College Students Turn Teachers For Kids In Relief Camps In Manipur Amidst Violent Clashes

At the beginning of May 2023, violent clashes broke out in Manipur between the predominant ethnic group Meitei and the tribals Naga and Kuki after the Manipur High Court directed the state government to include the Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category. Ever since then, people have been killed, houses are being set on fire, women have faced unimaginable sexual assault and kids have been displaced from their families. It is a nightmare.

According to The Hindu, approximately 70,000 people have been displaced by the violence and are seeking aid in 334 relief camps. These people include men, women, the elderly and children. These kids are missing out on their childhood and their education as most schools remain closed during these tough times. Even if there are some schools that are functioning, it is not safe for the students to go to school.

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Therefore, a handful of college students have taken it upon themselves to educate the kids who are missing out on school because of these violent clashes. There are about 400 children from pre-primary level to class 12 who are spread across these relief camps in Bishnupur district, reported TOI.

3 college students are teaching 35 kids in the relief camps in Chimgu Thangjing guest house. One of them is Ranjana Moirangthem whose house was burned down at the onset of the clashes. She graduated from college in 2021 and wanted to pursue a B.Ed degree this year. But things didn’t go as planned. So, she decided to help the kids at the relief camp. Since she studied Science in class 11 and 12 and later shifted to Arts, she is able to teach subjects across these two groups.

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Another college student named Leisemba Konjengbam who is pursuing an MSc degree is teaching kids across 7 relief camps along with his friend from NIT Manipur. Besides regular classes, remedial classes are being held for class 10 students who failed the board exams.

Their initiative is being supported by Seva Bharti and ABVP who are providing the kids with clothes and stationary.

“The students are finding it very difficult to focus on studies because of the disruptions owing to the violence. When we go to teach them, all they talk of is taking revenge. Getting them back to do what they should be doing at this age is no less a challenge for us,” said Ranjana.

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It is truly remarkable what these college students are doing. We wish all of them strength!

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