Highway blockades, riots, bomb blasts, immobilised transport, closed shutters, empty racks, economic crisis, scarcity of basic resources- Manipur is going through a steep downfall for the past few months. Political unrest and disputes are giving rise to a huge turmoil in the state. The on-going blockade of the national highway leading to Imphal Valley, imposed by UNC is creating havoc in various regions of Manipur. People have been left immobilised and their needs unfulfilled.
While the distressed still sit helplessly, hoping for the situation to turn better, there is a handful of those who are proving their worth as true citizens, accountable towards their constitution and responsible for the betterment of their own nation.
Yes, they are the ‘Jagriks’. They are active participants of a nationwide campaign, Samvidhan LIVE- The Jagrik Project, launched on 26th November 2016, by Commutiny-The Youth Collective in collaboration with 24 youth-centric partner organisations. Facilitated by an organisation called ‘InSide Northeast’ in Manipur and other north eastern states, this campaign engages youngsters in interesting games and tasks centred around the fundamental rights and duties of Indian citizens. By performing these rigorous tasks, the participants, who are otherwise unaware of the true essence of exercising their rights and duties, learn to live their constitution and take ownership of it.
The 12 pairs of Jagriks in Manipur are not only exercising their rights and duties themselves, but are also spreading awareness in their communities. “In a society which is so unequal, people do not realize the true power of their right to equality. The tasks I did were centred on our right to equality, in which we conducted seminars in the villages and through different types of presentations, advocated the need to exercise those rights”, says Kim, a Jagrik based in Imphal. The participants also dutifully did the task of conducting various sessions with kids of some orphanages, where they went regularly and sensitized the children towards realizing the importance of the constitution and their contribution in it, so that they become active and responsible citizens in future. To perform some of their essential fundamental duties, some of the Jagriks carried cleanliness drives and plantation drives in their villages and also involved the community members in it. The enthusiastic villagers gathered in huge numbers and took responsibility to perform their fundamental duty of protecting and improving their natural environment during these cleanliness drives. Not only this, but the youngsters also conducted surveys in huge numbers to analyse the level of knowledge and awareness in their community members about fundamental rights and duties.
“Despite the prevailing crisis period, when it is becoming difficult and unsafe for people to travel from one region to another, our jagriks are venturing out with huge amount of energy and determination and carrying on their tasks dutifully”, says Hejang, founder of InSide Northeast. These Jagriks are setting an example for the nation by showing what a true Indian citizen, who abides to the constitution and works towards the collective betterment, can do in such a politically and economically unstable region.
Piyuli Ghosh | TOC
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