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LETTERS | SHILLONG | July 27, 2020:
Superman? Avenger? we might have to think harder because it is during these tough times that a hero rises from the ashes. A Phoenix!
An avid lover of dirt bikes, adventurous blood runs through his veins. Meban is another human walking amongst all of us but the difference in such individuals is their unconquerable soul which they possess. When the first case sprung up in April, Meghalaya saw the worst and the good in communities. Through social mobilization, the entire state contributed towards the cause of fighting an invisible enemy but suddenly, we let down our guard, thinking that all is well and that is when the inevitable happened.
Paramilitary forces! Wedding gala! we give in to complacency not knowing that our health systems and frontline workers were doing a laborious task. Why did Meghalaya turn itself into a deep state, hiding the names of the wedding returnees? Medical ethics was just an excuse; it was more like the government machinery, being a shadow of its past, forgot to heed the mistakes which would be crucial for tapping into the loopholes for future pandemics. Any way I can call this government MIA not "Missing In Action" but "Meghalaya Intelligence Agency (CIA!)"
Now when we talk about Meban, there is no need to debate or question his courage and sense of responsibility.
Meban is deputed for COVID-19 duties and was in charge of overlooking the Quarantine Centres when he was tested positive but this did not divert his mind nor broke his spirit. While still being isolated, he went straight and declared his status openly not hiding the facts.
This is how we expect responsible citizens to act and react.
He did this not for garnering attention but for the love he has for his people and community. With this, he not only started a chain reaction that others can follow suit but showed exemplary leadership. How I wish we would have more young and dynamic men like him. This country in general needs to start introspecting that stigma whether HIV/AIDS or COVID-19 throws us back to the medieval ages.
Finally, our educational system has never catered towards a humane level such as empathy, ego, leadership, but like what Eric Davis, a former Navy SEAL instructor in his book 'RAISING MEN' pointed out that men need to stop hiding their mistakes. Hoping that the next generation of youngsters from our state would stand fast on accountability.
Wishing Meban a speedy recovery as we need him in action.
By Christopher Gatphoh
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