Ensure enough supply of essential goods: ATSUM
Newmai News Network
Imphal | March 25
The All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has requested the concerned authorities to see that there is no shortage of essential commodities in rural areas. The apex tribal students' body of Manipur also requested the state government to "make possible the surplus availability of these essential commodities at subsidized prices for the poorest among the populace during these dire times".
ATSUM president VareiyoShatsang said on Wednesday that lockdown is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, he said that the concerned authorities must also see that the difficulties of the people, when it comes to the availability of essential commodities, are minimised as far as possible.
"Owing to the 21-day national lockdown put in place by the government and the curfew that has been in place in Manipur since March 21 due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the upcoming few weeks are set to hit the livelihood and the survival of the society," VareiyoShatsang said.
He also said that the curfew/lockdown is also likely to have a major impact in the transportation of essential commodities to the various hill districts within the State of Manipur. "While essential shops and grocery stores are set to be opened; for people living in towns and the suburbs, running short of the essential items in the near future is a great possibility. Taking advantage of this, many shopkeepers have also started to stock up commodities with a plan to hike the price in the coming weeks in the hill districts," he expressed concern.
As such, the ATSUM president said that the need of the hour is for the concerned authorities to look into transportation and regulation of these essential goods so as not to leave the populace short on stock of essential commodities. "While ensuring this, the government also needs to put a stringent plan in action so as not to endanger the lives of the populace as well as the transporters of these essential commodities to the virus," he added.
The ATSUM chief then said that a huge number of the populace in the State is daily wage earners. "The government is thus, requested to make possible the surplus availability of these essential commodities at subsidized prices for the poorest among the populace during these dire times", while adding, "We urge the concerned authorities to put in place all the necessary measures to counter the virus while at the same time making sure the availability of the essential commodities for even the most far flung populace of the state".
VareiyoShatsang then expressed that coronavirus poses a great threat to the populace "but our biggest mistake will be turning a blind eye to the greater virus of hunger that is set to affect a far greater populace".