Developed By: iNFOTYKE
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. .
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.
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.
C P Pakma
West Jaintia Hills