• Lifestyle

    I was sick, now I am poor: The impact of health care expenditure

    A society’s progress is not measured by how splendid a show one puts up at a festival or how good the top layers in the society are performing. But it is measured by how much it does to protect those people who live on the edge of a cliff. What would have a Chakhesang Naga village farmer not done before deciding to sell off his paddy field to pay for his son’s medical bills? Left with nothing else, he did it; for who wouldn’t have done so if that can save the life of one’s only son? If a single showing is worth a thousand telling, the story of desperation…

  • Lifestyle

    Child Mortality Statistics: Not just numbers

    Health statistics are not just numbers in a table, shades of colors in a chart, or dots in a map; but they are measures of human suffering. Behind such mathematical and statistical figures of our health and disease data are real people who either suffered or died In my presentations, I point to the health statistics and say that these are not just numbers in a table, shades of colors in a chart, or dots in a map; but they are measures of human suffering. Behind such mathematical and statistical figures of our health and disease data are real people who either suffered or died. Chances are that in the…

  • Health

    Why good healthcare is so hard to achieve

    Forcing the present health care system to deliver services is like flogging a starved mule to work The precarious HIV situation in Nagaland has been in the news. It is a harsh reality that with the resources invested; the situation is still far from satisfactory. But the HIV/AIDS situation is not an isolated case. Good healthcare is so difficult to achieve. People visiting healthcare centers across the State know that all is not well. The standard reaction is the pointing of fingers at the government machinery which is responsible for running the services. But things get more complicated when we explore the factors which determine the type of healthcare we…

  • Reflection

    Is there gender inequality in Nagaland?

    Naga society is in transition where an age-old understanding of male dominance and superiority coexists with an increasing understanding of gender equality The title seems like a no-brainer that the existence of gender inequality in Nagaland should be put into question. But surprisingly many males including educated people in leadership positions hold the view that there is no gender discrimination in Nagaland. Therefore, before going into enumerating or highlighting the degree of gender discrimination, it may be worth looking at the debate on the existence of gender inequality itself. We hear it from the pulpit or elsewhere which goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was gender inequality…

  • Reflection

    Who to blame? Let us be specific

    When we say that the public is also to be blamed for the messy situation we are in, does that mean that the baby girl who was born last night in a remote village in Myanmar border is also to be blamed? Let’s be specific. ‘Public’ is a heterogeneous group with angels and demons and every type in between. Generalizing the blame is not just for those who are not corrupt yet suffer for someone else’s faults. Blaming the public is a favorite prop politicians use to legitimize their actions. But let’s face this truth: Politicians are homogeneous in so far as corruption is concerned. By virtue of their power…

  • Reflection

    ‘Your underwear is our underwear’

    ‘Your underwear is our underwear’. This is the most creative slogan that Nagas have come up with in a public protest (in Zunheboto some years back) against extortion and molestation of women by a UG group. In a magazine article called ‘Wages of war‘, the detailed rates and means of extortion by various Naga underground groups were documented. It was estimated that the collective revenue of all UG groups is about Rs. 1300 crores annually. Not a rupee of this goes back to, say, maintenance of even 1 inch of road in the State. Where does this money go? Surely it doesn’t need that much amount to negotiate peace with…

  • Reflection

    ‘Don’t send us funds. They will never reach us’

    Officials from central government (GOI) and regional office had a program with a farmers group in Nagaland. I did not attend the program but I was told when I sat with the same farmers for another meeting recently. In that program, the officials from outside heard the plight of the farmers and offered to help through financial support to their work. How the farmers replied to that offer is something which needs our attention. They replied, ‘DON’T SEND US FUNDS. THEY WILL NEVER REACH US’. It was not that the farmers did not need the money. But their reply said it all. They have lost faith in the State government.…

  • Reflection

    False gospel of positive attitude

    Young people have become very negative, our leaders in high places say. But the gospel of positive attitude which they preach is actually blind positivity. They want their followers to close their eyes and say that all is well. Having a positive attitude is admirable. But you look to your left, right, front, and back and what do you see? Does the evidence of the present situation foster an attitude of positivity? Our leaders think that they can scold young people to obedience. But kids have eyes and minds. The spirit of negativity is the making of the leaders who have failed us. Now, rather than old leaders blaming the…