The army has been working with a non-profit in Manipur’s Bishnupur to help 50 students crack the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET). The ethnic violence in Manipur earlier this month has affected many students, especially those preparing for key national examinations. The NEET for centres in Manipur was also postponed due to the violence between the Meiteis and the Kukis.
In a statement, the army said all the students who are under their care have been continuing their preparation for the NEET 2023 at Bishnupur, 30 km from state capital Imphal.
“Indian Army in collaboration with the National Integrity and Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO), a Kanpur-based educational trust, runs a boarding and coaching facility for 50 students,” the army said in the statement.
“Despite the ongoing crisis, all these students are continuing their preparation for NEET 2023 at Bishnupur. A focused endeavour has been put in by providing regular counselling, quality time, safe environment and essential amenities to aspirants and disengaging them from stress and trauma,” it said.
“We have been channelising their mind and efforts in preparation of the NEET in the wake of the current security situation,” the army said, adding young people from all communities in Manipur continue to stay peacefully with each other.
“If there is a silver lining to the communal clashes in Manipur, it is in seeing these young people stay together, impervious to the outside world,” the army said.
Over 70 people have died since May 3 in clashes between the Meiteis, who live in and around the state capital Imphal valley, and the Kuki tribe, who are settled in the hills, over the valley residents’ demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.
The security forces have said all trucks carrying essential supplies that were stranded on the highways in Manipur due to blockade by tribal protesters at several pockets have reached their destinations.
The army and paramilitary forces have been organising regular patrols and helping civilians.
The Assam Rifles and other security forces have been hosting peace meetings between the communities. They have been sending patrols of women soldiers to meet women and children and bring a feeling of safety.