Together We Can


 In her latest  article in the Shillong Times  , Patricia Mukhim  stated that the Meghalaya Government is leaving no  stone unturned  to tackle the  Covid -19 pandemic.  I may also add that  during such a challenging time   the  government officials  involved   must not only be  working night and day   but  must also  be functioning  like  a well-oiled machine through a well-coordinated approach,  with a cooperative spirit and  with  a strong sense  of responsibility. With time  and with more  learning experiences  from the  ground ,  it is expected  that   they will bring in more   innovative   steps  in addition to what has been made   in order  to  make things   easier for  the people  during such a situation. However  willing   participation, whole hearted cooperation from the people  besides  providing meaningful suggestions  are the prerequisites  for  better  outcomes.

 I also agree  with the view in the article that  in times like this it would be expected  that  the   opposition  Congress should  come  together with the Government  to address this monumental  challenge. It  has been brought in the print  media  recently    that the state  Congress leader  who is also   the leader of the Opposition has written to the  Chief Minister with advice  on what more  the Government should do  in such a situation .  As also reported, some  other Congress leaders have done  the same.  The   concern of  these  leaders  as  publicized is well  appreciated. However,  and  repeatedly  in times like this , it will be  more comforting  and reassuring  if it is   learnt  that  the opposition  works  together  with the Government  and offers all support  even  behind the scenes, sans publicity .

 Meanwhile one wonders  as to  where the Members of the District Councils fit  in during such a situation. Notably it would be  obligatory for   the Member  of the Councils to assist the people who elected them, now at this time of  crisis.  Moreover the MDCs have closer contact with the people  within the small jurisdictions of their  respective constituencies  and hence they   can   ensure better  delivery of  whatever  assistance is  brought in.  We can however, hope that  the    Councils  coordinate with the Government  if  they decided to  participate   because a trajectory   which runs parallel  to that of  the Government’s plan of action  and which deviates  from a common  meeting point  could   bring  unrewarding results.

Incidentally  an article  by  Glenn Kharkongor   “Using Social media  for good’  was also published in the same issue of the paper. The article on the whole points out to  some  careless  statements in the print media and  some  ill informed opinions  in the social  media as well  during the current situation  and that  these are far from being credible or useful and can carry misinformation far and wide. I fully agree  to what is pointed out  because  it appears that there  is the   tendency especially   by some  to project    in the media that they can bring in  more  information or opinions on the subject in hand,  not realising perhaps that  some  of these   are not conducive  under the present circumstance.

 The first paragraph of the article mentioned is very absorbing. To quote what is stated in the paragraph, “ In times like these , one must not take the moral  high ground , criticise  the government  or indulge in  finger pointing. As good citizens  we must cooperate with the government  and look out for each other especially the many poor in our communities. It matters little what our religious belief , or political ideologies are; finding balance and  perspective also  counts.” I believe  this is the  right  message  which is much  required  to be  followed  at all times  and  more so  during the worst of times. .

  Yours etc.,

KL Tariang,

Via email


Some concerns on Covid19


With lockdown in force, the government initiative in urban areas has been well looked after. Retails shop have been identified in every locality. Moreover online and home delivery servives have been put in place. People living in rural areas are facing critical shortage of essentials needs be it food, medical care or any emergency need. Hope the government takes initiative to cater to the needs of people living in rural areas too or else by the time the lockdown ends there will be more casualties that are hunger related than from Covid 19. In every village there are many students who have just returned home, some from mainland India and others from abroad. Most of these returnees have not reported to the authorities concerned. The authorities may please take note of this and appeal to the Rangbah Shnong/Sordar Shnong of these villages to report all these cases to the authorities, so as to enable the Government to screen them and do the needful, lest we face an outbreak from any of these villages.
Let’s stay home, stay safe be vigilant and may God save our State our homeland and our beloved nation.
Yours etc.,

OS Jyrwa,

Via email


Quarantine goes haywire


The situation of March 28, last in Jaintia Hills reflected the failure of the administration. What was the point of the lockdown where we have sacrificed our jobs, careers, freedom with the hope of keeping the Virus away only to fail to maintain physical distance while queuing for our turn to buy groceries? Most vendors were without hand gloves or face masks. They are supposed to be fully protected, as they are in contact with hundreds of people. No lines or circles were drawn to maintain public order. There was no pressure from the administrative staff present. The public were in control. There were no restrictions in the sale of consumable goods. Those coming first got served sufficiently while late comers got less.

The people of West Jaintia Hills district had followed Government directives scrupulously but it was up to the District Administration to give proper directions. If directions are clear and strictly implemented people are bound to obey them. I would like to suggest the following to the Government. I) Locality wise marketing in Jowai (for Jowai town only), to avoid crowding and to maintain social distance. 2) To follow the market days (Sngi Iaw Pnar) for other villages in their respective areas like Nartiang, Raliang, Ummulong etc., to have their own markets so as to control the flow of public to Jowai as happened on March 28, where people from Thangrain, Saphai, Namdong etc rushed to Jowai. 3) To limit the purchase of basic needs like rice, sugar, salt etc. 4) To have coupon system for every household, so that everyone has equal share. This can be done in collaboration with the Waheh Chnong of the district where a coupon will be given according to family size 5) To educate the sellers on how to protect themselves by insisting that they wear face masks and hand gloves 6) To have proper arrangements in shops and markets – such as an entry and exit point. 7) To draw lines and circles in every assigned shop and market as done in other districts of the state.

If the situation worsens in the future, people will panic if such incidents are repeated. Food is survival hence if there is shortage of food supply we must be ready for food riots and crimes. One is ready to do anything for the survival of the ones they love. And when crime happens it will pave the way for the entry of COVID19.

We the people are as obedient and responsible as those in the administrative assignments. We need the administration to act wisely and take wise decisions at times like these. As mentioned earlier our quarantine would be pointless if we cannot maintain the one meter distance in public places and take our responsibilities individually.

Yours etc.,

C P Pakma


West Jaintia Hills

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