.

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KSO decries

IMPHAL, Apr 25: The Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) Churachandpur District has decried the media report about the SPF Government’s hasty decision of dropping the Rs 40 crore mini secretariat project of the district citing reasons like difference of opinion on matters of site selection.

A Government worth its name should not easily choose to shy away from implementing important development projects like construction of mini secretariat building for the district by magnifying insignificant issues like site selection, the student body said in a press release. If Churachandpur doesn’t deserve a prestigious institution like NIT why not atleast the mini secretariat complex building, it asked.

Government’s hasty and ill-conceived decision should be withdrawn in public interest at the earliest and failure to do so will unnecessarily invite a public protest under the initiative of the KSO, Churachandpur, it cautioned.

The Sangai Express
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About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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