Ukhrul ADC calls for united front, activates ‘Relief Fund’
R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 23rd Apr: Autonomous District Council (ADC), Ukhrul has stressed the need for the district's community to present a united front to surmount the global pandemic as the autonomous body on Thursday set the ball rolling with the first phase of relief distribution under its 'COVID-19 Chairman Relief Fund' initiative.
"Showing the spirit of unity, oneness and cooperation by everyone is what the community here needs to do in fighting the global pandemic", stated Dr Yaronsho Ngalung, while speaking at the distribution event at the ADC office campus, Phungreitang here in Ukhrul town.
Driving home his point, the council chief said that with multitudes (of natives) awaiting their homeward journey from other parts of the country and abroad once the current nationwide lockdown is lifted, there is a genuine cause for concern over the health risk of the entire populace of the district.
"This is where the entire community should be extremely cautious and never ignore the Government's preventive guidelines", he said, urging the public, especially family members of those incoming natives for stringent compliance with the mandatory 14-day quarantine protocol.
Further elaborating on this, Dr Ngalung said that his concern is not to stop those outstation natives from returning home, but to sensitise about the possibility of contracting and spreading the deadly virus with the sudden inflows of outstation natives.
He continued that considering how even members of big communities in other parts of the country could put up a united front against the disease, the same efforts would be more facile for a small community like Ukhrul.
"All that each of us need is to play a responsible role and move forward with the spirit of oneness in this fight against the pandemic", he stressed, seeking public cooperation in containing the spread of the contagion in the district.
At the same time, the ADC chairman also raised concerns over the inadequate quarantine facilities and the acute lack of testing kits and necessary equipment in the district.
Around 12.30 pm, different essential items were distributed to various local NGOs and 74 casual workers and frontline staffers under the council as the first phase of relief distribution under 'COVID-19 Chairman Relief Fund'.
Essential commodities including rice, salt, potatoes and plantain stems and others were distributed to Ukhrul based organisations like Shelter Home, Spring of Hope, District AIDS Society Ukhrul, CARE, CMIPSD, Eden Home, Destitute Children Home and Calvary Hospital, (Phungcham). A total of 74 casual workers and frontline staffers under ADC were also provided with the relief materials.
'COVID-19 Chairman Relief Fund' was launched with donation of one-month salary from all councillors as well as contributions from different departmental staffers under the Council on April 2 last.
Considering the grim prospect of food insecurity in coming years due to the pandemic, Dr Ngalung also urged the denizens of the district take up intensive agricultural activities for sufficient production of food grains.
Speaking on the occasion, vice chairman M Isaac urged the public to develop the age-old culture of humanity and extend every possible help to their fellows and neighbours who are less fortunate in this troubled time.
He also observed that the current COVID-19 pandemic could be a God-sent disease for the people to realise their mindless transgression.
"It's time we need to submit to God to ask for His grace and protection", Isaac added.
"Discipline is only way to ward off the virus, though vaccine is yet to be developed. With the discipline of following the guideline, we could keep the virus at bay", said EM Paothing Vashum, who is also in-charge of medical department under the Council.
Asserting that lack of concrete fund allocation to the ADCs from the state government in the present crisis is a matter of concern, he appealed to the state government to do the needful on the matter at the earliest.
In her keynote address, CEO Polly Makan informed that a management committee has been constituted under the fund to expand its responsibilities.
She further said that accordingly, the committee has resolved to ask for donation of one day salary from all the staff members, adding that there over 1000 staffers under the council.
The council also lauded the humane gesture of Sirarakhong, Lamlang, Leisan, and Pharung villages for providing vegetables towards the ADC Relief Fund.
The distribution event was attended by councillors, official representatives from NGOs, staffers of different departments under the council.