Lamka, Aug 20 : With no form of Government relief anywhere in sight, despite the wide media coverage and the uproar raised by civil society organisations, the people of Churachand-pur have now decided to take the fight on their own.
“The theme of our campaign (Mautam Famine Aid, 2008 Campaign) is let us help ourselves. We have begged the Government, foreign and international agencies but we have to lead the fight,” the chief co-ordinator of Committee Rev Khen P Tombing said while addressing the media today.
“We have collectively won other wars before, now we need to fight this war against famine on the same footing” he said calling on the people to extend their co-operation to the campaign.
The campaign is scheduled to be formally launched on August 23, in the presence of the district’s social and political leaders with a defining footage captured on lens on Monday by its own representatives.
On the day the public will be urged to participate through an open letter wherein a form will be attached, while selective individuals will receive a special appeal.
Being a dominantly Christian community, the committee will initiate the Churches to declare August 31 as Mautam Sunday and request them to collect offerings for the affected lives, beside a mass prayer solely for the cause.
On September 5, a concert for the hungry will be hosted with artistes from Mizoram and Myanmar, and an open campaign for this will also be initiated as the other campaigns kick-off said its organisers.
Speaking on the sidelines of the press conference, an Editor of a local monthly magazine who was part of the team that captured some defining shots of rodents attacking the fields said, the situation is much graver than he had anticipated. “The rats have eaten everything, anything eatable in the field,” he said.
“We were to camp just for a night, but by 7.30 pm we have more than enough clips. The rats were not very much alarmed even as we flashed our torch light and clicked them with our cameras with all the flash bulbs,” he said. Suangdoh, the roadside village where they captured the photo is within Singngat sub-division and is not considered the heart of the rodent menace.
“At Lungthul (E), the rats could even be killed with sticks, which implies that they are no longer afraid to come near humans,” he quoted a resident who he met on the way as saying.
At Maukot village, a mere 35 kms from here, the journal editor claimed that a farmer has cut-off his entire maize field as rats have complete-ly devastated them before they could be harvest.
“I usually do not come across any rats though I usually guard the fields till 8.30 pm everyday but in the morning it was a different story, rats here strike by midnight,” he quoted the farmer as saying.
Source: The Sangai Express August 21, 2008