TODAY -

Quarantine centre competition

Free Thinker *



Manipur is making history again by running a tacit "Competition for the best Quarantine centre ". An undisclosed competition is going on among the leaders vis-a -vis their quarantine centres.

Not only that, the workers and kins of the netas are working overtime to please the quarantinees. They are spending a lot on grub and entertainment of the COVID guests; it is indeed an interesting thing to be noted and jotted down.

Nowhere in the country, you will find such a futile but politically prudent exercise. Forget about far flung States, the neighboring States have organised their quarantine centres in a tranquil manner.

Here the competition is quite tough.The race is more about good food and entertainment and less about hygiene or cleanliness, toilet or medical-care etc. For lunch it is fish, for dinner it is chicken and in between unlimited biscuits, tea and sometimes Bora or Singhara (Samosa).

For morning breakfast it is banana and eggs with milk/tea. The most attractive part is the musical concerts or comedy shows in the evening. Now, no one is willing to leave the place. Some are perhaps overstaying ( beyond 14 days).

Those who can pay, they are enjoying the comfort and facilities of a luxurious hotel quarantine. Those who can't afford such expensive affairs have to go to community quarantine centres which are mostly run by the local leaders. These centres are not bad at all, they are getting better and better as the elections are coming closer and closer.

However the State sponsored Quarantine centres may be upgraded; they need to be improved in all aspects - food, hygiene, rooms, bathrooms, water & power supply, cleanliness etc. It must be done immediately.

Student bodies may kindly help the authorities to run these quarantine centres in a better way. Thousands are already on the way. Many more are yet to arrive.

Curiosity about the fund may be there. But at this critical juncture what is the need to know the source and amount? Whether it is from the Centre or DONER or from local area development fund our priority right now is to combat the deadly virus.

Someone was telling me that the sanction amount of money for each returnee is just Rs 200 per day ( perhaps for food only ). Anyways the cost of our returnees must be borne without any hue and cry. After all they are ours.

In the hills, quarantine centres could be infested with mosquitos. Even if the mosquito repellents are supplied power supply may not be there throughout. So Odomos or Tortoise or Godzilla may be provided in plenty; if possible mosquito nets may be arranged. Otherwise inmates may not die of COVID-19 but certainly from malaria or encephalitis.

Ours is a tiny state with a population of about 33 lakhs. Manipuris always remain enthusiastic about their culture, custom, costumes, culinary, cuisines etc . Despite Corona tensions we are still a happy people.

When I say Manipuris, it includes all the 39 odd ethnic groups. Even in the midst of Corona crisis youngsters are still going on picnic despite restrictions. Around 15 boys and girls were roaming in two wheelers. They didn't bother about the virus.

They were arrested for breaking the lockdown laws. Later they were released without punishment or penalty but with a warning.The lady police officer who let them off, might have remembered her younger days.

One quarantinee has written a song remembering his former girlfriend another is singing country songs remembering his ex- wife in such centres. Another is listening to folk songs and Kongjom prava. Others are playing cards, of course with physical distancing of 2 feet ( they relax the norm from 2 meters); amount of money involved is not much. These are day and night matches with grub breaks.

Local brew was served at a centre as part of our tradition.The person who complained about this, is now ostracized by everyone. He is sitting in a corner like a defeated cock after a cock fight.

Now the quarantiners are afraid of serving drinks; they are not sure who will be the next black sheep. I sincerely feel that our native brews will help our diaspora people to acclimatize themselves with the local environment after a long time.

As per the latest report from our extraordinary journos Singjamei Quarantine Centre is number one and Sagolband Centres number 2 and the 3rd position goes to Tungjoy ( Senapati )hut quarantines .

Competition is still on, the final results will come after the pandemic. At Tungjoy each quarantine hut has a attached bed, table,separate toilet, electric supply with mobile charging facility and proper water supply . I really don't know the criteria of the competition. But I believe that the it must be on the basis of happiness quotient of the residents.

Organizing Music concerts or Entertainment shows or even Fashion shows is not at all obnoxious provided social distancing is maintained properly for both the performers and spectators .

Let's learn from Manipur College. Mr Speaker Sir ,what an idea Sir ji !


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on June 07 2020 .



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