TODAY -

Understanding the suffering of others
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: May 07, 2024 -



IT is just like the Manipuri proverbial saying of “Lu Kokpaba Len Taba,” literally as well as figuratively.

The trail of devastation left behind by heavy rain accompanied by severe hailstorm that swept across the state on Sunday (May 5) has only heaped misery upon many poor families who are already struggling for survival for than one year now since the outbreak of an ethnic conflict between the Meetei/Meitei and Kuki-Chin communities on May 3 last year.

In addition to many houses with tin-roofs left perforated, windshields of vehicles shattered, and vegetable as well as fruit farms destroyed beyond redemption; operation of several key power substations across the state has been disrupted due to collapse of the power transmission towers, uprooting of electric poles, or snapping of power lines by fallen trees.

So, it may be difficult to work out the extent of damages caused by the unprecedented hailstorm right away.

Nonetheless, it is good to know that the state administration has taken serious note of the extensive damage caused and promptly initiated steps to help the affected people.

Along with activating helpline numbers for as many as 13 districts, the affected people have been asked to submit damage reports along with photographic evidences to the deputy commissioners (DCs) concerned for availing necessary assistance.

Within minutes of the reports of the devastation caused by the hailstorm started pouring in, chief minister Biren Singh took to social media for providing regular updates on the initiatives taken up by his government for protecting “lives and properties/' of the people, which is rather a welcome change from his usual engagement on social media to counter disparaging comments made on him and his style of governance.

Such prompt actions to ameliorate suffering of the people are what any responsible government is expected to do for winning the confidence and continued support of the people instead of leaving the poor and defenceless people to fend for themselves from the vagaries of inclement weather and natural disasters.

On the other side of the spectrum' it is interesting. to note that the devastating hailstorm that wreaked havoc in the lives of so many poor families in the state has been ironically regarded as an occasion for photo session by some people with better living condition and accommodation.

Contrarily to the disturbing images of tin-roofs of houses perforated by hailstones or blown away by the storm, flooded rooms and rain-soaked beds, ruined vegetable and fruit farms that are floating on various social media platforms, all calling out for immediate help; it is despicable to see some people uploading photographs of themselves smiling from ear to ear With the piled up hailstones as the background or walking through the hailstones covered ground as if they were in some hill stations for romantic outing.

From the video clips posted, it also appears that the main worry of these people is the damage caused by the hailstones to their houseplants.

There are also many people, who spent their time and energy judiciously in sourcing out pictures of snow-covered houses and roads from the world-wide-web to pass off as their localities or some other places in the state.

All these may seem harmless activities done just for fun, but has anyone thought about how it would be felt by the people who have to sleep their nights on a soaked bed inside a flooded room without a roof to protect themselves from the falling rain and thunder.

This brings us to the question of whether we, the people of Manipur, have no more feeling for the suffering of our own fellow beings.

Have the issues plaguing the state made us forgotten about our basic humanity of helping one another in time of any crisis?

Howsoever rich and powerful we might be, none of us can get away with a life without suffering.

Let us remember this simple fact before we post anything online next time that might hurt the sentiments of our fellow beings even if we can’t do anything to help those in need.

That would make this world a much better place to live in.



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