TODAY -

In this village, people have pending bills for electricity they never used
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, May 27 2018: While many are complaining about scheduled load-shedding, Tangkhul Hundung Khullen, a village 65 km from Imphal city, has been reeling under pitch dark since the last 20 years.

Tangkhul Hundung Khullen first got electricity in 1998 but the villagers were able to enjoy it only for a week and the electricity supply halted abruptly.

Lack of electricity is not the only issue the village is facing.

In rainy season, the mud roads connecting the region to other villages and Imphal are slushy with mud and water, posing a great danger to commuters/travellers.

The village elders and leaders have approached the Electricity Department and district administration umpteenth times but no-one from the department or Government ever came to the village to address their grievances.

Surprisingly, last month, a team (of Electricity Department) came to check the problem with the electricity in the village and gave the villagers a bizzare explanation that has left the villagers aghast.

The team had told the villagers that the transformer was not working because people had not paid their electricity bill! Now the villagers are unable to reason out a pending bill when they have never used any electricity in 20 years.

This came to light during the Breaking the Silence campaign that aims at educating communities on women's health with emphasis on facilities and infrastructure needed to achieve menstrual hygiene at Ukhrul district.

A community mass awareness program was conducted in the village community hall attended by more than 200 women and men, girls and boys, church and community leaders and senior citizens.

The sensitization workshop was gender inclusive because menstruation is not just a woman's issues it is everyone's issue.

Additionally, men have a large role to play in ensuring procurement and use of hygienic material to absorb menstrual fluid, construction and use of toilets, supply of clean water and in busting age old myths and taboos that surround menstruation.

Men form half the world just like women form the other half, making it necessary for inclusion of men in programs that address women issues, said resource persons at the event.

The training included discussion of the local myths and practices, what Science says about menstruation, the harmful effects of propagating practices, a demonstration of different sanitary products and their safe disposal.

Founder Urmila Chanam said: "Even if men do not menstruate, they still have a role in discussions relates to menstruation because they are father, husband, brother, colleague and neighbours and knowledge will make them be more supportive and encouraging to women's need." The program was supported by the local woman society, Kabongram Baptist Church and Village Authority Chairman K B Son.

Breaking the Silence team included Urmila Chanam, Silvia Rimai and Agui Kamei.


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