Fire incident in Qualapatty

Editor,

            It was a tragic incident which took place in the early dawn of 17th November, resulting in the untimely demise of an elderly couple as a result of the fire that spread to their residence from the church in the Locality. Talking to reliable sources of Chapel Road, Qualapatty it was firstly around 2:00 A.M. that unusual smoke with fire was noticed inside the Church by residents of Narsing-Akhra. The same was reported to the police. It was around 4:00 A.M that the small fire turned into an inferno. The Rangbah Shnong Qualapatty was informed  around 4:00 A.M and immediately he rushed to the blazing site where he met a policeman and asked him to phone the Fire Brigade. The policeman in a disappointed tone sharply replied that he had done so an hour ago. At this stage, there was momentary panic among the local residents.

By this time many calls were made to the fire station and some youths physically went to the fire station which is situated 2 Kms from Qualapatty. The fire tenders came after around 4:30 A.M. The Rangbah Shnong has given very clear and correct report to the media in which he regretfully said that if the fire tenders had arrived on time then lives could have been saved. This is a matter that that the Government should investigate. Admittedly lost lives can never be restored, but the Government should compensate the next of kin of the deceased couple Ms Reliable Laloo and Mr Tiameren Basaiawmoit. Recalling the good efforts of the Government for the Ksan Victims in Jaintia Hills of providing compensation, the present victims deserve equal if not better treatment. In this case the State Human Rights Commission too should take suo moto action. And what about the NGOs? Should they not be following up this case where failure on the part of the Fire Service Department has resulted in two deaths?

Yours etc

A.S.Mawlong

Former General Secretary

Durbar Shnong Qulapatty

Tura Runners’ Club clarification

Editor,

Tura Runners’s Club would like respond to the misplaced allegations of gender discrimination in your esteemed daily on the recently concluded Turathon Hill Challenge, 2019, by one Habari Warjri of Run Meghalaya. A brief profile of the Club and history of past events organised by it would render the allegations baseless. The President of Tura Runners’ Club is a woman supported by men and several women office bearers who have been members since the inception of the Club in 2015, who put in equal effort and whose contributions are appreciated in equal measure. We would like to know how many Sports Clubs or organisations in the country have women at the forefront or even women in decision making posts of the organisation. Secondly, all events organised by the Club award equal prize money to both men and women without bias or prejudice because we respect the efforts of all. Thirdly, young participants sponsored by the Club at various events comprise of both male and female runners. Their abilities and interest are paramount, not their gender.

 The Club, like every other organisation, has its own set of goals and priorities, which for the most part, is based on the profile of the region and the history of the sport in the area, or rather, the lack of it. The Full Marathon (42 k) female had only one registered participant till a few days prior to the event, and the organisers had a choice of either cancelling the event altogether or continuing with the competition despite lack of participation and thereby the risk of having that category viewed with frivolity and lack of seriousness in the future. We decided on the former so as not to dilute one of our primary goals, which is, to imbibe and promote the spirit of competition irrespective of gender. We have in the past, always given equal impetus and importance to both male and female categories and will continue to do so in the future. The lone female participant, when informed of our decision, displayed great sportsmanship and still participated in the open category, purely for the love of running. The club lauds her spirit for setting an example for future runners of the region, who are also at the top in our list of priorities. Moreover, contrary to our decision becoming a source of discouragement to future participants as noted by the writer, we believe female runners will, in fact, encourage their counterparts to participate in that category so that all can have a fair go at the prize money.

Yours etc.,

President,

Tura Runners’ Club

Higher education must be subsidised

Editor,

This refers to the report, “About 100 JNU students detained” (ST, November 19, 2019). We have to pay through the nose for subsidising the comforts and facilities enjoyed by our politicians. But can’t we expect in return subsidy in education for our own children? It is a shame the way the JNU students had been treated for demanding a rollback of hiked hostel fees so that they could pursue their higher studies. Students said that two of the five boarders could not afford the hiked fees and as a result it would destroy their aspirations and merits for higher education. This will further make education in our country a commodity only for the rich and higher middle class people. A country cannot prosper if a large section of its population’s right to education gets hijacked. Education is the only way to break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De

Kolkata

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