Are we ignoring our courageous mothers – reports say something else

Written By: / Editorial / Wednesday, 18 November 2020 18:05

Women empowerment is a new phenomenon when it comes to a state like Manipur, where women were always at the forefront of any social, economic, or political movement.
Manipur perhaps is the only erstwhile kingdom where there were women’s uprising against the British colonial regime twice in the year 1904 and 1939. People of the state still remember the uprising as Nupi Lal 1 & 2 respectively. When there were mass abuses of human rights by armed security forces, it was the womenfolk who always come forward to fight for justice. These womenfolk of Manipur were popularly known as Meira Paibis, (Torchbearer), as they stood as the protector of their male folk from the claw of the security forces during the early 80s. Later, when the male folk have declined their moral values and were ruined by alcohol and drugs, it was again the Meira Paibis that came forward to rescue the youths. “Nisha Bandhi” is another brand of the Manipuri women. The state also has the largest women market, run by only women, and perhaps is assumed the largest unique market in India. The Women Market (Ima Keithel) is a symbol of women folk taking part in the economy of the region.
Women are highly respected in Manipuri society. The largest festival of the state is also significantly “Ningol Chakouba”. This shows respect to womenfolk in Manipur. There may also be a rise in the crime against women but those are committed by criminals who have no understanding of the Manipuri traditions and culture. But this write-up is not about those illegal crimes committed towards the womenfolk of Manipur but about some data and facts recorded officially and published through the newspaper that portraits the changing attitude of the society towards the womenfolk that had and has been always on the forefront at time of trouble.
In an erstwhile kingdom, now a state of India, where women have been playing a significant role has been reported as a state which has over 5000 commercial sex worker by a local vernacular daily Sanaleibak. The report was based on the records of the Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MACS). The exact figure reported was 5,668, as reported in that newspaper. The news report also gave details about the reason for the rise of the CSWs in the state. It is not surprising but shocking to learn such a rise, as it affects the dignity of the women of the state.
What is more shocking is that, since the year 2017, the Women and Child Development Ministry of the Government of India have been financial assistance for the rehabilitation of the CSW under its scheme called UJJAWALA to different NGOs after recommendations from the Department of Social Welfare Government of Manipur. As per information from the department a total of Rs. 5,54,92,000/- (Five crores fifty four lakhs and Ninety thousand) has been already sanction since 2017 till this year through eleven NGOs.
On one hand, MACS says the rise of CSW, and on the other hand, a huge amount of rupees are being spent for rehabilitation. What actually does the government record want to portray the womenfolk of Manipur is a matter that each of us need to ponder upon.
Another shocking report comes just a few days back. It was about the falling of sex ratio at Birth. Just about 700 plus baby girls are born in 1000 boys. These reports simply portrayed the attitude of society towards womenfolk. On the other, the report was based on the Civil Registration System (CRS). However, there was no mention of comparison about the childbirth report recorded by the National Rural Health Mission.
If these news reports, published officially are true then, the Manipuris particularly the Meitei community have lost all its respect to womenfolk who saved the community.
This is a serious matter.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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