IMPHAL, Sep 11: Acknowledging Irom Chanu Sharmila’s decade long non-violent struggle for the repeal of the draconian law AFSPA from the state, the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), New Delhi, has conferred the first ever prestigious Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Peace Prize carrying a sum of Rs. 51 lakhs to Sharmila today at the JN Hospital, Porompat, Imphal.
The award was presented to Sharmila by the founder director and chairman of IIPM Dr. MK Choudhury in the presence of his wife Ratna Choudhury and Tarunkumar Bose, dean of administration (IIPM).
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony, Dr. MK Choudhury stated that Sharmila is one of the unique and bravest women in the country who has been on fast struggling for the repeal of AFSPA for the last nine years. She is the true symbol of peace, courage and sacrifice, he said.
He further maintained that AFSPA is a draconian law and it must be repealed from the state one day or the other.
Receiving the prestigious prize, Sharmila stated that the prize money will be donated for the welfare of women and children who have been the victims of child trafficking and other criminal acts in the society. She also said that she would desire to uplift the socioeconomic condition of the commercial sex-workers who have been regarded as “taboo” in the society by giving some financial assistance out of her prize money.
It may be mentioned that Irom Chanu Sharmila was conferred with the Gwangju Peace Prize in 2007 for her selfless non-violent struggle for the repeal of AFSPA from the soil of Manipur which has witnessed gross violation of human rights ever since the imposition of this draconian law in the state.