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Joyshree Usham

Joyshree Usham

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Saturday, 04 November 2023 16:23

HIDDEN TALENTS AT MANIPUR’S RELIEF CAMPS

"I have no other means to earn income except for selling my handcrafted Kouna (wild water reed) mats. I have made 6 mats so far but haven’t sold a single one. I’ve been told that government is setting up a stall soon. I am waiting for that to sell my mats so that I can earn some money for my family.  I have invested whatever money I’d received as help from generous people to buy raw materials for making these mats", said Koijam Babisana, a displaced victim of Manipur violence.

A young married woman, Koijam Babisana, is one of the many internally displaced people owing to Manipur violence which erupted on May 3. Her house in Ikou was burnt down at the peak of the violence. Along with her family, Babisana is currently taking refuge at the Sajiwa Temporary Shelter home in Imphal East District, set up by Manipur government.


When asked if she could teach others, if government organised training programs for making Kouna mats at relief camps, Babisana replied, yes, I can but I’m not an expert in making other Kouna items like bags as there are many designs. Even I want to learn making other products and designs. It is good to learn new things and enhance one’s skills, she added.

Like Babisana, there are many other talented artisans and craftspersons who are currently taking shelter at relief camps across the state. Government should explore these hidden talents, make sure that their talents don’t go wasted and also take measures to further enhance their skills.

Two suspected Kuki militants, who were reportedly coming from Moreh side, were shot and killed by Myanmar Army at Namphalong area of Myanmar on Friday morning around 9. Additionally, Myanmar Army arrested two more individuals suspected to be Kuki militants in the same area, said a reliable source of Impact News.

This incident comes amid curfew and intense search operations by combined security forces at the Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh, following the killing of Moreh SDPO Ch. Anandakumar, MPS on October 31. Personnel from Assam Rifles and BSF are maintaining strict security measures in Moreh to prevent any further untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, around 150 women and children from the Kuki-Zo community have sought refuge at the Key Location Point Camp of the 5 Assam Rifles since the previous evening.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a person named Paolunmang in connection with the killing of two students who had gone missing on July 6. According to officials, a special investigation team of the CBI arrested the 22-year-old suspect, Paolunmang, in Pune on Wednesday and then took him to Guwahati to be produced before a court. He is believed to be the mastermind behind the abduction and killing of the two students. Manipur Security Advisor Kuldiep Singh confirmed the same during a media briefing held at the Chief Minister's Durbar Hall on Friday evening.


Chairman of Unified Command Kuldiep Singh also mentioned that combing operations are ongoing in both the hills and valleys of Manipur. During these operations, a significant amount of weaponry and items were recovered, including 27 arms, 306 rounds of ammunition, 11 explosives, 85 warlike items, as well as one Maruti Gypsy and a Baleno car were recovered today. In addition, Kuldiep Singh stated that 370 trucks loaded with essential items on National Highway 37 and 250 more on National Highway 2 were ensured safe passage with security.  Several vehicles, arms, and ammunition were also seized in search operations conducted on October 10, 11, and 12. He urged the public not to believe in rumors and to surrender any looted weapons at the nearest police station.


Regarding yesterday's incident where security personnel allegedly manhandled media persons who were reporting the firing incident at Sabungkhok Khunou, Kuldiep Singh assured that actions will be taken against those security personnel who prevented media persons from performing their duties.

Education (S) Director, L. Nandakumar has called for a balanced approach to education, where students not only strive for academic success but also actively contribute to the betterment of society. Students should work for the welfare of people and at the same time focus on their career goals, he said.


The Education (S) Director was speaking at the Silver Jubillee Celebration of the Manipur Students' Federation (MSF) at MSF Office premises in Kwakeithel Thounaojam Leikai, Imphal, on Friday. MSF, a student body which came into existence on 13th October, 1998, evisions an equitable educational set up in and around the state of Manipur. It’s motto is Learn, Excel, and Transmit. Since its inception, MSF has been involved in various social issues ranging from drug-related, human rights and environmental-related issues and for bringing quality education in Manipur.


L. Nandakumar encouraged students to recognize the value of their education in shaping them into better and capable individuals for the future. He said, while every student aspires to excel academically, they can only achieve that goal by avoiding time wastage and dedicating themselves to their studies. The Education (S) Director also highlighted the negative impact of addiction to social media on students' academic and personal development.  Student volunteers donated blood to mark the occasion.

The All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) and Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) strongly condemned the manner in which combined troops of the 20 Jat Regiment and 5/4 GR prevented media persons from doing their duties on 12/10/23 at the Sabungkhok Khunou area, where the media persons had gone to cover an incident of attack on Sabungkhok Khunou village.

In the incident, troops of the Jat Regiment not only prevented a media team consisting of reporters from ISTV, Impact TV, Tom TV, and ISCom from covering the incident but forced them to delete whatever footage was there on their mobiles. Another team of media consisting of Tom TV and Impact TV on the other side of the area was also initially prevented from taking any footage of the incident, says a joint press release from AMWJU and EGM on Thursday evening.

The AMWJU and EGM consider this a direct attack on freedom of speech. It is an effort to muzzle the press, and AMWJU and EGM demand accountability. Further, AMWJU and EGM will submit a memorandum each to the Chairman, Unified Command, Mr. Kuldiep Singh (Security Advisor of the CM), and Hon’ble Governor Manipur Anusuiya Uikey to kindly look into the series of attacks on media since May 3, 2023, and take appropriate action.

The media in Manipur has been working in an extremely difficult situation since the present crisis broke out. We once again appeal to all security forces operating in the state not to target or prevent media personnel from performing their legitimate duties.

 

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