IMPHAL, November 29: Ministers and bureaucrats of Manipur are notorious for their disregard for punctuality, many times arriving late at public functions by hours without any care for the people whose time they have wasted.
While everyone has become used to their tardiness, at least one expects them to show some amount of consideration and compassion when the participants are young children.
Social welfare minister Ak Mirabai was to officially hand over 36 children, who were rescued from their illegal confinement in Bangaluru and brought back to Imphal, at a function scheduled at 10 am today. However, the children, organizers, press and the entire gathering were kept waiting for more than two hours for the arrival of the minister without any explanation forthcoming for her delay. On the other hand, for the second time in as many occasions, reporters were subjected to unnecessary harassment by the staffs of Observation Home, Takyel when they arrived there to collect news of the ceremony on official invitations. The reporters were detained at the gate by the private security guards on duty and it turned out that the latter were not even informed about the event. When the reporters realized that reasoning with the guards was unlikely to yield any positive result, they contacted an official who came to their rescue. At the venue of the ceremony, they were audience to another sermon by an official on
the ethical way to gather their reports and take photographs.
Ultimately, the program began just after noon and the 36 victims of child trafficking were handed over by the minister to their family members. The children who were freed from their bondage by a joint team of Bangalaru Police and Child Welfare Committee on September 2 last comprised of 15 children from Senapati district, 11 from Ukhrul district, eight from Churachanpur district and two from Bishnupur district. They were brought back to Imphal by a team of the social welfare department of Manipur on November 26.