Social worker Mathanmi Hungyo from Kamjong district, Manipur

Imphal: The pandemic has brought out many inspiring stories from across the globe renewing the humane side of mankind. In yet another such heart-warming story, a 26-year-old young social worker, Mathanmi Hungyo, from Kamjong district in Manipur has named as India’s COVID-19 Soldiers Awards for this week based on his selfless service towards the society amid the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The award which carries an amount of Rs 1 lakh is being organised by the Better India.

“We are proud to announce that Mathanmi is the winner for the fifth week of India’s COVID-19 Soldiers Awards – the country’s largest rewards and recognition program to honour inspiring acts of bravery, compassion and kindness in our fight against COVID-19,” the Better India said.

Despite limited resources, Mathanmi personally managed 8,000 kg of rice, 3,000 kg of dal, kits and soaps to around 3,000 families in over 35 remote villages along the Indo-Myanmar borders. He also arranged 300 PPE kits and 700 N95 masks for health workers in the three hill districts.

Speaking with EastMojo, Mathanmi said that the noble work was all started when even after one week of lockdown announced; there were no initiative or preparedness from the authority. And that’s how he came up with the idea of crowdfunding on Instagram.

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Mathanmi Hungyo and his team distributing rice to villagers

From the initial little amount we received, we started distributing the relief items to the people, said the young social worker who is also the nodal officer for COVID-19 Control Room of Kamjong district.

“When we started the crowdfunding for raise funds for relief items, Wipro Foundation has reached out to us for collaboration and they sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for relief work. Later, I reached out to Azim Premji Foundation and we collaborated on bringing the PPE kits and N95 masks,” said Mathanmi.

There was not a single PPE kit in Kamjong when the pandemic lockdown was imposed. We were the first to bring in the safety kits by an Indian Air Force from Delhi and distributed it to the healthcare workers in Kamjong, Ukhrul and Noney districts, he added.

Serving the people in such difficult terrain and the limited fund is a daunting task and that too during the pandemic time; however, this young man from Ningchou village, one of the interior villages along the Indo-Myanmar border in Kamjong district, not only served the community with wholeheartedly but promotes human progress.

According to Mathanmi, a total of 2,500 people returned home from various metro cities amid the pandemic lockdown in Kamjong and as a nodal officer, he shouldered the responsibility from the moment a person is shown intent to come home from metro cities and look after the well-being during their homeward journey until he/she safely completed the community quarantine period.

Mathanmi Hungyo and the team delivering relief items to villagers

Also Read: Manipur: 16-year-old girl from Kangpokpi writes the Bible in 104 days

COVID-19 volunteers and locals in Kamjong district, Manipur

Now, Kamjong is among some of the few districts in the state with zero-COVID-19 active cases.

Right now, there are no inmates at quarantine centers in the district but as part of our preparedness and way-forward in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, five community quarantine centers will be solar-powered centers in collaboration with Selco Foundation, said Mathanmi, adding, one center has been installed successfully.

Mathanmi, who is also the founder of Recognize, Rise and Empower Association (RREA), has initiated various programmes on education development in the remote areas.

Currently, under RREA, there are two programmes such as Teach for North-East where selected fellows dedicated their quality time with students of government schools in Kamjong and strive for quality education. Another programme-sport for social development also aims to promote sports in education learning.

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