Travelling mela stuck in Tuensang for 4 months

BK Enterprise, an entertainment company (Mela) has been stuck at Tuensang for over four months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The travelling mela had reached Tuensang on February 25 and since then has been here due to the nationwide lockdown. (Photo courtesy: Moses Honang Chang)
BK Enterprise, an entertainment company (Mela) has been stuck at Tuensang for over four months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The travelling mela had reached Tuensang on February 25 and since then has been here due to the nationwide lockdown. (Photo courtesy: Moses Honang Chang)

Moses Honang Chang 
Tuensang | July 6 


The reaction of nations to the COVID-19 pandemic is to lock down borders both internal and external. As India decided to do the same it has adversely affected different walks of life.


One such incident is about a mela group who set up their camp in parade ground, Tuensang on February`26 and has been left stranded for more than four months.

Badal Das, the person in-charge of the team.
 

BK Enterprise is an entertainment company which is based in Assam. The mela was organised by Shongpo Langeishatbou Youth, an organisation from Chongpho khel, Tuensang village.


Kemang, a member of the organising committee stated, “Our town doesn’t have a park or any place for family entertainment. So, we thought we will hire them and provide a place for our people to hang out for fun. As the students would have completed their exams too, it was an opportune time.”

The inside of one of the kitchens belonging to the workers. 

 

Although their arrangement was for 25 days from March 6 to 30, much to the dismay of all, it closed after only 10 days from the day of opening due to COVID-19 pandemic.


“In total 60 people were here but few days before nationwide lockdown, 17 of them returned home,” said Badal Das, the manager of the company.


There are at least two families with small kids and few teenagers with their family in their group who own shops and manage different events within the mela. They were camped in makeshift house arrangements in the parade ground for more than four months.

A 12 year old Pritam sits outside his tent.
 

In a recent meeting, as a measure to prevent community transmission or other diseases, the District Task Force for COVID-19 resolved to shift them to another location to which the CCSU intervened providing an area in the Loyem Memorial Ground.


They will leave all the equipments at the ground along with a few people to look after it. Meanwhile arrangements for transportation for the rest of them to leave are being made.

A father holds his young daughter. He is one of the shop owners in the mela.
 

Since the fair was open only for 10 days, the profit margin for both the parties is low. Hence, the organising committee has decided to waive 50% from the company.

One of the cars used in the 'Maut ka Kua' attraction of the mela kept covered.
 

Through the help of the district administration, food packets are being distributed to the stranded people. The manager of the company mentioned that there has been no strain for them regarding food as they are able to manage on their own.

The wife of one the drivers in the ‘Maut Ka Kua,’ who also runs a shop in the mela.  

 

In the beginning they were apprehensive to leave for Assam due to high cases of COVID-19. However, being stranded for more than four months now, they are seeking options to travel back.