In violence-hit Manipur, relief camps located in remote locations on the outskirts of Imphal valley, are struggling with shortages of basic essential items, including food and medical supplies, to provide for the thousands of displaced people staying in the camps. Those staying in the camps, particularly hundreds of children and lactating mothers, are experiencing extremely difficult time due to the shortages of essential items. They hope for the authorities to provide them with immediate aid at the earliest, as their woes mount.
During a visit to a relief camp set up at Panam Higher Secondary School in Moirangpurel, Keirao Bitra, Imphal East, the Imphal Free Press, in coordination with the Relief Data Support Centre (RDSC), an initiative by JNV Khumbong Alumni Association, found that the camp has been providing shelter to over 2,000 people affected by the recent communal violence that hit Manipur since May 3.
Convenor of the Meitei Border Association, Thongnoujam Nabachandra, who is currently staying in the relief camp at Panam Higher Secondary School, told the Imphal Free Press that thousands of displaced people from at least four villages are taking shelter in the relief camp.
“We have completed 14 days in this relief camp, and hence, the shortage of essential items is increasing,” Nabachandra told the Imphal Free Press.
He said the camp has received relief materials from the government and from generous philanthropists in the state, but they are not enough to provide for all. Over 2000 displaced people are staying in the relief camp.
“The relief goods recieved from various groups are not sufficient for all the people staying here, which is more than 2,000,” he said.
The government has sent medical support to the relief camp. "The medical support is not enough, we are unable to recover completely due to the lack of medical supplies," Nabachandra further told the Imphal Free Press.
The discomfort and inconveniences faced by lactating mothers and children, including infants, continue to increase. Most children under the age of six staying in the camp are reprtedly suffering from fever and dysentery.
Although medicines can be bought from pharmacies in the Imphal area, it is hard for most people as financial issue poses another challenging problem to the displaced lot.
Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, one Thoibi (name changed), a mother of two, lamented that her children fell ill but she could not buy proper medicines for them due to lack of money.
Besides the concern for lactating mothers, the people in the relief camp are facing shortages of clothes, foods, and medicines, among other requirements.
The suffering people in the relief camp now seek the attention of the government and others concerned to bring the situation back to normalcy and help address their plight.
According to the security advisor to the Manipur government, Kuldiep Singh, altogether, 46,145 stranded people have been evacuated to relief camps and to some other villages while around 3,124 stranded people have also been evacuated to other states by flight.
The unprecedented ethnic violence that broke out between two communities in the state - Meitei and Kuki - on May 3 and 4 has claimed over 70 lives and left hundreds injured. Thousands of houses, some business establishment and hundreds of places of worship have been either burnt or vandalised in the clash that broke out in several districts of the state during the communal clash.