MLA Khashim advocates ‘social solidarity’ to tackle pandemic
R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 14th Apr: Notwithstanding the various challenges endured by the district's denizens due to the current nationwide lockdown which PM Modi has extended till May 3; Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum has categorically asked the local civil societies and the public to continue to uphold the spirit of 'social solidarity' across all strata of races, religions and economies in the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This virus is no respecter of persons; it can infect anyone, whether rich or poor. So, in order to tackle this present situation, we all need to work together and extend solidarity to one another irrespective of race, religion or status," MLA Khashim Vashum told media persons, minutes ahead of despatching three truck-loads of essential commodities for distribution to different villages in Chingai area from his Hamleikhong residence on Tuesday.
Taking cognizance of the public apprehension of the virus threat, he continued that one should avoid misinterpreting the government's safety rules of 'social distancing' as 'social boycotting' of the other persons.
"This social distancing is a directive for the safety of everyone and not for 'despising' each other as a virus carrier", he explained, while also urging the public, especially villagers not to panic.
"My earnest appeal to all the civil societies and the public here is to continue doing their best to help all needy persons equally, whether they are natives or non-natives in these trying times. Only then, we would be able to fight a good fight against the global pandemic", the MLA pleaded.
In the wake of the pandemic outbreak, some incidents of racist attacks on Northeast people, blaming them for spreading the Coronavirus only because of their mongoloid looks, have been reported in different mainland Indian cities.
"But necessary prompt actions had been taken against those involved in the incidents", he said, adding that barring such few unwanted incidents, it was heart-warming to learn that many mainland Indian individuals and groups are readily extending every possible assistance towards Northeast people in Delhi and other cities.
According to the legislator, this was not a time for anybody to work with political motives or party line politics.
"I have been extending help to many needy individuals and families both in Imphal and Ukhrul without any party-line differentiation during this lockdown period. And what I'm blissful about this is that I have no regrets at all", he said.
Subsequently, walking the talk, MLA Khashim Vashum proceeded and reached out to six impoverished households who are mostly migrant workers from Imphal, Bihar, Assam and Nepal. During the visit, he personally interacted with an ailing elderly Hasta Bahadur Subedi and his family members at Awontang, Hunphun and extended Rs 1000 to help him in his medication, apart from offering a bagful of essential commodities.
With the initiative of Phungyo Baptist Church, the MLA also provided five other poverty-stricken households at Phungreitang with different essential items like rice, dal, potato, salt, sugar and others.
Earlier in the morning, TNL president Hopingson A Shimray ceremonially invoked a prayerful blessing for despatch of the three trucks loaded with essential commodities for distribution to different villages in Raphei area, from the MLA's residence.
It is learnt that there are around 56 villages in Chingai assembly constituency and out of which, majority of villages have been covered under the current COVID-19 relief assistance.
"This relief assistance is my own initiative and I am trying to reach out to all the villages in my Chingai constituency during this lockdown period since March considering the shortage of essential goods faced by villagers in their houses", MLA Vashum disclosed.
As part of the relief assistance, the distribution of essential commodities including rice, cereal, salt, sugar, nutrela, edible oils, potatoes along with Syntax water containers and disinfectants, is being taken up in all the villages in both western and northern regions under Chingai constituency.