Manipur journalist Thotshang Shaiza dies of Covid-19; condolences pour in
Senior journalist from Ukhrul, Thotshang Shaiza was detected with the Corona virus infection on June 4 and died on June 12 night at JNIMS, Imphal.
Manipur senior journalist Thotshang Shaiza passed away due to COVID-19 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal late Sunday around 10.40 pm. He was 52. Following his demise Manipur Chief Minister N Biren among others condoled the death and paid tribute to the departed soul.
“In his demise, we, and in particular the media fraternity, have lost a multi-faceted personality who had dedicated his life in the service of society. I offer my sincere condolences to the bereaved family and share their grief. May his soul rest in peace,” Biren said.
The Manipur Hill Journalists Union (MHJU) and the Ukhrul District Working Journalists Association (UDWJA) also condoled the death and said that his loss has left a vacuum in the media fraternity.
"We are saddened beyond words to hear the sudden demise of our comrade Thotshang Shaiza, a senior journalist from Ukhrul district. He was hospitalized in JNIMS Imphal for COVID-19 complications and breathed his last there last night. His loss has left a vacuum in the press fraternity which can never be filled, MHJU said in a statement signed by its president Ramkung Pamei.
Thotshang served as news Correspondent for ISTV, an Imphal based cable network TV and The Aja, a Tangkhul vernacular daily published from Imphal. He was also a member of the Manipur Hills Journalists Union and served as the president of Ukhrul District Journalist Union (UDJA) for 2 consecutive terms from 2015 till 2021, it stated.
"We could not stop the hands of death reaching for our comrades but hope that we will meet him again someday on the 'other side of the river'. And, his contributions in dissemination of information to the masses and for the development of the press in our region shall remain forever," the MHJU said, adding, "We share the grief of the bereaved family and pray that the Almighty grand solace to the family and peace to the departed soul".
The UDWJA also expressed grief on the untimely demise of Shaiza.
"The Ukhrul District Working Journalists Association is deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely demise of UDWJA advisor, former president and senior journalist Thotshang Shaiza who passed away at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal late Saturday around 10:40 pm," the UDWJA said in a statement.
The UDWJA said that Shaiza succumbed to Covid-19 complications as he developed severe lung infection. He was referred out to JNIMS from Ukhrul District Hospital on June 10 after his condition worsened. Shaiza was found Covid-19 positive on June 4. He was 52.
Thotshang Shaiza joined journalism in 2009 and had served the district's press fraternity in varied capacities as its president for consecutive two terms, as district correspondent for ISTV. He was UDWJA advisor and a district correspondent for The Aja Daily till he breathed his last.
"As we bade tearful adieu to our respected and fellow comrade, the UDWJA members would like to salute the dear departed for upholding and protecting "freedom of expression and true spirit of journalism" as he reached the unreached sections of the populace desseminating the message of truth during his time as a journalist.
"Shaiza will be remembered as a source of knowledge and experience in the district's journalism fraternity. He was a source of strength for the association. He was an outspoken and fun loving gentleman. His absence would be profoundly missed in our midst. It was just like yesterday, can't believe that he is no more! The void left by him would be irreparable.
"Shaiza's demise is a big loss for the Ukhrul media fraternity. Words wouldn't be suffice to say that the Tangkhul community has lost a brave son of the soil, a veteran journalist in him. Though he has come and gone, the legacy left by him will remain forever in our hearts. During his tenure as an association president, he had immensely contributed for the welfare of UDWJA," the UDWJA said.
Shaiza held the association's helm of affairs as president for two consecutive terms from 2015-18 and 2018-21. Recently he was appointed as UDWJA advisor.
"Our profound condolences go out to the bereaved family members as we join in prayer for the soul of our dear departed comrade to find an eternal rest beside the Almighty God. We also pray for God's strength and solace to the bereaved family during this difficult time," the UDWJA added.
The Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) also joined the media fraternity of Manipur and the family in sharing the grief of the big loss.
“We remember him as a very active and diligent journalist who worked to bring information from remote corners of the state to the mainstream both for the electronic media, ISTV news and Tangkhul dialect daily, the Aja. His passing away will leave a void amongst the journalist fraternity of Manipur. May his soul rest in peace,” it added.
Works Minister Th Biswajit Singh also expressed his heartfelt condolence on the untimely demise of Thotshang.
In his condolence message, Th Biswajit stated that during his lifetime, Thotshang played a significant role in transmission of local news to the general public and extended solidarity and initiatives taken up by Manipur Hills Journalists Union. His untimely demise is an irreparable loss for the journalistic fraternity and has left a huge void which will be hard to fill up, he said.
“I share the grief and sorrow of the bereaved family. May the departed soul rest in eternal peace,” it added.
Dr Yaronsho Ngalung, Caretaker and former chairman, ADC Ukhrul also condoled the death and paid tribute to Shaiza on behalf if ADC Ukhrul.
"We have lost a warrior among us. What a great lost to us. It will be difficult to fill the vaccum created by his demise. During his Presidentship of the Ukhrul Journalist Association, he has extended his fullest cooperation in whatever we do. I on my own behalf and on behalf of all former ADC Members express our deep condolences to the bereaved family members and relatives. May God give his beloved wife and childrens under His constant care and love. May God keep them strength, comfort and peace in these difficult times. May his soul rest in Eternal Peace."