MACR highlights woes of displaced Loktak children to NCPCR

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IMPHAL, November 22: The Manipur Alliance for Child Rights, New Checkon, Maringlane has submitted a representation to chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Santha Sinha, seeking immediate attention and intervention to safeguard the right to life, right to education, right to survival and right to protection of around 2000 children displaced indigenous fishermen of the Loktak lake.

The group informed that around 800 children including 500 school-going children are directly affected  by the eviction. Around 300 displaced children in the age group of 0-6, with their parents are deprived of any pre-school care and education facilities, nor medical facilities and food support from the state government, it claimed.

Besides, psychologically traumatized, displaced children were reportedly inflicted with certain ailments, as they are exposed to a highly disturbed environment.

It said another, 300 children who used to attend school daily to the neighbouring schools situated at Moirang, Ningthoukhong and even at Churachandpur from the floating huts, have also abruptly stopped going to school following the mass burning down of the floating huts while another 200 children who are studying in different schools in Imphal and Bishenpur by staying at different boarding/hostels have started returning from their respective schools due to the outrageous incident, it claimed.

It drew the immediate attention of NCPCR to intervene the situation, to stop the violent process of burning floating huts and repression of the democratic agitation and voice of the displaced local fishermen.

It also requested that the young children along with their displaced parents are provided with immediate relief materials and a safe place for temporary settlement.

At the same time, it has also urged to amend/repeal the controversial Loktak Lake (Protection) Act. 2006, to make it more humane and fishermen friendly legislation.

On the other hand, the memorandum also appeal the NCPCR to direct the state to make a broad plan for the children of the displaced fishermen, who have returned from their school, to send back to their respected schools for enabling them to appear the forthcoming  exams without any apprehension and trauma.

Further, it is requested to direct the state to announce an alternative livelihood of the displaced fishermen, by implementing an inclusive plan in which the traditional rights and livelihood of the fishermen community are protected and promoted; so-that they could look after and protect their children’s right to life, right to development, survival and protection, as well as the ecology and environment of Loktak lake is also conserved and protected at the same time.

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