TODAY -

Blockade exacts steep price from widows
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 19 2011: Though the prolonged economic blockade and counter blockade have hit every section of the society, women, whose husbands have passed away due to the conflict situation and HIV/AIDS are perhaps the worst affected.

Highlighting their miserable state, the Conflict Widows Forum Manipur has appealed to the Government to bring a lasting solution to the chronic problem of highway blockade.

Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club here today, Conflict Widows Forum member Ambrabati Takhelchangbam said that bandhs and blockades have compounded the woes of the people who have already been enduring the brunt of the conflict situation.

The ongoing blockade which is now almost 50 days old has been causing immense misery to widows.

On account of the prolonged blockade, prices of all essential commodities have skyrocketed beyond the reach of impoverished people.

HIV widows have been suffering the worst with ART drugs running short.

Besides ART drugs, many other drugs prescribed by doctors are no longer available at the market, Ambrabati said.

Under such situation, widows struggling for their square meal a day are at their wits end.

On the other hand, these widows have not been given benefits entitled to BPL families on the ground that they are not heads of families.

"The Government has issued an order declaring that HIV widows would be given MGNREGS job cards.

This is most welcomed.

But the question, what would the Government do for other widows", Ambrabati said.

Decrying the stoic silence maintained by the State Government rather than working to end the blockade, she lambasted the Government for turning a blind eye to the plight of the general mass in general and widows in particular.

If the situation persists, the helpless widows would be forced to go begging even if the rich families do not feel any pain of the blockade, she added.


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