Greetings from NEIWAC and Thank you for Naga Students Union Chennai for inviting me to fresher meet 2016. I am happy to meet members of the Naga community and also happy for the opportunity that is given to me to give the message.
Before I start my speech, I would like to just say that I am going to divide my short speech into two parts, the importance and necessity of NEIWAC and Do’s and don’ts for the Northeast community in Chennai.
Ok, here we go. I am basically from Aizawl, Mizoram but my identity within Aizawl was confined to where I stay - Vaivakawn, Dawrpui, Mission Veng etc & the Church where I attend - Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Adventist etc. hence the rest of the people who do not live where I live & who do not attend church where I attend are them.
And then I moved out of the state of Mizoram to go to a Boarding school in Northeast India in Shillong or Guwahati & all the identity of being from a particular locality within Aizawl or from being the town of Aizawl, Lunglei, Lawngtlai or Saiha dissolve. We have fights & arguments with people from different states of Northeast India like Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya & we the "Mizo's" who sometimes fight among different Churches and different localities remain united in helping our fellow brothers from our own state.
Then for further studies I finally proceed to big cities of India like Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkota or CHENNAI where we may be staying in a Hostel or renting a house and now that we are further away from Mizoram, a northeast state and less in number, we start hanging around with our brothers from the northeast like the Naga's, Manipuri's, Khasi's so that we can help and support each other, and yes there are still fights where we protect each other as well, we also develop the kinship of being brothers from the northeast and the small fights that we had in boarding school in northeast are forgotten now. Now, we bring together our Northeast heritage, our commond bonds, our similar faiths, beliefs and even our similar facial features bonds us together. And yes, My brothers and sisters.
So brothers and sisters, this is where we share our common bond and brother hood, in January 29,2014, a young northeast from Arunachal, Nido Tania was murdered in Delhi due to racial attacks and the Bezbaruah committee was formed by Ministry of Home to look after the welfare of the Northeast, the same Bezbaruah committee came to Chennai to find out the needs of Northeast community in Chennai, find out that there is no Northeast Organization in Chennai, they recommended the Northeast community in Chennai to come together, hence NEIWAC was formed on 21st June 2014 as even the Northeast community in Chennai felt that there was a need for it and just as recently in August 2012, there was a massive exodus of northeast migrants due to false rumour and panic.
So far since it’s inception, NEIWAC has tackled many issues, among them issues dealing from Death due to illness, Murder among northeast, Theft committed by Northeast, Drug addiction, Searching for missing people. But so far the most common issues that we faced were with regards to 2 major issues. Non Refund of Rental deposits and Non Payment of wages by Employers.
Rental Agreement – As long as you live in Chennai, you are likely to stay rent a house if you are not staying in Hotel, in such a case you must ensure that you have a rental agreement with your house owner clearly mentioning the dete of rental agreement and the amount of rental deposit in a Rs 20 Stamp paper. So that later, if your house owner does not want to give you back your rental deposit, you will have evidence to get it back. Moreover Rental agreement has proved to be very useful to me personally as it can also be used as a local address proof if you want to apply for passport in Chennai.
Staff Contract – Previously, a few years back, most of the community members in Chennai from northeast were students but it’s not the case anymore. Now a days, there are lot of people from the Northeast employed in the unorganized sector, retail, hotel and restaurant industry. One of the biggest issues and complaints is that the salary is not being paid even after working for 2-3 months. But when we go to support them, they don’t have any proof of employment. It is important to have proof of employment if action is going to be taken against employer for non-employment of wages.
To tackle this issues , recently 14 people representing the northeast states of Assam,Arunachal, Meghalaya,Manipur,Mizoram,Nagaland and Tripura met our nodal officer Shri.R.Thirunavukkarasu,IPS,AIGP (Law & Order) on 27th August 2016 to discuss problems faced by Northeast community with regards to difficulty faced by northeast community in rental and staff contract issues and he has promised to support us in this regards. We will soon be circulating draft copies of Rental and Staff contracts to different Northeast community welfare organizations in Chennai so that there is more awareness on Staff and Rental contracts so that when issues pertaining to wages or rental deposits come, we can take it up with our Noda police officers for swift action.
Further, I would like to inform the freshers here that the Northeast community have a very good and cordial relationship with local tamil people without any issues or attacks and that northeast community people are preferred by employers in many hotels, restaurants and business because of our industriousness, hard work and honesty. I would like our new fresher to not spoil this image but to further lift up the name of northeast community among the people of Chennai so that we can stand out and bring good name to the northeast community. Thank you.