Nothing is ordinary any more here in India, the country with the largest and most severe lockdown in the world. Death, marriage, education, livelihood . . . a twist to every aspect of existence seems to be the norm during these extraordinary times of the Covid freeze in the country.
Dates: 29th April- 2nd May
The Mizo code of ethics . . . a moving tale
A man from Mizoram, Raphael, took on the daunting task of bringing his friend’s dead body back home 3,000 kms from Chennai during the Covid lockdown. His friend, Vivan, a hotel management student, had died of a heart attack, and Raphael was upset that his friend should be buried so far away from his home. With the help of the Mizoram government, a Chennai Mizo welfare association and two ambulance drivers, Raphael managed the journey, reported Free Press Journal. The state chief minister said Raphael showed ‘what every Mizo heartbeat means when it comes to the term Tlawmngaihna, which is an age old custom and considered a social obligation of the Mizo. Tlawmngaihna (from https://mamit.nic.in/culture-heritage/), is a "Mizo code of conduct that demands every people to be hospitable, kind to others, unselfish, courageous and helpful to other even at the top of self-sacrifice." It stands for self-less service and is one of the values promoted even today.
Keeping school lessons going, the north-east way
The education department in Barak Valley in Assam has arranged for the broadcasting of crucial ninth and tenth standard lessons through All India Radio, reported Press Trust of India. This was the only way they could reach out to students who did not have smartphones or internet connectivity. In Kohima, Nagaland, Doordarshan is telecasting classes by twenty-five select teachers on various subjects for the special benefit of rural students, reported Morung Express. And in Tripura, the 29,000 teachers in the state are being asked to teach five students each in their own neighbourhoods (while maintaining social distancing). Tripura is also broadcasting pre-recorded classes on thirteen local cable television channels, as well as beaming two hours of lessons on Doordarshan.
Groom cycles 100 km, weds, brings back bride on pillion
Kalku Prajapati from Hamirpur village in Uttar Pradesh could not get permission for his family to travel to the next village for his wedding. So he set out by himself, riding 100 kms to Puniya, where the bride and family were all ready for the ceremony. Press Trust of India reported that after the wedding, Prajapati set off for home immediately on the same bicycle, his new bride riding pillion on it.
Humanity above religion
Inayat Ali and his friends broke their fast on a Hindu cremation ground, where they had come to the aid of a woman who was struggling to find help to cremate her husband’s body. Ali told Fress Press Journal, ‘Religion does not preach hatred. It talks about serving humanity.’
Assam paper takes on fake news with cartoons
Assam Tribune, along with Ray Memorial Trust, a not-for-profit organisation, has embarked on a month-long campaign against fake news, called ‘#CheckTheFake on COVID 19’. Two cartoon characters have been created for the campaign: Pandemic, representing the virus; and Infodemic, a brash character who misleads people about the disease, and is coloured yellow, symbolising unethical journalism.
Filmmakers, teachers, turn vegetable sellers
Vegetable selling appears to be the top go-to profession these days. A filmmaker, Shangpliang from Shillong, who is also the president of the Hill Farmer’s Association there, has been making a living by selling fruit since April 1, reported Shillong Times. In Doom Dooma in Assam, thousands of school teachers are now selling vegetables or making bamboo craft items to survive the lockdown, reported Assam Tribune.
Marriage goes online
Sreejith, who lives in Kerala, and Anjana, stuck in Lucknow during the lockdown, did not want their wedding muhurt to pass, as a date that auspicious would next come only after two years. So they decided to get married online, with Sreejith tying the mangalsutra around a photograph of the bride. Another online wedding happened in Patna, where a virtual nikah for Sadiya and Danish happened.
Authorities in two different corners of the country have struck upon a novel idea to ensure physical distancing during the Covid lockdown--compulsory use of the umbrella. The district collector in Ganjam in Orissa told Press Trust of India that an open umbrella ensured a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between people, as well as protected them from the fierce summer sun. A panchayat in Alappuzha district in Kerala too has mandated use of the umbrella.
Home at heart, man travels 3000 km with friend’s body. The Free Press Journal. Page-1. 30 Arpil 2020.
Radio lesson for class 9,10 students in Assam’s Barak Valley. The Eastern Mirror. Page- 4. 02 May 2020.
Vishu Rita Krocha. Educators in Nagaland share online teaching experiences. The Eastern Mirror. Page-2. 02 May 2020.
Chandan Pandey. Tripura to start ‘neighbourhood classes’ amid coronavirus scare. 29 April 2020
UP man cyces 100 km alone to marry, rides double with bride on way back. The Navhind Times. Page- 4. 02 May 2020.
Shahroz Afridi. Muslims carry Hindu man’s bier, break roza at Muktidham. The Free Press Journal. Indore Edition. Page-1 & 8. 29 April 2020.
Cartoon characters tear fake news to shreds. The Assam Tribune. Page-5. 02 May 2020.
City Filmmaker turns fruit vendor amid lockdown. The Orissa Post. Page- 3. 29 April 2020
Venture, private school teachers forced to sell vegetables. The Assam Tribune. Page-8. 1 May 2020.
Groom ties mangalsutra on bride’s image. The Fress Press Journal. Indore edition. Page-7. 1 May 2020.
People advised to use umbrella for social distancing. The Shillong Times. Page-5. 1 May 2020