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Lan-ngamba: 16 babies born at relief camp amidst violence in Manipur

The ‘relief’ camp, especially opened for pregnant women, is run by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) OBC Morcha and is supported by various donors, and agencies, including the state government. 

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Imphal: Here’s a good news folks! Amidst all the trauma and misery that have been inflicted upon several thousand people due to the current sectarian violence in Manipur, 16 babies were born, bringing smiles to dozens of families who had run for their lives from their native villages. 

Fifty-four women who have been housed at the Youth Hostel, Khuman Lampak, in Imphal East, since May 22, have given birth to 16 babies – seven girls and nine boys – so far and over 30 women in ‘advanced pregnancy’ are awaiting their babies in the coming days.

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The ‘relief’ camp, especially opened for pregnant women, is run by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) OBC Morcha and is supported by various donors, and agencies, including the state government. 

All the women here are from all over the state including, Yairipok, Churachandpur, Ethai, Torbung Bangla, Motbung, and Thanga, Moirangthem Vidyarani, a karyakarta of the BJP Morcha told The North East Affairs.

She further informed that not only is maximum support being provided to the pregnant women, including yoga class, daily exercises, tea-breaks, and lunch, academic sessions in both morning and evening are regularly given to children by the youths. From the state health minister to concerned CMOs of Imphal East and West and other government officials are regularly visiting and taking care of the inmates, she added.

On Saturday, three families jointly celebrated the auspicious and historic ‘Swasti Puja’ for three newborn babies. Interestingly, chief minister N Biren Singh, BJP president state-unit Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi and Power Minister Th Biswajit participated in the celebrations. 

Speaking to the NEA, Sharda Devi informed that the relief camp at the Youth Hostel was especially opened for pregnant women who fled their homes due to unrest in various parts of the state. Moreover, they need not only a proper and healthy diet but also a safe environment for their future children. 

Taking a cue from the current crisis, many parents prefer to name their babies – Lan-Ngamba, as it denotes victorious male warriors in Manipuri. Some called them – Lanjennabi for baby girls. 

Another Swasti Pujah for a set of babies would be performed at the camp on an auspicious day very shortly, she added.

Hemam Nungshitombi (23) of Mata (Meitei) village in Churachandpur district, who is one of the 16 mothers at the relief camp, said that her house was torched by some armed Kuki militants on May 3.

Narrating her traumatic ordeal, she said, “When we heard about the massive attack on the Meitei population in Churachandpur district, we somehow managed to leave our home before the miscreants came.”

“We were, however, immediately evacuated by security personnel to an army camp at the Tuibong area where we stayed for around a week before we were again shifted to a relief camp at Moirang in Bishnupur district,” she added.

“I was one of the over 50 advanced pregnant women taken from different relief camps by the BJP workers to this ( Khuman Lampak) camp. I arrived here on May 27. The BJP workers helped us in all ways- healthcare, nutrition and others- here. We are also grateful to the BJP workers and others for treating us as their own family members,” Nungshitombi added.

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