ATRPFM seeks special arrangement for tribal tenants
IMPHAL, 22nd Apr: All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) has appealed to chief minister N Biren Singh, TA&Hills minister N Kayisii and chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu to make a separate arrangement for the tribal tenants who are residing in valley areas as a matter of compulsion and necessity, for these tenants have no any source of survival because they were left unattended by the system.
According to a release by ATRPFM, every individual was promised by the CM that they will be provided with 5 kg of rice per head and one kg of dal (pulses) per family per month which is highly appreciated but unfortunately the ground reality is totally different. Who will reach out to the tribal tenants when the authorities of the respective areas have no concern? it said.
ATRPFM also conveyed sincere appreciation to chief minister, ministers, MLAs, ADCs, organisations and individuals who have been wholeheartedly helping the underprivileged and genuinely needy families and individuals in terms of foods, cash and other materials during the ongoing lockdown.
The CM is trying his best with integrity and transparency in all respects in providing essential commodities to the residents of the state and also transferring Rs 2000 each to state natives who are stranded in other parts of the country which they truly acknowledge and appreciate, it added.
However, the organisation is disappointed that some tribals residing in Checkon and Konung Mamang areas under Wangkhei Assembly Constituency, Imphal East have been excluded from availing the rations and other essential commodities, the release contended.
ATRPFM also claimed to have information that Aadhaar Cards were collected from the tribal tenants too but when the items were distributed they were told it was only for ration card holders. It is also learnt that in some areas like Dewlahland, tenants were left unattended and only landlord recognised for providing rations and other items.
Not any kind of assistance were given for these helpless tenants who are not voters except two small tins of rice per head with some grams of dal availed by some tenants through Tribal Tenants Committee, Imphal which had on its own approached the authorities concerned, otherwise even 2/3 kg of rice might not have been given to the tenants, it noted.
The release pointed out that it would be erroneous to view that tenants don’t deserve any kind of assistance as they have no voting rights. Both house owners and tenants are facing similar circumstances and both ought to be treated equally in such a horrible pandemic period. Excluding the tenants on political ground is morally wrong and also inhumane on the part of the government authorities as disease epidemic has nothing to do with politics but it is purely a question of survival for all the inhabitants of the areas. In fact, local residents are placed in much better positions comparing to tenants. Ironically, it looks like extending survival assistance sees only the voters and not the tenants which is a sad affair. Providing assistance during national emergency or lockdown cannot be viewed as charity but it is a right of every citizen, ATRPFM asserted.
It further proposed that the state government issues an order for not charging rent from the students and the unemployed daily wagers. They badly need waiving of rent for lockdown months. In addition, chief minister and the authorities concerned are urged to closely monitor the prices of commodities from wholesalers and retailers as well, as they are charging much higher rate than the maximum price in violation of the guidelines and orders in the matter. As there is no restriction in transporting essential commodities, there is no valid reason for hiking prices of essential goods, it demanded.
ATRPM also stated that they have learnt from Facebook timeline of chief minister that latest price lists are pasted in all the grocery shops at Bishnupur district which is commendable. The state government is requested to take similar measures in all the areas of the state. The tribal body further requested the state government to make some relief arrangement in favour of the helpless tenants residing at the capital city of the state.