Manipur villagers turn saviours for lockdown-hit people
Amidst the nationwide lockdown, when crores of Indians are struggling to procure essential items, a remote village in Manipur has set an example by distributing free vegetables to thousands of people.
Cutting across religious divides, residents of Christian dominated Konsakhul - a small village in Kangpokpi district = are distributing various vegetables in the neighbouring villages inhabited by Hindus and Muslims.
Under the initiative of Konsakhul village Chief Alyson Abonmai, the villagers of Konsakhul collected the vegetables from and around the village and gifted them to the people of various villages dominated mostly by tribals, migrant workers and daily wagers.
"We are carrying the vegetables in trucks and distributing them among the people of the neighbouring villages. As per our prior announcement, the villagers are gathered in mutually convenient locations to take the vegetables," Abonmai told IANS over phone from Konsakhul village, 60 km north of state capital Imphal.
He said: "We are distributing the vegetables for the past two weeks. So far we have distributed the veggies among 7,500 villagers in three districts - Kangpokpi, Senapati and Imphal West. We will continue our endeavours in the coming days if the lockdown continues."
"The vegetables we have been distributing might not be sufficient for the villagers, but we would be failing in our human responsibility if we do not extend that little help that is within our capacity as fellow human beings," said Alyson Abonmai.
"It is a very touching gesture of the Konsakhul villagers headed by village Chief Alyson Abonmai to help their neighbours," said writer Rajkumar Kalyanjit Singh.
Singh told IANS: "This act of Konsakhul villagers in this difficult situation where people struggle to find food items is worthy of appreciation. The villagers of Konsakhul village are also not differentiating between any communities, caste, creed and religion."
After the photographs of the distribution of the vegetables appeared in various social media platforms, thousands of people appreciated this. Comments praising the initiative of Konsakhul villagers poured in from different individuals across the country and even abroad.
"Such initiatives would narrow down the gap between the hills and valley," Kalyanjit Singh remarked.
In Christian dominated neighbouring Mizoram too, the influential Young Mizo Association (YMA) is taking vegetables and various essentials to the people in the mountainous state, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. After procuring the items from the government's Food and Civil Supplies, Agriculture and Horticulture Departments, the YMA volunteers carrying the vegetables and a variety of essentials in small vans visited hundreds of localities across the state, providing them to the consumers at fixed prices.
Joining the "Local Task Force", managed by the YMA, hundreds of youths, both men and women, are on the forefront to manage stores, packaging and delivering the much needed essentials to the people. IANS