NEW DELHI: JNU students hailing from the Northeast, including those belonging to Meitei and Kuki communities, have joined hands to help victims of Manipur violence , a students’ forum said on Thursday.
The students under the banner of the North East Students’ Forum (NESF) of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are working round-the-clock in a bid to help people from the state by conducting donation drives on the campus.
The students, who believe “humanity comes above everything”, have already sent Rs 30,000 collected during the collection drives in the past three days to relief camps, the forum said.
“The NESF of JNU conducted a donation drive to collect funds to send to relief camps in Manipur for the victims of the violence,” a Ph.D. student from Arunachal Pradesh, who is part of the forum, said.
Since May 4 itself, the NESF sprung into action and hosted a meeting to figure out the ways to help the displaced people.
“Instead of referring to ourselves by the name of communities, we refer to ourselves as people of Manipur. We are working together to collect funds. We don’t want to divide us due to the name. As a student community, we represent our state and Northeast India,” said Yumkhams Santosh, Convener of NESF, who is a Meitei from Manipur.
The students set up small donation stations across the JNU with posters taped on cardboard. The posters had photos of evacuation, relief camps and the UPI bar code.
One of the posters read “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”.
In the recently conducted drive, students in the university came forward and donated money.
In addition to the donation drive, the students are holding meetings to discuss the matter of Manipur.
“After the drive, we did not provide money directly to the people but transfer it to people running relief camps. We are figuring out more ways to help people in the state in some or the other way,” said Newlandson, who is a Naga from Manipur.
The ethnic clashes in Manipur were preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley.
Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had on May 8 said that 60 people were killed, 231 injured and 1,700 houses including religious places burnt in the ethnic violence that rocked the northeastern state for the past few days.
A total of 3,583 people from Manipur fled to Mizoram after ethnic violence broke out last week, officials said on Thursday.