Karbi Anglong Rengmas dream of home
S Henlly Phom
DIMAPUR, JANUARY 2
NOSTALGIA for the past is painfully evident in the eyes of the Rengma Nagas of Karbi Anglong district who have fled their village and sheltered temporarily at various camps at Karbi Anglong. Children seemingly appear happy as they play in the compound unaware of the situation. But a chat with them quickly reveals that behind the smiles there is sadness and that they miss being at home in ease and comfort.
The night cold also hits them hard reminding them that is no place like home. Extending a helping hand- Nagaland Alliance for Child’s Right (NACR), Young’s Club Dimapur (YCD), Peace Channel and Ripple Livelihood Society today reached out to Rengma as well as Karbi villagers of Karbi Anglong district in their camps and provided them with medical aid and treatment. The medical relief mission was flagged off by Dr. Shikato, Additional Director Health & Family Welfare Nagaland at city Tower Junction Dimapur.
When rest of the state and the world were in a festive atmosphere with families celebrating Christmas and welcoming New Year, Rengmas’ of Karbi Anglong District were captives of terror with the unfolding situation around. With no homes, they were left with no option but to spend Christmas and New Year in the jungle.
In the midst of an uncertain situation, Jamerhe of (Tseguchangry) village delivered a baby girl half an hour later after finding a safe place. The couple is now camped at the Borpathar High School, Santipur.
The baby is barely 4 days old and without a name. But she is healthy in spite of the difficulty during her birth. Shenshu Rengma, mother of the baby talking to Eastern Mirror lamented that though adults are being provided for, new born babies’ essentials are not available.
“The night is cold and hard for us but we have to bear it as everyone is going through the same situation” says Regathung Rengma. The roof of their camp is also almost at the verge of collapsing but no one seems bothered as they are happy enough to have shelter away from terror.
Parents of school going children are apprehensive for the future of their children and specially those whose children are preparing for their HSLC and HSSLC.
“The fields, the grain store, neighbors and house I miss everything about it, this is only temporary. I’m sure we’ll go back home one day” says a Karbi woman optimistically who also have fled her home and sheltered temporarily at Chowkihola Village. Talking to Eastern Mirror with moist eyes, she says that the love and friendship Karbi and Rengmas’ had will not die because of some few distracted people. Though their houses were not burned down they had fled the village as situation compelled them to do so. Sharing her feelings to Eastern Mirror she lamented the situation to be a shameful one and she is adamant to return to her village along with her Rengma fellow friends and not alone.
The ordeal did not just stop there as more complications arose when the group decided to visit Akhoiphuta Jongpha Village, few km away from Chowkihola Village. Because of security reasons the visit to Akhoiphuta Jongpha Village almost did not happen but after much communiqué, the four societies made way to the village with the escort of Assam Police.
“Though the Village has been saved from being burned down, people are still living in fear and cannot even move around liberally” revealed GB of the Village. The village is providing shelter to Lolashonyu Village who are sheltered at Akhoiphuta Jongpha Baptist Church. Some of the students of Dimapur and other state are also held up in the village as the situation has made it impossible for them to move out.
The violence has claimed 7 lives so far- five female and two male.
Their tears have tried up from crying and they have lost interest in their daily activities. Some of the families are ready to take up any odd jobs for survival and are adamant not to return to their village as they have lost trust that such situation will not arise again.