TODAY -

Un-healthy competition
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: November 26 2011 -



Healthy Baby Competition in a dusty hall! Could there be anything more ironic, nay comical, than this? Perhaps, yes, and why not, in a state like Manipur, where everything is possible?

Sarcasm apart, when we talk of healthy babies, the first image that conjures up in mind is, definitely, not the dirt smeared faces of howling kids crawling all over the floor but neat and tidy looking kids playing around happily in an equally neat and tidy surroundings.

Measuring against this yardstick, the District Level Healthy Baby and Best Mother Competition, 2011 organized by the District Health Society, Imphal West in the dust enveloped hall of the R & D Wing, Lamphelpat on November 24 does not fit the bill certainly.

In fact, the entire charade of organizing the competition, which was intended to select healthy babies and mothers to represent the district in the state level competition scheduled to be held under the aegis of State Health Mission Society on November 29, has come as a big shocker.

Moreover, failure of starting the competition in time and keeping the poor parents along with their young kids in a dust-filled hall apart from forcing them to run from one room to another for registration, weight measuring, etc, for more than two and half hours with no sign of any officials of the organizing committee around is unpardonable, to say the least.

It does not come as a surprise when some parents of the participating kids expressed apprehension that their kids may fall sick from prolonged exposure to dust and starvation in bringing them to the competition.

The irony of the situation comes to a full circle when we viewed the matter against the backdrop of constant harping of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and Health Minister L Jayantakumar Singh in every function on the priority that the state government has been giving towards development in health sector in the wake of 'Health for All' mission.

The need for keeping the health of the baby sound right from day one of conception and the objective of organizing such Healthy Baby Competitions to motivate and reward mothers to take responsibility for their children's health may require no emphasis here because it is something rudimentary.

But making such an important event look farcical and discouraging the parents from participation in future competitions should not be brushed aside that easily. Heads must roll and the errant officials should be taken to task so as to rein them in from committing similar blunders in future.

If their higher ups think it is no better than making a mountain out of a mole hill, then, at least, call for an explanation from the responsible officials for risking the lives of participating children who are all below 3 years of age.

Our suggestion, however, is to give them a good spanking. Most parents would know best where to spank them.

Only God knows, what was there in the mind of the officials when they set out to organize such an un-healthy baby competition in the most inefficient manner? But, God forbid, if the higher ups were to let them go scot-free. Amen.





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