‘Uphold the rights’ of vulnerable section, Nagaland NGO'S Forum urges government

Dimapur, March 26 (MExN): The Nagaland NGO'S Forum (NNF) today appealed both the Central and State Governments to adopt measures to alleviate people suffering from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the vulnerable section.

 “Recognising and upholding the humanitarian principles of Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality and Independence, and invoking the Constitutional principles and international human rights commitments, the SDGs, the Core Humanitarian Standards and Sphere Standards,” NNF said in its “concerned Statement on the Corona virus emergency in Nagaland and in the country.”

 NNF is a state civil society platform with over 3000 Government registered Society/NGO members across the state, informed the statement issued by its President, Dr Hesheto Y.Chishi and General Secretary, Chenithung Humtsoe.

 "We stand in solidarity with the people suffering from the pandemic, and with all the people and communities working to stop the outbreak in our nation and respective states," it said.

Health is a Fundamental Human Right and the crisis highlights how universal public health systems are fundamental to the life of all, it added.  

Highlighting the plight of informal sector casual, migrant and self-employed without social security (93% of labour in India), whose life has been affected by crisis, NNF appealed for the measures. 

Among others, it urged the government to come out with necessary financial packages to meet the medical emergency and also ensure money into people’s account to meet their basic needs. 

Put in place strong public health measures for massive free testing and treatment and avoid the danger of the disease jumping back up once the lockdown and restrictions on mobility are lifted, NNF said. 

It also called for increase the facilities for treatment and to ensure inclusive preventive measures and actions. 

NNF also urged the government to take urgent measures to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the health, sanitation and other frontline personnel.

Open up public spaces -hotels, guest houses, hostels, school building and others and convert them to hospitals and makeshift quarantine centres when ever required, it said.

It also called for engaging various stakeholders to distribute protective as well as relief items while also ensuring  provision of basic amenities like water supply and hygiene kits and essential commodities to all vulnerable population groups, inmates in various homeless shelters/beggars, night shelters/relief camps,  and slum-dwelling population across state .

 Institute inclusive relief measures and livelihood support through relief and packages and social security measures till the pandemic passes for marginalized, NNF said.

Strengthen Mohalla clinics, Sub-centres, PHCs to reach out with correct information and awareness drive, it added. 
 In addition, NNF further called for putting in place accessible and people-friendly complaints and grievance registration and redress mechanisms under the designated local authorities to provide and ensure justice along with humanitarian relief. 

The COVID-19 challenge needs a statewide approach to address the threat and the NNF upon the union and state governments to mobilize all of society to stand together and lead and coordinate the efforts, the statement added. 

The statement was addressed to Governor, Chief Minister Government of Nagaland, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Social Welfare Minister and Tribal Affairs Minister of Nagaland.