IMPHAL, December 1: “As much as we have enjoyed the privilege of representing you in various international platforms, today we are very saddened at what is repeatedly going on in our beloved and beautiful state of Manipur. The common people have been struggling for basic amenities of life”, several sportspersons from the Northeastern region have stated in an open letter to the various heads of the country and the people of the country appealing for support for the people of Manipur.
The letter issued by the North East India Image Managers has been signed by Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna winner, 1996-1997 Kunjarani Devi (Weightlifting); Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna winner, 2008-2009 M C Mary Kom (Boxing), former captain of Indian national football team Baichung Bhutia (Football), Gourmangi Singh (Football), Monica Devi (Weightlifting), Govind Singh (Football), Sandhyarani (Wushu), Sushil Singh (Football), Lalrindika Ralte (Football), Rocus Lamare (Football).
“The four month long economic blockade and resultant deadlock have affected the normal life of every common man of this part of the country”, they further stated in the letter.
“We appeal to everyone to restrain from using economic blockade or other such extreme modes of protest on humanitarian grounds and find a solution through democratic way. At the same time, we appeal to our fellow countrymen and the people’s representatives to join hands and help bring back Manipur on the growth path and make it an integral part of the development of our nation” the sportspersons appealed in the open letter.
“It’s sad to see this great nation giving a deaf ear while lakhs of its citizens in one of the most vibrant states – Manipur have been suffering under the dark shadow of the economic blockade for more than 120 days. It’s painful to see no conclusive action from any of the responsible quarters for over 4 months when the people of Manipur were made to struggle for basic essential items, life saving drugs and many more”.
The open letter has further stated, “It’s the same state which has produced some of the best sportspersons for this country who have brought laurels to the nation at international platforms; it’s the same state which has given some of the best performing art forms and artistes to the nation. Today, they need your support. They need support from everyone to put an end to the sufferings and help them live a normal life”.
“We are sportspersons who love to play our sport and bring smiles to our people. We play as ‘India’ and we play for the pride of our countrymen. There can be nothing bigger an award for us than people cheering at our every move and pray for a win every time we play”.
“We believe that the sportspersons and common people ooze the tears of happiness and sorrow together. We are from this beautiful part of India, popularly known as North East. We are simple people smiling our way to achieve our simple dreams. We love to play and win. We love to smile and show to the world how wonderful this corner of the earth is. But, alas, it is not the case always!”
“Let us, the people of this country, work towards rebuilding the jewel of India.We hope that our honourable prime minister will sow the seeds of peace and lay the foundation of a prosperous Manipur when he visits the state on 3rd December, 2011” the open letter concluded.