IMPHAL, Dec 27: The Signature Training Centre, Guwahati in recognition of Irom Chanu Sharmila and her 10 years long fast with iron resolve and determination against AFSPA, 1958 has today awarded her with the Sarva Gunah Sampannah- Award for Peace and Harmony.
The award which includes a traditional cap of Assam, a small money bag with Cheque of Rs. 25 thousand, a memento with flower, was handed over to Irom Chanu Sharmila today while she was waiting on a police vehicle at the JNIMS compound before being taken to the CJM Imphal east lamphel, even though the formal award distribution was held on November 9 at Guwahati. The representatives of the committee had to come down to Imphal to hand over the award due to the security and health aspects of Irom Chanu Sharmila.
The STC awards has been instituted to commemorate the completion of 12th year of the institution and has been conferred on four deserving women who have left an indelible imprint in the society by their exploits, struggles and achievements in the recent times.
Madhumita Saikia, Principal, Signature Training Centre and the editor Saundriya aro Sasthya, who handed the award to the iron lady of Manipur elaborated that it is high time the government eradicate the deadly Act of AFSPA, 1958. She has also mentioned that the Signature Training Centre had formed a committee which had chosen Sharmila for the award as a show of solidarity to the Sharmila and her democratic form of protest which has stood for 10 long years in her fight against the deadly act, which she maintained is not only for Manipur but for the whole of India.
The struggle is not only for Manipur, it is for the entire Northeast people. We must fight alongside her against the Act which has made lives very horrible. AFSPA empowers security forces to arrest and kill suspects with impunity, this is not fair. We are not animals, we are also human beings, everybody is not a criminal, she added.
She has further stated that her organization will be spreading awareness of Sharmila and her works in Assam as a show of solidarity with Irom Chanu Sharmila.
On receiving the award, Sharmila stated that she is happy on getting acknowledgement from the people in the form of the award however; she has no desires for any awards.
She has also wished the people of the state for a new and peaceful world in the coming New Year before being whisked away to the Court.
In the meantime, she has been remanded for further judicial remand till January 10, 2011 by the Justice Ronal Keishing, CJM Imphal East, Lamphel today noon.
The anti AFSPA agitation launched by Sharmila some ten years back has reached a crescendo and a landmark given the widespread solidarity it has garnered with internationally recognized awards coming home via overdue acknowledgments. It’s been 10 painstaking years of human endurance and resilience being tested and tried.