For the last few months whatever little and limited coverage on Manipur that was available to the media was focussed entirely on the chaotic and depressing conditions that have been occurring there. It’s not a new story but this time it came to the country’s notice sooner. The unrest between the Nagas & the Manipuri people has only become more severe but something tells me that this unrest is propagated & perpetuated more by small factions of people who yield either political or gun power! If one were to ask the common people, the ‘aam junta’ in these states what they really want, one would get answers that were more focussed on immediate issues rather than the drawing of borders. Education, 24 hour electricity, better roads & infrastructure, better educational institutions, clean and continuous drinking water, financial encouragement for small entrepreneurs, environmental protection to name a few!
So it was a pleasant surprise when I found out about this little big group called ‘Volunteer for Manipur!’ It has been founded by a group of Manipuri youngsters along with the Youth Congress of Manipur who envision a better Manipur. They started the group online in April 2010 and they haven’t stopped contributing to the society in their small little ways. Their most recent project being to encourage the cleaning of the river Nambol Naga that runs through the busiest part of Imphal. They conducted a survey to show the ill effects of badly managed garbage disposal in Imphal’s most crowded and most famous market – the Ema market or the Mothers’ market – a market run entirely by women. It has long been one of the state’s most famous tourist sites but it recently gave way to the construction of a large mall in its place. The Ema’s(Mothers) have been forced to have their shops along the roads and under very unhygienic sorroundings. The river Nambol Naga that passes through this area has clogged & choked up due to the amount of rubbish that gets disposed off into it.
The most encouraging part of this is the number of young people who have opted to join this movement. I choose to call it a movement as it is nothing less than that! The youth are desperate to make the situation better within first. I hope to contribute to the group from this point on… Its wonderful to know that there are many like-minded individuals who want to make a change & be the change!
Hats off to this group!!
Here’s the link to their facebook page :