TODAY -

Chronicling activities of Veterans in Manipur
- Part 1 -

Lt Col L Manongba (Retd) *



"Dream, Dream, Dream. Dreams will transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action"
– Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

In some areas, veteran activities are quite rudimentary and there is perceptible disinterest in society. The author highlights that this is often because of a lack of interest or enthusiasm amongst veterans themselves.

This situation can be improved vastly if the veterans organize themselves in a cooperative manner, develop a collective representative voice which then facilitates veterans welfare through a connect with local Governments. Manipur has been witness to such a transformation in veterans' visibility in the last few years, reading about it is worthwhile.

The Catalyst  

The scenic hill State of Manipur is familiar to most Army personnel. The place is remembered by many, as the ground where many have had our ''Battle Inoculation", straight after commission. But this small gem of India's North East, has been a powerhouse in National spirit. Manipur has provided a large number of international sports persons to the Nation; also proportionately the State has provided a greater share of officers and men into the Armed Forces.

But Manipuri and other men from the North East are basically happy go lucky, and have not been concerned with regard to their entitlements. The veterans themselves had no focal point of interaction, were disunited and concerned only about few basics.  

On 24th April 2016, a warm Sunday afternoon, the General Officer Commanding of the local Army formation in Manipur had invited the Ex-Servicemen (ESM) community for an interaction at the beautiful Leimakhong Hills.  A discussion came up about the status of ESM & their facilities in the State. There was usual talk about CSD, ECHS Polyclinic, and Rajya Sainik Board etc.

One issue that came up was the intangible aspect of ESM status in the State. It was realized that the State as a whole, and the people at large were indifferent towards ESM, the State was not harnessing the potential of ESM, nor were ESM involved in any Government activities.

The General Officer, in his wisdom said, "Why don't you all elders form an Ex Servicemen Association, in case there isn't one as yet. That will be a good rallying point to highlight the positives about the Armed Forces veterans. Besides it may be a formal pressure group for the benefit of all ESMs".

This cue nudged ESMs into action and very next day we began our work to form an All Manipur Ex Servicemen Association, consisting of members from all ranks including widows, from all districts, Hills and valley.  

The ESM Community

The ESM community in Manipur is estimated to be about 11000, 70% of them residing in the five hill districts, and the balance about 3500 residing in the Imphal Valley districts. This translates into 65000 to 66000 'retired Fauji Families' and one can safely add another 40,000 active serving 'Fauji Families'.    

Unfortunately there are a very large number of young widows (about 10 to 15%) within the ESM community. The ESM community had remained subdued and inactive. The passionless and blasé attitude of the authorities from time to time; and at times insouciant & cursory dealings from the parent organisation added to this state of affairs.

AFESAM Comes Into Being

Having taken the decision to "do something", small teams of volunteers reached out to far flung districts and met the ESMs. We had to painstakingly explain to each ESM, to unknown faces & uninterested voices – "We want to form an association; please join us".

The first response, in most cases, was "What is the benefit". It was difficult to 'Sell a Dream' to an ESM about something, which we ourselves were not sure of.  We forged ahead relentlessly, and a month later, on 22 May 2016, we had the first meeting of enthusiastic ESMs.

There was a reasonable crowd of approximately 150 ESMs of all ranks, mostly unknown to each other.  They came all the way from the comfort of their homes to participate in something new, hoping to make it work.  In a year, on 9th March 2017, Armed Forces Ex-servicemen Association Manipur (AFESAM) received the official registration certification with the Manipur Societies Registration Act.

We started with zero membership. As per last count, in early September 2020, membership has crossed 30% of the total Armed Forces veterans of Manipur.

The significance of the Association is that it became the focal point of all welfare activities of the ESM community. The modest collection of Rs 100/- per annum as membership fee, has not reduced our resolve – to solve our problems by ourselves and for ourselves.

The collective will of 3000 plus ESMs is a dynamic & remarkable source of energy. For us few officers, it was only to provide leadership & direction to the aspirations of the State's ESMs. We were proceeding in the right direction to alter the past inertia.

The Right Priorities

·Sorting out Priorities – The ESM community, like anywhere the world over, have a common urge –expecting the populace to give a standing ovation, at all times to all veterans. We veterans forget that, having done our time, we are back to the fold of citizens, as ordinary as others in society.

There was a need to prioritise our woes and worries into–doable or actionable ones. It had to be- Pragmatic, Productive & Supportive to the ESM community. We decided to focus on healthcare, reviving the interface organization and financial help to deserving persons.

(To be continued ....)

Lt. Col. L. Manongba (Retd) was commissioned into 11 GR in June 1980, and took premature retirement in Nov 2003. In his second innings he was witness to epochal events, where he saw the birth of a new Nation, i.e. South Sudan. At that time he was working as General Manager of a Petroleum Company in East Africa (South Sudan). He was elected as an Executive Member of the 1st Commercial Association of South Sudan (Petroleum Association of South Sudan). Since 2016, he has been overseeing the Ex Servicemen Healthcare scheme in Imphal and has been the driving force of the first ESM association in the State, AFESAM. He is in the forefront of ESM activities in Manipur.


* Lt Col L Manongba (Retd) wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be contacted at colmanongba(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on December 26 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • A year of hostilities
  • Licypriya Kangujam to travel to Italy
  • Declining moral standards in public life
  • Healthy democracy with independent media
  • Why endangered species matter to us
  • Significant Guwahati meeting : 1st visible step
  • The Pallel story
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #2 : Gallery
  • Ukhrul: Climate change grip on water supply
  • Commemoration of World Eld's Deer Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Dance of democracy, a miracle in making !
  • Learn to look 10/20/30 years hence
  • The zero FIR, zero lesson
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • MOU signed: MTI-HUB & KIIT-TBI & SAbF
  • Lament of the Mourning Choir :: Poem
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wabagai
  • RSS-BJP fracas
  • Trials for Canoe Slalom World Cup
  • Poser from a villager says it all Kamjong
  • The cover-up effort
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Manipuri women in the arena of politics
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Assam
  • Aimee Baruah at red carpet of Cannes
  • National Defence Academy Exam 2024
  • How digital media changed communications
  • Manipur stands scandalised
  • All eyes on UP battle
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #32: Download
  • Riots to a shrine- Ram Mandir of Ayodhya
  • Handle with care. F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside!
  • The Power of Poppy - 31 :: Poem
  • Celebrate the journey !
  • Career counselling : A life guidance tool
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Conspiracy, thy name is Kuki !
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Thounaojam
  • Ket Meth New Album "Ghost Stories"
  • World Hypertension Day
  • International Day of Families
  • Let the rule of law prevail
  • When donation becomes obligatory demand
  • Tourism of Manipur through Gastronomy
  • Beyond Eternity :: Poem
  • Patriarch subjugation on women
  • Celebrate Manipuri Cinema shine at Cannes
  • Training on cultivation of various mushroom
  • Transformative impact of Ayurveda & Yoga
  • War for over a year : Delhi is answerable
  • The logic behind illogical chargesheet
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • World Hypertension Day 2024
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #3
  • Disinformation campaign touba thengnarey
  • Deeply mourn the demise of Oja Biren Lamba
  • Water Mimosa for sustainable development
  • Publicity drives of educational institutions
  • ED's revolutionary move!!!
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • AISSE 2024 Exam Result- RKM Imphal
  • Gold, new world currency !
  • Milk for hair and skin
  • Of illegal immigrants & the larger picture
  • The missive from Kamjong
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Sezo Ringa- Debut Music Video "Revival"
  • Journalism - A thrilling career #2
  • After Class XII where? The eternal question
  • Entry of Arvind Kejriwal
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #1
  • Our nurses, our future: Power of care
  • Screenplay Writing course concluded
  • Workshop on IP & Patent Filing held
  • Let there be less Politics in Sports
  • Sam Pitroda is absolutely white
  • Motherhood: Soul & spirit of family & society
  • Time has come to criminalise ecocide
  • Meiteis, a disappearing community in Manipur
  • World Bamboo Congress @Taiwan : Gallery
  • Ima Manipur should smile more
  • 2nd National Lok Adalat at High Court
  • The Power of Poppy - 30 :: Poem
  • Army impact on Tamphasana Wushu odyssey
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • "Dynamic library service" :: Book Rvw
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Artificial Intelligence & Environment
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #2
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #4
  • Delhi's stand after 1 year of clash
  • A new type of terrorism
  • Scientist of Manipur: Waikhom Vishwanath
  • SRF, JRF, RA @ Assam University
  • The Bleeding River :: Poem
  • Executive Meeting of WMC Assam Unit
  • Journalism - A thrilling career #1
  • Raising the call to replace Minister
  • A storm in a political teacup
  • Cheirao-chingkaba @ Chinga : Gallery
  • Happy Mother's Day
  • Empowering hill communities via U-Mangra
  • African Swine Fever
  • Free Training on Mushroom at Nagamapal
  • Harshit Dhingaun recieves award from Korea
  • Look for ways to restore normalcy
  • The danger of last kicks of a dying horse
  • Preserving Thang-Ta traditions
  • Resolving ST issue by democratic process
  • Top 5 songs to awaken your inner patriot
  • Project Assistant @ Manipur University
  • Leishemba Sanajaoba conferred Doctorate
  • Double tragedy: No time for red-tapism
  • A Youtuber called Dhruv
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #2 : Gallery
  • Challenges in Healthcare in rural Manipur
  • A salute to leadership quality of PM Modi
  • Career in press for freedom of expression
  • One day after devastating hailstorm
  • Understanding the suffering of others
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #1
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #3
  • Election gossip & rumours
  • 'Melodic Minds' Tour in Guwahati
  • Leaving a trail of destruction
  • Political see-saw
  • A brand-new Scientific discovery
  • In memoriam of the happiness we shared !
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #5
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sekmaijin
  • Oh Motherland :: Poem
  • Animal life should be treated with dignity
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • Renaissance of politics in our youth
  • TB & tobacco co-epidemics in Indonesia
  • The Power of Poppy - 29 :: Poem
  • Advanced Charging Infrastructure in NE
  • Lessons learnt in the last one year
  • True colour of politics
  • World Heritage Day @ MU : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Kakwa
  • Joint Combing Operations in Jiribam
  • Reboot PSUs for jobs: Task for new Govt
  • Ayurvedic remedies to keep healthy eyes
  • May 3, 2023 to May 3, 2024
  • One year of crisis, and what next ?
  • Scientist of Manipur: Nongmaithem Rajmuhon
  • Whither social justice & work for women?
  • Taiwan to enhancing economic ties with India
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #2
  • Athoubasingi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Privilege trap of While Male Meitei
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #4
  • 'Chizami Model' working in Gujarat ?
  • Racing towards the one year mark
  • On misattribution & falsifying history
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #15 :: Book
  • May Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • 12th World Bamboo Congress at Taiwan
  • Complex dance of democracy in Manipur
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Pangaltabi
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #1
  • Showing ugly face of muscle power
  • Spare the rod, spoil the monster
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #31: Download
  • Socio-Historical analysis on Ethnic Conflict
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Langmeidong
  • Ngangbam Dipapati- Gold @European Cup
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #3
  • Fresh surge in violence
  • The real culprit
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Livelihood Disaster in Mapithel Region
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laishram Ladu Singh
  • Imphal Ring Road Project to Transform
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • The Happiness Code : Download
  • NH-2 Bridge bombed @Sapermeina : Gallery
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #1 : Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #2 : Gallery
  • Workshop @ NSU Manipur : Gallery
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #1 : Gallery
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • Athoubasingi Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • Students @ Class X Exam : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD