Former Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPR) member Keisam Pradipkumar on Friday requested the chief minister to take a cabinet decision for utilisation of Rs 50,00,000 each from MLA Local Area Development Funds of all the existing MLAs of Manipur towards combating the pandemic by supporting free treatment and care facilities to the infected persons.
In a letter addressed to the chief minister, Pradipkumar also requested to utilise the said funds for providing food grains to the public irrespective of card holders or not to prevent food crisis among poor people facing prolonged lockdown and curfews.
Requesting the chief minister for his consideration and to take prompt and positive actions, the letter stated that due to the month-long imposition of curfew, a large number of families which are primarily surviving on a daily wage basis, have exhausted their savings while maintaining their daily basic requirements. They are at the verge of starvation unless the government initiates support by way of providing free and subsidised food grain through various schemes such as PMGKAY, NFSA etc., Pradipkumar stated.
"All these schemes are based on already registered beneficiaries under NFSA. However, a large chunk of families are not effectively enrolled in the said schemes due to various reasons such as failure to link with Aadhaar numbers, etc.,” it stated.
Of the 60 MLAs of Manipur, very few noble MLAs have started distributing rice and other edible items to all families of their respective assembly constituencies irrespective of possessing valid ration cards or not, the letter stated.
However, most of the MLAs could not bear the expenses of distributing rice and other edible items to all families of their assembly constituencies irrespective of ration card holders or not, it stated.
The letter mentioned that Covid care centres opened in various areas do not provide food and as such the family of the infected individual is supposed to provide daily food of their dear one facing health risks and financial burden. Last year, the government supplied food to almost all Covid care centres, which were managed by the government, it added.
As the financial resource of the state government is limited and not possible to meet almost all expenses, the government of Manipur invited the general public to donate either cash or kind to the Chief Minister’s Covid Relief Fund. In response to the chief minister’s appeal, people started generous donations in the form of cash or kind every now and then.
It stated that each and every MLAs of Manipur have started exploring every possibility to provide assistance to the Covid infected individuals of their respective constituencies. Over and above, they managed to run Community Isolation Centres and to provide assistance to the families, who are completely helpless in view of restrictions imposed on their daily business for earning their livelihoods. It is also a fact that in the year, a cabinet decision was taken for utilising Rs. 25,00,000 from MLA local area development fund of each and every MLA of Manipur towards combating Covid-19 Pandemic, i the letter added.
The government of Manipur has been facing the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic by evoking all out efforts, including imposing curfew in various districts of Manipur since April 29 with an aim to break the chain of infection, it stated.
“In order to facilitate isolation of Covid-19 infected individuals, various Community Isolation Centres at various districts have been established under the leadership of concerned MLAs. The entire expenses of the Community Isolation Centres are to be taken care of by the committees headed by MLAs,” the letter mentioned.