Rajaimei is more than 200 years old village, under Willong sub-division in Senapati district, located at a distance of more than 80 Kms from Imphal and takes more than 3 hours to reach because of rugged hill roads. Coming to know about the ongoing relief services of the Ramakrishna Mission, Imphal, the village authorities invited us to visit their village.
Thus, on Saturday, 27.03.2021, a team from Ramakrishna Mission, Imphal, visited the Rajaimei village. Our visit coincided with the traditional annual event of the villagers, when all the males & grown up children go in deep forest. Since, this annual feature could not be postponed, there were only old men & women folks in the village. But, the Youth Secretary of the village, Mr. Benjamin, had stayed back and very cordially received us. In our interaction with him, we came to know a little about the struggles & hardships the villagers face.
The village is located more than 20 km from the main town area of Senapati Market, which takes more than 1.5 hrs to reach. This is a newly carved shorter route which becomes almost unmotorable in the rainy season. In such circumstances, the older, roundabout route, more than 50 kms longer, has to be travelled, to reach the village. There are no shops in or near the village and thus the villagers, to purchase even basic commodities of daily use, have to travel all the way to the town market which costs them 400 Rs., just for travel fare. There is only one Govt. School upto class 3 and there is no medical facility in the village. Thus, the parents have no other option but to send their kids to town areas for further education, which increases the cost of education manifold for them. Farming & forest produce being the only source of income for the villagers, they struggle a lot to bear the educational expenses of their children. Although there are 128 households in the village, but, in search of better opportunities, half of families have shifted to town areas, who come back only during festival season.
Thus, there are only about 60 families presently staying in the village. All families were provided with a set of clothing each consisting 1 Male Jacket, 2 Male trousers, 1 female trouser & 2 female tops. Cakes, chocolates & some stationery items were also provided for the children. The assembled womenfolk of the village expressed their happiness on our visit & conveyed that never before has any non-political entity ever reached out to them in this way.
Also, earlier in the day, a small relief programme was held at Tumuyon Khullen, Senapati District, where 30 underprivileged families were provided with sets of clothing. All the assembled children were also provided with chocolates, cakes & stationary items.