TODAY -

Physically challenged woman from Tamenglong wishes to see Imphal city
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 06 2018: Grace Panmei, a differently abled woman from Bhalok (Phalong) village, Tamenglong district has not set foot in Imphal even for once from the time she was born.

She told The Sangai Express that she wishes to see and visit the capital of Manipur one day.

The 40 year old suffers from paralysis in her left leg and she can only move a little with her right leg.

Despite being physically challenged, she earns her livelihood using her barely moveable right leg and making/sticking garments using a sewing machine.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, Grace conveyed that she was born in this condition (with her left leg completely paralysed from the knee down) but she still thanked the almighty for enabling her to walk with her right leg, although she can move only a little.

She has five siblings (four sisters and one brother) though their parents died when she was still young.



Physically challenged woman from Tamenglong wishes to see Imphal city
Physically challenged woman from Tamenglong wishes to see Imphal city


The condition of the family and the loss of their parents forced her siblings to take up different works to earn their livelihood.

Grace also began sticking tops and other garments including Phanek, at home.

Expressing that her world would be so much better if she could walk with both her legs, Grace said that she would visit places and search for jobs if her physical condition was normal like others.

A Father of Don Bosco School, who came to know Grace from a relative, had offered to help her by providing a sewing machine and asked her if she can sew clothes/ garments.

The urge to work and earn was so much that she instantly agreed to take up sewing and thus Grace began sewing Phanek, tops and other clothes so that she could contribute in sustaining the family.

She went on to say that the sewing machine, which was provided to her, has become rusty and old now.

Her face saddened when she told The Sangai Express about the day her machine stooped working.

She said, "I had to go back to the time when I stitched clothes with my hands, for a period".

She further maintained that people preferred those clothes which are stitched using machines and it also took more time to finish the hand-stitched clothes.

Grace recalled the time when the then DC of Tamenglong, Armstrong Pame, organised a training programme on sewing and weaving for 50 persons in the district and said that she had a hard time attending the training.

She said that her life became more meaningful when the DC distributed machines to the trainees.

Stating that she is living with her brother and her sister-in-law, she said that all the family members are daily wage earners.

Grace further said that she could earn around Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per a Phanek or a top.

She teared up when she told The Sangai Express that she will most probably spend her life sewing clothes and making ends meet till her last breath.

On the other hand, All Tribal Disabled Union Manipur (ATDUM) general secretary T Chungsin Koireng, while speaking to The Sangai Express said that there are 1500 identified differently abled persons under ATDUM.

Chungsin said that most of the physically challenged persons, under the union, reside at far off areas of the hilly regions adding that they are still not receiving the welfare schemes of the Govt.Chungsin informed that, fortunately, the Social Welfare Department started distributing monetary aid of Rs 1500 to each differently abled individual, under PMAY, from January this year although there are still many physically challenged persons who are not able to go to the DCs office to enrol for Aadhaar card or open bank accounts.

The general secretary of the.

union further expressed concern that the differently abled persons are not able to address their grievances by visiting the Chief Minister's office as they are not even able to go to the nearest office of their respective districts.


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