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Ensure safety, basic amenities to our children returning home, say Naga mothers

By EMN Updated: May 25, 2020 10:32 pm

NMA demands immediate inquiry into the violent incidents in Bihar

Dimapur, May 25 (EMN): Concerned over several issues reportedly being faced by the citizens of Nagaland, who are returning home due to the ongoing lockdown, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has requested Governor RN Ravi, through a representation, to take cognizance of its concern and ensure that the returnees reach home safe.

While expressing its gratitude to the governor for his initiative in bringing and setting up the Covid-19 testing labs in the state and “the continuing contribution of the frontline workers, the health professionals, police, district administration, the chief secretary and his team of senior government officers, who have been working ceaselessly throughout this impending crises in the state”, the NMA has sought his (Governor) intervention on several issues.

The association stated that the state government should take full responsibility of “bringing back our stranded Naga children who are willing to return home and anxiously await arrangements to be brought back”. Mentioning that many don’t have the means to return home on their own, it said “the state cannot fail to fulfil its bounden duty in bearing all expenses for their return”. It also said the state government should take into confidence student leaders in different cities for reaching out to those who bravely chose to stay back with adequate help during this Covid-19 crisis in the country.

Condemning the threats, violence and harassment faced by the returnees of Northeast India aboard the Shramik train in Bihar, the Naga mothers have demanded “an immediate inquiry into these incidents of violence in Bihar, reasons for so many unscheduled stoppages on the journey on these Shramik trains, and accountability be fixed for the inability of the local police to control the mobs and joining the harassment on our north east children”.

“We demand that the state government co-ordinates and well maintained trains, with adequate food and water, and good security, be scheduled for bringing the rest of our children who are still to undertake these long arduous journeys. Nothing can be so callous, as the experiences of our children, the last few days on such trains, both from the South as well as the North, without water to drink and without wholesome food in the midst of the pandemic stress, trauma and racist attacks. We also urge our children, travelling either on trains or by road, to maintain strict discipline for their own safety and security, while crossing unknown regions,” the representation read.

Expressing grief over the “unfortunate deaths of many of our own children” outside the state during the last few weeks, it said so much time was wasted as “the state government was not fully prepared for such an emerging pandemic”.

“We seek your intervention into ensuring that enough funds are allotted to the right authorities, the empowered committee, to handle the return of our stranded children, without any hesitations, because the state has received enough funds,” the associations requested the governor.

Stating that healthcare facilities in all the districts of Nagaland must be well-equipped to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the Naga mothers sought accountability from the state government. It said stories of inadequate and inferior quality PPE is disturbing.

“While acknowledging with gratitude, the spontaneous response and generosity from various churches and organisations in sponsoring quarantine centres and food, we urge that the state government does not ignore its bounden responsibility of providing clean, hygienic centres and adequate nutritious food to those being kept in all these institutional quarantine centres for the said period,” the representation read.

“The challenge for the state has begun with the latest positive test reports and we seek your intervention that mandatory testing must be done on all returnees for their own safety and within their communities. That, the thermal screening and police check point, being conducted in plastic shacks be well constructed at Khuzama, with the onslaught of the coming rains.

That, the thermal screening and ambulances be kept ready with medical team, at this state border for incoming travellers in case of emergencies,” it added.

The organisation also expressed confidence that the governor would take cognizance of the issues it has raised and assured its prayers “for the safety of your family, the people and leaders of the state and beyond”.

By EMN Updated: May 25, 2020 10:32:22 pm