An update on how KES and KET are supporting efforts in Nagaland during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, to be a public health emergency of international concern.
With support from KET in the UK, our sister organisation in Nagaland the Kohima Educational Society (KES) has been active on a number of levels to support efforts against the pandemic. We are very proud of the work our colleagues are undertaking at such a difficult time, doing all they can to make sure that those in need are given the right help.
President of the Kohima Educational Society, author and journalist Charles Chasie wrote in the Nagaland Page about the nature of the virus and what lockdown means for Nagaland, here.
KES President Charles Chasie tells us about the situation in Nagaland, what the current needs of the population are, and what KES is doing to help:
"The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has been writing to all organizations with an FCRA permit, asking for monthly reports of what each organisation is doing to contribute and help in the fight against Covid-19. The contributions can be in money or in services.
"There is an option to contribute either to the central Government or the State Government. As our contribution cannot be very big and we also have a good relationship with the Nagaland State Government, we thought it would be better to contribute to the Nagaland Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Therefore the Kohima Educational Society has donated Rs 50,000 (which is approximately £550) to the Nagaland Relief Fund.
"This money is being distributed to District Councils and Municipalities with the bulk being spent to supply food to people in need, and to those stranded by the lockdown, whether they are daily wage earners, including non-Nagas, and Naga students in various parts of India. It will also help the supply of drinking water to residents in Nagaland during this dry season.
"KES has also been invited to supply services and the two being put forward are our Mind Your Health Programme and the Scholarship Awards.
"Mind Your Health: A great area of need that we see is in the area of education of the people about the virus. People in the interior have no knowledge about the virus, its nature and how to fight it. So, there is a lot of fear because of lack of knowledge about what they are fighting. In some areas it has been suggested that villagers might not even be able to go to their fields - their only source of food! So, Dr Phyobemo Ngully and I are discussing the need for a simple educational leaflet, printed on simple paper, for the education of our people, particularly those in the rural areas. The cost will not be much and as this is for educational purposes, it should fall within our mandate.
"The Scholarships: sadly we were not able to disburse them prior to the lockdown, which occurred 2 days prior to our planned award ceremony. However, disbursement is seen as critical, particularly to those children from the poorest areas, and means we can support them in their hour of greatest need."
KET fully supports all these efforts, as help for the descendants of the veterans of the Battle of Kohima is at the heart of everything we do. Our fundraising work has never been more important! And it is all the more so as this year sadly we are not able to join together in York for our annual Kohima Day Service.
Chairman of the Kohima Educational Society, our colleague Dr P Ngully who is a Consultant Psychiatrist, has, in addition to his work with KES, volunteered his services to the State Government. Along with the President and Vice President of the Nagaland Medical Council, he is helping to create a system of support with volunteer health workers to ease the strain on the Medical Department in Nagaland.
Fear and anxiety about any disease, including Covid-19, can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Dr Ngully talks in the video below about steps that need to be taken in order to take care of mental health in response to the outbreak.
COVID-19 NAGALAND: MINDING OUR MIND
Dr Ngully is part of the team co-ordinating the mobilization of health professionals in Nagaland. More detail on his work with the Nagaland Medical Council can be found in this article from the Morung Express
Dr P Ngully, (centre) a senior doctor & consultant psychiatrist along with Dr. Joyce Zinyü Angami, President, Nagaland Medical Council and Dr. Sashimeren Aier, Vice President, NMC (photo courtesy of Vishü Rita Krocha at the Morung Express)