Need to heed CM’s appeal: Scale down Yaoshang revelry

The appeal of Chief Minister N Biren to scale down Yaoshang revelry this year should be taken with the seriousness it deserves. Top this off with the advisory from the Union Health Ministry to the citizens to avoid crowded places as much as possible and it should be clear that the best way to avoid contracting COVID-19 is to wash one’s hands thoroughly with soap and water and when this is not possible or practical to use a hand cleanser with at least 60 percent alcohol.  In other words, avoid close contacts with anyone, particularly those suffering from cold and cough and in a crowded place the chances of this solid piece of advice getting lost is all that much higher. It is against this reality that the appeal of the Chief Minister must be understood. Look at the figures. The total number of deaths worldwide is above 3500. China alone accounts for 3097 deaths while in Italy the figure is over 233.  In Iran the figure is over 194 while South Korea has accounted for 50 deaths. In France it is 16 and in Spain it is 13. The figure will keep climbing as the world grapples to come out with a vaccine or an antidote and this is the reality that everyone should come to terms with. In India, fortunately there is no death as yet but already there are 39/40 confirmed cases. Significant to note too that save for Iran, all the other countries mentioned here are developed Nations where health care and other facilities are much better off than India, not to talk about Manipur.
It is against this grim reality that Chief Minister N Biren issued the appeal to the people to scale down the Yaoshang revelry this year. It was not for nothing why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced earlier that he would not be taking part in this year’s Holi festival and why BJP president JP Nadda issued an advisory to all State BJP presidents not to take part in the Holi festivities. It is against this backdrop that the appeal to scale down this year’s Yaoshang festival was issued and this should be appreciated by all. However in certain pockets of Imphal one can see young girls blocking roads to collect money to organise Thabal Chongba, an important part of the Yaoshang festival. However the reality should be kept in mind and it would not harm anyone if Thabal Chongba is given a miss this year. This is where elders and parents of the family need to step in and convince the youngsters to give Thabal Chongba a miss this year. Convince the youngsters of the grim reality facing the world at large. If COVID-19 can claim human lives in countries such as the USA, China, South Korea, Italy and Spain, one can imagine how the situation would be like if the virus lands here in Manipur where the infrastructure may not be as advanced as in the first world countries. Let it be the bounden duty of every adult in the family to educate the youngsters and make them scale down this year’s Yaoshang festivities.