TODAY -

Shihai Khunou still quite far from development
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, December 22, 2013: Even though there are several multi-crore schemes and projects of the Government for development of roads, bridges, healthcare and education system in the interior regions, Shihai Khunou in Ukhrul district remains as a backward village devoid of all forms of development.

Shihai Khunou lies about 40 kilometres towards east of Phangrei (commonly known as ‘Zero Point') near Ukhrul town along the Jessami Road.

The village is located atop the Khaiyo Hills, which is one of the coldest places in Manipur.

It is also not very far from the Indo-Myanmar border.

The village is inhabited by about 80 clans of Tangkhul tribe in about 800 households.

Khamsom Waleli, Khayang and Chingsui are its neighbouring villages.

The villagers have to face lots of inconveniences due to non-existence of a healthcare centre and lack of proper transport system coupled with deplorable roads and bridges in the village.

In case of any medical emergency, a patient is carried in a makeshift bamboo stretcher by the villagers up to Ukhrul District Hospital by foot.

Talking to Hueiyen Lanpao, a teacher by the name Vareimi Horam said that Shihai Khunou is a small village under Ukhrul Assembly Constituency.

The village has been neglected completely by the State Government and the local MLA for many decades.

The village has no Primary Health Centre (PHC), though it has a school in a dilapidated condition.

The villagers have to face lots of difficulties whenever there is some medical emergency.

A patient is either carried on a person's back or on a bamboo stretcher up to Phangeri Lamkhai (about 10 kilometres from the village), where there is passenger vehicle service up to Ukhrul District Hospital.

Many villagers had died on the way to hospital.

Also, there had been instances where pregnant women delivered their children in the jungles on the way before reaching the hospital, the teacher said.

Horam appealed to the authorities concerned to set up at least one Primary Health Centre for Shihai Khunou and its neighbouring villages which too experience the same difficulties at times of medical emergency.

He further said that there is no proper transport system owing to deplorable roads and bridges.

Only one passenger jeep is operating in the village.

The villagers have to board the jeep early in the morning if they wish to go to Ukhrul town or Imphal.

Again, they have to board the same jeep for going back to the village.

If the villagers happen to miss that jeep, they have to walk down to their village by foot.

The villagers of Shihai Khunou are primarily agriculturalists and they are also occupied in gathering forest products, hunting and fishing.

The children in the village could not be given proper education due to poor socioeconomic condition.

Shihai Khunou Primary School is the only school in the village.

It has only 66 students with eight teachers.

However, the school is in a dilapidated condition with no required desks, benches and blackboards, the teacher noted.

Horam pointed out that one teacher from Imphal by the name Hemchandra posted at Shihai Khunou Primary School has hired a graduate from the village as substitute teacher for a monthly payment of Rs.3000.Moreover, there is no mid-day meal facility in the school even though other schools in the valley are well provided with such facilities.

The students also do not get the full benefits of Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan (SSA) for free text books, uniforms and bags.

On the other hand, the villagers do not face much problem for water as pipelines are laid from the Siroy Hills to supply water to the village.

However, they face some scarcity of water in the months of March and April.

The village gets electricity for two days once in a week, but that too very erratic.

In such a situation, Pinewoods are being used for lighting during night time, Horam disclosed.


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