IMPHAL, September 19: The Conflict Widows Forum, Manipur today conveyed a press conference at the Manipur Press Club regarding the present violent scenario in the state and its effect on the widows of the state.
Briefing mediapersons, a member of the forum Amrabati Takhellambam stated that the economic blockade along the national highways of the state coupled with the incessant killing happening everyday in the state has only made it more difficult for the widows in the state to survive.
She further elaborated that widows of the state are mostly the bread-earners of their family and mostly work as daily wage earners, selling vegetables and other small items, however, calling of bandhs, general strikes, economic blockades by various groups have strongly affected the daily survival of the widows.
“Most widows are left behind with their children when their husbands die, and they have to fend for their children also, and it is always hard for them to maintain their families, however due to the prolonged economic blockade, providing for their children’s schooling and other necessities including medicine have become even harder.”
“In the face of the blockade, most of the school vans have also increased their van fares by Rs 20 per day as extra charge, which has only hardened the survival of the widows and their families.”
She further criticized the silence maintained by the government and the home department, even though there have been numerous reports of violent incidents during the economic blockade called along the national highways of the state.
She also added that the police have always used violent methods like using of rubber bullets and lathi charge while trying to disperse or quell demonstrators in the valley area of the state, and it is pitiful that the state forces have decided to remain silent even though the economic blockade has adversely affected the general public.
“In such a scenario, the government has never taken the plight of the widows in the state seriously, which has resulted in PDS items never reaching the widows.”
Further questioning the reason behind the failure of the state government to recognize the widows under the BPL, she has at the same time appealed the government to do the needful on the issue.
She further clarified that widows are also citizens of the country and as such it is the duty of the government to look after them.