TODAY -

'Mother, send me to moon to meet my father'
Untold sufferings of a blind widow of an encounter victim

Source: Hueiyen News Service / Nomita Khongbantabam

Imphal, May 26 2012: "Mother! Please send me to the moon.

I want to go to the moon and meet my father" .

This is one persistent request of her son that heartbroken Akoijam Gangarani, a blind widow of an encounter victim, does not know how to fulfill.

Yet, when the moon is seen shining in the sky at night and her son insists her to send him to the moon, all that Gangarani could do is tell her son to study hard to go to the moon.

Away from the attention of the government and ignored by the society, blind widow Gangarani has been struggling every day of her life with the sold intention of raising her two kids whose father was killed by Manipur Police Commandos in an alleged encounter some years back.

The misery faced by this young widow from Kwakeithel Heinoukhongnembi Lamdong is unparalleled, without any hope or help from the government's side despite of repeated assurances.

In an exclusive interview to Hueiyen Lanpao, Gangarani informed that even though she had talked with the Chief Minister of Manipur on numerous occasions, she has not get any assistance from the side of the government, which she alleged, has turned a blind eye towards her and her family.

"When I met the Chief Minister, he assured me ex-gratia as per the central policy and a suitable government job, in additional to taking care of the expenses on education of my two sons upto class 12.But these assurances have turned out to be false promises", Gangarani lamented.

Her eldest son is now 11 years old and is studying at Brighter Academy while the younger one is 5 years old.

Unable to bear the expenses on education, Gangarani sends her younger son to a government school.

Gangarani informed that in consideration of her situation, she had approached the Social Welfare Department for help but, but there has been no response in this regard.

Gangarani disclosed that she has been maintaining her family of three with a meagre amount of Rs 1500 per month provided by Conflict Widow Forum since November 2008 .

Fortunately, the amount was increased to Rs 2000 from April 2012, she added.

Expressing serious concern over so called encounter killings, Gangarani appealed to the government and the police department to first interrogate any person before killing them in order to prevent other women from the fate and misfortune she is in today.

Recalling how her husband was killed, Gangarani said her husband, who was a driver by profession, went out from home on that fateful day at around 10 am to the parking.

Fellow drivers told her that some cadres of a Kuki UG group hired his vehicle from the parking.

Her younger son was only 15 months old when her husband was found killed.

Gangarani was not blind by birth.

She began losing her eyesight from 2001.By 2007, when she gave birth to her youngest son, she lost her eyesight completely.

Before that she had undergone surgery at Guwahati, but to no avail.

Unable to die and unable to raise her kids well, Gangarani is living her life in hell but with a hope to see her sons growing up to become successful and god fearing men.


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