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Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

Bangladesh Manipuri Adivasi Forum meets CM

IMPHAL | Dec 1

The members of the Bangladesh Manipuri Adivasi Forum, Bangladesh today called on chief minister N. Biren Singh at his office chamber.

The nine member delegation was led by general secretary, Manipuri Bangladesh Adivasi Forum Somorjit Singha. During the meeting, the members of the forum invited the chief minister to visit Bangladesh.

Later, chief minister assured to visit Bangladesh on or before January 2018 to introspect the welfare and well being of Manipuri people living in Bangladesh. He also assured that during his visit, he would hold talks with the Bangladesh government for the welfare of the Manipuri people living in the country. The members further informed the CM that the Manipuri people have been given OBC status in Bangladesh.

During the meeting, the members of the Bangladesh Manipuri Adivasi Forum, Bangladesh presented turban (Kokyet) and traditional shawl (Lengyan phee) to the chief minister. The CM also presented traditional shawl to the members of the Forum.

Published in News

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 1

“It is our prime duty to treat every individual with human touch and make them avail all the essential human rights” chief minister N.Biren Singh said a state level observance of World AIDS Day, under the theme ‘ Right To Health’ held at 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles ground.

He began the invocation of his speech by praising the dedication and commitment of all stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and said that this year Manipur’s situation improved to rank 5th in HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country, down from the highest last year.

“I really appreciate the endless effort, hard work and dedication of all NGOs, Manipur state AIDS control society (MSACS). Without them we may not have been able to bring down our ranking”, he added.

He urged the member of Manipur AIDS control society to update any information related to HIV/AIDS in time to chief minister’s office. “As MACS and NGOs have in-depth knowledge about the problem of HIV/AIDS, we can bring up with more effective and meaningful welfare schemes if MSACS and NGOs inform us and discuss the current scenarios or problems of HIV/AIDS infected person.”

We should always think of giving them privilege so that they may not be disheartened at any cost, he added.

He continued that rehabilitation centre is the safest place for controlling HIV/AIDS in our state. However in many rehab centres HIV/AIDS infected person are not given admission. We should not take this issue very lightly and will investigate these centres, he said.

Dwelling on one of the major steps in tackling HIV/AIDS problem, he said since drugs addiction is the main factor of causing HIV/AIDS problem in our society, the present government had conducted a mass drive against drugs and other intoxicants.

He announced policies and programme that the government is planning to take up in the near future. “The government is planning to launch a financial support schemes to reach all needy people, such as orphanages and old age homes, specially-abled or differently-abled people and widows,” he declared.

With the aim of lowering Hepatitis-C cases, which is very prone among HIV/AIDS infected persons, the state government has taken up an initiative of acquiring Hepatitis-C testing equipment by January next year, he added.

Till today the state government is providing free diagnosis for 57 different items in government medical institution and result is more or less similar to private diagnosis centre, he pointed out.

Later he urged the government doctors and official concerned to advise the public that the test result from government diagnosis centre is trustworthy and not inferior to that of private centre.

He further advised all to lodge any kind of complaints with proof at the Grievance Cell and Anti-Corruption Cell open at CM’s secretariat from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. if they face any form of abnormalities from government employees’ side.

In his presidential speech Health and Family Welfare minister L. Jayanta Kumar said that HIV/AIDS is the greatest enemy of right to life which is the fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

Strong and collective effort with determination can fight the menace of HIV/AIDS at grass roots level, he suggested.

The other dignitaries who participated were Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar, Manipur Industrial Development Corporation (MANIDCO) Chairman Yumnam Radheshyam, Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) Chairman Laishram Radhakishore, MLA of Tamenglong constituency Samuel Jendai, MLA of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa constituency S Subhaschandra, Chief Secretary R.R. Rashmi, administrative secretaries and heads of departments.

The programme started with a mass rally from Hao Ground Pishumthong and was flagged off by project director of MACS Valentina Arambam.

As part of the occasion a food testing laboratory called food safety on wheels was inaugurated followed by a released of a book entitled, ‘The Pink Book : Your Guide for Safe and Nutritious Food at Home’.

In relation to today’s observation ceremony prizes were also distributed for spot painting competition held in connection with the World Aids Day. A shumang leela titled Yaifare Yaifare by artistes of Manipur Youth Cultural Organisation titled was also staged.

Opening song by children of Manipur Network of Positive people (MNP+) and closing song by children of Carmel Jyoti, Koirengei were also performed.

At the end of the programme, all the dignitaries lead by Chief Minister visited all the 14 self-help group stalls displayed as part of the programme.

Published in News
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

Hearty congratulations to Minister Karam Shyam!

By Deben Bachaspatimayum

Minister Karma Shyam model can be synergetic in changing Manipur political culture and traditions. Future will remember Minister Karam Shyam as the one who made a difference in several ways in the areas which are critical to the lives of the people. Karam Shyam, as Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, has demonstrated an agentic persona which is a departure from Yes Sir model of the political class in Manipur. His initiative of taking cycle to office is also major booster to the local initiative of the Manipur Cycle Club (MCC) which was launched in 2011. Manipur cycle club is an initiative of concerned youths and citizens of the state to address increasing health, environment and economic issues of the people of Manipur as against increasing air pollution, uncontrolled growth of motorized transports, traffic congestions related health hazards, and increasing costs of city transports in the state. Being a role model as a minister for right conduct and lifestyle change in the contemporary socio-economic and environmental situation will greatly contribute to peoples’ desire for better days in Manipur. Such initiative by elected representative may also redefine politics and attitudes towards the people and also facilitate policy changes in the state. Minister’s initiative to use cycle has direct relevance to implementation of SDG12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern by 2030 in the state around which Govt of India has framed its national sustainable development goals under the theme: Energy efficiency and efficient use of natural resources. It may also be noted that other SDG goals like Education and Lifelong learning for all (SDG4); Sustainable agriculture and food security (SDG2) and Peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16) which are critical to Manipur’s situation and expressed priorities for people of Manipur has been dropped from the national priorities. While Mr Karam Shyam’s initiative is a perfect example of Act locally; Think globally there are also challenges to overcome on the road ahead.  

A minister cycling to his office brings a new dimension to the Chief Minister’s initiative to transform the deeply militarized and inaccessible state to one that is easily accessible and listening to the people through Meeyam Gi Numit. Role modeling change in one sector inevitably crosses line into another sector whereby lots of Govt programs and policies can show remarkable performance through convergence. Though convergence policies seem to have had no difference in the deep-seated inter-departmental conflicts of interests and discord within the systemic rot it is hoped that this initiative of Mr Karam Shyam under the leadership of CM N Biren do make a dent in this grey areas of governance and administration. Promoting cycle use inevitably connects and must affect changes in the transport department which has caused more problems than doing quality service to the people. Traffic Jam is order of the day, today. The uncontrolled growth of vehicular population in the state without any policy to regulate public transport system continues to be major deterrent for many people who want to use cycle in the city. This must be addressed through inter-departmental efforts. 

Five years back when Manipur Cycle Club submitted to a memorandum to the then Chief Minister and Transport Department fervently appealing to create cycle lanes in the city area it went to the trash bin without any response. During the last 5 years most roads in Imphal city has been expanded in width but no cycle lane or proper footpath are seen although budgets were provided for. Lack of safety and security of cycle users have caused death of at least 3 cyclists on the road and injuries to elderly people who still think cycle is the right choice for the poor and dependent status of the state. Though number of people using cycle in Imphal city has increased over the last five years the exponential growth vehicle population is filling in all available space on the road and increasing risk to cyclists. A recent survey of all kinds of transports plying on in Imphal city during peak hours shows acute marginalization of and higher risks for non-motorized transports.

The data speaks degree of risks to cycle users and pedestrians louder. For every 1 cycle rider on the road there were seen 90 to 100 Two-Wheelers; 40 to 50 Three-Wheelers (Autorikshaws) and 60-70 Four-Wheelers (all kinds of private and passenger vehicles except for bus and trucks) whizzing at break-neck speeds every minute. Unlike comfortable and safe space the Minister is honored to have with his escorts cycling side by side the woes of common people using cycle and footpath is multiple which needs to be attended while promoting people to use cycle on the road. Except for the stretch of footpaths along the Kangla moat and sides of BT Road there is no safely and comfortably walkable footpath in the city. Most footpaths are uneven, breaks up abruptly, uncovered with slabs, encroached and blocked by shops and workshops at many places. The widened road sides have become parking places and so people have to unsafely on the road brushing aside with fast moving vehicles. Safety and security on the road must be put in place first then more cycle will follow and not the vice-versa will help. The department of Consumer Affairs has to talk to the Imphal Municipal Corporation to clear the roads sides of the parking shops.

In absence of any cycle lane or knowledge about yellow lines on the road the cycle users absolutely have no safe space on the road. In fact, expanded roads have increased more risks for cyclists than earlier narrow roads. The Imphal Municipal Corporations has used the expanded road sides to open parking shops in almost all congested areas especially Yaiskul Petrol pump to CM’s Banglow, and the roads stretch all along the Kangla moat. While understandably IMC may be generating better revenue from these parking shops it must not create discomforts, and compromise safety and security for cyclists and pedestrians. People who use cycle and walk on the road should also have equal rights to safe space. Since safer road sides are blocked by parking vehicles, most often in double rows, a cyclist has to ride among the fast moving vehicles while being honked from behind and at times shouted at for obstructing the speed. This creates unnecessary mental tensions and health hazards to cyclists due to noise and air pollutions on road. This is because of the ignorance of the general populace who use vehicle on the road and also insensitivities on the part of concerned departments responsible for safe and smooth transport systems. Safety for the cycle users as part of responsible consumption requires collective efforts of the Municipal Corporation, Transport, Police and Consumer Affairs Department.

Being a role-model is most effective way of communicating a desired change in the society. It is here Minister’s initiative is highly appreciated. This can reduce the Govt’s tendencies to create more jobs in security sector and promoting militant behaviors of the personnel on duty as traffic police and law enforcement agencies with heavy investments. Savings from the security sectors can be diverted towards more creative and productive social change activities by promoting more role-models in different sectors of the Govt and all works of life in addressing myriad issues and problems in the society. Consumer Affairs can institute awards, scholarships and fellowships for role models and innovations in all kinds of consumption activities in the society. For instance, can there be some awards instituted for the families which demonstrate minimal wastage of food and use of plastic materials, and local initiatives for efficient waste management at the time marriage, birth, death ritual ceremonies and any other social occasions; can there be awards for local clubs, schools, Govt offices, colleges which has demonstrated exemplary environment and social sensitivities in minimizing consumptions and promote youths and entrepreneurs who comes up with innovative models in all consumption activities, etc. Similarly, can there be award for police personnel and Autorikshaw drivers who have shown exemplary behaviors in respecting citizens and laws? Lastly, can this Govt revive the Manipur Cycle Manufacturing Unit and produce affordable quality cycles designed to suit local needs? Can Govt also create cycle sheds and “Pay and use cycle facilities” in the inner Imphal city areas at appropriate place and declare “Only cycle week” every month?

Published in Articles
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

The world and the virus

The world was shocked when actor Rock Hudson declared to have AIDS on July 25, 1985. He was the first American celebrity to publicly admit it. He died few months later, on October 2. Since the day the first case of HIV in human was known from a man who died in Congo in the late 1950s, the world is living with distress. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been suppressing the immune system of many persons globally, including hundreds of important people. Many had died and many are surviving. The virus was first clinically detected in 1981 in United States and in India the first case was reported in 1986. Since the 1980s, more than 70 million people have been infected and about 35 million have died, according to data from WHO’s Global Health Observatory. The major threat to the humankind has ushered the formation of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in 1992. Later, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) was also constituted for its implementation so as to fight and control the HIV epidemic.

It was estimated last year that around 36.7 million people live with HIV infection worldwide, out of which approximately one million people had died due to HIV related illness in 2016 alone. In India, people living with HIV are estimated to be around 2.1 million. Since the year 2010, new HIV infections have decreased by 46 percent and AIDS related deaths by 22 percent. However, in 2016 alone, there were around 80,000 new cases of HIV infections and 62,000 deaths. Among the states and union territories, the highest prevalence of HIV infection has been in Manipur with 1.15 percent, Mizoram with 0.8 percent and Nagaland with 0.78 percent. Apart from the records, probability is high that there must have been many more HIV infected persons who have not tested yet due to fear of the deadly truth or have not expected at all of such infection. Apart from the fear of death, people living with HIV still face stigma and discrimination in a state like Manipur. Iconic figure like Khundrakpam Pradipkumar Singh should exist more in the society so that HIV positive people can live their lives with dignity. The 45 year old building champion and the brand ambassador for HIV/AIDS by the Manipur State AIDS Control Society, has been living with HIV more than a decade. His journey so far in fighting the virus gives the strongest inspiration to every HIV infected person though out the world.

During 1990s, most of the HIV infections in Manipur were due to injected drug abuse and physical relation, however with effective awareness programmes organised by various organisations and NGOs, the infection has reduced in the last two decades. Even though, it is hard to explain that HIV infection is now under control. Facetiously, it can be said that HIV is a kind of virus which is infected only through the most gratifying human practices or nature, whether it is through drug abuse to stay high or physical intimacy. Additionally, there has also been rapid rise in homosexuality in the state and unlike olden days, this could be one of the factors of widespread of HIV infection nowadays. Night life in Imphal seemed to be introduced very recently but the state capital has never been slept since long time ago for many transgender and gays. The activities they do post midnight are needless to explain. However, it is highly important for every person, irrespective of all the sexual orientation, to be really careful while gratifying their time and space.

The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day global campaign is ‘Right to health’, and under the slogan ‘Everybody counts’, World Health Organisation (WHO) will advocate for access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines, including medicines, diagnostics and other health commodities as well as health care services for all the people in need, with protection against financial risks. With the aim to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, global leaders had signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and the framework of UHC is now at the centre of all health programmes. Many individuals and important persons have also been putting lots of effort to save the lives of HIV infected people. To name few, there is former US president Barack Obama, who has teamed up with Jimmy Kimmel, Bono, Coca Cola, and Project Red to fight HIV. Apart from all kinds of initiatives by different individuals or organisations, the whole people of the world should be fully responsible to minimise or even wipe out the virus from the face of earth.

Leader Writer:  Khogen Khoibam

Published in Editorial
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

Donation to chief minister’s relief fund

IMPHAL | Dec 1

Two different groups donated a total sum of Rs. 1, 21,500 to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to help the people affected by spates of flood that occurred this year.

Manipur Government Higher Secondary Lecturers’ Welfare Association donated Rs. 1, 10,000 while a group of visually-impaired persons contributed Rs. 11, 500. The amounts were handed over to chief minister, N. Biren Singh by the representatives of these two groups at chief minister’s secretariat today.

The chief minister thanked the two groups for their generosity.

Published in News
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

World AIDS Day observed in Tml

From Our Correspondent

TAMENGLONG | Dec 1

Joining the rest of the world, Tamenglong today observed World AIDS Day under the theme ‘Right to Health’ at the district hospital, Tamenglong.

Deputy commissioner, Tamenglong, Armstrong Pame, IAS, was the chief guest. While chief medical officer, Tamenglong, Dr. Chambo Gonmei and MS district hospital, Tamenglong, Dr.Guidiathiu Kamei, were the guests of honour and president of the function, respectively.

In his address, Armstrong Pame encouraged the attending people living with HIV/AIDS to never to give up on life in spite of the many hurdles they are facing.

He also assured them with every possible help from the side of the government, by providing job card under MGNREGS or housing schemes etc.

On this occasion, control officer, District AIDS Tamenglong, Dr Majachungliu Gracy, mentioned that of the 36245 persons who had undergone HIV test, as many as 198 patients were found positive and they are presently taking Antiretroviral therapy (ART) at Tamenglong district hospital. While 33 patients are taking ART from RIMS and JNIMS. That, as many as eight HIV positive patients in Tamenglong had died in the last few years, she added.

She further remarked that the celebration of World AIDS Day is to commemorate the death of HIV patients and also to spread awareness so that the general public don’t stigmatise and discriminate such patients.

People should be aware of this dreadful syndrome and come for free medical treatment at district hospital Tamenglong, she added.

As a part of the observance, a painting competition was also held, and prizes were given out through the chief guest.

Elva Kamei, class VIII, JNV, won the first prize. While, Shangbamkhuanang Kahmei, class XII, Trinity Public School, and Lunglechung Jatak, class VIII, JNV, bagged the second and third position, respectively.

In the said programme, which was organised by District AIDS Prevention & Control Committee (DAPCC), Tamenglong, under the sponsorship of Manipur State AIDS Control Society, several HIV/AIDS patients shared their grievances and experiences. Gifts were also given to the attending patients as a part of the observance.

Published in News
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

Salai Calendar 2018 launched

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 1

The annual calendar of 2018 produced by Salai Holdings Private Limited was today launched at its office at Sagolband Tera Loukrakpam Leikai, Imphal East.

The calendar theme was named “We fight to win, dispersion of self-reliance, therefore nature calls us warriors”.

Explaining the theme of the calendar, chairman of Salai Holdings, Narengbam Samarjit Singh said the Salai Holdings set its vision to bring together the differences of hills and valley for 20 years to live together as one in peace, harmony and understanding with equal growth. He added that it will keep fighting on until the vision is achieved.

Narengbam also explained the picture of their calendar signifies a very important status of hill-valley relationship of the state. The child in the centre is the metaphorically refers to the relationship between hills and valley, and the seven women protecting the child are the mothers referring to the Salai Holdings protecting and nurturing the relationship.

Vice president of Salai Kriphsa, Awongsangbam Rupmabal Singh on the other hand congratulated its women football team playing for the state at Kolhapur, Maharashtra in the continuing Hero Super League 2017.

He said that the team had won in the first three matches with more than four goals each and getting two times player of the match. He announced that it will take on Delhi team tomorrow and gave best wishes for the next match.

He also clarified that the name of the football club is Salai Kriphsa Women Football Club and not to use its other old names. He was clarifying for the confusions and misspelling of the club name lately by local dailies.

This name has been recognised by All Manipur Football Association (AMFA), he added.

Published in News
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

World Aids day celebrated in Senapati

IMPHAL | Dec 1

World Aids Day was celebrated at Senapati district indoor stadium, Senapati Bazaar today, under the theme of right to health, said a release.

In his presidential speech, chief medical officer, Senapati H. Loli Mao said that we celebrate the day to bring awareness amongst people about the disease and the people living with it. He said that people living with HIV/Aids have the same rights as any other person and we should create awareness to remove the stigma of being a HIV/Aids patient. He asked all the people in the health services to take special care for such patients and requested all NGOs and government health service providers to have a positive attitude towards them and work hard to remove the stigmatisation of people with HIV/Aids.

He also said that HIV/AIDS is also a disease like any other disease like cancer and people with HIV/Aids can even outlive a person without the virus if proper care is taken by the patient. He urged all the people to give love and care and join hands for the prevention of HIV/Aids and make Senapati the first Aids free district of Manipur.

District AIDS Control Officer S. Adaphro in her keynote address said that the day is an opportunity for all people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died with it.

Speaking on the occasion as the guest of honour, additional public prosecutor Koshia Mao explained the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, which had been passed by the union government.

She also asked people, especially students, to stay away from drugs and help in controlling and creating awareness about the disease.

Published in News
Saturday, 02 December 2017 00:00

CADA observe World AIDS day

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 1

World Aids day was observe today by Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) under the theme “Right to Live” here at conference hall, CADA head office, Pureiromba Khongnang Makhong.

Speaking as the chief guest of the function, joint director, Manipur state AIDS control society (MSACS), Mongjam Abhiram said December 1 marks World Aids Day which is observed around the world to bring awareness to the people living with AIDS.

South Africa in particular is feeling the effects of HIV/AIDS more acutely than most nations, he added.

In 2015, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) estimated that 24,000 people living in the state were infected with AIDS, he said.  He added, the rate of people living with AIDS has come down with the help of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

With the help of ART medicine, women who are infected with HIV/AIDS can give birth without passing on the virus to the child he said.

In comparison he said, in the Northeast state of Mizoram is estimated to have the highest percentage of person living with AIDS he said.

The programme was attended by President in-charge CADA, Hijam Priyokumar and Chief Functionary, Meitei Leimarol Sinnai Shang (MLSS), M.C. Reeta as president and the guest of honour.

Published in News

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 1

Local participants in the 2nd International Imphal Art Camp, 2017 said that the camp cannot be termed as “successful” as the organiser does not have any knowledge of arts.

Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal one of the participant, S. Pranam claimed that the organiser did not give any attention or provision to the local artists.

Though it is conducted at the international level it does not match with the norms and standards to be followed, he added.

Moreover the paintings were displayed for only a few hours to the visitors on the last day so only a few public were able to see the painting, continued Pranam.

The local participants appealed to the government to let the organisations which are familiar with arts to organise such camps in the future.

Published in News
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About IFP

Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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