When in despair, what we need most and what will see us through are love, compassion and care. Amid the untold pain and sufferings duing this COVID-19 pandemic time, there are stories of love and comfort from far and near like a ray of light piercing through the dark tunnel. The story of a young boy who volunteered to stay with his sister in a quarantine in Ukhrul, Manipur is one of love and hope in times of trouble.
A 10-year-old-boy, volunteered to stay with his elder sister as she was alone in one of the camps at Soraphung Village Quarantine Centre. Soraphung village is located on the extreme end of the northern part of Ukhrul district, sharing borders with Nagaland state. About 100 km away from Ukhrul Headquarters, as per the 2011 census, the village has 164 houses and 875 people.
Since, the quarantine centre is located in the woods and far from the village settlement, staying alone in such a camp can be unsettling for some. As the younger brother volunteered to stay in the quarantine centre with her elder sister, an arrangement was made before she arrived.
The sister said, “I am very thankful that I have a brother who is brave and cares enough to accompany me in spite of the pandemic which has put everyone on their guard. I am very fortunate to have a brother whose love, care and protection have encouraged me to keep going.”
Soraphung Village Quarantine Centre has been set up at Uruluketu, about 5 km from the village settlement. Volunteers of Soraphung Youth Organisation are managing the quarantine centre.
The rules are clear and simple, every returnee has to undergo 28 days of quarantine period and can go home only after getting their test result. Any defaulter is to be strictly dealt with in consultation with the district administration.
There are seven camps with a distance of about 100 feet between two camps. Each camp is provided with clean water through pipe connection. The camps are fitted with solar lightning. Returnees are provided with ration, firewood to cook by themselves.
In the meantime, the swab samples of the two siblings have been tested negative and they will be leaving the quarantine centre in the next few days after the completion of mandatory 28-day quarantine period.
This, once again, reaffirms the need for support from the community and family that everyone has a role to play to overcome the pandemic. At the end of the day, all one needs is the reassurance that he or she is not alone while confronting the pandemic.
On Friday, a total of 22 returnees belonging to Soraphung returned home from different parts of India.
Four returnees have completed their 28 day quarantine period and have left the centre to be with their parents after getting their test results. On Saturday, another batch of 10 returnees will leave the quarantine centre for home.
Soraphung Youth Organisation has expressed their gratitude to MLA of Chingai assembly constituency Khashim Vashum and ADC Member, Wezope Lohe for their support and assistance.