Widows Forum urges for end to blockade
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, October 29 2011:
Saying that they cannot bear it any more, members of the Conflict Widows Forum who have been leading a hand to mouth existence have called upon all concerned to end the protracted highway blockades.
Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club here today, convenor of the forum Laishram Ranjita said that the people of Manipur have been enduring untold misery because of the economic blockade which started from August 1 .
Young widows and destitute women who have been working as daily wage earners for their survival are the sections who have been worst affected.
The forum was constituted by young women who have little children and whose husbands have been shot dead without conducting any sort of trial amidst the conflict situation prevailing in the State.
The forum has appealed several times to end the ongoing blockades but to no avail till date, Ranjita said.
On account of the highway blockade which is now 89 days old, price of an LPG cylinder has jumped to Rs 2000 while one litre of petrol is now sold at the sky-high price of Rs 200 .
Though the common people have been virtually bled dry, those in the power corridors felt little or no impact.
Whereas prices of all essential commodities have sky-rocketed beyond the reach of a large section of people, sounds of crackers filled the air in this festive season.
These only testified that those in the corridors of power and the affluent section have not been affected by the blockades to any degree.
Decrying the recent spate of bomb attacks in civilian areas, Ranjita questioned if there is any meaning of having a democratic Government when it fails to understand the misery of the public.
Though the State Government promised compensation to the victims of the Sangakpham bomb blast in which five people including two children were killed, the victims and their families have not received a single rupee, she said.
One Jina who has been struggling to earn her livelihood by manufacturing detergent powder, dish wash, soap and handicraft products said that it has become hard to procure raw materials for these products because of the protracted highway blockades.
Woollen yarn which was sold at Rs 25 per 100 gram is now sold between Rs 40 and Rs 45 per 100 gram.
Likewise, prices of all essential commodities have increased manifold, Jina said.
Though the costs of raw materials have shot up, neither wages nor prices of the finished goods have been hiked.
As such, it has become hard to earn even trifling profits.
One Ranita who came to Imphal from Jiribam and who has lost sight questioned as to why on kilogram costs Rs 30 at Imphal while it is available Rs 12 per Kg at Jiribam.
"Where have all the commodities taken to Imphal every day along Jiribam-Imphal highway disappeared?" she questioned.
Observing that there has been interrupted movement goods carriers on Imphal-Jiribam highway, Ranita lambasted the Government for its indifference to the plight of the impoverished mass and its inaction against the racket of black marketers.