TODAY -

AHTA asks Government for 'promised incentives' to Shirui Lily Fest volunteers
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, August 01 2019: All Hunphun Tang Association (AHTA) has appealed to the State Government to immediately distribute the incentives 'promised' to over one hundred volunteers, who were engaged during the celebration of State-level Shirui Lily Festival 2018, stating that failing which, the association will not extend cooperation in future.

Addressing a press conference at UDWJA office on Thursday, AHTA president Chonmi Raleng and Khamung Mashangva disclosed that ahead of the State level festival in 2018, then Ukhrul DC Dr Harmit Pahuja Singh and then ADC Leiyaphy Rita convened a joint meeting with AHTA at DC office chamber to discuss matters concerning the festival.

They said that during the meeting, DC Dr Singh had 'promised' to pay incentives to volunteers who would assist in the celebration of the five day long festival and formally asked AHTA to fulfil the requisition of volunteers.

Subsequently, AHTA convinced each local committee of the 27 localities under it to provide five volunteers each on incentive basis and a total strength of 135 volunteers, mostly students, were called in for deployment in various locations from May 23, a day ahead of the festival.

The services of the volunteers were utilised for smooth celebration of the festival where they were stationed at different event venues such as Ukhrul town, Shirui village, Phangrei etc to keep vigil day and night, they recounted.

However, after the festival, then DC Dr Pahuja Singh who had 'promised incentives, refused to distribute the same to the volunteers who had rendered tiring services', they alleged, adding that he (DC) had 'directed the association to demand the payment either from Ukhrul MLA Alfred Arthur or then ADC Leiyaphy Rita' .

The exercise was reportedly approved with the knowledge of the MLA.

However, in a meeting later, MLA Arthur had told the association leaders that he had 'sanctioned Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 2,00,000 to the district administration to meet the requirements of the celebration' .

"While the promised incentives being denied by the district administration, AHTA and local committees are bearing the blames from the families of the volunteers who are now accusing the local leaders of misappropriating the incentive funds," AHTA leaders lamented.

They further pointed out that the 'volunteers were not provided even lunch and dinner other than breakfast, while they were deployed rigorously day and night for almost a week'.

Calling the act of Dr Pahuja Singh as 'highly irresponsible unbecoming of a district administrator', the association urged the authorities concerned to make him accountable for 'his own promise'.

In the event of the relevant authorities failing to resolve the matter immediately in the interest of the aggrieved volunteers, AHTA will be compelled to withdraw its support to the State level festival in the coming days, they added.


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