TODAY -

A call against systematic inequalities and discrimination

8th August 2020



A call against systematic inequalities and discrimination experienced by the indige-nous/tribal peoples

The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) is concerned about the prevalent situation of health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Northeast India. The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting the indigenous/tribal peoples and the poor, exacerbating underlying structural inequalities combined with pervasive discrimi-nation in access to health care and communications.

The denial of basic human rights is severely limiting common people to respond to the global health crisis and has also led to in-creased mortality among rural women and non COVID patients. A case in point is the maternal death caused from denial of admission to hospital for baby delivery of Late Mrs. Kanpatliu Kahmei, 20 years old, w/o Roshan Balang of Puichi village, Haochong Sub-division, Noney district and presently residing at Makuilongdi village in Senapati on August 5-6 2020.

The criminal negligence and apathy by the different hospitals is a case of outright atrocity and injustice against the most vulnerable and marginalised section of people in the society. This is not an isolated case but similar cases went unreported. While we appreciate the immediate response of the Government of Manipur, we state that this is a symptom of decades of institutional apathy.

The brunt of this lockdown has affected the common people and those living in the margin. The state administrations should emphasis on healthcare, small farmers and cultivators, and those people who are vulnerable especially widow, physically challenged, pregnant women, children and old aged people.

It is pertinent for the government to give equal emphasis to non-COVID patient as well and their right to access the healthcare services should not be curtailed or limited by the imposition of harsh lockdown rules.

The NPMHR call upon the governments in the Northeast India particularly the state of Manipur and Nagaland to take urgent corrective measures to address the systematic inequalities and discrimination experienced by the indigenous/tribal peoples especially in the public services. It also urges the government (s) to look into the crumbling healthcare and commu-nication infrastructures in remote and rural areas of the states.

Further, NPMHR urge the following with utmost uprightness.

1. Government revive all non-functional health centres including dispensaries, primary health centres and sub-centres located in far flung areas. All the medical personnel should immediately join their place of posting and appoint them if there are none.

2. The government should give emphasis on maternity health. There should be ambulances made available for any emergency cases. All District Hospitals and Primary Health Centres should stationed have obstetrician/gynaecologist. All health benefits should be given to the pregnant women and lactating mothers.

3. The government should identify all those women who died due to maternal complication during this lockdown period and the Enquiry Committee constituted by the Health Department (GoM) should look into all these cases and not just one particular cases. The Enquiry Committee should expand to include a retired judge, police inspector and a member of a reputed CSO.

4. People of the state particularly those residing in the hill districts are facing numerous difficulties due to bad road condition and lack of internet connectivity. The government should not lose its sight on such basic infrastructure during this pandemic.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Naga Peoplesí Movement for Human Rights who can be contacted at npmhrlink(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on 09 August 2020

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