Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at mizohican@gmail.com and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Chp 804. Day 12: Palm Sunday & The Mizo Church


Today is Day 12 of the Total Lockdown in India, and Day 15 of a Lockdown in Mizoram.

Today is also Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days here in Mizoram as it is a predominant Christian majority state. Every Palm Sunday, various Christian group members would take out a procession on the streets, shouting "Hosanna, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord".

This year though, the streets were completely empty as nobody was allowed to come out of their house due to the Lockdown.


Instead, a short Palm Sunday service was conducted at each locality using loudspeakers!

Everybody stayed inside their houses and listened to the sermon, and prayed and sang praises to God without stepping outside. And then we all chanted, "Hosanna, Lalpa hminga Israel Lal lo kal chu fakin awm rawh se!" in one great unison that echoed across the entire valley.

Here's a short video I posted on twitter this morning. This was how the sermon and service was conducted in my locality Chaltlang. Increase your volume.



This was totally different from previous years when the streets would be filled with Church members taking out processions. Here's how today would have looked like in Mizoram if there was no CoVid-19 pandemic outbreak:


[thank you, Salvation Army Commander Zodini Hnamte of Pune for sending me the above video]

Beautiful right? Church members of all denominations would participate in a Palm Sunday parade around their respective localities, and since there are different denominations within each locality, it was common to see different groups passing each other. And of course the one I always wanted to see the most was the majestic Salvation Army Corps with all their usual trumpets, clarinets, drums, tambourines, etc.

But today was a different experience for all of us in Mizoram. No parades, no processions. As one of my friends aptly stated, this was a "Palm Sunday, home-delivered".

My relatives from Chaltlang, Chanmari and Kolasib too took part in this "home service" today, listening to the sermons from their respective balconies and lawns.




And to prevent people who live in the borders of different localities from being bombarded with different sermons at the same time, the timing was planned in such a way that no two neighboring localities were conducting their sermons at the same time. (Imagine hearing multiple loud sermons at the same time :D That wouldn't be a Palm Sunday, that would be a face-palm Sunday :P ).

Likewise, as I have mentioned above, there are different Churches within one locality, and so the entire service was divided among different leaders, like for example, in Mission Vengthlang locality, a Pastor from the Baptist Church of Mizoram started the service with a Bible reading and prayer, and a Pastor from the Presbyterian Church of India ended the service with a blessing and prayer.


Similarly other localities had Catholic Priests, UPC Pastors, ECM Pastors etc. conducting parts of the service. And so that was how Mizoram celebrated Palm Sunday today.

We may all be separated by distance due to the lockdown, but nothing feels more unifying than seeing all the different Churches come together as one to lead the masses. Hosanna indeed.

As I have mentioned in my previous post "Mizoram: Setting an example for India, people in Mizoram are following the Lockdown order by our PM very strictly. Among the reasons I have stated, I forgot to mention one very important factor, and that is the role of the Mizo Churches.

First and foremost, the MKHC (Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitu Committee), the apex body of all Christian denominations in Mizoram had already issued an official statement during the first week of March about CoVid-19 and the cautionary steps everyone should take.

And then shortly later, every Church denomination in Mizoram started canceling all Church services along with other Church-related functions like fellowships, weddings, conferences etc. This happened in mid-March and even though that may seem recent, do keep in mind that this was much before our Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation on March 24th and ordered a Total Lockdown.

I know the date very well because I became a butt of a joke! After months of facial treatment due to my pimples flaring up, I was finally healed and I planned to start going to Church from mid March onward. I even went shopping and bought a couple of new shirts to wear at Church!


I was really looking forward to my first Church service, and my friends were making fun of me like, OMG, you're finally going to Church, the world is going to end! etc… And then just two days later, our Church issued a statement that all Church services had been canceled indefinitely! Lolz. Yeah my friends had a field day laughing at me again.

I personally find the Church's decision to cancel all services very impressive because as a Christian majority state, we could have easily continued with our religious functions and gathered in public together etc., like how we saw some states in India still conducting large-scale religious functions recently.

Faith is a double-edged sword. Sometimes it can be a beautiful thing, but other times it can be a dangerous thing as well. If the Church leaders didn't close down the Church and continued the services, or even if they announced something like, "Due to CoVid-19, you don't have to come and attend Church service, those of you who are concerned can stay at home", there would still be many people going to Church.

But no, our Church leaders were against it and they shut down the Church with an iron fist. Historically speaking, this is apparently just the second time in our 130 years of Christianity that Church services had been suspended, the first time being during the insurgency movement of the MNF in the 60's. That is how important people are considering this pandemic to be, and this is probably one of the reasons why we still have only one positive CoVid-19 case in Mizoram as of today.

All the Churches are also doing many other work related to battling CoVid-19 and helping other people, but as I mentioned in my post about the Local Level Task Force, all office-bearers of different Churches are members of the LLTF, and so everything that they have done is in the name of LLTF and not an individual Church per se.

Apart from giving financial aid to the LLTF and those who are in need, the Churches are also contributing money to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. As of 2nd April, 2020, the donations made by various Churches of Mizoram to the CM Relief Fund according to DIPR (Directorate of Information and Public Relations) is almost 40 lakhs INR!

Mizoram Synod, PCI - Rs. 9,00,000
Kohhran Thianghlim, Mizoram - Rs. 8,00,000
Baptist Church of Mizoram, Lunglei - Rs.3,00,000
United Pentecostal Church, NEI - Rs. 2,00,000
United Pentecostal Church, Mizoram - Rs. 2,00,000
Mizo Conference of 7th Day Adventist - Rs. 1,00,000
The Salvation Army, E.India Territory - Rs. 1,00,000
Catholic Diocese of Aizawl, Mizoram - Rs. 1,00,000
The Salvation Church (SAC), Mizoram - Rs.50,000
Assembly of God, Chaltlang - Rs. 50,000
BCM Hmeichhe Pawl HQ, Lunglei - Rs. 50,000
Zomi Baptist Church, Mizoram - Rs. 50,000
Evangelical Church of Maraland - Rs. 50,000
Evangelical Free Church of India - Rs. 20,000
BCM Zotlang Pastor Bial - Rs. 20,000


Apart from that, there are many things the Churches are doing, like the Relief and Development Department of BCM Lunglei went to different families distributing soap and sanitizers, the Salvation Army are also getting involved in other relief work, while other Churches are also distributing masks and rice to the needy.

Church groups like the Champhai North Adventist Youth Federation have been donating blood every day till today at Champhai Blood Bank, in batches of 6 members per day (due to the lockdown restriction).




There are definitely a lot of other contributions to mention, but for now I will stop at this.

It feels so great to see the Church stepping in and getting involved in this. More updates coming up soon, so do keep visiting for more. Once again, I wish you all a blessed Palm Sunday. Good night everyone.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Chp 803. Day 9: Thanks for the shares!


Today is Day 9 of the Total Lockdown in India, and Day 12 of a Lockdown in Mizoram.

I am extremely overwhelmed to see the number of shares my previous post got, not just among our Mizo community but outside the state as well, and words can't express enough to describe how much I appreciate you all for that.


There are more than 80K unique visitors to that particular post as of now, and over 150 comments, which are not the usual BOT generated "looking for hot sexy escorts nearby?" spam comments that I usually get on my blog. :D

I have read each and every single comment, and I love them all. However due to the sheer volume of comments and the outdated blog interface, I simply cannot reply to each and every single comment, so I really hope you forgive me for that. But I truly appreciate all of them, and if there was a "react" button, I would have heart emoji'd every single comment.

I also thank all the news and media persons who had contacted me, and I just want to make it clear that all the posts I have written about the lockdown in Mizoram (along with future posts) are all for public usage. The more people can read about them, the better for us. Feel free to use any of the images or information for your own reproduction.

Having 80K visits in just 2 days certainly puts a lot of pressure on what I'm planning to write next, lolz. Those who visit my blog regularly will know that I just write random stuff like this all the time, but to those who visited my blog for the first time, I really hope I don't disappoint you by telling you that I'll take some more time to research and collect pictures to post something like that again…

But I am definitely planning to write more positive things about Mizoram that you would want to share with your friends in the coming days. I'll just need some more time to do that. Meanwhile, it's back to the usual updates for now.

Here's one confession though. My friends in our "Mizo Bloggers" WhatsAppp group already know about this, but thought I'll just share it with you all - even though I was super excited about getting so many visits on my blog for the past three days, I was actually in paranoid mode!

Yup, since yesterday afternoon, I was extremely anxious, and I couldn't even sleep properly last night. And the reason for that is because of the same high visit count!


Since I want to give people who visit my blog a great experience, I do not use the in-built free image hosting service. Instead, I host all the images of my blog at my own personal AWS server. There are many advantages to that, like faster loading, better optimization, high-resolution option, simpler control panel etc etc., but I won't bore you with all the technical aspects.

The disadvantage is, I get charged for all that bandwidth usage. I usually get around 2K visits for every new blog post I write, so my monthly bandwidth usage comes to around $2 - $5. And that's ok, you know, that's the price I pay for entertaining you all, and I am fine with that. 

Now… (you're starting to see where I'm going? :D ), now, after I had published my previous blog post, people started sharing it and it started going viral. I was initially very excited. It quickly crossed the average 2K visit mark in less than an hour! I was like, whoah. And then soon it reached 10K. Man, I was in seventh heaven.

But then, it reached 20K, 30K, 40K, 50K, and I was starting to panic!!!

The first thought that came into my mind was, "Oh oh… my bandwidth usage!" Because the particular post people were all visiting not only had a lot of images, but they were all high resolution images!

I checked my AWS dashboard immediately, but it freaking takes 24 hours to refresh, and so my current bandwidth usage was still happily sitting at the $3 mark only. Lolz.

Last night, I checked my dashboard again. The bandwidth usage had gone wayyyyyy up, just as I feared! Like a protruding Antila mansion surrounded by the slum areas of Mumbai. This is the latest bandwidth usage chart as of today:


As you can see from the chart above, my monthly usage was being maintained at a steady $2 - $5 for a long time, and then suddenly in just two days, it shot past the $40 mark! And that $40 is just the raw data transfer cost, apart from that there are various service charges, storage charges, GST etc., and my bill for the month of March came to 76 US Dollars!!!!!

Man… I was just… laughing and crying at the same time :D

I was already thinking what all I could have bought instead with that $76, imagine how many "kuhva hring" I can buy during these hard times when it is not available anywhere! Damnnnnn.

And so I spent the whole day today discussing with my techie friends on what to do, and finally, I moved all the images of that post to imgur, a free image hosting site, and re-linked all the html codes again. Now if you visit that particular post again, you will notice that all the images are now taking a much longer time to load, and they will be of lower resolution as well.

I feel bad doing that, but since I'm not earning anything from my blog, I had to do that, otherwise I can no longer afford to blog anymore, lolz. I had already deactivated all advertisements on my blog a long time ago because I blog out of passion and not because of the money.

And so, those are the things that had been going on with me for the past 2 days. For the rest of this month, I'll be hosting all my new blog update images on imgur only, I dare not touch AWS again for the time being, lolz. And from tomorrow onward, I will get back to writing relevant topics again about the ongoing lockdown. So until my next post then everyone, cheers.



Monday, March 30, 2020

Chp 802. Mizoram: Setting an example for India


[edit, 2nd April: Due to the overwhelming number of visits to this post (80K uniques in 2 days), my AWS server account hosting the images below shot beyond my budget! Hence to reduce loss, I have moved all the images to imgur, so they might take a longer time to load and will be of lower resolution]

 
Today is Day 6 of the Total Lockdown in India, and Day 9 of a Lockdown in Mizoram.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for sharing my previous post about how some designers and tailors got together to stitch PPE's. It had received a lot of publicity along with more donations, and I will definitely be updating you all on the wonderful progress they have made, including the hospitals and police personnel they have supplied their PPE's and masks to.

I would also like to thank Tora Agarwala from Indian Express for reaching out and writing a wonderful piece about this. She had contacted all the important individuals involved in this initiative, so do read her detailed article if you haven't yet - Across Mizoram, 400 tailors are stitching a resistance to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this post, I would like to show you all, especially those of you from outside Mizoram on how the Lockdown is being handled here in Mizoram, and how Mizos can be a shining beacon of example for the rest of India.



I'm truly grateful to BDa Pachuau for allowing me to use the drone images he had taken of Aizawl during the lockdown. Also a big thanks to my friends like Effie Fanai, Alice Lalrin, Sangtei Chhakchhuak, Kareen Tamang, Remi Bawitlung, Jerusha Lalremruatifeli, and members of the "Mizo Bloggers" and "Ryders" WhatsApp groups for sending me all the photos below for this blog update.

Some of the photos they have sent me aren't theirs, so in case you don't want me using your pic on my blog, please do let me know and I will remove it.

So, with 9 days of lockdown here in Mizoram so far, life had taken a sudden twist. What was once a busy street or a bustling market had turned into an eerie ghost town, with dried leaves blowing across the deserted roads and pavement.

Here are some of the drone photos of Aizawl taken by BDa Pachuau. You can click on all photos below to enlarge to a new tab.











Majestic right? Just miles and miles of empty roads, not a single soul or vehicle out on the streets. This is the spirit of Mizoram. We obey the rules, especially when we know it is for our own good, just like in my previous blog post I wrote about how the people demanded the Lockdown to be enforced when the District Magistrate issued an order to relax the curfew time for a few hours. :)

And if you think the drone-view of the empty roads are beautiful, here are some pictures from street-view.





Empty Petrol stand.





Upper Khatla.



Lower Khatla.





Bara Bazar, what used to be the busiest market in Aizawl, filled with shoppers, vendors, children, street performers etc., now void of any life-form.





Day or Night, the lockdown is strictly followed.



Here is a short video taken by my friend Lalzirtira who travelled from Luangmual to Dinthar locality during lockdown. Check out the empty roads.



Lalzirtira, aka Maxeer, aka Zir-everywhere-a, went everywhere during lockdown, hence living up to his nick-name. :P

Just kidding, Lalzirtira is a part of the Health Care department and is one of the few people who must mandatorily report to work every day, as he works in the "State Contact Tracing Management Unit", a very crucial and important branch of the Aizawl District CoVid-19 Task Force that is responsible for tracing everybody that a CoVid-19 positive patient came in contact with.

Do remember in our prayers that apart from the doctors, nurses and police who are at the frontline, there are many others like Lalzirtira who have to go to office every day and work behind the scenes in this battle against CoVid-19. This includes the daily sanitation workers, the bank and telecom employees, and other public departments like Power and PHE.

And so that is how things have been in Mizoram for the past 9 days. All emptiness. Till now, my friends from other parts of India keep posting videos in the WhatsApp groups that I am in, of people (crowd) gathering here and there and traffic on the roads, and I am so proud to say Mizoram is not like that at all.

So what makes Mizoram different from other states?

Here are eight reasons I can think of at the top of my head.


Reason #1. Discipline.

Long before CoVid-19, Mizos have always made headlines in the country when it comes to discipline and politeness. Like those viral images you must have seen of vehicles maintaining strict lane rules even when there are no vehicles coming from the opposite direction, or the fact that nobody honks (unnecessarily) in Mizoram.

Even at Lengpui airport, nobody rushes to get out of the plane once it lands, and at other airports, the last people to get up from their seats will always be Mizo travelers once we give way to the crowd jostling to get out.

That's… just how we are all wired. And that really helps in everything else.


Reason #2. We learn fast.

Now I'm not saying we are perfect. We have many flaws too, but we keep learning from our mistakes. Like for example, when news of people in India being infected with CoVid-19 and the likelihood of a curfew being announced started spreading on WhatsApp groups, there was immediate panic buying.

I live right opposite Nu Muani's store, which is a wholesale store here in my locality Chaltlang. On the day of the panic-buying, people flocked to her store immediately. 



As you can see from the above pic, people still maintained decorum and formed a line politely. There was no pushing or fighting. However, there was also no sense of social distancing! The people just didn't know about it. And so on that very day, there were awareness programs held on local TV channels, WhatsApp forwards, etc., speaking about the importance of maintaining social distance, and the very next day, this was the same line at the same place.



Such a huge difference, pun unintended. The above pic was taken from the other end of the line, and yes, the line did get way longer, but it was also much safer too. That is how fast we learn when taught.


Reason #3. Well preparedness.

A State Level Task Force was already set up in February to oversee the entire operation in case the CoVid-19 pandemic reaches India. The State Level Task Force was then broken up into District Level, Block Level and finally Local Level Task Force. I'll write about the Local Level Task Force further below.

There were official awareness bulletins issued by every Government bodies and departments. Even long before the National Lockdown was ordered by PM Narendra Modi, people entering any government offices in Mizoram had to wear a mask and wash their hands before entering the office building, while some offices also had hand sanitizers.

My sister and I visited the Revenue office in the first week of March, and I didn't have a mask on so I wasn't allowed entry! I had to purchase a mask from a medical unit located outside and then only was I allowed to enter.

 


Reason #4. Hand sanitizers, and trust issues!

Ok this point may seem trivial, but I really want to include it because I have been hearing my friends from outside the state talk about how people are actually stealing hand sanitizers from public places or refilling their bottles with the ones kept in offices and shopping malls!

That has never happened in Mizoram so far (at least to my knowledge), and there are hand sanitizers kept everywhere (this was before the lockdown). All ATMs too have hand sanitizers.



I took this photo below just before the lockdown. The ATM was out of money, but the hand sanitizer wasn't. I guess it is better to run out of money than to run out of lives :)




Reason #5. Well practiced social distancing.

As I mentioned in point 2, we learnt very quickly about social distancing, and soon everybody practiced it. It feels so heartening to walk around and see people stand in a queue so far apart from each other. 

There are so many wonderful pictures sent on WhatsApp groups of people standing in a line while maintaining a distance from each other, that it was really difficult  to select which ones to keep on my blog. So I just randomly selected a few pictures.

People lining up to buy vegetables and other essentials from a make-shift outlet, Thakthing locality.



A queue outside Kolasib vegetable market.



People waiting to enter a general store at Tuikhuahtlang locality.



Again Tuikhuatlang locality, this one is a make-shift distribution centre for essential goods.





Customers waiting for new gas cylinders at Ramhlun North locality.



People lining up to buy medicines from a lone medical store that is allowed to open at Dawrpui locality.



As you can see in the above and below photos, only one selected pharmacy store is allowed to open amidst all those medical store signboards you can see, so as to prevent the congestion of different queues.



And finally, multiple queues outside the medical store of Aizawl Civil Hospital. Notice how distance is maintained on all sides.



And so these are just some of the many examples of people maintaining social distancing here in Mizoram. And if you look at all these photos, the best part is there is NOT A SINGLE policeman anywhere around to make people follow this distancing rule! The people just follow the rule by themselves and stand apart from each other (although in some cases the reason people do that is because there is a large obvious circle drawn on the ground and you don't wanna be that douchebag standing outside the circle, lolz).


Reason #6. Planning and Supplies.

The State Level Task Force right down to the Local Level Task Force had planned everything really well, and because of them, things are running very smoothly in Mizoram. In my locality Chaltlang, every shop that sells essential goods like vegetables and other groceries are shut down, and only ONE store is allowed to operate.

And luckily for us, that happened to be the shop right opposite my house, Nu Muani's store. :D



Every morning I would watch from my bedroom window (technically my niece's bedroom because she is quarantined in MY bedroom as it has an attached bathroom), people unloading all types of vegetables and other essentials. Only the workers and Local Level Task Force members are allowed on the scene.

And then at a particular time that had been allotted, an announcement is made over the locality loudspeakers that only shopkeepers can now come to Nu Muani's store to purchase what they need. Again, the required distance is maintained as the shopkeepers stand in line. Common people like me are not yet allowed to come out of the house, and you can't "cheat" because we are a small community at local level, so all the Local Level Task Force members know who is a shopkeeper and who is not.

Once all the shop keepers have bulk-purchased what they need and gone home, Nu Muani's store is also ordered to close down and we're back to complete lockdown and deserted streets. And then at 5 in the evening, an announcement is made over the locality loudspeakers again that all the shopkeepers selling essential goods can now open and only ONE member from each household can come out to buy from the nearest opened shop.

We still have to maintain distance while standing in line, and only 2-4 people are allowed inside the shop at the same time, depending on the size of the shop. And none of the shop-keepers are allowed to sell anything at a price higher than usual, and this is strictly scrutinized by the Local Level Task Force.

And so, that is how things are running so far, and I really appreciate the Local Level Task Force members for their good work.


Reason #7. Local Level Task Force.

Ah the main heroes of this post. I don't mean to demean the doctors and nurses by saying that, they are the real heroes in this battle against CoVid-19, but when it comes to maintaining peace, calm and order at a local level, the Local Level Task Force is doing a fantastic job.

The Local Level Task Force, or LLTF as they are called, consists of authoritative and prominent people within each locality. They are a part of the YMA (Young Mizo Association), preferably office bearers of YMA and Local Council, along with at least one office bearer from different denominations and groups like MUP, MHIP, etc.



Keep in mind that it is on a voluntary basis if you are appointed, but in our community, people take up their work very seriously once they are appointed. Only those people who have extreme reasons like a sickness or death in a family or duties involved with the state government are excused and a replacement is appointed in their place.

The LLTF is the reason why till now I haven't seen a single police officer in my locality (or any locality for that matter). Compare this to pictures and videos from other states where police and para-military forces are patrolling the streets and hitting those who are breaking curfew, Mizoram is a paradise compared to those places. 

People just obey the LLTF. And yes, there will always be one or two stray idiots who just cannot remain at home. If the LLTF catches such people, they are punished, but not by violent means. Here is a picture my friend from Zemabawk locality sent me where the LLTF caught a guy breaking curfew, and they punished him by making him sweep the entire street! :D



Here are some more pictures of various LLTF members on duty across different localities in Mizoram.







As you have seen in the video above of my friend Lalzirtira driving a scooty from his house to office, people have to show these LLTF members their permit every time they drive through their locality.





I really like the one below, apparently it is the Serchhip district Village Task Force. While performing their duty of keeping a check on the roads, they entertained all the houses nearby with talented music and song.



And as I have mentioned in my previous post about Mizo designers and tailors coming together to stitch PPE's for free, these LLTF members are also on the list of people they're planning to give the PPE's to.

A really great job by the LLTF once again.


Reason #8. Distribution of food.

Does a lockdown only benefit the privileged? This was one of the arguments some of my friends made in my previous post. "Keeping everybody in a lockdown is an anti-poor drive because it discriminates those who cannot afford to stock up on food and other essentials".

I completely agree, that is true. There are numerous labourers and daily wagers whose life has been destroyed by this lockdown. That is a really sad reality, and we need to take more effort to cater to those who are in need.

In Aizawl and other district capitals of Mizoram, we are fortunate enough not to have slum areas, like the ones you find in Mumbai, Kolkata etc. And in the villages, many people have their own vegetable gardens and livestock, making them self-sustainable for a short duration. But yes, we do have people from lower income families who are affected by the lockdown, and the LLTF has stepped in to guarantee that they are never hungry.

In my locality Chaltlang, the LLTF goes around the entire locality in a pick-up truck, distributing free vegetables to those who are in need. These vegetables are bought with the money donated by people of the same locality. In some cases, vegetables are also donated by people with resources, like in the pic below, the vegetables were donated by Pi Denghmingthang and family from Keitum.



And so the LLTF truck goes around our locality stopping at each section (each locality is again divided into different sections by the way, I can see that you're already very impressed at how our Mizo community is structured :D ).







And of course, people still need to maintain social distance while standing in line to receive the free vegetables :)





The amount distributed is not much and will last around 3-4 meals per household, but by then the LLTF truck would have gone for another round within the locality again. And apart from that, any family that is running out of essentials and do not have the money to purchase them are taken care of by the LLTF. Nobody is left behind.

And this practice is followed not just in my locality or within Aizawl but throughout Mizoram. Here are some pictures from Lunglei district where the Neuva section members of Bazarveng are weighing the vegetables to be distributed to different household.





Apart from taking care of their fellow Mizos, the LLTF are also taking care of all migrant labourers from other states who cannot go home because of the lockdown. While we recently saw many heartbreaking images of migrant labourers going back to their home states on foot and some even dying on the way, the migrant workers of Mizoram remained within the state. Since they no longer have any earnings and thus have no food, the LLTF is taking care of them too by giving them free food every day.

At Khatla locality, this is a single meal ration given to every migrant worker living within the locality.



At Chanmari locality, it was discovered that there were a couple of migrant workers staying illegally without ILP's (Inner Line Permit), and were starving for a few days because they were afraid they would be jailed if they go out since they didn't have ILP's. When the LLTF found out about them, they distributed free food to them immediately as well, and no action was taken against them.





Likewise, all migrant workers stuck within the state are fed with utmost care. That is why it's a bit disheartening to read news about Northeastern people living in other states of India being racially abused, being called "Corona virus", being spat upon, and like the recent incident at Mysuru More Supermarket where Naga students were not allowed to enter and buy food because of their race. :(

Also, in Mizoram, it is not just the migrant workers who are being taken care of, all the supply truck drivers who are driving into the state are also given free food by the citizens and Task Force members. This took place at the town of Seling.



Food being distributed to truck drivers by the Sethlun Village Task Force, Lunglei.



I found this photo in my WhatsApp gallery, but I have no idea where it was taken :D



Even within Mizoram, food is continuously being distributed to various locations, not just by the LLTF members but by philanthropists as well. In Lunglei district, Pi Zomawii Hrahsel of Zomawi Bakery distributed a large amount of cakes and biscuits to inmates of Lunglei District Jail, De-Addiction Centres and Orphanages.







Like that, there are so many stories of ordinary people stepping up and doing their role for our Mizo community. I think I'll stop here now because this post is becoming too long! I was thinking of breaking up the food distribution part as a different post, but I decided to keep them all together in this one post because I had such a good vibe going on. My apologies to you all if this post was too long.

But I hope you enjoyed reading this post and got to know how life in Mizoram is like during this ongoing lockdown.

One final point to add. I couldn't help but get a little bit sentimental when I was writing about the food distribution part. I guess it is in our Mizo blood to make sure nobody goes to bed hungry. As I had once written an answer on Quora six years ago about What do people of Mizoram think about rest of India?, where I briefly mentioned about the reason why Mizos rebelled against India.

It was the great famine of 1958 and neglect from Indian Government that gave rise to the formation of the MNFF (Mizo National Famine Front) which made sure that every Mizo had something to eat, no matter how scarce, and from there it turned into a separatist movement. Even though those days are long gone now, as I look around it is clear that we still have that blood running through our veins, the blood of altruism and tlawmngaihna, our selfless sacrifice for our community. And that makes me so proud today.

That is all for today and I hope you keep visiting this blog again. God bless everyone and hope other states have something to learn or take away from the way Mizoram is handling the Total Lockdown. Until my next post then, see you all, cheers.