Friday, January 28, 2022

Nagaland: ‘Reaching home safe and sound means everything’

By Our Correspondent Updated: May 23, 2020 11:37 pm

Experiences of being stranded elsewhere, death, confinement, food and more from those who have arrived in Nagaland

Returnees wait in queue at Agri Expo for screening after arriving in Dimapur on May 22.

Our Correspondent
Kohima, May 23 (EMN):
Thousands of stranded Nagaland citizens have been arriving in the state from different parts of the country through special trains, government and private buses, private vehicles and cabs.

Eastern Mirror reached out to some of the returnees and asked them about their experiences.

Lhouvisato Lhousa, who was working at Tony & Guy Essensuals at Uthandi in Tamil Nadu, shared that he did not have a pleasant journey onboard Shramik special train from Chennai.

“On our way to Dimapur, we didn’t get proper food. Rice, we got only once, that too of low quality; and most of the time, we got bread and biscuit along with banana and water,” he said.

He narrated about the inconveniences the returnees heading to Kohima had experienced. “We were made to wait for a long period, we moved from Dimapur around 9-10 pm and on the way one of the vehicle’s tyre got punctured.

“Moreover, we made so many stops on the way and finally reached quarantine centre at 4 am. It was so tiring for us since we have been travelling for straight 3 days on the train. Since we are basically from a hot region, I think it was thoughtless of the authorities concerned to shift people that late, and especially in a cold place like Kohima. Any one is bound to get ill under such circumstances late at night. It’s not that I’m against the government but I think it could have done things more smoothly,” Lhousa stated.

“I think the quarantine centre need to be maintained much better here at Meriema,” Lhousa said.

“The quarantine hygiene was not good, the room was full of dust. We could not even lock the toilet door (already spoiled), also no light in the toilet. Other than that, food was okay. They provide us with blanket, pillow, bed etc., but in this time of crisis, I think we need to keep our health and hygiene, which also very well goes for the quarantine centres. I do understand the difficulties that our people are facing in this time of crisis with no income and rise in price of commodities. I do appreciate them for all they have done,” he shared.

Thekruvizo Kruneilie, who was working as a supervisor at Dynamic Beneficial Accord Marketing Private Ltd. at Kolkata, was able to move out along with 23 other returnees on a Volvo bus on May 19 at 3 pm, just hours before the super cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in the city.

“Finally after I reached Nagaland, I was very happy and excited to be here. As there are no Covid-19 cases, I feel more safe and secured now,” he said.

To his dismay, Kruneilie along with 10 other people bound for Kohima district were sent to Women Industrial Training Institute (WITI) quarantine centre upon their arrival. He said he had called Covid-19 control helpline numbers and informed about the issue.

He also said that though Dimapur-bound returnees were screened at the Agri Expo in 4th Mile, they were not scanned but directed straightaway to WITI.

“It actually feels really good and blessed to be back home safe and sound,” Inatoli, a teacher at SSV Higher Secondary School in Chennai said. She had been stuck for about two months in Tamil Nadu.

The teacher had also lost her father on April 18, and was unable to come for the funeral. “It was really hard staying out there knowing that most people around us are infected (with Covid-19). Also losing my father during this period and not able to see him in his last time made it more difficult. I could only see him in his funeral through a video call from my sister,” she informed.

She was appreciative of the wholesome food served at Tetso Pelo Boys Home at 5th Mile in Dimapur upon their arrival.

“Being quarantined for 14 days doesn’t really matter because we know it’s for our own well being as well as our people,” she said when asked how she felt about the long days of confinement. “We’re just happy and glad to be in our land,” Inatoli said.

While expressing excitement at being home finally, Visano Rhetso, a guest service associate at Tata in Chennai, said she too wouldn’t mind the confinement for 14 days or even more as long as she is in her home state. “Be it 14 days or more, I don’t feel much as I have already reached my hometown,” she said over the phone from the quarantine centre in Meriema.

For Avelu Swuro, an entrepreneur who returned via a bus from Kolkata and currently quarantined at WITI, shared how she felt relieved on reaching Dimapur.

Seyievilie Sekhose, a 3rd year diploma student in printing technology at the Institute of Printing Technology Tharamani in Chennai, shared how he felt safe to be back home after being stranded for two months in Tamil Nadu. “Coming back home means everything to me,” he said.

“My first day wasn’t bad, the food they’re providing is more than I could’ve ask for,” he added.

“I’m finally at peace coming back home,” said Asüno Tase, who is pursuing her Masters in Sociology at the University of Madras in Chennai.

“I believe all the returnees feel the same way. At first, I was nervous as to how our people will react to see us returning but I was overwhelmed to see the welcoming gesture from our people,” she said.

“It may sound selfish to some, for us to return home in the midst of this pandemic but on the other side, I hope our people will empathise with us for certain problems we were facing back there too,” she stated.

By Our Correspondent Updated: May 23, 2020 11:37:32 pm